March 11, 2011 / 11:30 AM / 8 years ago

McLaren's Ron Dennis handed six-month driving ban

McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman Ron Dennis addresses the media at the official unveiling of the new MP4-12C road car at the McLaren Technology centre in Woking, southern England March 18, 2010. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton’s former McLaren Formula One team boss Ron Dennis has been banned from driving for six months after a string of traffic offences.

“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 team spokesman said on Friday.

The ban comes two weeks before the season starts in Australia, a grand prix that threw 2008 world champion Hamilton into the headlines last year after he was charged with reckless driving outside Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

The local Surrey Advertiser newspaper said Dennis, 63, had pleaded guilty to driving through a red light in the latest infringement.

The Briton told a magistrates court that he had feared 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 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.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in Barcelona; Editing by John O'Brien

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