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Dennis speaks out on Hamilton

ESPN Staff
November 20, 2012 « Montezemolo 'proud' of Ferrari | Schumacher wants to 'savour' farewell »
Happier times: Ron Dennis celebrates Lewis Hamilton's victory at the Canadian Grand Prix this year © Press Association

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis says "there's absolutely no issue" between himself and Lewis Hamilton as the latter prepares to leave the team.

Hamilton will drive in his final race for McLaren at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix before joining Mercedes in 2013 and he goes in to the race having won the United States Grand Prix. Having previously admitted that he was yet to speak to Dennis for many weeks after announcing his departure from McLaren, Hamilton's relationship with his previous team principal was believed to have broken down. Dennis, however, told Sky in Austin that there were no such problems between the two.

"Everybody feels that there's some issue between Lewis and I; there's absolutely no issue between us," Dennis said. "Sometimes the circumstances in a relationship don't balance, don't match. We are a team that requires a lot out of a driver and if some other team is able to make a more attractive proposition in any shape or form then a driver is going to move."

Dennis maintained that McLaren "is bigger than any driver" and said he is "completely relaxed" about losing Hamilton.

"If you look back on our history, without being too pretentious about our team it is bigger than any driver. We've had Ayrton [Senna] of course and [Alain] Prost, Niki [Lauda], Mika [Hakkinen], Keke [Rosberg], we've had a hell of a lot of world championships over the year and we're going to have world champions in the future. It's important that everybody in the team is there for the right reasons, is focused, is determined to win and determined to make all sacrifices that are necessary to win. In our team that doesn't just extend to physical condition, mental condition; it relates to how much work we have to do in and out of the car and not everyone has those sorts of issues.

"So I wish Lewis really, really well. He's been nurtured well through his career and I feel none of the emotions that are attributed to me; I am completely relaxed, I am not upset, of course you think of the good times shared but we are a racing team that exists to win and that requires a whole set of sacrifices and as I said some other teams don't have that requirement. In the end we'll win races next year and in to the future and I hope world championships."