McLaren team boss Ron Dennis has reacted to suggestions that the team had helped Fernando Alonso win the Monaco Grand Prix by reiterating that there will never be team orders in the Woking camp.

One line of questioning in the official post-race press conference tried to prise any hint of dissatisfaction from Lewis Hamilton after he claimed to have been surprised by the timing of his second pit-stop. Although he insisted that the revised timing was most likely to have been caused by the possibility of a safety car period, the Briton eventually let slip that he felt that, as a rookie, he was the number two driver in the team.

"I've got number two on my car, I am the number two driver, it is something I have to live with," he said, "But I'm just looking forward to speaking to my engineers. I am pretty sure the reason they called me in earlier than I had fuel for is because of the [possibility of a] safety car."

Dennis reacted by trotting out the proven line that McLaren would not resort to the sort of team orders seen at other operations in past seasons.

"Everybody feels, I'm sure, that there is some favouritism or some penalisation that is given to either Lewis or Fernando," he told Reuters, "But we are scrupulously fair at all times in how we run this grand prix team. We will never favour one driver, no matter who it is. We never have, we never will."

Although the two drivers had started the race on different strategies to combat the unpredictable nature of the Monaco race in the best interests of the team, Dennis revealed that the only instruction from pit-wall had been not to jeopardise the 1-2 result with Felipe Massa well adrift in third.

"I don't like to slow drivers down, I don't like them to be frustrated," Dennis said, "I don't like to see these things happen, because I am an absolute racer. It's just the way you have to win the Monaco Grand Prix, which is what we've done. If the safety car was deployed, Lewis would have won the race."

 

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