Rift in team McLaren after Hungarian GP

The current Formula 1 season will probably be remembered more for the controversies than the on-track action.

updated: August 08, 2007 06:37 IST
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The current Formula 1 season will probably be remembered more for the controversies than the on-track action.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton might have led the Hungarian Grand Prix from start to finish on Sunday, but it was Fernando Alonso who originally took pole position, amidst a huge row, that added a new chapter to the growing list of controversies in the sport.

Formula 1 isn't exactly a team sport but even then you would not expect this to happen in any team.

Lewis Hamilton claims that Fernando Alonso is not speaking to him following the acrimonious Hungarian GP.

Alonso was demoted five spots on the grid after video recordings of a controversial pit stop. He apparently stayed put for an extra 20 seconds after his tyre change so as to delay Hamilton on his final lap.

Mclaren boss Ron Dennis, however, felt that it was Hamilton who was to blame since he had ignored team orders before the race which had categorically told him to allow Alonso to pass.

Dennis was quoted as saying "Every effort was made to maintain our policy of equality so we do not believe that the findings of the stewards and the severe penalty imposed on the team are appropriate. I don't think either driver is blameless, but we should have been a little bit more aggressive in handling this situation. In the end we are still leading both championships."

The lead might be intact but the credibility has truly suffered. McLaren have been involved in an ugly battle with Ferrari this year at last month's European Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Felippe Massa was leading the race but with four laps to go Alonso pulled off a risky overtaking manouevre.

That resulted in a bust up between the two drivers after the race and the two teams are now locked in another battle over a spying row.

Technical papers from the Ferrari camp were found at the house of a former McLaren's chief designer and though Mclaren have been exonerated for now, the case is far from over.

Mclaren vs Ferrari might be good for the sport but McLaren vs McLaren isn't the ideal situation. It wasn't long ago that both McLaren drivers Alonso and Hamilton shot for a commercial.

The ad was meant to highlight the rivalry between the two drivers in a positive way but after Hungary it seems like the chemistry is anything but positive.