Strange tidings from the sketchiest sports league

Formula 1 is the most political sport in the world, and the 2007 season was no exception. The U. S. Grand Prix was an occasion for haggling between F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and Indianapolis Motor Speedway leader Tony George over future installments of the race. Ecclestone implied the race was a gift to Americans because the league didn’t need any U. S. presence. George will hold him to that: F1 is not returning to Indianapolis for the near future.

The season-ending standings were even more emblematic:
(1) Raikonnen – Team Ferrari – 110
(2) Hamilton – Team McLaren – 109
(2) Alonso – Team McLaren – 109

It’s a just conclusion for Alonso, who declared war on his team early in the season because he thought handsome phenom Lewis Hamilton was getting more attention. A little cooperation off the track could have put either over the top. Alas, Hamilton collapsed in the last two races, and Alonso doesn’t even have a trophy to show for it. The two have not even earned McLaren an award for being the best team. This trophy does exist, but McLaren is not eligible because it stole secret documents from Ferrari a few months ago. So actually, I don’t feel badly about McLaren at all.

This being F1, even Raikonnen’s win is in dispute. He was perfectly ethical, but three of the drivers who finished between him and Hamilton in the last race cheated. If they were disqualified, Hamilton would jump in the standings and take their title. F1 did not award Hamilton the points at first, but the case is still working its way through appeals. When you win several days after the fact by DQ, does the champagne taste the same?

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