McLaren prevent Hungary repeat with second pit box

Sun, 26 August 2007, 11:50

McLaren assigned a separate pit box to each of its drivers in Turkey to prevent a recurrence of the incident that occurred in Hungary three weeks ago.

In Budapest before the August summer break three weeks ago, hostilities between the team’s drivers broke out – and stewards also penalised the team – when Fernando Alonso was deemed to have deliberately held up his teammate ahead of the final dash for pole.

Apparently to prevent the drivers from repeating the obstruction in Istanbul, then, McLaren assigned each driver a separate pit area, complete with a separate pit crew, for qualifying on Saturday.

The system is only possible at modern circuits such as Turkey, where the pitlane and garage areas are considerably larger than at more traditional grand prix venues.

“They decided it was easier to have two pit crews and it worked out quite well,” Lewis Hamilton confirmed after qualifying second.

Team boss Ron Dennis, meanwhile, had to smile in Turkey when he reflected on the gift McLaren gave to Fernando Alonso to mark the reigning world champion’s 100th grand prix.

The Spaniard was given a huge metal scale model of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz formula one car, and Dennis quipped: “It’s something heavy for him to throw at us!”

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