Ron Dennis is said to be in the running to purchase Manor Racing, with the former McLaren CEO among a number of interested parties in the British team.
After over 30 years in the driving seat at McLaren, Dennis was recently ousted as CEO by the majority Bahraini ownership after a poor run of form over the past few seasons, not helped by the lacklustre re-entry into the sport from Honda. A new structure at McLaren has seen fan and sports marketing expert Zak Brown take the helm, after the team has seen a mass exodus of sponsors in previous seasons.
It has been widely reported that Manor has been up for sale for a while, with owner Stephen Fitzpatrick talking to American Tavo Hellmund for over a year about a purchase. The price has been the sticking point for the former promoter who was instrumental in bringing back the American and Mexican Grand Prix to the calendar. Although a deal was said to have been agreed at the end of the season, that now looks more unlikely with ‘other investors invited back to the table’.
Ron Dennis is reported to be one of those other investors, along with backing he secured in China which he used to try and oust the Bahrainis from McLaren unsuccessfully. Another is former Manor director Graeme Lowdon with backing Ricardo Gelael, the boss of Jagonya Ayam – the Indonesian branch of KFC, which has provided sponsorship in GP2 in 2016 for both vice champion Antonio Giovanazzi and his son Sean Galael.
Dennis also has a lot of connections with Manor, former McLaren employee Dave Ryan and use the Mercedes engine, which McLaren had used for nearly 20 years before doing a deal with Honda.