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Dennis Philosophical after No Title

McLaren boss Ron Dennis cursed his team's bad luck after Renault beat them to the Formula One constructors' title on Sunday

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya retired on lap 25 after damaging his car by running over a loose drain cover, effectively ending McLaren's hopes.

New World Champion Fernando Alonso won the season-ending Chinese Grand Prix with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen second to give Renault the drivers' and constructors' double.

"I mean it was a manhole that's caught us that screwed us up," shrugged Dennis. "It's as simple as that.

"You think about it, three cars nose-to-tail, with a sequence of cars closely following it, and we get it. It's just so unfortunate."

The safety car came out after Montoya hit the manhole cover, handing the initiative to the Renaults, who were on lighter loads and promptly ducked into the pits to refuel.

"Not only was our car damaged but also the deployment of the safety car gave the Renaults the ability to refuel and not be penalised for their light fuel loads," said Dennis.

"That's life. You've got to just roll with the punches."

Renault finished the 19-race season with 191 points to McLaren's 182 but Dennis was philosophical about how the 2005 season had gone.

"You don't win or lose Championships on one race," he said. "We still strongly feel our championship efforts were thwarted by our conservative approach to the first four Grands Prix.

"But that's of course the benefit of hindsight. If we all had that we'd have happier lives."

Despite failing in their bid for a ninth Constructors' Championship Dennis took solace in McLaren's record of 10 race wins to Renault's eight.

"I think it's 19 podiums...10 race wins," he smiled. "It's hardly a disaster."

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