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It's not over for Alonso, says Dennis

NEWS STORY
01/10/2007

Despite spectacularly crashing out of yesterday's Japanese GP, thereby allowing teammate Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead in the World Championship, Ron Dennis has warned that it would be unwise to write off the chances of Fernando Alonso making a late charge for the title.

"It's not over for Fernando and we will continue to give both drivers every opportunity to win the world championship," the Englishman told reporters.

Meanwhile, while many believe that taking the title is a mere formality for Hamilton, citing the fact that he merely has to finish ahead of Alonso in China, McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh says that the rookie sensation will want to win the crown in style.

"He will not want to chip away and score points, he will want to win the last two races," he told Reuters. "That's how Lewis is.

"We will be encouraging him to be cautious and to get the job done but he's incredibly focused, very disciplined. He is driven to win."

Supported by McLaren since he was nine, Whitmarsh is not surprised that the team's commitment to the youngster has paid off.

"He's had to win every championship that we've put him in before, and we did that deliberately," he said. "He could have easily moved up through each category quicker than he did, and in fact he was keen to do so, but we think you learn quite a lot having to fight for a championship and I'm sure he has.

"None of them are on this scale or have the pressure of this," he added, referring to the Formula One World Championship, "but he's acquired more wisdom and strength of character as the years have gone by."

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