- Dennis made numerous drivers rich, many race winners and a select few world champions. But his relationship with some wasn’t just about winning. In Senna, he found someone who shared his intensity, and they shared a spree of world titles. For Mika Häkkinen - world champion for the team in 1998 and 1999 - the relationship was almost father and son-like. And then there was Lewis Hamilton, who was signed by Dennis aged twelve and nurtured to be world champion in 2008.
- With the F1 team at the height of its powers, Dennis set his sights on diversifying McLaren’s income streams. It’s hard to believe, but the McLaren F1 road car wasn’t a sales success when it was unveiled in 1992. A project to take the land speed record was also aborted. Key to Dennis’s vision taking off was the creation of the Norman Foster-designed McLaren Technology Centre, the futuristic Woking headquarters for the team that opened in 2004. In 2011, McLaren Automotive was launched, and today McLaren employs engineers working on everything from high-powered battery packs to designing Olympic bicycles.
Opinion: will Ron one day outshine Enzo?
- How the word ‘Spygate’ must jar in Dennis’s throat. A 780-page document containing sensitive data about Ferrari was discovered at the home of former McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan - and the sport’s governing body, the FIA, went to town, fining the team almost £50 million and stripping it of its 2007 constructors' points. The blameless Dennis, remember, went straight to the FIA and told it about the document the moment he was informed of its existence.
- For all his success nurturing mercurial talents, Dennis has also fallen out with his fair share of superstars. That Hamilton would break the bond that had formed between them was hard enough; that he would add two more world titles (to date) worse, not least because he remains the last McLaren driver to stand on the top step of the podium. Celebrated managerial fallouts led to the loss of Adrian Newey, the pre-eminent designer of his generation, and Paddy Lowe, who joined Hamilton at Mercedes.
- To be booted aside by the team you rescued, made great and led to glory once would be remarkable - but for it to happen twice, as has happened to Dennis in the twilight of his McLaren years - is indicative of both his difficult personality and modern corporate cultures. Never one to back down, Dennis even went to court to try and cling on at the helm of the F1 team at the tail end of last year - although given its annus horribilis courtesy of Honda, he might now be heading off into the sunset with a wry smile on his face.