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Ron Dennis would have done the same as us - Brown

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren boss Ron Dennis would have conducted the team's affairs with Honda exactly in the same way as the company's current management did.

As the man who promoted and ultimately sealed McLaren's deal with its Japanese engine partner, Dennis was a strong believer in the partnership.

But Brown, the man who succeeded the legendary team boss at the helm of McLaren, believes his predecessor would have acted no differently once the damage had set in.

I think he would have," Brown told Sky Sports F1's Rachel Brookes in an exclusive interview.

"He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart, he is Mr McLaren.

"It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races."

Regarding a potential split between the British team and Honda, the writing was on the wall as early as pre-season testing earlier this year, recently revealed McLaren's Eric Boullier.

A fact which Brown confirmed.

"We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we'd be much more competitive in 2018," explained Brown.

"Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn't get there.

"Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top."

McLaren and Honda formally announced their split in September, and while the partnership yielded only pain and defeat, Brown insists the epilogue was void of any hostility or bad blood.

"We're very grateful to Honda," said the McLaren executive.

"They are a great company with great people. The relationship was always strong and is still strong so wouldn't rule out racing with them again.

"We wish them the best but we needed to make some tough decisions in our best interests.The relationship was a lot stronger than people anticipated.

"We worked hard together, we were frustrated together, but we never yelled at each other down to the end with our barbecues in Japan and our Abu Dhabi [champagne] toast."

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