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Formula 1 News - February, 2008
Not sacked, embattled Dennis may 'step away'

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Feb.29 (GMM) Ron Dennis and his deputy Martin Whitmarsh have denied reports that the McLaren team boss is being forced out -- but speculation persists that Dennis' nearly three-decade reign at the helm of the Woking based outfit is close to an end.

Dennis, who will turn 61 later this year, gave several private briefings to allies in the British media on Thursday, rejecting rumours that 40 per cent team owner Mercedes-Benz wants him sacked.

He reportedly told the Daily Telegraph that, as Group CEO and chairman and a shareholder, there is "no mechanism" for removing him as boss, and also "no will to do so" among the team's other stakeholders.

But the newspaper said Dennis will nevertheless make a "decision about his future ... forthwith".

The Times insists that, contrary to speculation, Dennis intends to travel to the Australian grand prix next month, although he may arrive in Melbourne late.

Team CEO Whitmarsh, meanwhile, who would inherit Dennis' job, told the Press Association that "it is for Ron to decide when and if he should step down, step away, step back, or whatever".

If Dennis does step back, "Whitmarsh might find himself promoted to the position of team principal and could be on the pit wall overseeing the Australian grand prix in just over a fortnight's time", the Guardian observed.

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