Formula One's governing body the FIA has announced that it is investigating 'incidents' involving McLaren-Mercedes on the back of the team's 1-2 finish in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton dominated the race in the principality, running out front for the entire event having qualified on the front row of the grid - with the pair lapping the entire field bar third placed Felipe Massa.

However, a fine result for the team was somewhat overshadowed by suggestions that team orders had been employed to ensure that the result wasn't put at risk, with Hamilton being brought in early for his second pit stop and then instructed to hold position behind Alonso as the Spaniard took his second win of the season - despite the young Brit closing in on the double champion in the closing stages.

Hamilton had been pulled in early for his second stop in case a Safety Car was deployed in order to protect the team's position at the front, but it also cost the youngster the chance to take his first F1 win as he was unable to make up the time on track to jump ahead of Alonso, despite being fuelled to go as many as six laps further than the Spaniard.

It led to some head-scratching from Hamilton afterwards who admitted he was 'looking forward' to speaking to his engineers to see where his chance of victory had gone, although team boss Ron Dennis claimed that what had happened on track was down to strategy and wasn't a case of the team manipulating the race to favour Alonso - who went into the weekend trailing his rookie partner in the title race.

"We don't have team orders, we had a strategy to win this race," he told Reuters. "I make no excuses for instructing the racing drivers to slow their pace after the first stop and to effect our strategy.

"You can all give whatever twist or headline you want on it, my job is sometimes difficult and today was one of those times. There will be places where they will be absolutely free to race, but this isn't one of them. This is a place where one driver pushing another driver is the way to induce a mistake.

"Everyone in the pit lane would be saying what an idiot the team principal of McLaren is for allowing their cars to compete to a level where one of their cars and maybe two of them are in the barrier."

However, the FIA appears to have taken a different view to Dennis, with a statement issued by the governing body announcing that it was to investigate a possible breach of the sporting code - which states that there should be no team orders employed to try and manufacture a certain result.

Such rules were brought into place following well documented incidents involving Ferrari back in 2002, where Rubens Barrichello slowed on the line in the Austrian GP to allow Michael Schumacher to win and the German then repaid the favour at Indianapolis later in the season despite dominating the United States Grand Prix - handing victory to Barrichello and later claiming he was trying to manufacture a dead-heat from the race.

"The FIA has launched an investigation into incidents involving the McLaren Mercedes team at the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix in light of a possible breach of the International Sporting Code," the FIA statement revealed. "The relevant evidence is under review and a further announcement will be made in due course."

 

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