Whitmarsh: FIA relationship improved

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes his team has made major inroads in improving its relationship with the FIA, ahead of him travelling to the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris to learn if action will be taken against his outfit for lying to stewards

Whitmarsh: FIA relationship improved

Whitmarsh admitted earlier this month that part of the new culture at McLaren brought out by former team principal Ron Dennis stepping away would pave the way for better harmony with the governing body.

"I think anyone who has looked at the relationship between McLaren and the FIA over the last few years would have to conclude that it would be healthier for all of us to have a more positive, constructive relationship than perhaps we have had in the past," he said.

On the back of that, Whitmarsh has made efforts to improve dialogue with the FIA - which has included several meetings with Alan Donnelly, who represents Max Mosley in the paddock.

Although it remains unclear what impact the improved communication, and McLaren's actions since the lying controversy first broke, will have on the WMSC's verdict tomorrow, Whitmarsh is at least pleased with how he has progressed FIA relations.

When asked by AUTOSPORT if felt the team had taken a step forward in its workings with the FIA, Whitmarsh said: "Yes. I think we have. We have been incredibly open and frank with the FIA. They have been helpful, and I hope we have a basis upon which we can have a strong relationship.

"I think there are many ways that people have characterised our relationship with the FIA, but the KERS challenge is something this team has been very supportive of.

"We work, Mercedes-Benz and ourselves, with the FIA on a number of issues very successfully. So it is characterised in very different ways, but overall we have got to have a good understanding that this is the nature of operating in this sport."

Whitmarsh has written a full letter of apology to the FIA for the behaviour of former sporting director Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton in lying to stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.

He may also choose to attend the WMSC hearing alone to explain his team's situation, and admit it was wrong, rather than take a strong legal team with him to defend the charges.

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