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McLaren team boss Ron Dennis will step down as team principal of McLaren. McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh will become the team's new boss as of March 1. Dennis will not retire but focus on other commitments within the McLaren Formula 1 team.
Dennis made his announcement at the team's car presentation in Woking. Ron Dennis explained his decision saying: "It's time for Martin to take over. It is 100% my decision - this is a job he will embrace and from now most race-day decisions will be his. I still have huge passion for F1 and I want to be supportive of Martin's responsibilities, but that will come purely in the form of voicing an opinion.
"Maybe they'll get my opinion when they don't want it! But I hope Martin will listen to my opinions, even if ultimately - as it will - the ultimate decision rests solely with him. This is the right time for this decision. But don't see this as some sort of retirement because it is the exact opposite.
"The first thing I must do is raise my own game because everybody realises this is a tough period in which to work. My decision - and it is solely, and exclusively my decision - has been made on the basis of what is best for McLaren.
"We are a very diverse organisation and we have a number of other projects ongoing, including the development of our road car, and that is going to be a real challenge. However, really I want to downplay this decision, because today is about the new car, where we're going forward as a team - it certainly isn't about my stepping down."
March 2009 will mark the first time McLaren has not been run by Ron Dennis since 1981.
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