Dennis advises drivers to focus on racing
(GMM) Ron Dennis has advised his drivers to stop bickering in the press and focus "all their energy" on winning the world championship.
McLaren is out of contention for the constructors' title, but Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are the leading contenders to wear the drivers' crown.
But, particularly at the Fuji Speedway this weekend, Hamilton seems to have taken a leaf out of his Spanish colleague's book by turning their battle into a psychological one as he meets daily with reporters in the paddock.
Near the end of an incredibly controversial season for his Woking based outfit, however, team boss Dennis advised them both to now re-focus on the circuit.
"My view to both drivers is that all their energy should be focused on doing their jobs and competing fairly against each other," the Briton said in Japan.
He also seemed to refute speculation that Hamilton's critical comments about Alonso may be part of a more orchestrated effort to pave the way for the Spaniard's likely team exit.
"We don't have any intention to contribute to any other part of the process that doesn't help us get the job done," Dennis insisted.
"I'm not going to waste any of my energy on it and nor is any other member of the team. We've got a competitive tension within the team and what would you expect? But that's where it ends."
Mercedes' competition director Norbert Haug, however, refused to criticize Hamilton for airing his forthright views about Alonso's perceived lack of loyalty.
"We have often been criticized for holding our drivers back in that respect," he told the German broadcaster Premiere, "but I think he is saying what his opinion is.
"Whether he is right or not is, for me, a completely different issue."
Alonso disagreed, telling the British broadcaster ITV that there has already been too much in the press about the troubles within the team.
"I think they have been saying too many things probably, and some of them are not true," he said in an interview with the former McLaren driver Martin Brundle.
"The journalists, you mean?" Brundle wondered. "Yeah, everybody -- journalists and people from the team as well," Alonso replied.