Lewis Hamilton says he will not let off-track politics affect his preparation for the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.
The Briton's McLaren team has endured a challenging few weeks after the Australian Grand Prix controversy, and the squad had the surprising announcement of Ron Dennis's exit from all F1 activities yesterday.
But Hamilton says he remains focused on his job.
"That's nothing to do with me. I'm here to race and I have to focus on doing my job. What the team decides is up to them. You should speak to them," said Hamilton, referring to comments by team principal Martin Whitmarsh that a new relationship has to be built with the FIA.
The World Champion admitted he was surprised to hear the Dennis news on Thursday.
"I wasn't disappointed. I was surprised, but I had not heard about it. I was just as surprised as the rest of my team," Hamilton said.
He added: "Ron has been a huge force and support in my life, and he still plays a key role in my life. Whether or not he is in the team or not, I think you guys have been writing about it for years that as soon as he gets to a certain stage he will move aside. I guess, I don't know why, he decided to do it now."
Hamilton, who topped the times in opening practice in China, said the team had taken a small step forward, but reckons there is still a lot of work to do after finishing the second session in 13th position.
"We've made some small steps forward and the team, back at the factory, have been working very hard. But we still have a long way to go," he said.
"I think we started our first race, and we are continuing from there. I don't feel there is any new start or anything. We are continuously working on the car to improve it – it just takes a long time. Today was a slight step forward but we have got a lot more to do."