The FIA should send McLaren home without a punishment for the good of F1

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Lewis Hamilton's season is in jeopardy over the Australian GP scandal

With a depressing air of familiarity, McLaren head off to the World Motor Sports Council today to hear the outcome of the latest investigation into the team’s conduct.

The team have already been stripped of Lewis Hamilton’s third place in the Australian Grand Prix for what some elements of the media have dubbed, with little imagination, ‘lie-gate’.

Speculation about what kind of punishment that might receive has run wild. A fine to match or even exceed the shocking $100m penalty they were handed two years ago? Exclusion from races as BAR suffered in 2005? Or even worse?

Should McLaren receive further punishment for the Australian GP incident?

  • No (64%)
  • Yes (36%)

Total Voters: 1,596

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McLaren’s response

Since the news of Hamilton’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix, and the team’s summoning before the World Motor Sports Council, the team have reacted in several ways – not all of which may be a consequence of the hearing:

They have admitted they were at fault and do not intend to defend themselves against the charges.

This is a sensible approach, as their guilt is beyond doubt. And that goes not just for the team, but also for Lewis Hamilton, whose reputation in the eyes of the wider public has taken a battering.

Not everyone will condemn him – some like their sporting heroes to demonstrate the unflinching commitment to winning Hamilton certainly showed at Melbourne. Other will simply refuse to be he could possibly have done anything wrong. But British sport has a strong ethic of ‘fair play’ – and, like diving in the penalty box or refusing to leave the wicket when one knows they are out, in misleading the stewards Hamilton has harmed his reputation in the eyes of many.

Not the first time

As with the ‘spying’ scandal in 2007, it’s laughable to claim that McLaren are the first people to have transgressed in this manner – or are even the first ones to have lied and got caught.

Ferrari’s insistence that Michael Schumacher’s infamous Rascasse manoeuvre at Monaco in 2006 was anything other than an attempt to delay his rivals in qualifying was patently false – yet they went before the stewards and argued against him being penalised. He was thrown to the back of the grid – but no charge of ‘bringing the sport into disrepute’ for them.

Last year the FIA itself gave an account that one of its former stewards described as "grossly inaccurate and misleading". It may have been untruthful, but unsurprisingly no-one stopped to consider whether F1’s reputation had been harmed. (More on these incidents here).

If McLaren and Hamilton have brought the FIA into disrepute by not telling the truth, it is not the first time this has happened – but they could be the first ones to get punished for it.

What will the verdict be?

Consistency rarely seems to figure in FIA decision-making. Whether the matter at hand is driving tactics, technology or politics, the FIA often treats two apparently similar examples very differently – inevitably giving rise to all sorts of unsavoury speculation about what its motives are.

F1 does not need any more of this. We have had season after season dogged by unnecessary scandal. If F1’s race control was as on-the-ball as NASCAR or IRL’s is this whole matter would have been sorted in a matter of minutes – not allowed to drag on for a month.

The FIA should accept McLaren’s apology for two reasons. First, because it’s the right thing to do.

And second, because after an exciting start to the 2009 championship F1 is finally back in the headlines for the right reasons. A disproportionate penalty against McLaren would be seen as a vindictive act, and further evidence that not all the teams are treated equally.

Should McLaren get any further penalty? What should it be? Have your say in the comments.

Read more: McLaren called before WMSC again: what will their punishment be?

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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147 comments on “The FIA should send McLaren home without a punishment for the good of F1”

  1. Agreed. If Ferrari can get away with lying to race stewards time and again, then it’s truly hypocritical for the FIA to punish McLaren for it.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      29th April 2009, 6:20

      So everyone should be allowed to get away with it? The FIA need to step in at some point and say enough is enough; it’s only hypocritical if they punish McLaren and then someone else does it and gets away with it.

    2. I think the point here would be that no matter which team was guilty, the FIA would have done itself a whole lot of good by nipping this in the bud as it happened. Choosing Mclaren as the team to make an example of will only increase the belief that Mclaren are being singled out by the FIA. As the article points out there have been many instances where others have committed worse offences, even in the FIA, a severe punishment will cause an outcry, and much raking over old coals.

    3. “it’s only hypocritical if they punish McLaren and then someone else does it and gets away with it”

      Didn’t that happen in 2007 with Renault ?

  2. chaostheory
    29th April 2009, 0:12

    There will be no penalty, or some symbolic one. we all know that that “lie gate” was great opportunity for Max to call this meeting and force 2010 budget cap :P

    (More seriously: lie is a lie and should not gone unpunished; and if lying is a common thing in F1 – I dont want to know it – I hate liars)

  3. Completely unfair to punish McLaren. It would be a scandal and makes you feel like leaving this tacky show of Bernie and Mo.
    A team with the class of McLaren should be treated with reverence.

    1. err? they lied? cheated? how much would you be crying for justice if ferrari got caught not mclaren?

      mclaren – such class, it’s like spygate never happened.

    2. Schumacher lied and cheated, yet he only lost his qualifying result.

      Hamilton has been punished already when they took away his hard fought third place

    3. You complain about Schumacher being punished less for lying and cheating right? THe FIA have to start doing the right thing at somepoint. Mclaren lied and cheated so should be punished. Whether or not the current punishment is sufficient is the problem. I think they should get further punishment to hammer home the message. Possibly a fine.Nothing crippling but they deserve to have their mistake highlighted. But further punishment does rely on the FIA having some sort of FUTURE consistency. I believe the argument that Schumi got less of a penalty isn’t feasible.

    4. You complain about Schumacher being punished less for lying and cheating right?

      Wrong, I’m saying McLaren already had been punished enough.

    5. I´m not saying that what McLaren did was OK. In the heat of the moment they lied, just like football players complain to the referee after a penalty has been awarded. That is part of the competitivenes. No big deal.

      What I am saying is that Mclaren and the other teams are paying hundreds of salaries and doing a lot of work, and it is thanks to them that F1 exists. They have to be treated well.

      I am against the FIA or Bernie handing out punishment and judgement left and right, when all they do is shuffle papers and count the money, while the teams like McLaren are actually doing the real work and risking the money.

