The teams have arrived at Melbourne for the first race of the season – and the McLaren and Super Aguri trailers have already generated a pair of headlines.
Super Aguri’s appearance at the circuit appears to confirm they are indeed racing this year, after months of speculation about their future during the off-season.
And McLaren will occupy garage slot five as was reported last month. According to Autosport:
It is believed that the practical issue of where to place McLaren’s large motorhome in paddocks was one of the reasons for keeping the team away from the bottom end of the pitlane.
It appears to be another softening of the FIA’s punishment at Bernie Ecclestone’s behest. It was Ecclestone who successfully talked Mosley down from throwing Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso out of last year’s championship, and this latest move also falls within Eccletone’s remit.
I suspect Ecclestone thinks McLaren’s punishment was too harsh and he doesn’t want the only team likely to challenge Ferrari for the championship being compromised.