Ron Dennis' emotional reaction to events at the Hungarian Grand Prix could pre-empt his exit from McLaren, according to rumours.

The 60-year old team boss was clearly rattled by the renewed hostilities between drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton after the former was accused of blocking his British rival during qualifying, preventing Hamilton from completing his final flying run. Dennis could be seen throwing down his headphones on the pit-wall at the end of the Saturday session, apparently following a heated exchange with prot?g? Hamilton, and reacted angrily with various team members and hangers-on.

Alonso was subsequently removed from pole position by the stewards, and could only manage fourth place from sixth on the grid, while Hamilton took his third win of the year to re-assert his championship lead. The Briton later revealed that communications between the pair had broken down completely, while Alonso told Spanish reporters that he was not sure that he would see out his three-year deal with McLaren.

"It's a very, very pressured job at the moment - would anyone like it?" Dennis told Reuters reporters as the weekend drew to a close, "You very often get the expression 'character building', but I can tell you I'm 60 years old and I don't need my character building any more. This is extremely challenging for me, emotional and stressful."

Engine partner Mercedes had gradually been increasing its shares in McLaren, and has made no secret of its interest in possibly taking full control, possibly giving Dennis a way out should he want to take it.

McLaren is currently re-evaluating its decision to appeal against the stewards' decision to prevent it from scoring constructors' championship points in Hungary - presumably because those points were not re-assigned to other finishers and, while Hamilton prevented Kimi Raikkonen from scoring a maximum ten, the second Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa, failed to score at all after a miserable weekend.

With an appeal hearing into the ongoing spy row already scheduled for the end of the month, after Ferrari objected to the outcome of an initial FIA investigation, Dennis and his advisors may decide that too many distractions could only add to the unrest within the team. Formula One is presently heading into its traditional summer break, with three weeks before the next round, in Turkey, and Dennis is keen to restore some sense of order at Woking.

"Between now and the next grand prix we will definitely try and put some calmness in the team," he said, playing down suggestions that he would deviate from the equality of treatment that McLaren has prided itself on over the years - even if it meant that Alonso could walk away.

"We built the team and company on parity. There are many teams who share that value, but do not have either a competitive racing car or two competitive racing drivers. When you get a combination of those two values, then you are definitely going to have a hard time."

"We will continue to function as a grand prix team with specific values and if anybody does not want to be part of those values, irrespective of where they sit in the organisation, then ultimately they all have a choice. But we will not deviate away from our values."

 

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