Lewis Hamilton has stressed the importance of people knowing that he was not involved in Mike Elliott's departure from the Mercedes Formula 1 team this season.
In October, Mercedes confirmed that chief technical officer Elliott would be leaving the team following his 11-year stint at the Silver Arrows.
Back in April, Elliott, then technical director, swapped jobs with chief technical officer James Allison.
Allison, a senior figure in the team during its 2014-2021 glory years, returned to his previous role as technical director, while Elliott vacated that position in order to replace Allison as chief technical officer.
Yet following Elliott's departure, the seven-time world champion has looked to make it absolutely clear that he had no role to play in the making of that decision.
Hamilton: Elliott's Mercedes exit not to do with me
"It's important for people to know that I wasn't part of Mike's departure," he told BBC Sport.
"I've known Mike since I was at McLaren. I had a great relationship with Mike. I was always in awe of him, because he's so smart and I was learning so much from him.
"When I asked him about the car, there was nothing I could ever ask him that he didn't have an answer for.
"It's always difficult for someone in his position. It often falls on them, but it's collective. It's not just one person. Unfortunately, there are people that maybe from the outside would be like: 'It's one person's fault.'"
And Hamilton believes that Mercedes are in good hands when it comes to Allison, someone who he admitted he has a very close bond with.
"James has got that leader mentality," Hamilton added. "He'd be at the front with the sword saying: 'Let's go into the fire.' And I think he does instil massive confidence in people.
"He's so eloquent. I'm really happy that he's back and he's inspired to get back in. I know where he was previously; he wasn't inspired to keep going because he'd been doing it for so long.
"So it's cool that he's come back and he's driven and I think our friendship is in a better place than ever before."
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