• Dennis banned after accumulating 12 penalty points
• 63-year-old pleaded guilty to driving through a red light
The former McLaren Formula One team principal Ron Dennis has been banned from driving for six months after a string of traffic offences.
The ban comes two weeks before the F1 season starts in Australia, where last year McLaren’s 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton made the headlines after he was charged with reckless driving outside Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
“Our executive chairman’s driving licence has been suspended for six months following four minor traffic infringements that resulted in 12 penalty points being accrued,” a McLaren team spokesman said.
The Surrey Advertiser newspaper said the 63-year-old had pleaded guilty to driving through a red light in the latest infringement. Dennis told a magistrates court that he had feared that stopping suddenly could cause a collision with a car travelling behind.
“There were only two other cars around but I felt that it would be more prudent to continue rather than stop,” he was quoted as saying on the paper’s website .
Dennis stood down as McLaren team principal in 2009 to take on an executive chairman role with his focus on the company’s new McLaren MP4-12C supercar.