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McLaren sparkles amidst Monaco monotony

NEWS STORY
27/05/2007

In recent weeks we've witnessed a number of reports in the British media claiming that Lewis Hamilton's meteoric progress in F1 has caused problems at McLaren, with The Times talking of "civil war" within the British team.

Ron Dennis has dismissed the gossip out of hand, and much has been made of the story that earlier this weekend he was seeking out his two young hot shots in order that they could accompany him to a sponsor meet and greet. He eventually found them hidden way, locked in battle on their Playstations.

Then again, this is a man who brought Ayrton Senna to his team to join Alain Prost, thereby creating one of the most legendary, albeit volatile, driver partnerships in the history of the sport.

The fact is that this afternoon, Ron Dennis and his protégés will be put to the ultimate test. Depending how things pan out McLaren can either achieve a unique victory here this afternoon or witness a disaster in the making, giving the media reason to argue that some of the more negative reporting in recent weeks was not as misguided and sensational as some believe.

Quite simply, McLaren can emerge later this afternoon as victors, adding another 18 points to its World Championship tally, or witness its two star drivers taking one another out at the first corner.

Although Monaco is a race usually won, or lost, at the first corner, it is essential that common sense and professionalism prevails, and that both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton realise that the Monaco Grand Prix is all about seventy-eight laps, not one corner.

No doubt, Ron will be sitting down with his drivers warning them to curb their enthusiasm, temper their exuberance… for they can either emerge from this race as heroes or zeroes, and Ron's seen it all before.

We only 'lost' one car at the first corner in yesterday's GP2 race, and if these guys - who give exuberance a whole new meaning - can do it, so can the F1 boys.

Waiting to profit from any mistake by the McLaren duo will be Felipe Massa, who will be keen to take his third successive win, and at the same time further establish his standing at Ferrari.

Though we don't expect them to be challenging for the win, Fisichella, Rosberg and Webber should be in line for some decent points, especially if it all goes pear-shaped at the start. Let's not forget, Monaco has a long, long reputation for serving up freak results.

As for BMW, we're confused. Seventh and eighth is (relatively) disappointing, however, the German team doesn't appear to be making much of a fuss. Therefore, one wonder, is the Bavarian outfit taking a strategic gamble, after all, we've seen them take a few odd, but successful, risks in the previous four rounds.

Finally, there's Kimi Raikkonen, who will be keen to make up for yesterday's error. No doubt Ferrari has him on a good strategy which should see him challenging for points and possibly a podium position. But a win. We doubt it. Then again, this is Monaco.

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