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Speaking about the imminent departure of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes, Ron Dennis appeared to be putting on a very brave face.
The man who has nurtured the Stevenage Rocket since he was first approached by him (aged ten) at an awards ceremony in London, Lewis famously telling the McLaren boss "I want to race for you one day", there has been a special bond.
Having helped him through the ranks, winning every championship along the way, Dennis and his team finally brought Hamilton into Formula One in 2007, the youngster going on to win the title just one year later.
Along the way there have been 21 wins, 25 poles, 11 fastest laps and 913 points.
In one week's time that relationship comes to an end, Hamilton leaving Woking for Brackley in a deal many believe is more about what the Englishman can achieve outside the car than in it.
Speaking in the wake of one of Hamilton's finest performances, Dennis allowed himself a sly dig that many believed engineered the driver's decision to leave Woking, Simon Fuller, head of XIX Management.
When it was noted that Fuller had been seen in the McLaren motorhome (sorry, Brand Centre), Dennis sneered: "Simon (Fuller) only pops up when we win."
Asked about Hamilton's decision to leave the McLaren family, Dennis put on a brave face.
"Everybody, the media, thinks there's some issue, between Lewis and I," he told Sky Sports F1. "There's no issue between us. Sometimes, 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 you're driver is going to move.
"If you look back on our history, our team, without being too pretentious, our team is bigger than any driver. We've had Ayrton, of course, and Prost, Niki, Mika, Keke… we've had a heck of a lot of world champions 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," he continued. "Is focussed, is determined to win, and willing to make all the sacrifices that are necessary to win. And in our team that doesn't just extend to physical condition, mental 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.
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