Dennis dismisses Alonso's claims
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, August 3rd 2008, 10:03 GMT|
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has hit back at claims by former driver Fernando Alonso that he may not have had the chance to fight for the championship this year if he had stayed at the Woking-based team.
Alonso said in the build-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend that he is not dispirited by the season he has had at Renault because there was no guarantee he would have gone any better if he had remained at McLaren.
"Last year again it is true that I had a possibility to fight for the championship and it was okay," said Alonso, who McLaren replaced with Heikki Kovalainen.
"I knew that this year it was not possible any more. But if I was racing for McLaren now at this moment maybe I would be in the same position as I am now without the possibility to win."
Alonso's comments are believed to revolve around his suspicions that McLaren's focus may have been on Lewis Hamilton, meaning that would have effectively made him the team's number two.
But on the anniversary of Alonso's row with the team in Hungary last year, Dennis has rubbished the Spanish driver's claims - and insists his team have always operated a policy of equality, and will continue to.
Speaking on Sunday morning about Alonso's provocative remarks, Dennis said: "Firstly, when the contract with Fernando was terminated there were pre-conditions which determined the behaviour of both parties post-termination. We have no intention of breaching that agreement. His opinion is his opinion - I'm not going to voice my opinion about anything that Fernando has done or said.
"What I would say is you can't see any strings leading to Heikki's shoulders and he's an honest guy. He will more than convince anyone who talks to him that this is a team absolutely committed to equality. It always has been, and it always will be.
"People will point to the last grand prix and say it's absolutely obvious there were team orders in that event because it was clear that Heikki moved over and let Lewis past. The essential fact was that throughout that race Lewis was nearly seven-tenths of a second faster than Heikki and he knew that, he was told that. He was not told to let Lewis past.
"But when you are in a team and you know that your teammate has the opportunity of winning the race and you don't, if you have the right values and values that are not lodged solely and exclusively in your own motives, your own objectives and your own selfishness, then you take a decision. Which is allow the driver past to have a chance of winning the race - which he did."
Dennis added: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You could go back through the entire history of McLaren, you could talk to any driver that has driven for McLaren and you will not find anyone - save for one - who will not verify that this team always runs on the basis of equality and always will."