Monday, 28 May 2007

Mclaren under investigation

The FIA is investigating Mclaren for implementing team orders in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“The FIA has launched an investigation into incidents involving the Mclaren Mercedes team at the 2007 Monaco Grand prix in light of a possible breach of the International Sporting Code. The relevant evidence is under review and a further announcement will be made in due course,” said the sports governing body in a statement.

Following Sunday’s race, in which the Mclarens of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton romped home to a respective 1-2 finish, Ron Dennis told ITV Sport that he had ordered his drivers to ease off after it became clear that team would be unchallenged.

Mclaren have denied breaking F1’s sporting code.

“We are very confident about FIA’s investigation into our race strategy,” said a spokesman for the team.

“All the decisions that we took before and during the race respect perfectly the international sporting code,” he added.

Speaking in the post-race press conference, Ron Dennis said that he ordered his drivers to slow down and switched Hamilton’s race strategy in order to preserve the cars brakes and to pre-empt a possible safety car scenario:

“There is some disappointment because of the different strategies we needed to follow to cope with a potential deployment of the Safety Car which has happened four times in the last five years.

“Consequently you virtually have to decide in advance which one of the team’s two drivers will claim the victory.

“Once the first round of pitstops had taken place we reverted Lewis from a one-stop-strategy to the faster two-stop strategy and at the same time slowed both cars down to conserve the brakes.

“As a team we would like to race but this circuit requires a disciplined approach and as a result we can leave Monte Carlo with the maximum amount of points.

What’s the beef? There was no way Hamilton was ever going to get past Alonso on the track. The only way he could have one was by passing him in the pit-stops. When it was obvious that that wasn’t going to happen the drivers were told to slow down.

What I find so remarkable is the way that Hamilton and Alonso were attacking the track despite orders told to race green.

More interesting is that Hamilton could have one-stopped. I would have liked to have seen how that would pan out. This adds even more credibility to his qualifying performance. His lap early on in the session in anticipation of the drizzle was absolutely stunning if he was carrying a one stop fuel load.

No comments: