In 2007, McLaren were thrown out of the Formula One Constructors Championship, and as per Bernie Ecclestone’s ruling, they should be placed at the bottom end of the pitlane for the following season. The winners of the constructors – in this case, Ferrari – were placed at the opposite end in the first garage for 2008. However, it was announced just prior to the Australian Grand Prix that a deal had been struck and McLaren were in garage five. Until Max Mosley intervened, that is, and McLaren were returned to the end for the Bahrain race. But now it seems, they’re back.
It really does seem as though McLaren are getting a similar treatment to the men under the Duke of York’s command.
The Grand Old Duke Of York
The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up;
And when they were down, they were down.
But when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down!
When Bernie allowed McLaren to be in garage five, next door to Red Bull, Mosley stated he had received a complaint and requested Ecclestone to follow his own rules and move them back down. Bernie duly obliged and McLaren were relegated to the bottom with Super Aguri and Force India. However, in Monaco it would appear that McLaren were back in the middle of the pack. I honestly can’t say that I noticed, but apparently that is where they were, and where they are staying.
McLaren are setting up their garage in number five at Circuit Gilles Vileneuve this weekend, but nobody has given any real solid reason as to why this has happened. Ecclestone laughed off the question by jokingly saying it was ‘a mistake’, and it is perfectly possible that McLaren were allowed to be in number five for Monaco due to space reasons. But to hold the garage for the rest of the season? Perhaps this is a subtle way of Bernie sticking two fingers up at Max in the wake of everything that has happened recently? Maybe some money has passed between accounts? Maybe Bernie is going a bit senile in his old age? Who knows, but I’m sure it’ll all change again for the French Grand Prix.