McLaren drivers to be equal in 2008 – Dennis

Mon, 28 January 2008, 12:54

Ron Dennis has confirmed that McLaren’s 2008 driver lineup, Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen, will be treated equally this season.

The British team’s principal and chairman made the comments following speculation that Hamilton would be ‘number one’ at the Mercedes-powered outfit, in the wake of double world champion Fernando Alonso’s premature departure.

“We’ve always treated our drivers equally, and we intend to continue to do so,” Dennis told F1’s official website.

“This year, both Lewis and Heikki are entirely happy with that policy, and I anticipate no problems from either of them in that regard. I expect them to be competitive and collaborative in equal measure,” he added.

Dennis, however, played down suggestions that Kovalainen has specifically been hired to merely “push” 23-year-old Hamilton, following the British rookie’s sensational F1 debut in 2007.

“That isn’t the way we look at it,” Dennis, who has described 2007 as one of his hardest in formula one, insisted.

“No, Heikki is already integrating himself into our team and our company, and we fully expect him to perform well for us this season,” Dennis added.

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