Ron Dennis has revealed that McLaren could have done more to keep Lewis Hamilton in the team, but chose not to...
Ron Dennis has revealed that McLaren could have done more to keep Lewis Hamilton in the team, but chose not to.
Dennis, who now serves as the executive chairman of the McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, says that ultimately the team believes it made the right decision in allowing Hamilton's 14-year association with them to come to an end.
Hamilton, who turns 28 on Monday, this week started in earnest a three-year deal with Mercedes, who are paying him £15million per season.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has always stated that Hamilton was offered a salary that he believes would have made the Briton the highest-paid driver in Formula One.
Dennis, meanwhile, says more could have been done "in both directions".
Speaking to CBI magazine Business Voice, he said: "I think it's wrong to portray that Lewis left this team.
"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.
"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."
Some reports have suggested that Dennis and Hamilton had a falling out over contract negotiations, but Dennis insists he holds no ill will towards Hamilton.
"Whatever people choose to do at the end of a contractual period, the professional thing to do is to be supportive of the other side," he added.
"We don't wish him every success at Mercedes - that's understandable, as he's obviously going to be a competitor - but we don't wish him anything negative."