Hamilton stripped of points

World champion excluded from Australian GP following FIA inquiry

Last updated: 3rd April 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Hamilton stripped of points

Hamilton: Paying the penalty

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Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren team have been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix for giving "deliberately misleading" evidence to investigating race stewards.

The sport's world governing body FIA reopened an investigation on Thursday into the circumstances which saw Toyota's Jarno Trulli pass Hamilton during a safety car period in Melbourne.

A post-race stewards' probe in Australia adjudged Trulli at fault and handed the Italian a 25-second penalty, dropping him from third to 12th.

But after hearing team radio transmissions from the Australian GP, the decision has been reversed with Hamilton and McLaren now punished for providing intentionally disingenuous information to the Melbourne hearing.

Hamilton, who was originally listed in fourth place in Melbourne, has therefore been excluded from any points for the race while Trulli has been reinstated to third.

In a statement, the stewards declared: "The Stewards having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009, a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

"Under Article 158 of the International Sporting Code the driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are excluded from the race classification for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix and the classification is amended accordingly."

No appeal

McLaren team principle Martin Whitmarsh revealed they will not appeal, although they are from satisfied with the decision.

"Obviously we are disappointed by what happened but in the circumstances, we are not going to appeal," he said.

"As we see it, during the closing stages of the race under difficult

conditions, there was a safety car incident where Trulli fell off the circuit and Lewis legitimately passed.

"Lewis didn't do anything abnormal and it was clear Trulli shouldn't have passed him.

"But we have to accept the decision. As you would imagine Lewis is extremely disappointed.

"It's a harsh decision but I think that experience has told us that you have to accept these decisions and these things that come along and you focus on this weekend and the races beyond that."

Further punishment

However, given that the situation contravenes the FIA's International Sporting Code, it could be the case that the matter is pursued further.

This means that Hamilton faces the possibility of suspension from a further race or races, or even disqualification from the entire championship.

A FIA spokesperson confirmed: "Given the seriousness of this matter, we cannot rule out further action at this stage."

Click here for the FIA's statement of key considerations in reaching their decision.

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Comments (15)

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Mike Batchelor says...

Maybe the fia should stand for the fools in action. Seems more appropriate.

Posted 10:39 3rd April 2009

Robert Booth says...

Trulli drove off the track. What was Hamilton and everyone else supposed to do? - stop, let the guy back on and continue the race? THE MAN DROVE OFF THE TRACK, MAKE A MISTAKE. END OF RACE FOR HIM, whether he succeeds in making it back to the track or not, yellow flag or not! Trulli should be the one blamed; it was his make that caused all this nonsense. Hamilton made it from the back of the pack to fourth: real entertainment!!! Perhaps that was where he erred. STOP ENTERTAINING US, LEWIS; YOU'RE KILLING THE SPORT. Sport? Did I say sport? Silly me!

Posted 08:42 3rd April 2009

Bal Singh says...

The FIA have it spot on. Lewis and Mclaren lied to, and witheld information from the stewards to gain an advantage. The fact of the matter is he messed up, tried to cover it up to the FIA and got caught. This warrants more than points stripping in my book. What about poor Trulli and Toyota? Mclaren and Lewis didn't even a spare a thought for their competitors. For the fans that have just started watching F1, or for those who think it's a conspiracy, read the rule book. I must say that Mclaren's dishonesty in this sport has gone way too far. This goes to show the Lewis is still a rookie. One thing I am glad about is that with Ferrari not being so competitive for a change, this decision by the FIA will not affect them or benefit them, so those Ferrari haters who think the FIA are biased towards them will be able to think long and hard why their driver and team has been penalised. THE FIA ARE NOT STUPID. To bad some drivers are.

Posted 22:35 2nd April 2009

William Tell says...

A team lies about an event and you expect nothing to happen? People dont half like to moan when things dont go their way. Probably the same people that support the england football team. Why on earth did the stewards penalise trulli before hearing the radio comm of mclaren? 0-o

Posted 15:00 2nd April 2009

D J says...

At last, the FIA are waking up to the fact that Hamilton and McClaren and cheats. All we need now is for them to start giving out proper punishments. Years ago Schumacher was, quite rightly disqualified and suspended for a couple of races for infringements that he and on a few occassions that his team had made. Even when he was punished for infringements that were out of his hands, he didn't start throwing his toys out of the pram. No doubt, all we'll hear from McClaren and Hamilton for the rest of the season is how they're being picked on. Also congratulations to Trulli for getting the result he deserved. And to all those supposed F1 fans who want a British World champion, get behind Jenson Button, a driver who has more talent than Hamilton could even dream about, and gets on with the job at hand without continually whingeing!

