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Whitmarsh takes over at McLaren

MARTIN Whitmarsh took over from Ron Dennis as McLaren team principal yesterday with the immediate task of helping Lewis Hamilton become the first British driver to retain the Formula One title.

"I've been trying for 20 years to win races and championships, but I have to say I feel an extra zing this time," he told British Sunday newspaper reporters. Dennis announced at the launch of the new McLaren MP4-24 car in January that he would stand down as principal on March 1 after 28 years in the role. The 61-year-old Briton will continue as McLaren's executive chairman, among other responsibilities, and has said he has no thought of retirement. Former team chief executive Whitmarsh has been at McLaren since 1989, when it had Brazilian Ayrton Senna and Frenchman Alain Prost in its formidable lineup. The F1 season starts in Australia on March 29.


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