    6. One thing’s for sure, even more damaging to McLaren’s image right now are the constant references to past Ferrari stunts. Really, turns out McLaren is just as dodgy as their red rivals… No big surprises there.

      What’s puzzling to me is that whenever someone mentions Lewis Hamilton lately, an attempt is made to compare his recent behaviour to Schumacher’s. Now THAT can only be damaging, because any serious F1 fan knows that what happened to Lewis (being asked to go with a lie by a team manager) could happen to almost any other driver.

      I wouldn’t worry about the ‘damage’ done to Lewis by the stupid tabloids. Let the man answer his critics on the track… and well, to be honest I think Lewis has been nothing short of impressive this year.

  4. chaostheory
    29th April 2009, 0:18

    Oh. Edit: I voted “NO”, just because McLaren was already punished in Australia. Besides, the damage to their and Hamiltons reputation is so big that its enough as a punishment.

  5. I don’t get why it’s continued. They cheated in Oz so they got DQed from that race… Why continue further.

  6. Mclaren and Lewis have been convicted in the “court of public opinion”

    They will have to live with what they did and the loss of points in Melbourne.

    Punishment enough IMHO.

  7. Peter Boyle
    29th April 2009, 0:48

    Mclaren should not be *further* punished. They
    were DQ’d already, which is frequently omitted
    in the press.

    1. I think keith is slightly misleading people on this.

      there’s no further punishment, there hasn’t been a punishment yet for mclaren.

      lewis has been punished for lying, his punishment was a DQ. (the driver AND the team lost the points, since the team cant score points without the driver scoring – mclaren have not been punished).

      mclaren (the guy who lied that works for mclaren) has not been punished for instigating the lie to start with by the FIA. mclaren have sacked him to save face, but they have still not been punished by the FIA.

  8. both driver and management conspired (poorly) to deceive (poorly) officials (usually poor in their own right). the driver has been penalized justly, and should be in the clear. now it’s the team’s turn.

    i think too severe a penalty would do more harm than good, but something must be done. it seems this deception wasn’t part of mclaren’s plan all along, they have identified and dealt with the offender internally, and have taken steps to mitigate the damage.

    maybe exclusion from constructor’s points for a race or two, especially since they are already fighting off the back foot so to speak. this would do minimal harm under the current circumstances, but still pack a sting should it be applied to a front-runner.

  9. Johnny Rimshot III
    29th April 2009, 1:11

    What seems to go amiss here is the fact that Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton lied not once but twice (whether at the behest of Dave Ryan and/or McLaren management we will never know) to the race stewards and, when faced with evidence to the contrary in the form of radio transcripts and given the opportunity to distance themselves from those statements maintained their position until it all blew up in their faces.

    When Honda were found to have made untruthful representations to the FIA regarding their fuel tank a two race suspension was handed down.

    I expect no less, but not more, for McLaren – especially as MB have been successful in cleaning house at Paragon.

  10. I voted no, they have been punished enough, together with the public shameing, humiliation and loss of reputation. Enough is enough, I don’t subscribe to continuing to kick someone when they are down. The fall out is enough deterrent to others.

  11. Excellently put Keith. It is so refreshing to come on this site to hear what a true F1 fan thinks, not some British journalist trying to make a sensationalist story. It would just be disastrous to mete out a strong punishment to McLaren – they’ve already been punished and it would make a mockery of this season. As you said above, if the race director had actually given some DIRECTION during the race, none of this would have happened. And if the stewards had come to a decision after gathering all the data and information, none of this would have happened. Lewis might even be higher up in the standings. I hope this kangaroo court gives a little rap on the knuckles and sends everyone on their way to actually RACE!

    1. Senor Paz
      3rd May 2009, 2:38

      You make no sense, Lewis Hamilton fanboy. Blaming the stewards on this is just preposterous. Stop the ranting, read the news and enjoy the racing.

  12. I agree with the sentiment that McLaren should be accepted for the apology that they have given already and be left that that. All points in both championships from that race have been taken away and the guilty parties have acknowledged their guilt- the sport will be wise to let the incident settle at that.

    In any event, I think Max’s main focus will be on the budget caps, and not so much on McLaren, especially with Ron not being around anymore.

  13. I’m not sure the opprobrium has been sufficient to the outrageous behavior in Australia and Malaysia. It really was scandalous. However, this whole process of multiple hearings over weeks, long after the fact, and after two other races, is patently ridiculous. And they already forfeited a good result properly earned with a legal car. What other sport operates this way? Its as though the FIA wants to assert that, at the end of the day, what happens in its star chamber is more important than whatever happens on the track. I have to reject this psychology. Nonetheless, the FIA will wield the scepter because that’s the point of the hearing.

  14. They lied and got caught. They deserve to be punished, and that has already happened.

    1. but it hasn’t mclaren have not been punished yet.

      why is everyone missing this? just because hamilton got DQ’d for a lie, mclaren have NOT been punished for anything yet.

      the driver lost his points for the position (driver and constructor points earned) that’s his punishment.

      there was 2 people in this, hamilton the driver, and dave or whatever, the mclaren rep.

      both lied, both need to face punishment.

      or is it ok for a driver to lie and the team get away with it – when it was the teams idea to start with?

  15. “F1 does not need any more of this. We have had season after season dogged by unnecessary scandal.”

    there wouldn’t be any more of this, if teams like mclaren stopped stealing and lying.

    this is the whole point of harsh penalties and not giving slaps on the wrist.

    if teams know they cant get away with a lie, or stealing something without major consequences, they’ll stop doing it.

    if the outcome is just a slap on the wrist, a fall guy and a ‘i’m sorry’, the’ll of course keep doing it.

    ferrari are no saints, renault aren’t squeaky clean, but besides ferrari and mclaren, who else brings the sport into disrepute so often?

    renault? redbull? str? forceindia? toyota? bmw? williams? brawn?

    these scandals are’t works of fiction made up buy the FIA to get more press, they are just reactions to events. the FIA are trying to be as strict as possible to stop this from happening – so the f1 doesn’t keep having these scandals.

    if the team / driver lies and cheats, stop supporting them. plenty of other good teams and drivers out there.

