Follwing the investigation instigated by Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, McLaren have been cleared of any wrong doing regarding the possible breach of the International Sporting Regulations relating to race-controlling at Monaco last weekend. After it was made clear that team principal Ron Dennis told his two leading drivers to back down, the media got into a frenzy claiming the team were damaging the sport by controlling the outcome of the Grand Prix. This accusation appeared to centre around the result of young British driver Lewis Hamilton.
The FIA released a statement this afternoon absolving the team of any wrong doing.
Having studied the radio traffic between Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (McLaren) and its drivers, together with the FIA observer’s report and data from the team, it is clear that McLaren’s actions during the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix were entirely legitimate and no further action is necessary.
It is standard procedure for a team to tell its drivers to slow down when they have a substantial lead. This is in order to minimise the risk of technical or other problems. It is also standard practice and entirely reasonable to ask the drivers not to put each other at risk.
McLaren were able to pursue an optimum team strategy because they had a substantial advantage over all other cars. They did nothing which could be described as interfering with the race result. FIA Press Release.
While I thought nothing would actually come of this, it is good to know that the FIA have seen sense.