Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Motor Racing: Dennis: It WILL Be a Fair Fight for the Title; Formula One

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Motor Racing: Dennis: It WILL Be a Fair Fight for the Title; Formula One

Article excerpt

McLAREN boss Ron Dennis is looking forward to a fair fight between his drivers for the Formula One world championship as one of the most dramatic seasons in recent history heads toward a final-race showdown.

Lewis Hamilton looked on course to become the first man ever to win the drivers' crown in his debut season when leading the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend, only for the 22-year-old to strand his car in the gravel at the pit lane entrance when coming in to change tyres on lap 31 and suffer the first retirement of his career.

That opened the door for race winner Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton's team-mate Fernando Alonso, who finished second, to reignite their hopes of world championship glory with all three drivers now in with a chance of scooping the prestigious prize in Brazil for the first time since 1986.

Alonso had been highly critical of both Dennis and the Woking-based team over the weekend after a poor qualifying performance on the Saturday saw the Spaniard line up fourth on the grid, which looked to have scuppered his chances of collecting a third successive title.

But he later backtracked slightly, saying he expected to be treated in an equal manner to Hamilton in Interlagos, something Dennis was quick to reinforce.

"We will do everything in order that our drivers have the right opportunity to win the world championship," he said.

"Both of them need to do different things and the team will be supportive of that.

"This has been a very competitive season between our drivers and it's just going to go on for another race. 'We will do our very best as always to go there and win the race and win a world championship.

"Clearly the competitiveness within the team is strong and there have been lots of opinions but I'm not going to express my own because it's not constructive to our objective."

Hamilton had struggled with worn intermediate tyres prior to his mishap, allowing Raikkonen to catch and pass the McLaren star in his Ferrari before Alonso swiftly chased down an 18-second deficit to his team-mate. …

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