Alonso secrecy led to Hamilton tyre failure – report

Wed, 29 August 2007, 12:10

Despite McLaren’s affirmations of total driver equality this year, a break in this principle could have contributed to championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s tyre failure in Turkey last Sunday.

After his disgruntled teammate Fernando Alonso issued a reported ‘Hamilton or me’ ultimatum following their falling out in Hungary, the German magazine Sport Bild reports that McLaren granted the Spaniard some protection of his car’s setup for the rest of the 2007 season.

In June, reigning world champion Alonso admitted that one of things that is making him “uncomfortable” at McLaren this year is “the sharing of telemetry”.

So with Hamilton’s side of the garage no longer able to simply emulate his teammate’s settings in Istanbul, Sport Bild contends that it could have led to the mistreatment of his right-front tyre in the race.

Alonso reportedly set up his car to go particularly easy on the right-front Bridgestone in Turkey, where there is an unusual abundance of left hand bends — including the severely punishing turn-8.

Sport Bild said Bridgestone’s examinations of Hamilton’s delaminated tyre in Tokyo this week ruled out a puncture by a foreign object, with development boss Hirohide Hamashima quoted as saying an “extra force” – perhaps a too-aggressive car set-up – applied to a section of chunking on the tyre, caused the failure.

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