McLaren are No Failures, Says Dennis

McLaren can walk away from the Formula One season with their heads held high despite losing out in both championship battles, says team boss Ron Dennis

McLaren are No Failures, Says Dennis

"We're not going to go out of this paddock... with our chins on our feet," he told reporters at a Chinese Grand Prix that handed rivals Renault their first Constructors' Championship on Sunday.

"We've done a pretty good job, we deserve the criticism that we level at ourselves, but we are hardly dismal failures."

McLaren ended the season with 10 wins, two more than Renault, but otherwise empty handed after Renault's 24-year-old Spaniard Fernando Alonso beat Kimi Raikkonen to the drivers' crown in Brazil last month.

"We can't go away feeling that we've massively failed because if you come to McLaren and you see our corporate overview, the vision statement for McLaren Racing is to compete in and win every Grand Prix," Dennis added.

"It doesn't say win World Championships. It says enter every World Championship race and win it.

"We recognise the importance of World Championships and constructors' titles but we can hardly go away from here saying that we've failed miserably," he added.

Faster Car

McLaren and Renault were in a class of their own all year, winning every race between them with the exception of the six-car U.S. Grand Prix won by Ferrari after the Michelin-equipped teams withdrew due to tyre safety concerns.

There was no doubt that McLaren had the faster car for much of the Championship, but they paid the price for a lack of reliability and the other teams' inability to take points away from Renault.

Dennis said his team should also have been more aggressive with their new car early in the season, when Alonso built up his comfortable points cushion.

"We were too cautious in the first four Grands Prix," he said.

"With the benefit of hindsight, we could have been more aggressive in the introduction of developments both on the car and engine that came in Spain.

"A lot is said about reliability, but the mathematics don't really stack up," he added.

Dennis pointed out that Renault had also suffered reliability problems but the telling difference was that McLaren's were mostly with Raikkonen's car while Renault's were all with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella.

Raikkonen would probably have won in San Marino, leading from pole position until he suffered a driveshaft failure, and was also sidelined at Hockenheim with a hydraulics problem after also starting from pole.

At the Nurburgring in May he crashed out on the last lap while leading after flat-spotting a tyre, with the vibrations leading to suspension failure.

The Finn won seven races but also had repeated engine failures in practice, costing him 10 places on the starting grid.

"Overall the performance of our cars has been good," Dennis added.

"It's sort of difficult to get your mind around the fact that under normal circumstances you look at World Championships that have been won with the driver winning one race... it's just a slightly perverse situation."

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