Lewis Hamilton considered quitting McLaren, and even Formula One, over the controversy surrounding his exclusion from last week's Australian Grand Prix, according to a report in The Sunday Times newspaper.
It claims that the world champion was talked out of walking away from the sport by FIA president Max Mosley, after Hamilton contacted the governing body to express his frustration that McLaren had misled him over the affair.
The Briton was disqualified from the Melbourne results after the stewards deemed he and McLaren sporting director Dave Ryan had 'deliberately misled' them about a radio conversation that took place after he had passed Toyota driver Jarno Trulli behind the safety car.
Hamilton and his father Anthony are reported to have been furious that his public perception had been tarnished by the affair.
"I was misled and that is the way it went," said Hamilton. "I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans who have believed in me, who have supported me for years, who I showed who I am for the past three years, and it is who I am. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person."
Hamilton's future with McLaren now remains unclear, with some paddock sources suggesting he could be looking to change teams as a result of the scandal. It has been suggested he could extract himself from his current contract by saying McLaren has brought him into disrepute with its actions.
However, Mclaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "We are here trying to do a job and go racing and this has been quite a distracting influence, but in all of those conversations from Anthony and Lewis the commitment to this team has not altered."