While much of the F1 paddock was praised for the way in which it helped to tackle the blaze that so nearly brought a tragic end to Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, it was a McLaren team full of Williams 'old boys' that first offered to get its rival up and running again ahead of next weekend's Monaco race.

Senior McLaren figures Sam Michael, Paddy Lowe and Neil Oatley - as well as current driver Jenson Button - have all worked with Williams in the past, and the link is certain to have played a part in the Woking giant generously extending the offer to provide replacements for any equipment damaged or lost in the blaze, which erupted at the back of the Williams' garage at the Circuit de Catalunya as the team celebrated its first victory since 2004.

Although there were no deaths, there were 31 reported injured and seven employees from Williams, Caterham and Force India were detained in hospital overnight, with one still under observation after suffering burns to 40 per cent of his body. Of slightly less importance, but nevertheless key to Williams' ability to function effectively in Monte Carlo, various computers, spare parts and equipment were all reduced to scrap, while it remains to be seen if anything could be salvaged from Bruno Senna's car, which had been parked in the garage following its accident with Michael Schumacher early in the race. Winner Pastor Maldonado's machine was undamaged, having been with the scrutineers at the time of the fire.

Both Williams and the FIA have launched investigations into the cause of the fire, which veteran team member Dickie Stanford was at pains to stress was not caused by a stray cigarette. However, with fuel and KERS equipment all being in the vicinity at the time of the fire, the catalysts will need to be determined.

McLaren's generosity has not gone unnoticed, although one wag tweeted that he hoped Williams would turn down the offer of wheelguns and refuelling equipment following the Woking team's recent pit-stop problems....



Loading Comments...