Saturday, August 4, 2007

Dennis: Hold up is Hamilton's fault

Ron Dennis has blamed Lewis Hamilton for the pit-lane fracas that ended with the FIA deciding to investigate Fernando Alonso's holding up of the 22-year-old. The team principal revealed that it was Hamilton in the first place who actually disobeyed team orders during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Dennis claims that Hamilton was supposed to let Alonso past on track at the start of Q3 because it was the Spaniard's turn to benefit from "the longer fuel burn".

"They were out of sequence because Lewis should have slowed and let Fernando past," Dennis explained to reporters after qualifying. "But he didn't, he charged off. That's how we got out of sequence."He further explained: "We have various procedures within the team and prior to practice we determine how it is going to be run, what our strategy is, and how that's going to be enacted on the circuit."In this instance, it was Fernando's time to get the advantage of the longer fuel burn. The arrangement was, OK, we're down at the end of the pitlane, we reverse positions in the first lap. That didn't occur as arranged. That was somewhat disappointing and caused some tensions on the pitwall."So this really started from that position, and from our drivers not swapping position to get the right fuel burn in order to arrive at the point where we cut the end result to the end."With regards to why Alonso then seemed to cynically wait in the pits with Hamilton needing to fuel quickly to get in a final flying lap, Dennis purported that it is the engineer's decision when the driver leaves.

He said: "He was being counted down by his engineer. He's under the control of that engineer. He (the engineer) determined when he (Alonso) goes. That's the sequence and if you think that was a deliberate thing, then you can think what you want. I have given you exactly what happened." Dennis added that Hamilton will just have to live with the sequence of affairs and accept McLaren's way of doing things.He added: "Obviously Lewis feels more uncomfortable with the situation than Fernando. That's life, that's the way it is, and if he feels too hot to talk about it then that's the way it is."

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