Woking, Thursday: Former McLaren team principal Ron Dennis has responded to allegations that world champion Lewis Hamilton and his team snubbed an invitation to attend an awards ceremony for his mentor by saying that he “didn’t want them there anyway.”
Reports this week in some of Britain’s less reputable newspapers have alleged that Dennis invited Hamilton and the McLaren team to the Sports Industry Awards evening, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Formula One. However, McLaren did not send any representatives to the evening, their entry on the guest list being withdrawn at the last minute.
“It’s not a problem,” Dennis said when asked about the notable absence. “To be honest, I didn’t want them there anyway. They’re all a bunch of unscrupulous bastards.”
Dennis’ comments come shortly after McLaren received a token penalty for the “Liegate” scandal earlier in the year, with some believing that his departure from the team was directly related to the lenient punishment handed out a few weeks ago. Tensions between the former team principal and his old employers are believed to be running high.
When asked about his role in the apparent feud, Hamilton thanked the team for allowing him to face the media, then announced that he was not able to comment on the matter. New McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh, however, was able to talk to the press.
“Well, Ron would say that, wouldn’t he,” Whitmarsh said when told of Dennis’ pronouncement. “We should certainly trust his judgement regarding unscrupulousness. After all, it takes one to know one.”
Dennis came out in the media again today, responding to Whitmarsh’s comments simply by saying “I know you are, but what am I?”
This pointless exchange was still going on as The Runoff Area went to press, with Whitmarsh believed to be preparing a statement about Dennis’ mum.