  16. Maybe if Mclaren didnt lie/cheat or steal, they wouldnt be in trouble

  17. I have mixed feeling about the issue, but I suggest a warning is sufficient enough. McLaren have dismissed Dave Ryan and they have sent a formal apology. It would just spoil the Championship if they try to disqualify the team this year.

    I think they have learned (and to the other teams) their lessons that lying is a “NO-NO.”

    Let’s move forward and continue with the race!

  18. Why should Mac receive further battering over this issue, and Lewis “they made do it” Hamilton goes relatively Scott free?

    Hamilton “apologized” to the Stewards (but not to Trulli), lost his Aussie points and goes racing. Mac lost their mfg Aussie points, Ryan was fired, Ron blew his F1 brains out, and Whitmarsh has apologized and accepted team responsibility for the gaff.

    Why more punishment? Because when given the chance to change their story in Malaysia they continued the lie. In most legal proceedings the punishment for perjury is often more severe than the punishment for the crime. See Watergate.

    If sitting on the WMSC panel I would ask Martin one question: “Did you actively participate in the initial lie and subsequent cover up?” I’d love to hear the answer to that one!

  19. David@Geelong
    29th April 2009, 4:45

    I feel that they do need something more.
    Something that will say this is not what we want in our sport.

    I heard someone talk about a suspended sentance. This I feel if a good compromise. It doesn’t affect them in their current position but if they do something again then they will receive both pentalities.

    It will be a sign from the FIA that what they did was incorrect but takes view of what they have tried to accomplish.

    I also think that Mclaren should have santioned Hamilton internally as well. Maybe a fine or come community service that relates to the crime.

    1. Yeah, i agree, why did one guy lose his entire career over this and hamilton lose nothing? (internally)

    2. I’m with Todd on this. He’s right, Mclaren have technically not been punished. I voted yes, because I don’t like them..with a passion, neither am I a big fan of Ferrari.

      These two always get embroilled in issues that cause problems in the sport, I believe they deserved what comes their way. There is an obvious disparity between how the FIA treat Ferrari and how they treat McLaren. Its quite unfair really. in the Schumacher days, he used to get away with murder sometimes, but nothing much ever got done to Ferrari.

      Unfortunately, the world is unfair. Ferrari has a lot of clout in F1 racing, and people tend to favour them, its not right, but true. Just like football. Man Utd could just about do anything and get away with it. Maybe Mclaren need to improve their soft skills?

      I think Mclaren should be handed a monetary fine, they shouldn’t be thrown out of the championship, that would be a shame!

    3. @Todd:

      “why did one guy lose his entire career over this and hamilton lose nothing? (internally)”

      What – you want him to give the FIA one of his kidneys or a lung or something as punishment ?

    4. Community service? Are you serious? Hey, why not tie a sign around his neck saying in large capitals “I am an evil liar and deserve to be punished” and force him to walk around the Melbourne circuit 10 times? Talk about being OTT and spiteful.

  20. hitchcockm00
    29th April 2009, 6:55

    While I agree that it would be bad for the sport to punish them too harshly, I do think they need to be punished.
    A DQ, some bad press and an apology is not a sufficient punishment for cheating. My initial thought was that they deserve to be thrown out of the Constructors Championship this year or banned for a couple of races.
    They are harsh punishments but as someone else said, the FIA need to send a message that this sort of thing is not acceptable and mere slap on the wrist won’t do that.

  21. I think mclaren should not recieve further punishment because thay have already been punished enough

  22. I find it appalling that a team of the name, stature and legacy of McLaren has now found themselves in a terrible mess because of illegal and immoral actions by employees twice in three years. They have been severely punished for the first violation, and should be punished for the second violation, too. However, one could argue that the impact of the first, i.e. spying on a competitor, could have impacted races and championships far heftier, than the second, which is effectively a poorly carried-out deception of the stewards to gain but a single point. However, for a team cought cheating there’s only one precedent in the past years, namely BAR-Honda, which got a two-race ban. And that might me suitable for McLaren, too.

  23. How exactly have McLaren been punished? Apart from Hamilton’s DQ, I don’t see anything against the team. They should definitely have ‘more’ sanctions imposed on Wednesday. A team that’s misled everyone before should know better.

    I wouldn’t mind them being kicked out of the championship this year. At least, Hamilton’s car should. Kovalainen’s innocent, so he should be allowed to continue.

    Btw, if this was Ferrari in question, I would not be surprised to see the numbers reversed in the poll…

  24. It is totally naive to think that this is the first time something like this has happened. Lie gate, just like the spy scandal has been done before. Renault was caught spying and they received nothing. I am sure that what happened with McLaren after Melbourne happens many times. Many drivers have confessed to this. The FIA is unashmaedly going after McLaren. It has nothing to do with the fans, it is a personal vendetta and once again shows to me that they do not give a s&*t about the loyal fans. I am not saying what was done was right, but I am saying it is clear this has been going on for years (before radio) and the FIA know this. I am of the opinion there will be a harsh penalty, in which case I am going to lose another bit of love for the sport I have adored since i was 5 years old worshipping Senna in 1984.

  25. To all the Ferrari fanboys calling for even more punishment. Ferrari wasn’t punished for Schumacher lying to the stewards after his stunt at Monaco. Neither was he disqualified for the whole race. He only lost his qualifying result. He never apologized for his lying either. Both Hamilton and McLaren have gone through the humiliation of apologizing for their offense.

    I agree that Hamilton and McLaren should be punished for lying. They have been. Hamilton and McLaren (they earn money and esteem based on points) have already been punished a lot more severe and acted a lot more sincere than Schumacher did/was for his lying.

    To be honest I’d rather call for punishment of FIA for handling the casae so appallingly poorly. It’s about time they (Mosley?) realize that their rotating stewards scheme doesn’t work.

    1. I’m sick of this comparison with Schumacher in Monaco… lying or not… and I’m no Schumacher/Ferrari fan… the FIA could not prove anything. We all know he played the game there, but what hard evidence do we have to prove that beyond doubt.

      Here is a clear cut case with hard evidence to prove it.

