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McLaren Denied Rumors, Dominate Testing

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  McLaren

McLaren Denied Rumors, Dominate Testing

Anthony Fontanelle
August 31, 2007

The championship leader Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is currently looking to be in cruise control towards the championship that it has missed season after season. The team's last championship came in 1998 when David Coulthard and the legendary Finn Mika Hakkinen are still with the team. Nine years later, the team has two young drivers - a two-time world champion and a rookie sensation that has broken record after record in just his debut season. But while the team is in front of the standings in both the drivers' and the constructors' championships, it is facing a lot of controversies.

The latest of this is the lack of transparency in the paddock. At the recently concluded Turkish Grand Prix, McLaren's rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton suffered from a blown-out tire. Although the young British Formula One driver still leads the drivers' championship standings, his lead was cut down to just five points with only a handful of races to come. The incident with the tire is seen by some to be the result of Alonso's action not to share his setup with Hamilton.

The reason for that of course is the incident at the Hungarian Grand Prix when Hamilton did not allow Alonso to pass during the qualifying session for the said event. Then Alonso allegedly retaliated by blocking Hamilton in the pits. The animosity between the teammates started to deepen during that event. That may be the reason why there are people who believed that Alonso has a motive to keep secret his car's data from Hamilton.

The Daily Mirror reported that Alonso has taken steps to make sure that his teammate will not be privileged by any of the data in his car. The tabloid reported: "if Hamilton's side of the McLaren garage had been able to emulate his teammate's settings in Istanbul, the (tire) blow would never have occurred." The team though denied this rumor. Ellen Kolby, the team spokesperson of McLaren, said: "It's totally untrue. We continue to have total transparency in the team."

Meanwhile, Alonso and the team apparently have moved on. The team is now at Monza in Italy where the next race will take place. During the third day of testing at the tracks, Alonso posted the fastest lap time. This is the second straight day that Alonso has the fastest time around the track and the third for McLaren. It was Lewis Hamilton who posted the fastest lap time during the first day of testing in Monza.

Both McLaren drivers are using the MP4-22 with the engine provided by German automaker Mercedes-Benz which also produces auto parts such as the Mercedes-Benz radiator hose, brake parts, underchassis components, and other reliable auto and racing parts. The next race, the Gran Premio d'Italia or the Italian Grand Prix is scheduled to be held on the ninth of September. The said event will be first of the last five races of the season. The said event will prove to be a turning point of the race for the championship. Hamilton will be going into the Italian Grand Prix with 84 points while Alonso is nipping on his heels with 79 points.

Source:  Amazines.com

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