McLaren will be banned for three races should they breach another regulation in 12 months

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    McLaren will be banned for three races should they breach another regulation in 12 months

    Post by Ross on 29th April 2009, 09:17

    McLaren handed suspended three-race ban

    McLaren has been handed a suspended three-race ban by the World Motor Sport Council as its punishment for lying to race stewards in Australia and Malaysia.

    An extraordinary general meeting of the FIA's WMSC convened on Wednesday to discuss the controversy after Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's former sporting director Dave Ryan were found to have provided deliberately misleading evidence to stewards.

    The Woking squad's team boss Martin Whitmarsh appeared alone at the Paris hearing and the FIA said he admitted all five counts on which the team was charged with for bringing Formula 1 into disrepute.

    However, the WMSC said it had opted against a more severe sentence after being satisfied that there had been a "change in culture" at the team since it was engulfed by the controversy.

    The FIA added that the three-race ban would only be activited if the team breached the sporting code again over the next 12 months or fresh evidence connected to the case emerged.

    “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," an FIA statement said.

    “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.”

    Hamilton was disqualified from third place at the season-opening race in Melbourne after the emergence of radio traffic between the driver and team disproved the statements the world champion and Ryan had made to race stewards following the race.

    The pair had said there had been no instruction to allow Toyota's Jarno Trulli past during the late-race safety car period after the Italian had gone off the track.

    They then stuck to their story when summounded to see the same stewards at the next race in Malaysia despite being played the radio transmissions which contradicted their statements.

    After the fresh evidence emerged, Whitmarsh suspended Ryan, who has since been dismissed, while apologising for his team's actions in the stewards office.

    A contrite Hamilton also held a press conference in Malaysia to apologise for his role in the deception, saying he had been instructed by Ryan to mislead stewards.

    Since the FIA announced the matter would be heard by the WMSC, McLaren has taken steps to ensure that the incident is not repeated in future and Whitmarsh wrote to FIA president Max Mosley to apologise for the controversy.

    Former team boss Ron Dennis has also stepped away completely from involvement with the F1 team to focus on McLaren's newly independent road car division.

    And while Dennis denied the move had anything to do with the WMSC hearing, it has been seen as one of the ways the team has shown it has embraced a new era.


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