      Likewise between the spygate scenarios of Renault & McLaren… Renault investigated, owned up, and the evidence supported their case… McLaren investigated, covered up, suspended a few key personnel, pretended the atypical “management were clueless” line, and it was proven that the they were infact very aware of its presence.

      Personally, I think a two race ban (aka BAR) with a suspended championship ban for further digression… lets face it, they didn’t exactly learn from the spygate affair about lying… a financial penalty to boost the FIA cofers wouldn’t go amiss either.

      …and to think only last year I liked McLaren. :-(

    2. problem is you cant prove he lied. there’s still an element of doubt.

      even if michael did cheat, he at least had the tact to make it look good with 0 evidence. then again, maybe he made an error?

      i highly doubt any personal vendettas, and i highly doubt many drivers have confessed to cheating and placing blame and allowing a fellow competitor to be punished for nothing.

      everyone knows teams push the rules, but mclaren were caught in a blatant lie.

    3. even if michael did cheat, he at least had the tact to make it look good with 0 evidence. then again, maybe he made an error?

      So cheating is ok if you cover it up properly?

      everyone knows teams push the rules, but mclaren were caught in a blatant lie.

      So it goes on all the time, but McLaren were caught so throw the book at them?

      I have a question, this year all team radio transmissions have been made available to the public. Have they always been available to the FIA or was Melbourne the first race for this too?

    4. FFS you think they punished Schumacher without evidence? You have got to be kidding me! The telemetry provided the evidence. That Schumacher didn’t have the class to admit it only makes things worse.

      BTW Renault actually deployed the part they obtained from McLaren through espionage. McLaren was fined $100 million because Alonso and De La Rosa had some questions sent to Stepney.

    5. “problem is you cant prove he [Schumacher] lied. there’s still an element of doubt.”

      Like they said, there was evidence from the telemetry that he applied his brakes, and that there was nothing wrong with the car. Otherwise why did they punish him (back of the grid) if they couldn’t prove anything? It’s a very similar precedent and you have to say that before the suspended sentence, there were already punished more than Schumacher with the DSQ.

      Thankfully McLaren (i.e. Whitmarsh) have seen the light that to beat the FIA, you have to dance to their tune, whether you like it or not. Dennis was to proud to do that. The Hamiltons worked it out in the last few weeks, and now McLaren have too. Ferrari, of course, have been doing it for ages, and Briatori’s no stranger to that strategy either.

    6. I’m sick of this comparison with Schumacher in Monaco… lying or not… and I’m no Schumacher/Ferrari fan… the FIA could not prove anything.

      Looking at a quote from one of the stewards at the time I think they pretty thoroughly debunked the idea that he did it accidentally:

      We don’t know if the entire manoeuvre was deliberate, but in that spot he had certainly not done anything like it throughout the weekend: he braked over 50% more heavily than on the other laps.

      Then he performed some absolutely unnecessary and pathetic counter-steering, and that lasted five metres, until there was no more chances of going through the turn normally.

      He lost control of the car while travelling at 16km/h! That’s something completely unjustifiable. And the engine shut off because he wanted it to, by losing enough time before hitting the clutch. And the excuse that he did not engage reverse because there was traffic doesn’t make sense.

      Schumacher only got punished for the rules infraction – he didn’t get punished for lying. I think the comparison holds.

  26. I think I read somewhere that a suspended sentence is likely which I think is about right.

    For the last couple of weeks all we’ve talked about is the racing which is great. So it’s about time this episode was put to bed. It’s gone on long enough.

    Hamilton lost his race points, McLaren lost their constructor points, Ryan lost his job. That’s enough as far as I’m concerned.

    1. OwenG… in this world you can do what you like, lie, cheat, murder, steal, break the law in every which way possible… as long as you don’t get caught.

      But… if you get caught, you can expect to have the book thrown at you… this is no different.

  27. Whilst I in no way condone lying and cheating, McLaren are far from the first. I can’t help but feel that further punishment such as a ban from future races only really serves to punish us, the fans.

  28. Here’s what I think will happen.

    1. No driver penalties whatsoever – Lewis had already been punished, and he and Anthony have allied themselves with Max Mosley since Sepang this year. This is a long-term alliance just like the one Mosley had with Schumacher since 1998, so don’t expect Hamilton to get any punishment. That also means…
    2. No race bans (except maybe a suspended ban) – Hamilton, like it or not, is F1’s biggest pull right now. They’d be crazy not to have him on the grid for Monaco. And I’m sure the Spanish fans will give him a… vocal welcome in Barcelona.
    3. A possible points deduction – James Allen has said that this is a likely punishment, but remember that any points deduction will only apply to the constructors championship, not the drivers one. As it is, it looks unlikely McLaren will win that title anyway, so this isn’t as damaging as it first seems.
    4. A probable fine – This is actually the most likely punishment for me. It won’t be $100million, but it would probably set the team back at least $1million.

    I personally think they deserve a fine – if only to send out a message to other teams. I’m lukewarm on the suspended race ban and the points deduction, but I can live with it. A race ban would be far too harsh, not to mention unfair on Heikki Kovalainen.

    1. A race ban would be far too harsh, not to mention unfair on Heikki Kovalainen.

      This is the point I want to bring up. He has been forgotten in all this speculation surrounding what will happen. If McLaren were to get banned from a few races, it would be incredibly unfair on Heikki. What has he done wrong to the FIA this season? Absolutely nothing.

      I think that certainly rules out race bans, I just can’t see them punishing someone not even involved in what’s going on.

      I suspect a suspended race ban, given all of this.

  29. I have been a constant visitor of this site and i have always observed that they try to show that mclaren is the only team which races in the spirit of the game and can never do anything wrong and if at all they get caught up they say that other teams have also done the same thing and have escaped and think they should also escape the punishment. But reality is mclaren is the team which have always tried to cross the limits, some times they are able to make fool of FIA and some times( like now) FIA makes fool of mclaren.

    Some people say here they should only be reprimanded and some say they have already be punished by taking their 3rd place for Aus GP and they have learned their lesson but remember this is the same team which after getting a hefty fine of 100m dollor did not learned any lesson, this is the same guy who tried to be oversmart in last years Belgium GP and got this victory snached and did not learned anything. I dont think if FIA gives them light punishment they are going to learn any thing and they will continue to make a mockery of the rules.

