Lewis Hamilton would not have been allowed to have the same kind of lifestyle he has while driving for Mercedes had he stayed at McLaren, according to Ron Dennis.
Hamilton spent all of his junior career as a McLaren-backed driver before making his Formula 1 debut with the British squad in 2007.
He went on to clinch his first title with the team in 2008, but decided to leave McLaren at the end of the 2012 season to join Mercedes.
"If he was at McLaren he wouldn't be behaving the way he is because he wouldn't be allowed to," Dennis told the Guardian.
"He's shaking off some chains he didn't want to have," he added.
Hamilton's lifestyle has made the headlines often since he moved to Mercedes. In Brazil, he arrived a day late after being involved an accident with his car in Monaco.
Dennis suggested Hamilton's commitment to racing from an early age reflects in a negative way in his personality.
"I look at him with mixed emotions," Dennis added. "It was an interesting experience for everybody and it wasn't completely smooth and harmonious, and I don't approve of everything he does or says.
"But, nevertheless, great athletes are great because of the sacrifices they have to make.
"And sometimes sacrifices are in a very formative part of their childhood [so] they don't always emerge with the all the right social process or behaviour or tendencies that you like."