McLaren are contemplating further limiting the media’s access to their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. After the team orders saga at Monaco, and the press furore that followed, McLaren are considering allowing print reporters just two interviews with the drivers – once on Friday and once on Saturday.
The news will further irritate many journalists who were already complaining at Ron Dennis’ overprotection of Lewis Hamilton and his already limited access to the press. Dennis defended his decision saying, “We are not against the media and we are not trying to protect him from the media. We are trying to give him every opportunity to concentrate on his jon. Do not see this as some heavy-handed McLaren decision. It is not. It is what he wants and it is the same with Fernando.”
The cynics amongst us may interpret the lack of media access as McLaren’s attempt to try and limit the potential damage that stray comments by the drivers – for example, it was widely acknowledged that Hamilton was angry with the McLaren team over the result at Monaco, and it is partly these comments that fuelled the team orders debate.
Norbert Haug sought to clarify the matter. “In Formula 1,” he explained, “it is often better if you keep your immediate emotions to yourself. Lewis was naturally disappointed right after the race but I have personally clarified the situation with both him and his father.”