Jul.21 (GMM) McLaren boss Ron Dennis rejected any suggestion Heikki Kovalainen was the victim of team orders during Sunday's German grand prix.
As Hockenheim winner and championship leader Lewis Hamilton made his way back to the front following the mid-race safety car, his Finnish teammate Kovalainen - now a full 30 points behind in the drivers' standings - seemed to pull aside and let his British colleague past.Hamilton, 23, and Dennis thanked the 26-year-old for his cooperation, but some sections of the German crowd registered their displeasure by whistling -- resurrecting memories of Austria in 2002, when Ferrari's Jean Todt famously required Rubens Barrichello to "let Michael (Schumacher) pass for the championship".Dennis denied Kovalainen was ordered to cede, which would be a breach of the post-2002 rules."The only thing we do is advise our drivers of the respective pace of the other driver," he said. "They ultimately call it."Lewis was nearly one second quicker and when he was told Lewis was quicker he just let him past. It was a tremendous sporting gesture," Dennis added.Referring to Kovalainen, he continued: "He knew that was the only way because the longer he would have held up Lewis the more difficult it would have been for him to have regained the lead. It's what being in a racing team is about."True teammates do these things because that's the way they are," said Ron Dennis.