Ron Dennis has revealed that McLaren could have kept Lewis Hamilton for the 2013 F1 season but that such a move wouldn't necessarily have been the right one for team or driver.
After a long relationship with the Woking-based squad, Hamilton has moved to pastures new for 2013 after inking a deal with Mercedes which will see him partner Nico Rosberg for the season ahead.
McLaren has instead signed Sergio Perez to partner Jenson Button but Dennis has revealed that his team could have retained its 2012 pairing but the decision to split was one that was for the best.
"I think it's wrong to portray that Lewis left this team," he told The Business Voice
. "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."
Dennis also added that while he hoped that Hamilton's move to Mercedes would work out for him, he was keen to ensure that his own team stayed ahead in the title race.
"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 said. "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."