McLaren Group boss Ron Dennis says he remains frustrated by how judgmental Formula 1 can be, claiming his outfit has been put through the wringer because of how strongly he fought for the sport.
In a lengthy interview with Esquire magazine, Dennis claims that the truth behind the 2007 spy case that engulfed McLaren has yet to come out.
"It was a minor indiscretion by junior members of the organization that got amplified into a bigger issue," he said. "It wasn't the way it was portrayed. As always, with the passing of time, the truth will come out.
"The bit I don't like is when people damage the reputation of this company for reasons that have their roots in issues that relate to how fiercely I've fought for what I believe to be right for Formula 1 and McLaren. Sometimes it's a price you wish you didn't have to pay, but it is."
Dennis believes that what happened with the spy matter was typical of F1, where outsiders frequently make sweeping judgments on people from afar.
"I can't look at F1 without tremendous fondness; it's given me a great life. But I find the judgmental behavior frustrating. I can sit on the pit wall and be serious, focused, and a commentator in another country says: 'Oh, look at him, isn't he miserable?' and that idea catches on. I have an amusing side to my personality, but when you're working, you're working.
"I'm responsible for two lives out there and the performance of the company. When I see my opposite numbers in other teams and how ridiculously colorful and playing to the audience they are, I can't help thinking, 'How on earth do you ever think you're going to win a grand prix?'"
He added: "You write down the names of all the team principals from the past 10 years and how many have won more than five races – it's a short list. Throw some other queries at that and you'll realize performance requires total dedication. You pay for that dedication because people misunderstand your personality and motives. That's the price you pay, but I sleep easy.
"I get a mental pain from looking at things that have not been properly executed. Attention to detail is fundamental to how this company has grown. I'm perceived by outsiders as being in some ivory tower. I'm not; I know exactly what is going on. There are people in this organization, and I don't say this with any pride, who are frightened of me. That's because they don't understand me."