As a team you always claimed that you treated both drivers equally. But, as everyone (including George Orwell and perhaps the men in the cockpit too) suspected, one driver was always treated a bit more equally than the other.
So why did it have to come to this?
It had all been so easy at the start of the year. The de facto number one was setting the pace and getting the early success, and it was not really a problem. When the man who thinks he is the number one - and whose success keeps all parts of the team happy - is winning, what is there to complain about?
Well, that problem really came to light in Spain - and it was caused by the inconvenience of the wrong man coming home in front.
After the whirlwind of the season-opening races, where both drivers were trying to find their feet and establish their credentials as contenders for the world championship, it was at the Circuit de Catalunya that the first talk of 'trouble at the mill' emerged.
For suddenly, the perceived number one found that the number two was just a bit too quick for his liking. At the very time that he had wanted to deliver a performance to ram home his authority and show the world and everyone inside the team that he was the one who needed backing with full support, it was number two who pulled out all the stops.
That performance was a bit of a game-changer and, in a tight championship battle, it was clear that the unofficial leading man wasn't simply going to sit back and see it all taken away from him.
Dealing with such simmering tensions below the surface, however, was never going to be straightforward. But even you were caught on the backfoot by what happened at the weekend - when events on track, and in the media, suddenly meant you were having to not only fight battles within your team but also fight off things coming at you from outside.
You know fully that decisions are made in races for the interest of the team and not necessarily for the best of a specific driver. But when one of your men sits in the press conference afterwards and starts hinting at team order conspiracies, which spurs the press into action, you should know that how you react immediately can have huge consequences.
And when team chiefs, rather than sorting out the matter behind closed doors, start going public and venting their frustrations and feelings before they are aware of the full facts, you just know you are asking for trouble.
Don't forget too that it is at times like this that your image and how you are perceived by the paddock and the media really counts. In the F1 world, dear old Schadenfreude has the unbelievable ability to crop up in the blink of an eye.
It is very easy to find your friends, and even your enemies, patting you on the back and singing your praises when you are winning races - and it almost does not matter how you treat them. But when things go wrong, that is when any underlying tensions rise to the surface and erupt - even from those inside your team.
For paddock people, which include rival outfits and the media, do take on board how you treat them. And although a lot of what you do and a lot of people at the team are well-liked, there are factions whose gamesmanship, arrogance and paranoia have rubbed people up the wrong way - and given outsiders and the press enough to get their teeth into. Heck, you've even got the FIA's back up over certain things that have been happening.
All of this feeling has left little sympathy for you in the paddock, and the events on track and in the press conference room and paddock afterwards have helped kick start a media and fan storm that will now put enough focus on how you treat your two men to make it actually a bit of a strain.
Despite any public protestations that you do treat both your men equally, should one man start having pitstop problems, have strategies work against him, or think he has got the wrong tyre pressures, then that's going to be picked up quickly. And you will be in a no win situation - whether the feelings come from the fans, the press or even the drivers. The more you deny it, the more it will be suspected. Thou protesteth too much rings so true in F1.
Plus, worse than that, from now on any cracks in the public message coming out of the team - be it from drivers or senior figures - are now going to be exposed, deconstructed and pored over like never before.
But there is also a certain irony to the situation. For although the root of the trouble is the intense rivalry going on between your men on track, the actual problem is not their relationship. They are tough competitors on track, they fully accept that they go out there to beat each other, but there is no gut-wrenching hate there. This is a situation that has been created purely by how you have treated them, and how you have reacted to events.
It's not going to be easy to move on from here, but that's the price you pay when it comes to gunning for the world championship with two of the very best F1 drivers out there.
Yeah, Monaco 2007 was a bit of a weird one for you McLaren, wasn't it? Something like that would never happen again...
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