Row over McLaren-Mercedes anthem
British or German?

Apr.11 (GMM) A controversy in Germany is brewing over the anthem played on the podium following Fernando Alonso's victory for McLaren-Mercedes in Malaysia.

After German commentators hailed the win as a triumph for the three-pointed star, some viewers were surprised to hear Britain's 'God Save The Queen' mark the occasion for the winning constructor.

McLaren is based in England, but Mercedes-Benz - with a 40 per cent stake in the silver-clad team - is the largest shareholder.

The major German newspaper Bild-Zeitung argues that the national anthem 'Das Lied der Deutschen' - made so famous on the F1 podium by the 91 victories of Michael Schumacher - should be played whenever a McLaren greets the chequered flag first.

On behalf of Germany, Bild said the McLaren MP4-22 is "OUR car!"

"It is difficult to understand," said former German formula one driver Hans-Joachim Stuck.

"The heart of the silver arrows is in Germany," he added, referring to Mercedes motor sport's Stuttgart HQ.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug reacted: "I can understand the feeling of the German fans. But we are an international team and the really important thing is that we win, not what is heard on the podium."

Written: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 08:17:07

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