    I am no fan of ferrari but a fan of F1.

    1. So the FIA are above criticism? Balance is hard in any context but looking at the evidence the FIA are found wanting horrendously on far too many occasions to escape criticism.

      And any F1 fan will know that every team tries to go as close to the edge as possible, in the rules as well as racing. This leads them to go over the edge – there are countless examples from every team – and sometimes, justifiably, people are punished. To say they haven’t “learned their lesson” is an anathema to everything that every team is trying to do.

  30. i’d be glad to see mclaren being sent home in 2009

    1. I agree lol!!

  31. McLaren have been punished [no points for Australia], Denis is now gone, let’s get on with it and go racing. It’s hardly the crime of the century considering all the peccadillos that have been committed in this sport over the years, some of which are highlighted in this article. And just this weekend Martin Brundle was saying how drivers used to put spanners, nuts and bolts in the pockets of their overalls, prior to being weighed at the end of a race. But Hamiltongate/Liargate highlights, yet again, two important issues that seriously need to be addressed in F1.

    1. Investigating incidents – the way that this particular incident was handled was a shambles. A driver [Trulli] was punished when he was innocent because the stewards didn’t thoroughly investigate the incident. What’s more, it took them four days to do it. If they had just asked for the transmission between McLaren and Lewis in the first place, something I thought they would do automatically, this could have been resolved quickly.
    2. Punishment – this needs to be handed out consistently and fairly. There are too many examples to mention where this is not the case, and I’m not just talking about McLaren and Lewis.

    McLaren will get punished but I’m not sure what that punishment will be. But Bernie has assured Mercedes that the punishment will be fair; suggesting more deals behind the scenes of a sport that has suddenly been brought into disrepute because a driver told a porky to the stewards.

  32. But reality is mclaren is the team which have always tried to cross the limits, some times they are able to make fool of FIA and some times( like now) FIA makes fool of mclaren.

    I totally agree with Masi, they have been constantly punished by the FIA, and still they don’t seem to learn.

  33. Its Martin Whitmarsh’s Birthday today! lol! happy birthday!

  34. I don’t know if this has already said and as James Allen has already pointed out.

    Only YESTERDAY Mercedes reported a loss of 1 Billion ($) for the first 3 months and have annouced huge cost cutting.

    If the punishment is big or has financial implications then Mercedes might decide (or be forced by shareholders) not to waste money paying the fine and pull out.

    Lets also consider that not just Mclaren but Brawn and Force India have Mercedes power plants so Mo and Bernie could see 3 teams left badly damaged for this season.

    That is why i voted NO they should not be further punished.

    1. mclaren f1 is a separate business entity to mercedes.

      mclaren f1 has it’s own cash to cover fines, it can borrow the money if needs be. they absorbed the 100m with no worries.

      regardless of if they stay in f1 or not, there’s other suppliers (renault, ferrari & cosworth).

      mclaren f1 as a business is profitable and can handle it.

  35. schumi the greatest
    29th April 2009, 9:10

    But British sport has a strong ethic of ‘fair play’ – and, like diving in the penalty box or refusing to leave the wicket when one knows they are out, in misleading the stewards Hamilton has harmed his reputation in the eyes of many.

    Good point keith, and this is slightly off topic, but the british media often moan at the lack of success of our sportsmen and wonder why the english football team never get anywhere near winning a tournament etc. Well its because of this so called attitude to fair play, like it or not this sort of thing i.e cheating or gamesmanship, pushing the rules to the limit, whatever you want to call it is part of sport and in a sport like f1 its often what splits the good from the great. Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, 3 of f1s best drivers of all time, one thing they all have in common apart from an extraordinairy talent its the uncompromising approach to winning and doing whatever it takes.

    Im a big fan of hamilton and i genuinley believe he has what it takes to become one of the greatest this sport has ever seen and situations like this only further demonstrate this to me. Now i know its not nice, cheating etc, everyone would like to think we all live in a fair world, but wake up we dont!

    Now onto the real point of this article…as keith said, schumachers punishment was to be sent to the back of the grid, thus costing him a likley podium and 10,8 or 6 points that weekend in monte carlo 2006. Hamilton has lost his points from that race after a tremendous drive so surley justice has been done?

    if mclaren are punished everyone will be saying that the fia favour ferrari if you look at these 2 seperate cases.

    lets all pray for (some unusual) common sense from the fia

  36. If we try compare this to the Honda case of a few years back. Honda not only lied, they cheated also and for several races, it’s even possible they cheated the whole of the previous season. But the FIA didn’t make an issue of the fact that the team lied repeatedly. Nick fry even said several times that the cars never ran underweight at any point during races.
    That alone was enough to have that team thrown out of the championship. But they were given only a 2 race ban.
    Now Mclaren won their points fairly on the track, but lied after the race. I’m not saying Mclaren is blameless, just that the FIA has blown this issue way out of proportion. A matter that should have just ended with disqualification from Melbourne result has been twisted and turned and manipulated into total exclusion from the championship.

    Now if Mclaren rightly get a “mild” punishment, there will be many people who would think Mclaren were treated very lightly, because their minds had already been poisoned by the FIA’s meddlesome manipulation of public sentiments.

  37. Greg Beckett
    29th April 2009, 9:13

    They should give McLaren a three race ban from lying. Its widespread, its just that they got caught.

    1. Sorry, that article (as always) leaves out important details.

      Schumacher (we don’t know if he worked alone, but the evidence suggests that) was punished in the first instance.

      Trulli (in the first instance) got punished because Lewis/McLaren lied and continued to lie after the event, even though they knew Trulli was innocent… they continued to lie in the second instance even when the evidence was set before them… only when the **** really hit the fan did they finally own up and act all humbly.

      No comparison.

    2. Oh no! Not that Times link again, so childish: mom! why youre punishing me, my friend did the same!

  38. I voted no.

    What I think looks most likely at this moment is a relatively small fine (in other words not $100M), a suspended sentence and possibly a constructors points deduction. The most the FIA could justify is the BAR penalty of a two race ban, however this would punish Kovalainen who has done nothing wrong, so if it was a race ban it should only apply to Hamilton with McLaren scoring no points from Kovalainen.

