Sunday May 27th, 2001
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has denied he threatened Brazilian driver Enrique Bernoldi following Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
The Arrows driver said Dennis and Mercedes-Benz's boss Norbert Haug had told him that if he "continued to drive again in that sort of way you are not going to be in Formula One very long," following a Grand Prix where he held McLaren's David Coulthard for half the race after the Scot stalled on the grid before the formation lap.
However, Dennis has denied talking like that to Bernoldi, and again claimed the Brazilian's behaviour was unsporting and unacceptable.
"That's rubbish. I said nothing of that sort," said Dennis. "I have no influence over his career at all. It was quite a while after the race when I talked to him and I was cool, calm and collected and I was not angry.
"I just told him that in my opinion it was unsporting behaviour. Every time David made an attempt to overtake he cut him off. You could argue its motor racing but in 15th position it is different when you are hampering a driver who is clearly faster and has the world championship at stake.
"I spoke to Bernoldi as I felt a driver contesting 15th who was effectively chopping across a driver who was contesting a world championship was acceptable for a period of time. But the length of time it happened I think was unacceptable."
Coulthard eventually passed Bernoldi when the Arrows driver came into the pits, and the Scot finished in fifth position while the Brazilian was ninth.