Dennis: no regrets over driver equality

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis insists driver equality is crucial for Formula One, despite the headaches that the policy has caused him during the 2007 season

Dennis: no regrets over driver equality

Dennis has given equal status to both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton this year, and their competitiveness has led to tensions between the driving pairing.

Hamilton leads Alonso by two points with just three races remaining.

Despite the problems that giving equality to his drivers has generated this year, Dennis remains convinced it is the right thing to do.

"It is something that I've always had in racing teams that I've operated because, to me, it is entirely logical to have a policy where you are striving to give each driver equal treatment - that means equality in everything," Dennis told The Times in an interview.

"It is just completely logical to try to field the two most competitive cars and be able to internally defend, in a scientific and practical way, a challenge from one driver to the team saying the team isn't fair. I think fairness is a key factor in sport.

"The easy option at the beginning of the season would have been to nominate a No 1 and a No 2.

"The problem with that is that the whole team becomes out of balance because the mentality of the people on the cars becomes 'A team, B team' and that is just not an environment which grows the team," added the Briton.

"I accept it as being the price that I pay for being able to say to Fernando and Lewis, 'Race on the circuit and don't try to pressure me off the circuit.' The severity of that problem this year is certainly, for various reasons, much greater than in previous seasons."

Dennis says the problem would probably not exist if Hamilton and Alonso were not so evenly matched.

"Most times, the problem doesn't exist because one driver is normally better then the other," Dennis added.

"And how could anyone imagine that I would be in the situation I'm in, where both drivers have a very similar work ethic and a very similar approach to how they race and how they optimise their cars?

"There is an inevitability that they are going to look at each other and have a view which they express to me."

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