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DATE News (chronologically)
04/05/09
f1
Dennis not to blame for scandal - Ecclestone
Ron Dennis
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday said it is impossible to lay any blame for the 'lie-gate' saga at the door of McLaren chairman Ron Dennis.

After decades in charge of the Woking based team, Dennis handed over to his long-time deputy Martin Whitmarsh at the beginning of last month.

Ironically, Malaysia is the first race in living memory not attended by Dennis, who F1 chief executive Ecclestone believes would not have passed the buck to a junior official.

"Ron is an honest straightforward guy," Bernie said at Sepang.

"He would always say 'the bucks stops here' and wouldn't expect Whitmarsh to do it.  He'd do it himself.

"Ron has not been here so you can't blame him," the British billionaire added.

Interestingly, amid the likelihood of a World Council inquiry into possible further sanctions for the Mercedes-powered team, Ecclestone also said world champion Lewis Hamilton should not wear the blame.

"They have got an agreement with the team that he must follow team orders and he must not speak badly about the team," Bernie continued.

"I am sure the FIA will have a look at this now and see what they think of it.  I don't know if McLaren should be punished.  It is up to the FIA."

Whitmarsh told the media at Sepang that he would consider Dave Ryan's and his own future after returning to Britain following Sunday's race.

Norbert Haug revealed that engine and equity partner Mercedes will also be considering its position.

"I am in permanent contact with Stuttgart and of course we will sit down next week," the German said, insisting he has "full trust" in the team's boss.

Haug said of Whitmarsh: "He's a great guy and runs the team in a very good way."

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