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."

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
    First Drive
    19 March 2018
    The Mercedes-Benz E-Class could be all the estate car you’ll ever want — or it could be overkill. Let’s see which...
  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?