FIA To Investigate McLaren's Victory
Topics: Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren
May 30, 2007
The FIA, Formula One’s governing body, is to investigate McLaren’s one-two victory in last Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, following suggestions that team orders played a part in Fernando Alonso’s win over Lewis Hamilton.
The FIA has confirmed that it will be looking into the way Alonso was apparently allowed to win the race without a challenge from his McLaren Mercedes teammate, Hamilton. The 22-year-old Briton finished second in the race to ensure that he and Alonso continue to share the first place in the drivers' championship.
“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,” read an official statement released Monday. "The relevant evidence is under review and a further announcement will be made in due course."
The double-world champion Spaniard racer was only 1.9 seconds ahead of Hamilton at lap 57 in Monte Carlo, but Hamilton appeared to slow up for the final 16 laps and give his stablemate a comfortable ride to the chequered flag.
“It has been a fantastic weekend, no doubt, and to score this hattrick - pole, fastest lap and race win – is something very special and even more so here in Monaco. I enjoyed today’s race so much with a perfect car all through the race, and it felt so good to drive such a nice car for 78 laps and win at the end,” said Alonso.
“To finish second and running similar lap times to Fernando (Alonso) at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix makes me very happy. It’s almost impossible to overtake in Monaco and as a result your only chance is for the guy in front of you to make a mistake. However, Fernando is a double world champion so I knew there would be none,” said Hamilton.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis admitted that the unusual strategic requirements at Monaco meant the team had to more or less decide in advance which driver would win the race, and Alonso and Hamilton were told to hold station in the latter stages of the Grand Prix. Nevertheless, Dennis was firm in saying that the decision was purely tactical and that the team had not manipulated the result of the race in any way.
Dennis said afterwards that his team "will never favor one driver over another, no matter who it is.” He added, “There will be places where [Hamilton and Alonso] will be free to race, but this is not one of them because one driver pushing another will induce a mistake, and then you've a car out. Everybody would then say 'what an idiot the team principal of McLaren is for allowing his cars to compete to a level where one of them is in the barrier.'”
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished third, Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella fourth and BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica took the fifth spot. The BMW fan blade and engine are said to require more enhancements to bolster the performance needed by the team.