In the last Grand Prix at Monaco (or Monte Carlo if you so prefer) we saw Toyota yet again flounder around in the back of the pack. I’ll be honest in that I never expect good things from Toyota at Monaco. Apart from last year’s close-call podium finish for Jarno Trulli (he retired with a mechanical failure), Toyota rarely shows well on that street circuit.
Trulli and Ralf Schumacher finished 14 and 15th respectively, two laps down.
The FIA was investigating McLaren for violation of the sporting code. That is to say, they wondered if they purposefully held back Lewis Hamilton to let Fernando Alonso win. A few days later though, McLaren was cleared when they reviewed the radio transmissions and saw that the team was running a strategy that would ensure they would finish with the maximum points possible for the team.
Even my friend, Dave, got caught up in the McLaren hysteria here and here. In my opinion, the rule itself is such a tough call in terms of how we define what “team orders” are, and how they should affect the race. Not only that, but as an economist, I have to admit that the penalties are quite draconian in that I never have any idea how severe the penalties are for certain infractions.
With that said though, McLaren Mercedes has been the best team by far this season. Ferrari, while having a strong car, and many thought the best car, has struggled relative to their expectations. BMW is also the surprise team of the year being that they are the third best.
While everyone is surprised at the drivers’ standings, I am not. Alonso is the reigning champion, and Lewis Hamilton is obviously a talented driver on a talented team. For people with utter amazement at Hamilton, let me just tell them to calm down. As it turns out, fantastic drivers on fantastic teams usually end up doing well.
POS DRIVER NATIONALITY ENTRANT POINTS
1. FERNANDO ALONSO Spain McLaren-Mercedes 38
LEWIS HAMILTON Britain McLaren-Mercedes 38
3. FELIPE MASSA Brazil Ferrari 33
4. KIMI RAIKKONEN Finland Ferrari 23
5. NICK HEIDFELD Germany BMW 18
6. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Italy Renault 13
7. ROBERT KUBICA Poland BMW 12
8. NICO ROSBERG Germany Williams-Toyota 5
9. JARNO TRULLI Italy Toyota 4
DAVID COULTHARD Britain Red Bull-Renault 4
11. HEIKKI KOVALAINEN Finland Renault 3
12. ALEXANDER WURZ Austria Williams-Toyota 2
13. RALF SCHUMACHER Germany Toyota 1
TAKUMA SATO Japan Super Aguri-Honda 1
POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1. MCLAREN-MERCEDES 76
2. FERRARI 56
3. BMW 30
4. RENAULT 16
5. WILLIAMS-TOYOTA 7
6. TOYOTA 5
7. RED BULL-RENAULT 4
8. SUPER AGURI-HONDA 1