Ron Dennis insists he has no issues with Lewis Hamilton
despite the Briton electing to leave McLaren
at the end of the season.
It was Dennis who first signed Hamilton to a deal with the team when he boldly told the then team boss while still at school that he wanted to one day race for McLaren.
Hamilton went on to not only join McLaren
but also lift the 2008 title while driving for the team while all of his 21 wins to date have come in McLaren
The decision to leave McLaren
for Mercedes in a three-year deal came despite Hamilton not speaking to Dennis about his plans, but the 65-year-old insisted there were no issues between himself and his driver and hinted that commercial factors were the main reason why the Briton had moved on.
"Obviously the media thinks there's some issue between Lewis and I - there's absolutely no issue between us,” he told Sky Sports
. “Sometimes the circumstances in a relationship don't balance, don't match.
"We're a team that requires a lot out of a driver and if some other team is able to make a more attractive proposition in any shape or form then it's understandable that your driver's going to move.
"But if you look back on our history, our team is, without being too pretentious about our team, it is bigger than any driver. We've had Ayrton [Senna] of course and [Alain] Prost, Niki [Lauda], Mika [Hakkinen], Keke [Rosberg], we've had a hell of a lot of World Championships over the years and we're going to have World Champions in the future.
"It's important that everybody in the team is there for the right reasons, is focused, is determined to win and determined to make all sacrifices that are necessary to win. In our team that doesn't just extend to physical condition, medical condition, it also relates to how much work we have to do in and out of the car and not everybody has those sorts of issues."
Although Hamilton won't be an easy driver to replace given his success in the past, Dennis added that he was fully confident that McLaren
will continue to win races and challenge for the title without him behind the wheel.
"I wish Lewis really, really well," he said. "He's been nurtured well through his career and I feel none of the emotions that people attribute to me. I am completely relaxed, I am not upset. Of course you think of the good times shared. We're a racing team that exists to win and that requires, as I said, a whole range of sacrifices and as I said some other teams don't have that requirement.
"But in the end we'll win races next year and into the future and, I hope, World Championships."