MPH: Mark Hughes on...

The horrible mess McLaren and Lewis Hamilton got themselves into over the last couple of weekends was triggered by the team's paranoia

When Lewis Hamilton asked if it was okay to have passed the off-track Jarno Trulli under the Melbourne safety car, had it not been for the paranoia that is ingrained in McLaren after years of being under the FIA's cosh, had it not been for that over-arching need to be seen as whiter than white, it would have replied, 'stay where you are' and argued about it later. Instead, it gave the “let Jarno repass” instruction that kicked off the whole controversy.

Not that it acted wrongly on the track, merely unnecessarily conservatively. It was what happened afterwards, as the team saw a chance to correct the over-caution, that got it into such scalding hot water. That had nothing to do with paranoia, everything to do with stupidity. But whatever was said in the stewards' room in Australia, the situation would simply not have arisen were the organisation not permeated by that paranoia.

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