One of the most significant red letter days coming down the track in 2011 is the 40th anniversary of the debut of Rondel Racing. The immaculate F2 operation was founded jointly by Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle and formed the basis of today’s multiple world championship winning McLaren operation that's become one of the sport’s defining forces over the decades which followed.

Ron Dennis stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Bernie Ecclestone as one of the men responsible for the development of the professional and immaculately well-scrubbed image which has been projected by the sport in the first decade of the 21st century.

Glance back at photographs of the cars and circuits of the mid-1970s. Careworn infrastructure, oil-streaked cars and a general lack of rigour. Not with Rondel, which brought new standards of turn-out to the sport’s most important second division category.

Motor racing may have been romantic in those distant days, although there was nothing in the slightest bit romantic about the vulnerability of the drivers in cars and on tracks that only measurably changed when Jackie Stewart focused the blowtorch of his unrelenting attention on them.