    What BAR did could be argued was a lot worse, as having a secret fuel tank in the car is something that had to be done at the design stage and then when you get to the race you still could change your mind and not run the car light. So it is premeditated and constant cheating, whereas what happened in Australia was a lot more spur of the moment but then they didn’t own up at the next race when questioned.

    With Mercedes and Vodafone hinting they will withdraw from F1 if the punishment is unfair I think McLaren has learned from Renault. When Renault weren’t punished for having McLaren technical information, one theory was that if they were they would have quit F1.

    The article mentions that diving in the penalty box is frowned upon in football in Britain, however whenever a player does it in an England shirt you don’t hear anything in the media.

    One thing that has been ignored in all this by the general media is what a poor job the stewards did in Australia. Yes Hamilton shouldn’t have lied and they should still have punished him if they thought it was that bad. But if they had bothered to look at all the evidence available to them they would never have punished Trulli. And it appears that no record is kept of a stewards meeting, no audio recording, no minutes not even a signed statement from the drivers. Which considering that some are claiming what happened is the same as perjury is quite shocking.

    I hope the FIA use this experience to change the way race control operates during the race and the procedure for stewards investigations.

  39. I Voted no. Lewis was already DQ’d from the race, losing his points and therefore losing McLaren’s points, punishing both. They sacked a team member and the boss left outright.

    And moreover it was over a month ago, and a whole 4 races ago, and nobody cares any more. Just get on with the rest of the season please.

  40. James Bolton
    29th April 2009, 9:28

    If you punish someone once (disqualification in Australia) can you legally punish them a second time?

    1. As long as they keep paying the £5,000 and they turn up at the Chelsea flat on time, you can punish them as many times as they want.

  41. I very much doubt that the FIA will do nothing at the WMSC against Mclaren. I do think that enough is enough and Mclaren have been punished enough over the incident already.

  42. It is sad that these liars are role models for young kids. They should be severely punished without any hesitation. ‘I did it for the team’ should not be a justification. I am not against any particular team or person but feel that moral standards in sports should not be lowered any further.

    1. AGREE 100%

  43. I’m a McLaren fan, but with my hand on my heart I must admit they deserve further punishment.

  44. In my opinion, drivers and teams shouldn’t even have a hearing to determine race results. The stewards have access to all the information they could ever need. That should be enough to make solid decisions within minutes at any stage of the race.

    This whole scandal has done less damage to McLaren than it has to the image of those calling the shots at these races. The FIA need to take a long hard look at other racing championships and realise drawing everything out longer than it needs to be does neither F1, or the FIA, any favours.

    This sport is a joke. An amazing start to the season just gets tarnished with dribble yet again.

    1. Also, I don’t remember South African cricket getting a penalty when Hansie Cronje was match fixing. Just because team members lied, doesn’t mean the team lied. All we know is Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton lied. Therefore, THEY should be penalised, not the whole team.

    2. Which is why we’re having this hearing today. They want to find out if the decision to lie goes BEYOND Hamilton and Ryan, as some suspect. And if it does go beyond these two, then there will be an appropriate punishment.

  45. I wish there was an option of ‘Undecided’.

    I think what’s happened has happened – I don’t like it, I don’t like McLaren, but I don’t want to see this dragged around when there’s so many good things going for the sport at the moment. For a sport that prides itself on speed, it’s not been a very efficient way of doing things, either. A resolution as soon as, s’il vous plait.

    On the other hand, the audacity to lie in the face of hard coded evidence and officials – more than once – bugs me. And it was a team error, so the team has to be punished accordingly – even if it means indicting poor Kovy. It’s many a mantra of team ethics – you win together, you suffer together. That said, if any further punishment is handed out, let it be a small thing. Or we’ll be debating this for eons to come.

  46. Ferrari never lied, they defended there drivers position and never changed the story. Mclaren said one thing to the FIA, in the knowledge they told lewis opposite. The thing was if is wasn’t for the FIA having access to the radio transmission they would not have been busted. Every team lies, mclaren are not smart enough to get away with it.

    I dont think they should get anything but then again, i hate mclaren so the more the hurt the better :-)

    1. Erm, Schumacher knew what he was doing and was proven to have lied with bare, technical facts. And they didn’t change their story even when presented with the evidence of their lie. Hmm, sounds familiar, right?

  47. “The FIA believes Lewis has already paid his price for his part in the affair and now McLaren must pay theirs. But this all begs the question about Ferrari’s part in Michael’s behaviour in Monaco. Did he act alone and, even if he did, were not Ferrari ultimately responsible for his conduct, just as McLaren are for Lewis’s?”

    … Need i say more.

    1. It’s not liked Ferrari ordered to Michael to do what he did, just as McLaren wouldn’t order Senna to do what he did. Whatever these guys did in the heat of the moment on track was their decision and theirs alone.

      Which is one of the reasons why Lewis’ case is different. Dave Ryan was definitely involved, and there’s a chance other people were involved too. This is a different banana, so to speak.

  48. It depends on how long of a view you take. In the short term, it may be best for the sport to move on. But if you take a long-term view, a precedent needs to be set with regards to punishment for this sort of behavior.

    Let’s not forget that the last two championships were decided by a single point only. McLaren were happy to let Trulli take a huge hit in points, which could have easily impacted his championship battle as well as his career. And Toyota is in a championship winnable position.

    However, I don’t pretend to know what’s “good for the sport.” All I know is that the decision depends on how far ahead you look into the future.

  49. I agree with your last paragraph Keith BUT…. comparing the “lie-gate” incident with Shumacher’s rascasse incident is not the same thing. far from it.

    the fact of the matter is not that they lied… it’s that they did so while undermining the stewards, FIA, Fans and the whole lot… their lie was not reserved to just Hamilton… it was a cohort of possibly more people than just Hami and Ryan… not to mention that by lying the way they did they knew at heart that they were doing something very wrong, especially Hamilton as he is a role model (or rather was) for many and should act accordingly, and I refuse to believe that a world champion on merit (and I’m not a fan of his) does not have enough pull in the team to refuse such a (team request).

