Whitmarsh not a fan of Ferrari's tactics
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has admitted he would have been enraged if he had been on the receiving end of Ferrari's off-track tactics on Sunday.
Just over an hour before the United States Grand Prix, Ferrari confirmed they had broken a seal on Felipe Massa's car, so incurring a five-place grid penalty. In dropping Massa from sixth to 11th, it moved Fernando Alonso from eighth to seventh, and crucially on to the clean side of the grid, allowing him greater traction at the start.
Asked whether he would have done the same as Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, Whitmarsh said: "I don't think so. It was quite a tough thing to do. Team principals decide how to run their programmes, and it is very clear they (Ferrari) are focused on Fernando."
He went on: "Lest we forget that when Fernando was with us (in 2007) it was not doing those things that meant he left us.
"But I'm not criticising anyone. You have to go racing as you see fit.
"The toughest thing is that it put a number of people on to the slow side of the grid. If I had qualified on the right-hand side of the grid, but then I was moved on to the slow side, I would have been very p***** off.
"And if it had detrimentally affected us I would have been pretty exercised about it, but it didn't."
Appreciably, Domenicali had no qualms about his decision, insisting it was within the spirit of the regulations.
"I prefer to be totally transparent, and I felt it was correct to say this is our style," said Domenicali. "At the end of the day, retrospectively it was the right thing to do, and I have to thank Felipe for his help. He understood.
"Now if another team principal says we didn't make the right choice then he is lying to you."