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Dennis: 'No issues between Hamilton and me'
Monday 19th November 2012, 18:11 by Ryan Wood
Ron Dennis has refuted claims he and Lewis Hamilton have fallen out over the 27-year-old's decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes next year.
The 2008 champion has driven for McLaren since 2007, but has been nurtured by Dennis since the age of 12 when the team sponsored him through his karting days.
Hamilton revealed he hadn't spoken to Dennis about leaving until two weeks after Mercedes announced the news, but Dennis denies they've fallen out.
"Obviously the media thinks there's some issue between Lewis and I - there's absolutely no issue between us," he told Sky Sports F1 following the teams US victory at the weekend.
Speaking of the reasons, the 65-year-old hinted that sponsorship commitments on both sides were an issue - with Hamilton wanting greater freedoms.
"Sometimes the circumstances in a relationship don't balance, don't match," he explained. "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 your driver's going to move.
"But if you look back on our history, our team is, without being too pretentious about our team, it is bigger than any driver.
"We've had Ayrton [Senna] of course and [Alain] Prost, Niki [Lauda], Mika [Hakkinen], Keke [Rosberg], we've had a hell of a lot of World Championships over the year and we're going to have World Champions in the future," said Dennis.
"It's important that everybody in the team is there for the right reasons, is focused, is determined to win and determined to make all sacrifices that are necessary to win.
"In our team that doesn't just extend to physical condition, medical 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."
In a parting comment, Dennis wished Hamilton well for the future.
"I wish Lewis really, really well. He's been nurtured well through his career and I feel none of the emotions that attribute to me. I am completely relaxed, I am not upset."