Ron Dennis has hit back at suggestions Lewis Hamilton simply chose Mercedes over McLaren for his future.
Dennis, the Woking based company’s ‘supremo’ who groomed Briton Hamilton from child prodigy to world champion, is understood to have fallen out badly with the 27-year-old as the two sides negotiated a new deal.
Ultimately, Hamilton signed with Mercedes, but “I think it’s wrong to portray that Lewis left this team,” Dennis told CBI magazine.
“At the end of the day, you end up with a situation where you’re going to separate if the circumstances aren’t right. Life isn’t about one person deciding anything. It’s never that way. It’s about circumstances,” he added.
Indeed, Hamilton’s departure has been portrayed as a bitter loss for McLaren, but the stoical and admittedly emotional Dennis insisted: “Everybody says ‘Am I bitterly this or bitterly that?’ What? I’m a realist.
“Did we have the ability to create a situation where we could have stayed together? Categorically, yes. Would that have been the right thing to do? We didn’t think so.”
Hamilton’s successor is Mexican Sergio Perez, who moves from Sauber.