    I believe they should be penalized, not as bad as 2007, but Hamilton should get a swag his way because he was incompetent to maintain his Champion status, and the team should also get a hit but less sever than Hamilton’s.

    I wonder why papa Lewis is so ****** off at the team? he should be disappointed with his son’s behavior for tagging along and not knowing better.

    The Fia should take some blame and seriously reconsider how it manages safety car periods… Come on spending billions on things like Kers and then failing to use a GPS monitoring system to determine what is what when the cars are on the track. FIA race control should also be able to communicate with the driver direct all be it in public fashion.

  50. AnOldFormulaOneFan
    29th April 2009, 11:01

    If it will be ANY punishment, only confirms that Mr. Max Mosley is bias towards Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, Ron Dennis, and Lewis Hamilton.

    Perhaps that little ‘show’ he put on, in the privacy of his home can tell us much more about the man, than the obvious conclusions…

    How can such a person judge others?…

    The world is upside down.

    I hope that if there is any punishment for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes or Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes will pull out Formula 1 al together and those little two old men, Mosley and Eclestone, will have SIX cars less on the starting grid of the next GP. I can only imagine the money they will loose for not making sure at least 10 teams / 20 cars start the races.

    No engines for brown of Force India. I have nothing against them, but it was a BLOW that those two decrepit institutions called FIA and FOM and their actual presidents…

    But in the end, they are coward and there will be no punishment. They can’t afford it. Of course they will say it’s for Formula One’s best…

    How cares, just shut the hell up and let the fans see the races in peace, without being slammed every time with politics and thinks that WE DON’T CARE.


    1. learn how to spell then you can criticize others.

    2. @Todd: Them’s big fightin’ words for someone apparently without a shift or caps-lock key on their keyboard.

  51. Verdict is in: a suspened 3-race ban (12 months).

    1. But other than that, no penalties, so McLaren are off the hook.


  53. SO its a suspended sentence after all :-)

  54. SUSPENDED 3 RACE BAN only to be meted out if the rules are broken again. Woo hoo – great. Let’s get back to racing!

  55. i’m not quiet sure if they have already a race suspension ban or they have to do something wrong again to get this??? anyone??

    1. ok i got it now lol!!!

  56. this is so Weird.

    You are convicted of theft, but because you said that you did steal we will put you in jail… Only if you steal again…. just promise us it will be the last time you steal while under parol…

    kind of beats the point of already be on probation… reminds me of my days in university when i was put on double probation for pouring a bottle of dishwashing liquid in the water fountain…. I graduated anyway…

    what a Joke. seriously …. looks like it was actually a tactic to get Dennis out and McLaren at the mercy of the FIA….

  57. Ronnan, much as this was overblown it was actually a non issue. The FIA is responsible for this mess. And they are just polarizing viewers and causing hatred.

    1. hardly think the FIA are totally responsible here, the whole point is that mclaren mislead and lied to start with, then the FIA had to go digging up tapes and interviews to reveal the real truth.

  58. Well, that’s it. A suspended three race ban is fair enough. I don’t think they’ll transgress again!

    Now, lets get on with 2009.

  59. Has anyone else noted that Richard Nixon’s greatest legacy is that the word “gate” will be suffixed on to any other word to show that an event is a scandal of some sort. I dearly wish the Democratic National Committee had chosen a different office block to make their headquarters. It’s gonna be in the dictionary soon and then we’ll all be doomed, please Keith stop using the term even if other less scrupulous unimaginative commentators can’t please Keith do it for our children.

    1. Agreed, K – very much agreed. :D

    2. I’m waiting for the day we see “garden-gate” and “gate-gate” then I think I’ll kill myself.

  60. Bigbadderboom
    29th April 2009, 13:01

    Todd, I agree with Oliver, it’s a non issue. This should have been investigated fully by the stewards at the race and any punishment or decisions made shortly afterwards. It has been a drawn out mess really.
    Well at least it’s over now, can’t help feeling sorry for Ryan as he took fall. Well the FIA have what they want in a restructed McLaren.
    I hope someone descent stands against Max at the next election.

  61. They have been given a suspended three race suspension according to autosport.

  62. GooddayBruce
    29th April 2009, 13:11

    As usual the FIA’s decision to summon McLaren before the WMSC has nothing to do with fairness, enforcing their own rules, making an example to deter other would-be cheaters or even a show of strength. It is to punish McLaren and specifically Ron Dennis.

    I wonder how much it hurt Mosley that Dennis was able to walk away from the sport at a time and in a manner of his choosing with his protege world champion. 10 years of hard work bringing Hamilton up through the ranks to win him a world title and then rides off into the sunset. Whilst Mosley’s legacy will, for obvious reasons always be tainted…

    1. Ron may won a championship, but everyone and their dog knows he had to leave to avoid getting McL a bigger punishment. Even though he won a title, he never really left on his own terms, whether he admits it or not…

  63. and unless you are in the US its “criticise”

  64. Changes afoot, the FIA seem to have been quite fair with McLaren.
    Maybe Dennis going now was the solution. Back to racing.

  65. I voted yes. They won’t, but they should.

    They lied and cheated in spygate and got away with it, and they lied and cheated here and are going to get away with it again.

    It isn’t the FIA picking on McLaren/Hamilton, or the FIA trying to win favour with Ferrari. It’s because they lie and cheat on such a regular basis they need to be punished. Perhaps if they didn’t break the rules they wouldn’t get punished?

    But they won’t get punished. Because Hamilton is good for the sport and McLaren are popular.

    1. i wouldnt say having all points taken away and $100million fine “getting away with it”. all teams try to get away with things, Mclaren have been doing thing which have been very poors judgements, they have been punished and we should move on, however, there is still a cloud looming over them from 2007 and will be there for a long time.

    2. They were fined $100 million and lost all their constructors points – I don’t think they ‘got away with it’ with regards spygate.

      I’ve said it before, but if you think about Toyota trying to decieve the stewards with flexi-wings in Melbourne, there isn’t really much difference with regards ‘lying’ (IMHO).

  66. Hey – does anyone know what punishment the FIA decided upon ? You see, I’m one of those people who don’t read the other comments before adding my own.

