After a fantastic win that wasn’t in Belgium, McLaren made a right mess at Monza. Who was the muppet that put Hamilton on intermediates in Q2? Who was it that held him in the pit lane for many minutes of the session when other drivers were making their fastest laps – couldn’t they make their minds up?
Who was it that after Heikki went through in 1m 35s very early in the session on full wets decided not to call Lewis in to change him onto the same tyres when his time was clearly a lot slower in the 1m 39s from his weather challenged inters? Why didn’t they at least put him out on full wets early in the session to at least get a banker lap in to begin with?
But Hamilton carried on plodding round, like Dobbin delivering the milk. The rain got heavier and heavier, but McLaren refused to change. Inflexibility sat upon indecision. What possessed McLaren to take such a high risk at a time and position in the Championship when caution and consistency count the most? Has McLaren forgotten how to take the heat? Have they forgotten last year?
Last year they made some silly mistakes on tyres, leaving Lewis out on worn tyres with the canvas showing through in one race, and calling him in to change onto full wets too late in China so he slid off in the pit lane. Either mistake cost them the Championship. You would have hoped they’d have learned, wouldn’t you?
But with the prospect of another court case over their appeal against the Spa decision, it is possible that the memory of the heavy duty politics from last year reared up again to bite Lewis – and perhaps some team members too. All that unpleasantness caused by Alonso must have left its mark. It was rather nice to hear that Ferrari have closed the door on Alonso for a contract though – he’s just too destructive in any team.
Of course, Ferrari had their problems too. Raikkonnen also didn’t make Q3, but is at least in a position to slow Lewis down for Massa, who needs all the help he can get as he only managed 6th place. But there must be quite a bit of egg on Ferrari’s chin: beaten by a customer team to pole! Now how embarrassing is that? It looks like McLaren aren’t the only big team who have serious internal problems. Ferrari are fumbling now Ross Brawn’s influence is fast fading into distant memories.
The one positive for Lewis and McLaren is they can now leave their race setup choice until tomorrow. But since it is expected to be a dry race, this just gives them another imponderable to worry about overnight… it promises to be an interesting race tomorrow though.