McLaren boss Ron Dennis has revealed that a desire to emulate Ferrari's success is behind his company's decision to build road cars.
Speaking at the Autosport Awards, Dennis conceded that the decision to build McLaren road cars has led to the impending end of the team's exclusive F1 deal with Mercedes, but he insisted the long-term gains will justify the deal.
"It is really a development of the brand," said Dennis, who was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the award ceremony.
"We have had some great partners - and I have to mention Mercedes-Benz. They have been phenomenally strong partners of us, and there was a time when we had to think hard and long about what was the right thing for McLaren.
"When I look at the achievements of Ferrari and what we intend for McLaren, it is absolutely categorically the right thing for us to plough our own furrow. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
"I am delighted for Brawn and the Mercedes GP team of the future, and at the end of the day, we were extremely supportive of solving the problems with Brawn."
Dennis also dimissed suggestions he could return to the race team next season, insisting his sole focus is now on McLaren's road car division.
"No. No. No," he said when asked about an F1 comeback. "My role in active F1 is definitely over.
"I will go to some grands prix because I love it. My brain is in McLaren but my heart is in motor racing, so I will definitely be at some grands prix. But it will not be on the pit wall and not as anything other than a spectator."
McLaren plans to build a range of sportscars over the next few years - with the MP4-12C due to be the first of the new range.
McLaren MP4-12C links: