Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ron Dennis and amateur psychology

Former McLaren Racing team principal Ron Dennis has given an interview to Esquire Magazine, ('the magazine for men who mean business'), in which he provides the following insight:

"I used to go to bed with the vacuum cleaner going because my mum wanted the house immaculate when she got up. That’s the ethos I grew up with, everything had to be perfect all the time. That’s why I am such a pain to live with. I don’t want chaos; my homes are my tranquillity bases."

The description of home as a 'tranquillity base', confirms that these are indeed the words of Ron Dennis. However, the vacuum cleaner recollection may be unwise. Many magazine journalists and newspaper feature writers are fond of engaging in the amateur psychological analysis of media personalities, and those who touch on motorsport may now be inclined to suggest that Dennis's perfectionist ethos is the consequence of an inability to satisfy, or the desire to emulate, a dominant and perfectionist mother.

In fact, a perfectionist mother is one of the five 'mothering styles' defined by clinical psychologist Stephan B. Poulter, in his book The Mother Factor: How Your Mother's Emotional Legacy Impacts Your Life:

The Perfectionist Mother — whose family must look perfect in every way
The Unpredictable Mother — whose ups and downs can create lifelong anxiety and depression in her son or daughter
The "Me First" Mother — whose children come second or last
The "Best Friend" Mother — who's now in vogue but can wreak havoc
The Complete Mother — who provides guidance and shows compassion to her child

Dennis is also quoted as stating that his relationship with Ayrton Senna "edged on almost masculine love...I use the word quite deliberately. It didn’t have any homosexuality about it, it wasn’t that sort [of love]." This is touching, but with that final, Alan Partridge-like qualification, again one wonders if Dennis is simply providing his enemies with the ammunition to deride him.


Clare Dudman said...

Gawd - 'complete mother'- no pressure!

As an incomplete mother I would just like to say that that little list seems to me to have much the same sentiment (and sense) as the rhyme that begins 'Monday's child is fair of face...' I guess 'the complete mother' was born on the Sabbath day - lucky woman.

Happy New Year, Gordon!

Gordon McCabe said...

Happy New Year!

I hope you're not suggesting that Poulter's book may be a load of baloney, Clare. He's Stephan B. Poulter, PhD.

A middle initial adds authority and distinction. As in Homer J. Simpson.

Clare Dudman said...

Heh, heh. I couldn't possibly comment.

I'll just refer you to Philip A. Larkin.

Sean said...

Maybe by 'tranquillity base' he means he is moving to the Moon to achieve some sort of god like status.

The facts are before your eyes, under that Lake is a lauchpad for the Mclaren M1. The lake is emptied, the floor of the lake opens up like in You only live twice, and Ronnie rockets off to the moon, not even looking back at us mere mortals.

its all in the sacred text in the Mail "Now Dennis is facing up to new challenges."

you missed the physics angle Gordon!