The Hungarian Grand Prix should have provided McLaren with some sweet respite from their besieged position at the epicentre of arguably the biggest political storm ever to develop in Formula One.
Instead they were overwhelmed by a new controversy, as the season-long tension between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton reached a dramatic new high in qualifying.
The team's plan called for Alonso to head Hamilton during the Q3 fuel burn. But Hamilton arrived at the end of the pitlane first, then refused to cede. He subsequently set a provisional pole time, then returned to the pits for new tyres only to find Alonso still stationery in the box 10 seconds after he had been given the signal to depart. That 10 second delay cost Hamilton the chance to make a second run - and he was therefore unable to respond when Alonso knocked him off pole position.