It had been a while coming. The great soap opera that is Formula One had gone five months without a controversy. Yes, you had to feel desperately sorry for Lewis Hamilton at Spa last Sunday. He snatched what he saw as an opportunity. Straight afterwards he explained the various incidents lucidly, intelligently and truthfully. But media reaction to the stewards' decision was OTT.
Pundits were openly talking about F1 being 'fixed' or 'corrupt.' I've got no problem with that. Opinion and freedom of speech is to be actively encouraged, especially when the voice in question knows of what it speaks. But in view of what happened to Martin Brundle last winter it was all quite 'brave'...
Driving home from the airport on Monday I was interested to hear Niki Lauda on Radio Five Live. The subject got around to whether the FIA favoured Ferrari or manipulated the results. Niki said that if he'd been asked the question before last weekend he'd have said no, but now he wasn't so sure. It was the worst decision in the history of F1, he thought. I've got to disagree there. For me, that was Fernando Alonso's grid penalty for impeding a Ferrari that was 93m behind him on a qualifying lap at Monza...
Niki Lauda and Bernie Ecclestone © XPB
One of Lauda's points was that Lewis did not gain an advantage by getting into Kimi's slipstream between the final corner and La Source. There was no slipstream involved, he said.