McLaren cleared over Monaco win 30 May 2007
The FIA has decided that the strategy employed by McLaren in their one-two victory in Sundays Monaco Grand Prix was entirely legitimate. No further action will be taken over the matter.
The FIA launched an investigation following the race, after claims that team orders had played a part in Fernando Alonsos win over team mate Lewis Hamilton. However, having studied radio traffic between the drivers and the McLaren pit, together with the FIA observers report and data from the team, the sports governing body concluded there was no wrongdoing.
Team boss Ron Dennis had said that the unusual strategic requirements at Monaco and the high likelihood of safety-car periods meant that McLaren had to more or less decide in advance who would win the race. He also admitted his drivers had been told to ease off and hold position in the closing stages. He denied, however, manipulating the result.
It is standard procedure for a team to tell its drivers to slow down when they have a substantial lead, agreed the FIA. 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.
Responding to the FIA's findings, Dennis commented: The entire team was understandably disappointed that outstanding drives from both Fernando and Lewis resulting in a great one-two victory and McLarens 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 team, Fernando and Lewis, who currently are leading both world championships can now concentrate on the Canadian Grand Prix.
Team orders which interfere with a race result were outlawed in October 2002. The move followed Ferraris heavy fine after that years Austrian Grand Prix, where Rubens Barrichello moved over for Michael Schumacher on the final lap.