Ron Dennis knighthood: McLaren issue belated statement on former F1 boss

Oliver Harden
Former McLaren team principal Ron Dennis.

Former McLaren boss Ron Dennis watches on from the garage.

McLaren have issued a belated statement congratulating former F1 team principal Ron Dennis on receiving a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List.

It was announced on Friday that Dennis had been awarded a knighthood for services to industry and charity.

Dennis stands as one of the most successful team bosses in F1 history, having led McLaren to seven Constructors’ titles and overseen the Championship triumphs of such illustrious names as Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.

McLaren finally recognise Ron Dennis knighthood

The 76-year-old has distanced himself from F1 since an ugly exit from McLaren in November 2016, when he was suspended as chairman. Dennis went on to sell his remaining shares in McLaren in June 2017.

Almost three days after Dennis’s honour was announced, McLaren finally took to Twitter on Monday morning to recognise his new status in a short statement.

A post read: “Congratulations to Sir Ron Dennis!

“Ron, who led us to seven Constructors’ Championships, has been awarded a knighthood for his services to industry and charity.” recommends

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McLaren chief executive Zak Brown, who effectively succeeded Dennis when he was appointed to the role of executive director in late 2016, followed up the team’s tweet by offering his own congratulations.

He said: “Huge congratulations to Sir Ron Dennis! Neither McLaren or F1 would be where they are today without his passion and vision for excellence.

“A knighthood in the King’s New Year’s Honours list is an honour richly deserved and long overdue.”

McLaren’s slow response to Dennis’s knighthood comes almost three months after Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion, took aim at the team for seemingly forgetting his existence.

After the team recorded their 500th F1 podium finish at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, McLaren produced a social media graphic featuring every driver to register a top-three finish for the team.

The likes of Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo, who claimed just a single podium finish each in McLaren colours, were included – but Button, who claimed eight victories over seven full seasons with the team between 2010 and 2016, was a notable absentee.

Button offered a cheeky riposte to his admission, tweeting: “My 26 podiums for you guys obviously don’t count so it’s only 475!”

At the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix in November, meanwhile, Button showed he clearly hadn’t forgotten the snub when asked to pick the ones to watch in Nevada.

He told fans: “There are two teams that stand out. One is this orange colour, can’t remember what their name is!

“They forgot that I raced for them, so I’m not going to mention them! They’ve done an amazing job in terms of their performance.”

McLaren enjoyed their strongest season in years in 2023, recovering from a slow start to emerge as the most consistent threat to the dominant Red Bull team at the halfway stage of the campaign.

Lando Norris registered seven podium finishes – equalling his best-ever F1 of second on six occasions – in 2023, with debutant Oscar Piastri adding two as McLaren finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

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