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McLaren could split with sporting director

Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton exit the stewards' room in SepangMcLaren sporting director Dave Ryan could part company with the team, according to sources in the Sepang paddock, amid the fallout from Lewis Hamilton's Australian Grand Prix disqualification.

Ryan represented McLaren in the post-race stewards' hearing in Melbourne, where he and Hamilton denied there had been any instructions given out during the final safety car period to hand back third place in the race to Jarno Trulli.

This was despite radio transcripts later showing that the team had ordered Hamilton to give up the place to the Toyota driver.

Following a fresh stewards' hearing in Malaysia on Thursday, McLaren and Hamilton were deemed to have supplied 'deliberately misleading' information - and the team was stripped of its third place.

McLaren has yet to comment on information, released by the FIA, that showed it lied, but there are mounting suggestions that Ryan has been suspended by McLaren in the wake of the matter.

There has been no confirmation from the team about the situation, but apparently Ryan has already left the Sepang track during Friday's first free practice session.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is scheduled to speak at an official FIA press conference at Sepang this afternoon, where further news on Ryan's position is expected to be made.

Ryan had been promoted to the role of sporting director in the middle of last year, having assumed the team manager role in 1990. He originally joined McLaren as a mechanic in 1974 before spells as chief mechanic and later factory manager.

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