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Dennis downplays Spa's start incident

McLaren boss Ron Dennis says he does not know why there was any controversy over the first corner battle between his drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at the Belgian Grand Prix

Hamilton criticised Alonso's actions at the first corner as unfair immediately after the race, feeling that the Spaniard had deliberately run wide to force him off the track at the exit of the La Source hairpin.

But despite Hamilton's comments, Dennis says he saw nothing out of the ordinary.

"There was absolutely no problem," said Dennis. "There is nothing wrong with what happened on the opening lap.

"If they had been rival teams then everyone would have had no problems with it. But obviously they are competing teammates, so people put a greater spotlight on it. But it is fine."

The first corner incident is likely to put even further strain between Hamilton and Alonso as they fight it out for the world championship this year.

And matters will not have been helped with British newspaper reports on Monday revealing that Alonso offered his mechanics a personal bonus of £650 each if they helped him beat Hamilton.

Dennis is upbeat, however, that he can manage the relationship between the two drivers and with himself.

"Teams go through difficult periods and their relationships get strained," he said. "People are very competitive and my job is to keep it together.

"Of course I have been heavily distracted by the other issues in Paris and the FIA, and it is fully understandable I have not been focused on the issues of our drivers. But they are strong guys.

"They are highly motivated sports people and I am not concerned about it. It is a little cool at the moment, but so what? That is sometimes the atmosphere of competitiveness and I have lived it before and I can certainly survive those pressures."

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