Norbert Haug said McLaren-Mercedes “welcomed” the FIA’s investigation into the team’s strategic conduct after the recent Monaco grand prix.
The chief of Mercedes-Benz motor sport told the news agency ‘dpa’ that team officials saw the FIA’s intervention as the best way to clear McLaren’s name following the British media furore.
“Who knows how long people would have said we did the wrong thing,” the German said.
Despite the FIA’s 2002 ruling that banned race-altering ‘team orders’, the governing body found and declared that McLaren had legitimately controlled its drivers’ pace on the Monte Carlo streets.
Haug said: “Even if the FIA had discovered even the smallest piece of suspicious evidence (of illegal team orders), we would have been certainly punished.
“But they found nothing, and of course I am not surprised about this — where there is nothing, nothing can be found.”
He also insists that the Monaco affair did not establish championship leader Fernando Alonso as the team’s ‘number one’ for the remainder of 2007.
“There is no hierarchy in our team,” Haug said. “We have two number one drivers who can push to the maximum, just as they always were allowed to do.”