August 5, 2007

180 degrees...

After hearing multiple versions the latest F1 "outrage du jour" I changed my mind: Alonso may not be the bad guy in this situation after all... it might have gone down like this:

_Hamilton disobeys team orders and messes up Alonso's fuel strategy.
_Ron Dennis decides that he must exert control over his team and the the order goes out to prioritize Alonso, come what may to Hamilton.

Now what we saw on TV was Dennis throwing off his headphones at the end of Q3 and rushing away from his post on pit wall, at the time it seemed like he may have been frustrated at Fernandos antics. What has come to light however is this little conversation between Lewis Hamilton and the Mclaren boss , the man responsible for for his whole motorsport development:

Hamilton: "Don't ever f****** do that to me again!"

Dennis: "Don't ever f****** speak to me like that again!"

Hamilton: "Go f****** swivel!"

No wonder Dennis was furious. I think in his place, old man Ferrari would have traded Hamilton to Spyker in 30 minutes flat no matter what the UK press might say about their new Jenson.

Advice from the Axis? Hamilton needs to test some new highly stressed experimental engine components for the next race or two.... if you get our drift!

But it's not that simple, Alonso is convinced Mclaren is sabotaging him: the first stop he loses time with the tire warmer and during the final and crucial stop the team puts a set of used tires, (Hamilton got new) Alonso stops to ask for clarifications..thus apparently the delay. Scuffs did not seem like a bad choice for Fernando as he put in a hell of a lap with them. For sure the body language between the team principal and his drivers was at best tense after qualifying.

Whatever the actual events (will we ever know?), Ron has a real problem on his hands, a winning car but a team now clearly in full psychodrama mode, between the Stepney-gate nonsense and the driver issue. It might be a long three weeks in Woking.


  1. sorry guys, but what does his last sentence mean ?

  2. the "swivel" part?

    I'll let our UK readers chime in....

  3. I think Lewis was right because the order he disobeyed was ludicrous. Raikonnen was up Alonso's tailpipes the whole first stint of Q3 --- and even got past him. How exactly was this letting Alonso by supposed to happen without Kimi getting by them both? The failure of the switch around was Alonso's fault entirely.

    If he did follow the order, Kimi saves the fuel, he pits one lap later than LH, leapfrogs him with his clearly faster race pace, and wins the race going away. Would that have been better?

    In other team sports the lead player often ignores an instruction when he sees the action differently. Think point guard or quarterback or midfielder. LH flouted the order but as the quarterback on the field, so to speak, he made the right audible.

  4. Interesting....but then would not Alonso actually have done Hamilton a running extra slow, Hamilton got to do, I think, one or two extra laps compared to Kimi...


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