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McLaren could have kept Hamilton - Dennis

ESPN Staff
January 4, 2013 « Webber stays as number two - Marko | Red Bull playing catch up with RB9 - Newey »
Lewis Hamilton won 21 races in 110 starts for McLaren © Sutton Images
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McLaren chairman Ron Dennis says the team could have kept hold of Lewis Hamilton if it had wanted to.

Hamilton left McLaren to join Mercedes at the end of 2012, ending a 13-year association with the team as he said he wanted a new challenge. However, Dennis believes that it's not a case of Hamilton choosing to leave, rather McLaren not being willing to offer him the conditions in which to remain with the team.

"I think it's wrong to portray that Lewis left this team," Dennis told CBI Magazine. "At the end of the day, you end up with a situation where you're going to separate if the circumstances aren't right. Life isn't about one person deciding anything. It's never that way. It's about circumstances.

"Everybody says: 'Am I bitterly this or bitterly that?' What? I'm a realist. Did we have the ability to create a situation where we could have stayed together? Categorically, yes. Would that have been the right thing to do? We didn't think so."

Dennis added that he wished Hamilton well in his future career, though hopes McLaren remains ahead of Mercedes.

"Whatever people choose to do at the end of a contractual period, the professional thing to do is to be supportive of the other side. We don't wish him every success at Mercedes - that's understandable, as he's obviously going to be a competitor - but we don't wish him anything negative."