Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Has economy let McLaren off the hook?

The World Motor Sport Council has just given McLaren the equivalent of a cuddle for their appalling behaviour at the Australian Grand Prix when they tried to claim 3rd place from Jarno Trulli by complaining that he'd passed Lewis Hamilton under safety car conditions. In fact, radio transmissions confirmed that Hamilton had let him pass.

I remember Michael Schumacher having the book thrown at him for ignoring a black flag at Silverstone some years ago.

McLaren's actions in Melbourne broke even the most basic standards of sportsmanly conduct. Ok, they've got rid of Dave Ryan and put Ron Dennis out to grass, but surely it takes more than a bit of grovelling from Martin Whitmarsh to put things right?

And now it seems that any other team that wishes to do the same has been handed carte blanche to do so, because nothing will happen to them.

I wonder if yesterday's bad results for Mercedes, whose owners Daimler lost an eye watering £1.27 billion in the first 3 months of this year had any bearing on this decision. If they decide to pull out of F1 to save money, then McLaren is in trouble and a ban would not help with this.

Was the WMSC allowing economic circumstances to over-ride fairness and justice? They had the option of giving Hamilton personally a ban for his actions, and they chose not to do that either?

I don't like the fact that McLaren have effectively got off. I can't imagine that any more facts could arise that would make things any more incriminating for them, and they will be sure to keep their noses clean for the next year.

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