McLaren Fearful over Backmarker Influence

McLaren chiefs have called on the sport's governing body to start getting tougher with backmarkers amid fears that they could cost the team the Constructors' Championship

McLaren Fearful over Backmarker Influence

Although Fernando Alonso has already wrapped up the Drivers' Championship, McLaren boss Ron Dennis and head of Mercedes-Benz motorsport Norbert Haug want action taken to ensure their chances in the manufacturers' race are not hampered.

The team have already lost two second places this season after Juan Pablo Montoya was involved in collisions with lapped cars, with Tiago Monteiro in Turkey and Antonio Pizzonia in Belgium, and they want to ensure that a repeat incident does not hand the title advantage to rivals Renault.

"It is ridiculous," blasted Haug, who is especially furious that Pizzonia was fined just 8,000 Euros for his collision with Montoya at Spa.

"That (incident) may decide the outcome of a World Championship and it is 8,000 Euro. I have a very clear view on this - a backmarker who is lapped should not affect the outcome of a race, which could affect the outcome of a World Championship.

"He should be penalised, absolutely penalised. He got it wrong, badly wrong and it may decide the outcome of a World Championship. It would not have happened if Nick Heidfeld was behind the wheel. If the guy would have come 10 seconds later he would probably have kicked off Alonso. That should not be 8,000 Euro."

Dennis believes that the time has come for some drivers to be warned about their behaviour - especially now the title battle is entering a crucial phase.

"Norbert's frustration is if it costs us the Constructors' Championship it is not particularly nice," he said. "It is virtually impossible to go out now in a session and drive round uninterrupted by a whole gaggle of slow cars who don't look in their mirrors.

"It is massively frustrating on a tight circuit and it is massively frustrating when you are racing and drivers are not observing blue flags.

"The drivers who just don't get out of the way, they influence the outcome of World Championships. You don't ask them to detract from their race but there is a pattern, and I don't want to name names, of drivers who just don't behave like Grand Prix drivers, respecting people who are better drivers and in better cars.

"It's not fair and there's lots of times when these backmarkers have not only caused incidents, there are many times when they have influenced the outcome of races because it is very difficult to get past. There are those people who say incidents, accidents, interfering with the leader and everything is good for Formula One. But if you are on the receiving end it is damned frustrating."

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