By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at the McLaren Technology Centre
Dennis (left) will hand over the reins to Whitmarsh after 27 years
Ron Dennis is to step down as team principal of McLaren and hand over to current number two Martin Whitmarsh ahead of the new Formula One season.
Dennis, 61, who has run McLaren since 1981, will stay on as executive chairman of the McLaren Group.
The 51-year-old Whitmarsh will take over McLaren's F1 operation on 1 March.
"It's time for Martin to take over. It is 100% my decision - this is a job he will embrace and from now most race-day decisions will be his," said Dennis.
"I still have huge passion for F1 and I want to be supportive of Martin's responsibilities, but that will come purely in the form of voicing an opinion.
"Maybe they'll get my opinion when they don't want it! But I hope Martin will listen to my opinions, even if ultimately - as it will - the ultimate decision rests solely with him.
"This is the right time for this decision. But don't see this as some sort of retirement because it is the exact opposite.
"The first thing I must do is raise my own game because everybody realises this is a tough period in which to work. My decision - and it is solely, and exclusively my decision - has been made on the basis of what is best for McLaren.
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