McLaren’s sincerity was on full display since the events after Brazilian GP. Formula 1 is a big business and big business gets dirty at times. Big money, big egos, competitive people, with these factors in place nobody can expect smooth ride.
McLaren were in the centre of attention for some good but also for all the wrong reasons for big part of the 2007 season. It all began in Monaco, where all the sudden fame and attention got to Hamilton’s head. Acting like a spoiled kid he chose to disregard instuctions from the team and decided to go on the risky chase of Alonso at the unforgiving street track. The media however went on to display Hamilton as the one who was robbed of his chance to win …
Then came Hungary where Hamilton again decided what he thought is right. Childish reaction from Alonso was absolutelly stupid, but one should not forget who’s actions provoked it. After the events of Hungary the Stepneygate took a new twist and McLaren were deep in trouble. The whole Stepneygate saga is well documented on this site. Whether the punishment McLaren received was just or not is a whole different debate. The fact is, the relations within the team deteriorated further as did the relations between McLaren and FIA. The drivers were fighting each other to the bitter end of the season, one on his own and against the rest of the team, the other with the whole team behind him. The now famous “we were racing Fernando” approach to Chinese GP resulted in DNF for Hamilton and some mistakes combined with bad luck in Brazil handed the title to Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen - the driver to whom McLaren were unable to give a title winning car … Well, if can’t win the title on the track due our own stupidity and internal infighting, why not try to take the opportunity that opened up, and claim the title in the court.
And we all thought the season is over. Well, all except McLaren. They decided they “had no choice” but to appeal against the ruling of the stewards on the Williams and BMW Sauber fuel temperature issue after Brazilian GP. Their action immediatelly smelled of a last desperate attempt to bring the title to Hamilton. McLaren expected that and were quick to come out with statement that all they are after is clarification of the rules. Even Hamilton was quick to say that it would not be right to take the title away from Raikkonen.
As it plays out, they did have a choice. Sam Michael, Williams technical director summed it up nicely:
“I think normally we would have ended finishing it up on the Sunday night and if there was any ambiguity in the regulation, as there was in this one – not in terms of our cars being legal but in the regulations – it would just have got handled in the next Technical Working Group (TWG). Although it was good to have those things [aired] in the ICA, I don’t know how much it cost them [McLaren] to turn up with the four or five lawyers they had. You wouldn’t have expected them to spend that just to clarify a regulation when you can turn up for free at any TWG and do the same thing.”
And then he went on:
“Williams, BMW and even Ferrari who are not being investigated all openly gave their on-board fuel temperatures to the ICA. However, McLaren, who admit to measuring on-board fuel temperature, refuse to reveal their data. Now, call me a cynic, but I submit that this is because that data is severely damaging to McLaren’s case against Williams and BMW.”
So, McLaren only wants rule qualification, but instead of submitting the issue to the usual body, they decide to assemble almost their all team of lawyers and present the case to the International Court Of Appeal. There, while looking for the explanation, they do not disclose their temperature data from the Brazlian GP, instead their lawyer stands up, and calls for disqualification of BMW and Williams drivers, moving Hamilton up the table and giving him the title. Not a sign that the team is after rules clarification and not after title… Peter Sauber rubished their clarification claims as well:
“Apparently their lawyer thought something else. His strategy was clearly to establish the disqualification of Rosberg, Kubica and Heidfeld.”
Well to me McLaren are bunch of hypocrites that took the chance to take the shot back at FIA as a revenge for the punishment they suffered as a result of the Stepneygate. Nobody disputes their right to appeal against a ruling that goes against them. But they do not have to talk rubbish and cover their obvious real goals behind it. Hamilton’s “sincere” talk about how unfair it would be to take the title away from Kimi are for me as credible as his actions in Monaco and Hungary.
The other possibility is they suffer from severe case of schizophrenia. If that is the case they should get some treatment soon. Their image of a clean team with an integrity suffered huge blow…