Zak Brown: Ron Dennis played role in McLaren F1 recruitment

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Newly-appointed McLaren executive director Zak Brown says that outgoing chairman CEO Ron Dennis played an important role in recruiting him for the British marque.

McLaren announced last week that Dennis would be leaving the team after 35 years at the helm, with the Briton claiming he had been removed by his fellow shareholders on “spurious” grounds.

McLaren confirmed six days later that Brown had joined as an executive director, with the American businessman making his first appearance in the Formula 1 paddock with the team in Abu Dhabi.

Despite only arriving at the team once Dennis’ departure had been confirmed, Brown revealed in an interview with the official F1 website that he had been in talks about joining McLaren for a number of months.

“I have a great relationship with Ron. Ron set out recruiting me,” Brown said.

“Ron and I started serious talks in the middle of the year, so I wouldn’t be sitting where I am without Ron. He is very much in my mind. I have spoken to him before I came to Abu Dhabi.

“My relationship with Ron is unchanged.”

When asked if Dennis hoped to retain control over McLaren through Brown, the American replied: “I don’t know what he hopes. This is a question for Ron to answer.

“All I can say is that he told me before I flew out to Abu Dhabi that it is a very good thing that I have joined.”

McLaren has struggled to find much success on-track in recent years, not winning a race since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix and failing to score a podium since Australia 2014.

While Brown is refusing to make any firm predictions, he is confident that the team can be stronger both on- and off-track in a year’s time.

“I would like to see more partners on the race car [in a year],” Brown said.

“I want to see more on-track success, probably having a view of the podium.

“But I don’t want to get caught making predictions. What I can say: ‘more’ is the route to go!”