Monday, October 15, 2007

whingeing sportstars

There's a lot of reasons why the FIA shouldn't be putting an inspector in the McLaren garage during the Brazilian Grand Prix; almost too many to list comprehensively. Here is one: Alonso is a whinger and, as any parent knows only too well, with a moaning child you NEVER give in. (Well that's the theory anyway - in practice you end up doing anything for a quiet life and of course live to regret it - and that's the point)

Of course there is a long and illustrious history of whingeing sportstars - if you can't beat someone in the arena then you can always complain about their behaviour off it: coded yoghurts, weapons concealed in plaster casts, taking more than their share of the blankets - anything to rubbish the result if it goes the wrong way. Only... and this is where it gets a bit bizarre... usually it's the oponents who are accused not the team mates. Now, the two drivers in an F1 team are competitors but they also play for the same team which is why it seems very strange to have an official coming in and making sure that these team mates aren't being diddled by different parts of the same team. Er...

Imagine an Olympic official being posted in the British athletics changing rooms to make sure that one sprinter wasn't getting more leg massages than another.

Now, there are two outcomes from this situation: 1. the official presides, sees nothing untoward and the race goes ahead as planned.

or 2. (and if you put an inspector in somewhere you have to at least pay lip service to what they come up with) the inspector finds a discrepancy - maybe Alonso's teddy bear is trifled with by a maverick mechanic - and then someone in the FIA has to make a decision. What do they do? It's the pivotal race of the season: are you going to put somebody back a few places on the grid? Dock a few points? How many? Enough to change the result or not? The FIA don't exactly have a track record of comprehensible decisions: when Schumacher barged Villeneuve they deleted his position but not his points (or something); McLaren got their constructor points deleted but their drivers got to keep theirs (aren't they the same points? I mean the drivers earned them for the team) I live in dread of some incomprehensible decision that totally muddies the water and leaves nobody entirely happy - the winner because it undermines their credibility and the losers because it didn't bring them justice.


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