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Dennis: Title was Lost at Start of Season

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has hit back at claims that his team's failure to win the World Championship this year was because they took too many risks

With Kimi Raikkonen's victory in the Japanese Grand Prix meaning the Finn's tally of seven wins is currently one more than World Champion Fernando Alonso, Dennis is well aware that his outfit had a car quick enough to claim the title.

But although mid-season reliability issues ultimately wrecked Raikkonen's Championship charge, Dennis feels that his team actually lost the title by taking it too conservatively at the start of the year.

"We were nervous to push anything on the limit and that was everything - the car and the engine," said Dennis, taking about the beginning of the campaign.

"Surprisingly for us, the psychological blow of it raining halfway through qualifying in Australia was much greater than we anticipated, and then the drivers' motivation in the opening laps were mixed with frustration - they ran wide, damaged the cars, and that really set the tone for the remaining intercontinental races and we did not recover from that.

"That is where we lost the Championship. We should have pulled ourselves together a bit more and we should have taken, strangely enough, a few more risks in those opening races."

And although Dennis has had the pain of seeing Alonso wrap up the drivers' title for Renault, he does not believe his team should be criticised for having reliability problems.

"From our perspective, and ours is more qualified because we are not hiding from our inadequacies, it is statistically not borne out that we have huge reliability problems," he said.

"If that was the case we would not have won ten races. At the end of the day, we won seven races in a row, and it is going to be potentially that a guy wins eight races and does not win the World Championship and that is unheard of."

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