McLaren chiefs – Alonso did swerve in anger

McLarenMcLaren’s chief operating officer, Martin Whitmarsh, does not believe Fernando Alonso’s story about cooling his car at Indianapolis, and believes that the Spaniard swerved towards the pit wall during the race in his frustration at not being given a clear path to win.

At that particular part of the race, Alonso did have the quicker of the two cars; Alonso did try a move on Hamilton but Hamilton defended well to deny the current world champion. Alonso then veered towards the pit wall on the next lap, apparently in a show of frustration. Some commentators picked up on this fact, but Alonso played the incident down claiming he wanted to cool his car down.

Whitmarsh does not agree. “He was sending to Lewis,” he said. “Drivers do that from time to time. I’m sure any driver, if they were in a position where they felt they are driving a quicker car at the time, would like to be given rite of passage to the fron. We were running absolutely fair programmes for bother drivers.

“Frankly, in the middle of the race, Fernando was a bit quicker but Lewis had track postition – they were pushing hard. When we had to turn the engines down in the final part of the race, we did it simultaneously and it was done to the same extent on both cars so that they were able to continue racing. At various points in the race, it was clear that Fernando was a little bit quicker but Lewis did a fantastic job in qualifying. He made a great start and robustly defeneded his position a couple of times at Turn One.”

Norbert Haug also does not believe Alonso’s story. “He was a little annoyed, I am sure,” Haug explained. “Fernando was pushing very hard at the time, while Lewis drove in the same way that Fernando did in Monaco. You have to accept that the front runner sets the pace of the race.”

Meanwhile, Ron Dennis is staying out of the arguing, choosing instead to focus on the intense media attention on his young rookie driver. Dennis is worried that the media focus may force Hamilton to move abroad otherwise it may start to interfere with his racing. “The invasion of his privacy will become a big issue,” Dennis explained.  “It is something we will avoid at all costs. If there is a continuous invasion of his privacy then he will have to find somewhere to live to avoid that. If it happens, it will not be driven by something fiscal. I don’t know if he will be able to continue to do things as before.”