Find out more about our subscriptions

McLaren could face further sanctions

Martin WhitmarshThe FIA has not ruled out taking further action against McLaren in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.

The Briton was excluded from the Melbourne race after the stewards deemed he and his McLaren team had 'deliberately misled' them about a radio conversation that took place after he had passed Toyota driver Jarno Trulli behind the safety car.

Following McLaren's decision to suspend its sporting director Dave Ryan, and Hamilton's emotional public apology to the FIA stewards and his fans for what he called a 'huge mistake', the FIA has indicated that it will review all the evidence before deciding whether to refer the matter to the World Motor Sport Council.

The sport's governing body also recognised the efforts at which the world champion had gone to explain himself, hinting that any further sanctions might be focused on the team's role in the incident, rather than the driver's.

"We recognise Lewis's efforts to set the record straight today," said an FIA spokesman. "It would appear that he was put in an impossible position.

"We are now awaiting reports from the FIA observer and stewards before consideration can be given to further investigation of the team's conduct.

"We cannot rule out the matter being referred to the World Council at this stage."

When asked during his press conference at Sepang if he was concerned about the possibility of further action being taken against him and McLaren by the FIA, Hamilton said: "I am sure the FIA will act accordingly and in the right way. I don't know what else is going to happen in the future.

"For me now, I have to focus on the race and try to move forward from this, learn from it and grow."

If the matter is referred to the WMSC, McLaren could face a significant fine or even exclusion from races or the championship.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said today that he felt 'deep regret' at the events of the past week, adding that the team wanted 'come clean' on its side of the story.

"It has become clear from discussions with Dave [Ryan] last night and through into this morning that during the stewards meeting after the Australian Grand Prix, he was not entirely full and truthful in the answers he gave the stewards," said Whitmarsh.

"Consequently we had no alternative today other than to suspend him. As you can imagine, it is a very sad day for the team. We have got to deal with this weekend. We have to look in a bit more detail all of the events that surrounded it."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Hamilton 'nearly quit' over '09 scandal
Alonso: Hamilton will restore reputation
The FIA's decision on McLaren in full
FIA publishes full McLaren verdict
Mosley: McLaren penalty not lenient
Whitmarsh grateful for FIA treatment
McLaren handed suspended ban
Whitmarsh: FIA relationship improved
Whitmarsh realistic on partners' future
McLaren sends written apology to FIA
Whitmarsh: Hamilton committed to team
Whitmarsh offered to resign
Trulli: FIA right to punish McLaren
FIA requests BBC's Whitmarsh tapes
Hamilton apologised to FIA's Whiting
Hamilton, Ryan refused to change story
Ecclestone: McLaren could face ban
McLaren parts company with Ryan
McLaren summoned by FIA's WMSC
Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh
McLaren: Hamilton not looking to leave
Whitmarsh admits to big errors
Hamilton considered quitting over Oz GP
Mosley: No decision on McLaren yet
Alonso: McLaren has lied before
Q & A with Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton apologises for 'huge mistake'
McLaren 'embarrassed' by Oz events
McLaren confirms Ryan's suspension
McLaren could split with sporting director
FIA insists McLaren misled stewards
Transcript of McLaren radio transmission
The full decision by the FIA stewards
Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh
Whitmarsh says McLaren did not lie
McLaren won't appeal Hamilton exclusion
Q & A with Jarno Trulli
Delighted Trulli says he has 'got justice'
Hamilton disqualified from Australian GP
Hamilton, Trulli summoned by FIA
FIA to re-open Hamilton/Trulli inquiry
Toyota withdraws Trulli appeal
FIA still waiting on Toyota appeal
Trulli: No choice but to pass Hamilton
Trulli penalised, Hamilton gets third
Trulli's third place under investigation