Mar.4 (GMM) Retired long time McLaren employee Jo Ramirez has questioned the wisdom of Ron Dennis' expected stepping down as team boss.
The 66-year-old Mexican, who for 17 years until he retired in 2001 was McLaren's team coordinator, goes as far as to suggest that the Mercedes-powered team could go into decline without Dennis, who has manned the controls of the ultra-successful Woking outfit for nearly three decades."Without Ron Dennis McLaren will be doomed," Ramirez is quoted as dramatically telling the Austrian motor racing magazine Rally and More.Dennis' long standing deputy Martin Whitmarsh, who is set to inherit the reins of the British team, told the Guardian newspaper on Monday that there is no pressure on his current boss to step down."I've been at McLaren for 19 years and am incredibly patient. Nor do I intend to be the Judas who knifed Ron in the back," he added.Ramirez does rate Whitmarsh, but thinks Dennis is not replaceable by the 49-year-old Englishman, who left the aerospace industry in 1989 to join McLaren as head of operations."Martin Whitmarsh is a good man -- but a hundred Martin Whitmarshes could not replace Ron. If he does go, it will be very bad for the team," he warned.Ramirez is still close to Dennis and he reports that the espionage scandal and the politics of 2007 left his former boss in a bad way."Ron is really, really down," he said. "What happened last year has really hurt him."I think Max Mosley wants to destroy him, but I cannot understand it -- Ron does not deserve that," Ramirez added.