2017 F1

Brown denies Dennis meeting will be awkward

Brown denies Dennis meeting will be awkward

Brown denies Dennis meeting will be awkward

Zak Brown has denied he will endure a particularly awkward introduction to life at McLaren this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

The man he is replacing, the ousted McLaren supremo Ron Dennis, is tipped by the Times newspaper to also travel to the 2016 finale this weekend to meet with Middle Eastern contacts.

But American Brown, who was actually offered his new job by Dennis prior to the 69-year-old being put on ‘gardening leave’, denied that bumping into the famous F1 figure will now be awkward.

“I am a massive fan of Ron and all he has done,” Brown said.

“From my standpoint, it will be business as usual. I have known Ron as long as I have been connected with formula one and done many deals with him. I will invite him to dinner as I always have,” he added.

It is believed that former F1 sponsorship guru Brown, 45, was actually also wanted for a role by the sport’s new owners Liberty Media.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone denies it.

“Formula one is not in a tug-of-war for Mr Brown,” he said just before Monday’s news had broken. “I think he would be an excellent choice for McLaren.”

But Brown will still get a say in F1 decision-making anyway, with a chair at the sport’s Strategy Group.

He said: “There have been turbulent times and there will probably be more but I want McLaren to be at the forefront of formula one — where it belongs.”

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