Posted 14:49 2nd April 2009

Kate Hinton says...

I am begining to think that every sport is corrupt, I am amazed that it only took a week to strip Lewis Hamiton and his team of points, unlike last time when they waited till he had nearly won it then strip them. If ferrari had done it then there would be none of this, not even a slap on the wrist. Why can't they just get on with it!! I suppose now ferrari don't like the fact that Jenson Button qualified 1st and finished first, Watch Out Jenson You May Be Next To Be Punished for doing better then the so called Top Teams of ferrari and Mcclaren!!!. Time to make the stewards earn their money and get it sorted on race day andnot after.!!!

Posted 14:45 2nd April 2009

Keith Waddington says...

With the 2009 Formula one season only days old,the witch hunt against Hamilton has already started,well i'm afraid i shall do what many others are doing and simply stop watching it.The FIA seem to be able to pluck rules out of mid air if there's a chance of torpedoeing Lewis Hamilton whereas,Ferrari can do as they please.Why not just stop F1 now and just give the championship to Ferrari,it will save the FIA having to sit down for hours on end trying to invent some ridiculous rule to exclude Hamilton,or simply,just ban him because 'He's too good and British !).

Posted 14:43 2nd April 2009

Andrew Hulme says...

it seems to be an ongoing fiasco in the f1 world!! what is happening to our great sport and especially with the grievence with mclaren especially hamilton and the fia..... i dont get it... if they have listened to radio chatter and mclaren have broken some rules then fair enough but it seems so silly that its always hamilton who gets penalised! i am not even a fan of hamilton but they always seem to find a way to "get" him... to be honest the amount of rule changes in f1 is sooo mad that the teams probably forget which ones they should follow from year to year, you wouldnt get this in football "moving the goalpost" and all that!!! sort it fia

Posted 12:46 2nd April 2009

Michaael Langdon says...

Another demonstration by motorsport governing bodies of trying to stop Hamilton and McLaren. Bernie tries to bring in a wins structure to determine the champion.

Posted 12:43 2nd April 2009

Neil Ogilvie says...

If cheating has occured then fair enough, what I want to know though is why can't these races be sorted out straight away. We have cameras following the action and cameras in the cars, stewards and all sorts at the races themselves and you would imagine that all they have to do is see which order people finish in providing they aren't doing anything illegal on the track or with their equipment. Is this too much to ask? Having said that we all know how corrupt the world has become from our own Bankers and Politicians so why I should expect F1 to be simple I don't know, I only need to look back at the year D.Hill was denied his second world championship by a cheating M.Schumacher to know that it can manipulate whatever results it wants.

Posted 12:35 2nd April 2009

Nigel Mansell says...

Something is clearly not right with this sport - what is the point in watching a race, or worse still, paying to watch a race only to find that the result you saw meant nothing and could be changed in the days afterwards? I cannot see a real reason to watch this rubbish any more, not that I am a Hamilton fan - I am a racing fan, can we not just see racing anymore? Watch the bikes instead - more racing, more overtaking, more thrills - Less politics ruining the sport!

Posted 12:35 2nd April 2009

Kevin Allen says...

How I was looking forward to the New F1 Season, what a Farce it has turned out to be, First the Championship would be decided by the Driver with the most Win's that has got over-turned, and now Trulli being demoteded for overtaking while under the saftey car, that gets overturned and now Hamilton has been "excluded from the race", I give it a week for the McLaren Solicitors to get there hands on it before that get Over-turned.

Posted 12:20 2nd April 2009

Danny Harrison says...

Must say i wasn't expecting this to happen, Hamilton and McLaren honestly deserve this as they basically cheated. Its a shame though, cause it was one of his best drives yet!

Posted 12:14 2nd April 2009

Barrie Lindsey says...

What does it matter what was said on the air? Trulli passed Hamilton under yellow flags and that's a no-no according to the rules, and as such is a punishable offence. Every team who's done that in the past has suffered similar penalties. This witch hunt of McClaren - Mercedes has got to stop.

Posted 12:14 2nd April 2009

Julius Nuga says...

The whole thing is becoming a farce. I hope the F1 authorities will wake up to their responsibilities. I really feel sorry for Lewis Hamilton, but he has got the character and the strength to deal with it. He will be more determined to win the next race in style.

Posted 10:45 2nd April 2009

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