Ron Dennis shares verdict on Red Bull saga: ‘Everyone wants them to fail’

Michelle Foster
Ron Dennis and Christian Horner

Ron Dennis: There are always sometimes other motives

Unwilling to comment specifically on the Christian Horner saga, Ron Dennis, the man who famously referred to F1 as the “Piranha Club”, believes everybody wants to see Red Bull fail.

Winners of the last two championship doubles, such was Red Bull dominance last season the Milton Keynes team won all but one Grand Prix and clinched the 1-2 in the Drivers’ standings.

Ron Dennis: There are always sometimes other motives

But despite their on-track performances, the team’s harmony and cohesion were dealt a huge blow back in February when team boss Horner was investigated over inappropriate behaviour, a charge that was dismissed by Red Bull’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH.

As the saga rumbled on, the team was dogged by reports of a falling out between Horner and Helmut Marko, and it could still – at least Toto Wolff hopes – see Max Verstappen leave the team before the end of his long-term contract.

Dennis, although not touching on the details of the drama, believes there could be “other motives” in play as everybody wants to see Red Bull “fail”.

Speaking to the BBC, the former McLaren team boss said: “I think it’s wholly inappropriate for me to have an opinion on that particular topic.

“I’ve been out of Formula One for now seven years. I know no more than probably you.

“And the reality is, it’s not just about Formula One, there are lots of Chief Executive people in very senior positions, politicians that face comparable things in their lives. I just feel that there is more to it.

“I’m not saying what is right or wrong. But the environment in which that team is placed is one where everybody wants to see it fail.

“And I think that’s the point, and the only point I’d make, that I’m not judging anything that took place or didn’t take place. All I’m saying is, that’s what happened and I just want to go back, there are always sometimes other motives.”

More on the Christian Horner saga

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👉 Sources: Christian Horner has ‘full support’ of Red Bull shareholders as axing rumours swirl

Dennis says he knows all about this after McLaren were hauled over the coals by the FIA over 2007’s Spygate saga.

McLaren were fined $100 million and stripped of their Constructors’ championship points after an employee was found in possession of confidential material belonging to Ferrari.

“In my circumstances,” Dennis explained, “what had happened previously is I’d successfully taken the governing body and Bernie Eccelstone to court in Brussels with two other teams, but I lead the charge. And Brussels ruled that a governing body could not have any commercial involvement in the sport.

“That changed the complete direction of travel of Grand Prix racing because the governing body wanted to participate, and Max Mosley wanted to participate in the financials side of motor racing, and Brussels ruled against him.

“And from that moment on, every now and then I felt the laser sight fall on me. I had to dodge every single bullet and that was years that led to that. That individual, who unbeknown to me for his own personal motive put the team in a vulnerable position and gave the opportunity to the governing body to jump all over me.”

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