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Dennis happy to let drivers race 17 Sep 2007

Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 beats Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 up Eau Rouge at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 16 September 2007 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 16 September 2007 Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren on the grid. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 16 September 2007

McLaren boss Ron Dennis refused to find fault with his drivers after they almost made contact in the opening corner of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. Dennis insisted the tussle between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton was only to be expected.

Hamilton tried to go round the outside of Alonso in the La Source hairpin in a battle for third place. As the world champion took the racing line on the exit, Hamilton ran wide onto the run-off area. The pair stayed side-by-side on the approach to Eau Rouge before Hamilton had to ease off.

“When you have two great drivers like Fernando and Lewis fighting for the world championship, you have to expect manoeuvres like we saw today at the start, which are a result of both being extremely competitive,” said Dennis. “The team gave them every opportunity to fight up until the final lap.”

After climbing from his car, Hamilton seemed less than happy with Alonso’s staunch defence of his position, suggesting the Spaniard had deliberately pushed him wide. Having had time to reflect, however, the championship leader was slightly more circumspect in his assessment.

“I got a good start and thought I had a chance to get past at the first corner, but I had to run wide as Fernando kept to the inside line,” he said. “Initially I thought ‘oh thanks’ but I guess these things happen when you fight for the world championship.”

With Alonso remaining ahead of Hamilton to the chequered flag, that championship now looks even closer, with the gap between the McLaren team mates down to just two points.