Three-race sentence for Aussie GP lies is suspended
29 April 2009

McLaren has been given a suspended three-race ban for misleading stewards at the Austalian Grand Prix.

The Woking team was called to answer accusations of bringing the sport in disrepute after misleading race stewards over Lewis Hamilton's behaviour in a late safety car period.

After a short hearing this morning, during which McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh apologised for his team's conduct, the FIA handed out a suspended ban.

In a statement, motorsport's governing body said, "Having regard to the open and honest way in which McLaren Team Principal, Mr Martin Whitmarsh, addressed the WMSC (FIA World Motor Sports Council) 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."

After his apology to the FIA (but before the verdict), Whitmarsh said, "We've made mistakes, we've apologised to the FIA and the public. I hope that this will draw a line and we can carry on racing."

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