Man, what a year of mixed blessings for team McLaren boss Ron Dennis. First a noodleheaded Ferrari staffer presents a book of secret bits to a nitwitted McLaren tech — who keeps it as coffee-table reading. Then the European motorports establishment lines up against McLaren to exact several pounds of flesh, including a stripping of all constructors' points and a $100 million fine. All of this while two of the best, most exciting drivers in the sport parade Vodafone's sponsored signage athwart the world's racetracks ahead of nearly all competitors. It's a major stressor for the team, and Dennis in particular, and one we're finding more about today.
The FIA just released transcripts of the World Motorsport Council meeting that resulted in McLaren's impeachment. Most notable is the news Dennis and top man Fernando Alonso haven't spoken since the Hungarian Grand Prix several weeks ago. That was the one where Alonso deliberately blocked teammate Lewis Hamilton on pitlane during qualifying, which Hamilton thought was per Dennis's instructions. That debauched scene, replayed around the world on countless blogs, caused a fissure between the two drivers, both of whom are vying for the F1 championship — McLaren being spared from giving up individual drivers' points. Whatever happens, Alonso will likely be going back to Renault next year, and brilliant rookie Hamilton will be moving into the big chair. Of course, Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen may still stick a fork in both of them. We haven't had this much fun since the early '90s. Too bad Ron Dennis isn't. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images.) [Speed TV]