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
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The definitive departure of Ron Dennis from McLaren, announced Friday, marks the end of an era for the Formula One team and a farewell to another of the sport's towering figures of yesteryear.Formula One has undergone a major shift since Dennis commanded the heights as an uncompromising hands-on leader, forging the team in his own image and achieving both unprecedented success and scandal.Dennis, who started out as a mechanic with Cooper in 1966, joined McLaren in 1980 when he took over the team founded by the late New Zealander Bruce McLaren.McLaren had already won championships with Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974 and James Hunt in 1976 but a golden era ensued – even if Dennis and the team acquired an image and a reputation for perfectionism bordering on the obsessive.
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