Motor racing: Dennis fighting McLaren move - Ecclestone

Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:45pm EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - McLaren chief executive Ron Dennis is fighting a move by other shareholders to force him out, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Saturday.

Ecclestone told Reuters at the Brazilian Grand Prix that he feared the 69-year-old Briton, whose team are the sport's second most successful despite not having won a race for four years, may have lost the battle already.

"There was a court case yesterday where he wanted to overturn what had happened and he lost the case unfortunately which is a pity because we don't want to lose Ron," Ecclestone said.

Asked whether that meant Dennis was effectively out, he replied: "Apparently so, yes. I think he's appealing so he may win the appeal".

Sky News reported on Friday that Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat and Saudi-born businessman Mansour Ojjeh, who between them hold 75 percent of the shares, wanted to oust Dennis.

The report said an unidentified consortium of Chinese investors had made a 1.65 billion pounds ($2.08 billion) takeover bid for McLaren Technology Group that Dennis supported but the other shareholders opposed.

Sky cited sources as saying Dennis had failed to secure a High Court injunction against a move to sideline him until his contract expired in mid-January, and an emergency board meeting had been convened.

The F1 team's racing director Eric Boullier declined questions about the situation in Brazil.   Continued...

 
Chairman and CEO of McLaren Formula One team Ron Dennis signs autographs at the first practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Malone