Following this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, McLaren has apologised to drivers Jenson Button and Ken Magnussen for the amount of pace their car displayed.
‘We have launched an immediate investigation into what on earth went on in Sochi,’ said a team insider. ‘The car was going ridiculously fast in a straight line and flying around corners like a maniac. We don’t know how it happened but it’s simply not acceptable.’
The team is said to be particularly concerned that this sudden increase in pace saw Button briefly occupying third place during the race. ‘My God, what if he’d have ended up on the poddyerm. Is that how it’s pronounced? No on here seems to know,’ our mole continued. ‘I mean, he could have been hit in the face by a flying cork or slipped on some spilt Champagne. That’s not a situation we want to put our drivers in, and thankfully we usually don’t.’
Our man says the team shifted to a new strategy to ensure Button moved down the field and the crew was fully prepared to perform a special ‘clown spec’ pit stop of the sort it used to give Lewis Hamilton in 2012, though in the end this wasn’t necessary.
‘Thankfully Jenson managed to get to the safety of fourth,’ our insider explained. ‘I mean, it’s not the eighth he’d usually aim for but we’re happy with the result, given the failings of a car that was obviously too fast.’
Our source revealed that Ron Dennis has called an urgent ‘situational assessment and parameter realignment assembly’ in the McLaren Technology Centre’s ‘human collective interface facilitation chamber’. ‘It’s happening on Tuesday morning,’ admitted our man. ‘So we’ve got 24 hours to work out what at least some of those words mean.’