McLaren handed suspended ban

McLaren has been given a suspended three-race ban for bringing the sport into disrepute after lying to stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix

McLaren handed suspended ban

Following a hearing of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Wednesday, the governing body announced that since McLaren had admitted to the offences and made clear that there had been a change of 'culture' at the team, it has suspended the sentence that it deemed appropriate.

A statement issued by the FIA said: "Having regard to the open and honest way in which McLaren Team Principal, Mr Martin Whitmarsh, addressed the WMSC and the change in culture which he made clear has taken place in his organisation, the WMSC decided to suspend the application of the penalty it deems appropriate.

"That penalty is a suspension of the team from three races of the FIA Formula One World Championship. This will only be applied if further facts emerge regarding the case or if, in the next 12 months, there is a further breach by the team of article 151c of the International Sporting Code."

McLaren had been called before the WMSC to answer charges relating to former sporting director Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton lying to stewards about whether an order had been given to let Jarno Trulli overtake the world champion at the Australian Grand Prix.

The team was only found to have lied when radio transmissions, and copies of interviews Hamilton had given to the press immediately after the hearing came to light.

In the wake of the events, McLaren sacked Ryan and team principal Whitmarsh wrote a letter of apology to the governing body. Furthermore, former team boss Ron Dennis announced that he was stepping away totally from the F1 team in a move not unconnected to the matter - despite claims from Dennis otherwise.

Whitmarsh chose to appear at the FIA hearing in Paris alone, staying for less than an hour to apologise for all that had happened.

Speaking to reporters on the steps of the FIA building, Whitmarsh said: "We've made mistakes, we've apologised to the FIA and the public. We await the decision."

When asked if he hoped today's events would mark the end of the affair, he said: "I very much hope so."

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