McLaren in the Dock - Monaco Grand Prix 2007So the Monaco GP came and went, and surprise, surprise it was yet another dull procession around the Principality.

He who shall lead into the first corner shall go on to win the race - I’m pretty sure that’s a direct quote from the Bible.

Sometimes we are treated to an accident or in the olden days when cars were less reliable then there was always the possibility of the leading cars dropping out, but now the race perceived as the most glamorous in the world is also the dullest.

Journalists still have to write copy though, and take an angle which is going to sell newspapers and create interest in the sport - but in particular in their articles on the sport and it’s participants. So lo and behold as soon as it became apparent that McLaren had told their drivers to back off and stop trying to push each other into a mistake that could cost the team numerous World Championship points, their first 1-2 in absolutely ages, not to mention a few million quid, then the hacks could smell blood and circled in on Ron Dennis with the accusation that he had stopped “Our Lewis” from attaining his first win.

Absolute rubbish.

But from this, there has come news that the governing body of the sport, the FIA, have launched an investigation into the race fixing “scandal” - which surely can only be because of the high media interest which has grown up around the story.

There are numerous F1 websites around and I have yet to see one which supports the view that McLaren acted in an inappropriate way - no doubt there are millions of people who have read articles which do think this way, but these are people with at best a passing interest in the sport. Anyone who knows a thing or two about Formula 1, it’s histories, traditions, rules and politics knows that this is one of those times you feel a little embarassed to be a F1 fan.

To compare it to football, referees and the Powers That Be are often accused of favouring Manchester United or Chelsea or whoever happens to be getting favourable judgments at that time, but most people know deep down that normally any decisions do indeed even themselves out over time, as the cliche goes. But in F1, Ferrari do seem to be the teacher’s pet of the FIA - the majority of penalties are found in favour of the red Italian company and against their competitors.

If McLaren are found guilty of “fixing the result” of this race then there will surely have to be serious questions asked of the decision, and I can’t see the FIA being so short-sighted as to let that happen. Team orders have been in force since the sport began, and as long as it’s not done in a blatant way - ie, letting your team mate pass you on the finishing line or anything as obvious as that - then the FIA have been happy to turn a blind eye. In Monaco last weekend, Fernando Alonso qualified in pole position by being the fastest driver around the tight, twisty circuit, and then led into the first corner before going on to post the fastest lap of the race. Barring the laps around his pitstops, Alonso led all the way to the chequered flag so this cannot be regarded as a blatant fixing of the race result - allowing Hamilton to pass would have been a more obvious contravention of the rules, and of the spirit of the sport.

So why the FIA’s investigation? It can only be down to the Hamilton effect that ITV keep banging on about - according to Steve Rider on Sunday, Monaco was extremely busy this year, and that was thanks to Lewis. Yeah right, every other year the place is practically empty come GP weekend!

Sir Stirling Moss is surely one of the country’s best known living sportsmen yet he too has caught the bug - during an interview on Martin Brundle’s gridwalk prior to the race, he claimed the grid was busy because of “our boy.” Gimme a break! And who is the last person seen to speak to Lewis before his helmet goes on? Stirl himself of course.

Lewis Hamilton is good, but he’s not the best there has ever been - he’s not even the best driver currently driving a McLaren. But he could become the best, of that there is little doubt. ITV ramming him down everyone’s throats on a fortnightly basis though isn’t helping anyone - least of all Lewis Hamilton - if they keep it up then there’s a real chance people will get sick of the sight of him pretty sharpish.

If the FIA decide to muck about with the Monaco result, and dock McLaren’s Constructor’s points as well as the Driver’s points of Alonso and Hamilton then the press have only themselves to blame for kicking up such a fuss in the first place.

Perhaps then they will get back to their main objective of reporting the news, rather than making it.