FIA: McLaren under Investigation

McLaren are to be investigated following their one-two victory in the Grand Prix de Monaco yesterday. In a statement released by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the governing body said that they had ‘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 investigation will come as a shock to the Woking based team after the McLaren s of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton dominated the race around the famous Monte Carlo circuit on Sunday. However, it appeared that Alonso had been given the nod before making an unusually relaxed second pit stop. From this point on, Hamilton held position behind the two times World Champion, allowing the Spaniard to take an easy victory.

The investigation could focus on Ron Dennis s comments following the race, where he admitted the outcome was something he had to ‘decide in the advance .

“We had to cope with the potential deployment of the safety car. So consequently you virtually have to decide in advance which one of the team’s drivers will claim the victory.”

Speaking of taking the victory away from Hamilton he said: “He is disappointed and frustrated, and I can understand that, but he would not have been any of those things if the safety car had been deployed. He would have won the race.”

“To be honest, I’m not happy not letting our drivers race, but the simple fact is it’s my job, which is a difficult one at times, and this was one of those times. The drivers are members of this team, and they have to behave and perform as members of the team. That’s the way it is.”

Dennis attempted to justify his decision, denying his team gave orders despite bragging at least two events this season that he had ‘controlled the race’, “Lewis has an equal opportunity to win the World Championship, I have been monstrously criticised in the past for not favouring a driver and frittering away the opportunity of a world title. But we will never favour one driver over another, no matter who it is. We never have and we never will. Time will tell that we do not favour anybody.”

The FIA banned team orders following the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, where Ferrari asked Rubens Barrichello to yield to Michael Schumacher. Schumacher passed the Brazilian just metres from the line, leading to international condemnation and a review of team tactics.

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