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Dennis gives thumbs-up to Pollock

MCLAREN chairman Ron Dennis has expressed his respect and regard for British American Racing cofounder Craig Pollock, and believes that his team will have the edge over rival Honda-users Jordan in the 2001 World Championship.

Having first-hand experience of dealing with Honda, whose V10 engines powered McLaren to four World Championships from 1998-91, Dennis remarked that he had a lot of time for Pollock.

"He has paid his dues," said the McLaren boss. "He came into the business not knowing a lot about F1, but he has learned and along the way taken a whole machine gun magazine of bullets when it comes to criticism.

"I think he will succeed pretty well. In public, his attitude is - quite rightly - 'I think that Jordan is going to give us a hard time' but if I had to balance one against the other, then I think BAR will go ahead."

Dennis was speaking at McLaren's Woking headquarters yesterday where he also judged that Toyota had made a tactical error in basing its forthcoming F1 team in Germany.

"In effect, they have said that they are going to produce the biggest orchestra in the world - and then decided to play it in a tent ," he commented.

Dennis also predicted that the McLaren-Mercedes squad would go into the new season possibly with a stronger technical baseline than ever.

"I think we have the strongest 'at-circuit' brainpower than we have had for years," he said. "This should manifest itself in better race strategies and enable us to hit (achieve) a race set-up more quickly."

To that end, he confirmed that the team had recruited more than 40 additional technical staff for the F1 project over the past 12 months.

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