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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
McLaren cleared over Hamilton row
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton slipped to second in the Championship race behind Alonso
McLaren have been cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation into whether they illegally used team orders at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Governing body the FIA said after studying the race that McLaren "did nothing which could be described as interfering with the race result".

McLaren had admitted that they had asked Lewis Hamilton not to challenge team-mate Fernando Alonso for victory.

But the FIA declared McLaren's actions "entirely legitimate and reasonable".

606: DEBATE

It added that it was "standard procedure for a team to tell its drivers to slow down when they have a substantial lead" 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."

The efficient intervention and subsequent inquiry of the FIA has removed any doubt about the manner in which the team ran its cars during the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix

Ron Dennis
McLaren boss
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said in a statement: "The entire team was understandably disappointed that outstanding drives from both Fernando and Lewis resulting in a great one-two victory and McLaren?s 150th win was temporarily tarnished.

"The efficient intervention and subsequent inquiry of the FIA into the allegations of the last three days has removed any doubt about the manner in which the team ran its cars during the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix."

The FIA investigation upheld McLaren's argument that Hamilton had been deployed before the race with the possibility of switching to a one-stop strategy, while Alonso was on the optimum two-stop strategy.

This was with a view to the team ensuring they were in the optimum position if a safety car had been deployed, as it has been in four of the previous five races at Monaco.

Hamilton had expressed his confusion at being called in earlier than expected for his first pit stop rather than being left to run the additional laps the extra fuel in his car allowed, which might have allowed him to pass Alonso.

McLaren's decision to call the Englishman in apparently early for his second stop, which also seemed to prevent him challenging Alonso's position, was also questioned.

Fernando Alonso leads Lewis Hamilton during the Monaco Grand Prix
Hamilton was unhappy at not being allowed to challenge Alonso
But the FIA said: "With no safety car during Alonso's first stint, there was a small but finite risk that it would come out during the five laps before Hamilton had to refuel.

"This would have put him behind the field and at a significant disadvantage to any car on a full (as opposed to optional) one-stop strategy.

"The latter cars would be expected to refuel around lap 40 - ie after the safety car had pitted if it came out during Hamilton's extra laps.

"For similar reasons, Hamilton was called in early for his second pit stop, thus assuring his second place, with or without the safety car."

The FIA statement continued: "Had the car in front of Hamilton not been his team-mate, McLaren might (probably would) have decided to risk the safety car and let Hamilton run for as long as his fuel allowed in the hope he would come out of the pits in the lead after one of his pit stops.

"There is, however, no obligation on them to take this risk in order to overtake their own car. Indeed it would be foolish to do so."

The FIA examined radio communications between McLaren and their drivers, data from the team and a report from the official observer before coming to its conclusions.

SEE ALSO
Stewart backs McLaren on Hamilton
29 May 07 |  Formula One
McLaren race victory to be probed
28 May 07 |  Formula One
McLaren deny anti-Hamilton bias
27 May 07 |  Formula One
Alonso helped to Monaco victory
27 May 07 |  Formula One


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