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Former F1 rival claims McLaren 'wish they could have Dennis back'

Ron Dennis was at the helm through McLaren's greatest successes in Formula 1, but the team have won just once in the past decade.

Former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan has suggested McLaren wish they could "have Ron Dennis back" amid their ongoing struggles. The Woking-based outfit secured their first points of the new campaign with a double top-10 at the Australian Grand Prix, with Lando Norris finishing ahead of Oscar Piastri. But McLaren have failed to build on the promise provided by their pace in 2021 before the new technical regulations were introduced, slipping from fourth to fifth in last year's Constructors' Championship whilst their rivals made ground. Issues in the first two races of 2023 and a raft of changes in the technical department have highlighted the underlying worries for McLaren, though vital infrastructure upgrades – including a new wind tunnel – are nearing operation.

Dennis 'misunderstood' by outside world

Current CEO Zak Brown has been credited for helping to lift McLaren out of its mid-2010s slump in recent years, particularly driving the commercial side of the business and expanding the team's horizons into IndyCar, Formula E and Extreme E. But success came under Dennis across a period spanning three decades and, speaking on the Formula For Success podcast, former McLaren driver David Coulthard said: "Ron Dennis was, I think, misunderstood to the outside world. "Because he was an incredibly caring individual to the team and took care of his team personnel if they had medical issues or their family had issues. "He took care of them quietly, but in a great way because he understood the importance of the team." Jordan added: "Ron was a perfectionist, wasn't he? He just had everything pit-pat. "He wanted the [Ayrton] Sennas, he wanted the [Alain] Prosts and to be fair, we all laughed and joked and take the mickey out Ron a little bit because of how clinical he is, both in cleanliness and the way he prepares the car and the people. "But I bet they wish they had him back because McLaren now... nowhere near where they were, and Ron Dennis was just fantastically dedicated and committed to his team – the unsung hero to the staff members and people."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Free Practice 3