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Dennis hits out at McLaren Honda critics

It was another difficult weekend for McLaren in Japan.

Speculation regarding Jenson Button's future was rife, with Jonathan Neale confirming in the team principals press conference that Button may have second thoughts on whether or not he wants to stay with the team for 2016.

Button himself remained tight lipped after a lot of people in the paddock believed that he would announce his retirement from the sport in the home country of his wife Jessica.

However McLaren chairman Ron Dennis was having none of it during an interview with Sky Sports after the race in Suzuka.

Dennis confirmed that both Button and Alonso had contracts for 2016 and that they would remain intact. 'The drivers are all contracted and that is the end of it.' he said, when pushed by Martin Brundle on whether they would both actually be driving for McLaren next season he said: 'Yes. What more do you want?'

The driver line-up wasn't the only point of concern for McLaren, with a ninth place finish in the 2015 Formula One constructors championship expected, McLaren are set for a loss of $20million for 2016.

There are very few teams who could absorb that kind of loss and McLaren are no exception, so for the team that has had no title sponsor since Vodafone ended their associate with the team in 2013 it's time for new investment for McLaren.

Dennis said: 'You don't need to be an Einstein - if you look at McLaren you've got pretty significant debt with the automotive company, the technology company. We will announce a new sponsor next week, a good sponsor. And there are others in the pipeline.

But the main point of concern is obviously the Honda power-unit and at their home race, the Japanese manufacturer was slammed by their marquee driver Fernando Alonso.

As the two-time Formula One World Champion was easily passed down the straight, the Spaniard said over team radio: 'GP2 engine, GP2 agggh!'

When asked about the comments Dennis said: 'I think he vented his frustration. I don't think he needed to make the comments, it wasn't particularly constructive, I do not condone it, but I am not going to criticise our drivers. I will sort it behind closed doors.'

So what of the future with Honda? Are McLaren still going down the right path?

'I can't understand why everybody doesn't appreciate the simple fact that you aren't going to win a world championship if you have a second-string engine - it's just not going to happen, We have to go through this pain and go through this learning curve and get a competitive engine.'

'Honda are totally committed, They understand what needs to be done. They are increasing resource, and putting in more more money and more effort. We will get there. It's just a bit painful at the moment.'








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 2 2015

Time: 10:00AM

 

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