Ron Dennis has rubbished Fernando Alonso’s claims that he would have been denied the chance to win the world championship had he stayed at McLaren this year.
Alonso left the Woking squad at the end of the year after his very public fall-out over perceived driver favouritism and the team’s involvement in the spy scandal.
His return to Renault has not proved to be as fruitful as he was hoping, but Alonso reckons that he would not have been much better off had he stayed at McLaren this year, which, he hints, is still orientated around Lewis Hamilton.
“Last year again it is true that I had a possibility to fight for the championship and it was okay,” said Alonso. “I knew that this year it was not possible any more. But if I was racing for McLaren now at this moment maybe I would be in the same position as I am now without the possibility to win.”
McLaren Team Principal Ron Dennis has hit back at the Spaniard’s comments however, re-affirming the Woking squad’s commitment to driver equality.
“His opinion is his opinion. I’m not going to voice my opinion about anything Fernando has done or said,” said the Englishman. “All I will say is you can’t see any strings leading to Heikki’s (Kovalainen) shoulders or you can’t see anyone’s hands up his back.”
“He’s an honest guy and I think he will more than convince anyone who talks to him this is a team absolutely committed to equality. It always has been and it always will be. People will point to the last GP (in Germany) and say it was obvious there were team orders in that event because it was clear Heikki moved over and let Lewis pass.”
“But the simple fact was throughout the race Lewis was nearly seven tenths of a second faster and Heikki was told that. He was not told to let Lewis pass.
“But when you’re in a team and you know your team-mate has the opportunity to win the race and you don’t, if you have the right values that are not lodged solely and exclusively in your own motives and your own objectives and your own selfishness, then you take a decision which is to allow the driver past and allow him a chance to win the race, which is what he did.”
“You can go back through the entire history of McLaren and talk to any driver who’s driven for us and you will not find anyone, save for one, who will not verify this team always runs on the basis of equality and always will.”