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."

shares
comments
Faure Hails First Title in a Renault Car
Previous article

Faure Hails First Title in a Renault Car

Next article

Briatore Feels Relief after Pressure

Briatore Feels Relief after Pressure
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022