Phew! Thank God McLaren got away with it!

An orgy of self-congratulation on the Formula One circuit over how mild and judicious the sanctions imposed on the “Liegate” McLaren team have been. Only a suspended three-race ban, the emphatic word being “suspended”. So, back to the track.

That will be a huge relief for McLaren’s sponsors. And for none more than Spanish Banco Santander. Had McLaren really been banned from the next few races, the embarrassment would have been incalculable. The next two fixtures are taking place at, let’s see, Barcelona and Monaco: home grounds for the many Spanish fans who are either real or prospective Santander customers. A no-show by Santander’s vastly expensive F1 team wouldn’t have looked a clever investment of the punter’s money, would it?  At best it might have provided a timely explanation as to why Santander is abandoning McLaren next season in favour of Ferrari.

More on F1 machinations in my column next week.

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