  67. Bee… that was a 100 million dollar fine for the spygate, unprecedented in sporting history, yet you seem to be able to totally ignored it?

  68. schumi the greatest
    29th April 2009, 13:53

    @ BEE

    Can you please explain how mclaren wern’t punished for “spygate”. They had to pay a $100 million dollar fine (probably 30-40% of their budget for an entire season, plus they were thrown out of the constructors championship which had a knock on effect (smaller garages in 08 etc)

    How is that getting away with it?

    I also agree with the earlier comment, why does any sort of scandal have word gate added to it? incredibley annoying! (not aimed at you keith, the media in general)

    Now that another scandal and drawn out mess in f1 is over lets get nback to talking about the racing (until the next 1)

    1. @schumi the greatest: “had to pay a $100 million dollar fine ”
      They NEVER had to pay that kind of money, it was 100 million minus the amount of money they would get for there points in 2007.

  69. Excellent article Keith. But almost every comment has ignored what to me is the most telling point Keith raised.

    If there was sufficient money, personnel, training and high-tech equipment provided for the race stewards at every GP, thus raising their game to the race control standards achieved in other forms of motor sport. we wouldn’t even be discussing this subject at the end of April because the problem would have been sorted at the race, on race day, at the race venue weeks ago.

    1. Indeed. It seems ironic that the first race that FOM show the stewards ‘at work’ on our TV screens, they are proven not to have the minerals to back it up…

      the McLaren communications should have been listened to in the first place before Trulli even got the 25 second penalty.

  70. The comparisons to the Honda ban are instructive. That situation differed markedly in the facts, specifically, in that Honda ran an illegally faster car for an unknown number of races and hid that fact. They got a couple races off. Its even worse than the dossier-theft, where there was never any proof it redounded to McLaren on the clock, even accounting for the dubious tire-gas issue.

    Nonetheless the FIA respects neither logic nor its own precedents—like good Civil system lawyers they never see the need to explain their reasoning or why its different from what they did last week. So, as a method of challenging rulings, this is a lot of tilting at windmills.

    As we have seen today, the FIA got its result: A groveling apology from McLaren and with it the assertion of its final authority as to outcomes on the track, whenever. The whole situation is ridiculous now. Even my wife, who usually sleeps instead of watching the races, knows that there no race is complete until the next night or the next week when the pretend-jurists have their say and their day. Maybe her approach is better.

    Lastly, let me note the absence of certain reasonable outcomes. No one among the stewards or FIA was dealt with for so pathetically screwing up the investigation. Neither Trulli nor Toyota were addressed for willfully taking up a position they knew was not theirs and failing, to this day, to acknowledge a willful delict. In fact, they profitted.

  71. Mclaren has just been given a suspended 3 race ban.

  72. Englishmen busy tearing themselves apart, but who’s actually appeasing who in the whole saga? Mclaren appeasing Mosley and FIA to escape punishment, Mosley appeasing Mclaren to guarantee re-election….

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      29th April 2009, 15:58

      That’s not a bad point, Erico.
      Is this the first example of Max being reasonable and ‘statesman like’ in order to get re-elected in six months time?
      Or am I just being too cynical for words?

  73. im a hardcore lewis hamilton fan through and through. thanks to this young talented lad, i wouldnt have even considered following f1.Pleased that the WMSC have given a good outcome,giving MCLAREN a SUSPENDED 3 RACE BAN.He is not popular in f1 for some reason.He didnt get any support from other drivers following the incident at spa, when he was penalised for cutting the chicane in 2008, which suprised me. Fact is F1 is now popular because of him, the others should in fact be grateful to him. Whos moved the ratecard in f1? shui did now lewis has too. Weird how the BBC want the F1 back.

  74. seems like this site is mega pro-mclaren/hammy/brawn/button and very anti-ferrari

    you seem to have an unbiased love towards british drivers and teams and keep justify it with “the sake of f1” (vide mcliar gate, diffusor case)

    i’m disappointed – it’s more of a fan site rather than professional f1 site

    “The FIA should accept McLaren’s apology for two reasons. First, because it’s the right thing to do.”

    no comments. lmao

    1. i don’t think it’s nearly as bad here as it is on many other sites. still, as was said earlier, if it were ferrari instead of mclaren many people here would be singing quite a different tune.

    2. It is an english site too Feed, and it is called, F1FANatic???…

    3. I’d like to congratulate this site on justifying unbiased love…. that takes a lot of effort! :P

    4. If people here are predominantly fans of certain drivers and/or certain teams, who cares? It’s the internet… there is a place here for everyone. This particular place though, tends to lean towards British teams and drivers. I honestly fail to understand what’s wrong with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, which is exactly why those that support other drivers and/or teams are still more than welcome here.

      I’m a McLaren fan. Have been since a young age after finding out Bruce McLaren was a kiwi, just like me. However, this doesn’t stop me enjoying pro Ferrari or pro Renault (for example) blogs. And I certainly don’t criticise their ‘bias’ like you have. Exist in peace, or move along.

    5. seems like this site is mega pro-mclaren/hammy/brawn/button and very anti-ferrari […]

      no comments. lmao

      I’ve explained my point of view (here and at greater length in earlier articles), you haven’t explained yours – and yet you accuse me of ‘bias’?

      Why do you think they should have got a harsher punishment?

    6. Feed, what are you talking about? this site has readers and posters from all over the world, even force India fans, the fact that Keith is British, most readers are British, and the site is British definitely means that you will find more British team supporters than others, after all F1’s history has been dominated by the Brits.. you got to account for that. but regardless, i believe Keith has kept an unbiased approach overall, and it’s only in this post that he favors the lack of penalties toward McLaren.

      in my view, McLaren and Hamilton should have been penalized independently, but that is the way i operate, because the manner in which they tried to cheat was very very very insulting to all of F1’s fans collective intelligence… but the WMSC, as the post mentioned, has voted the other way for the good of the sport. it’s a great season, and i accept (although not agree) that is was the right thing to do…

      Keep it up F1FANatic…

  75. The verdict is out FIA give a suspended 3 race ban to mclaren. the ban is suspended cause mclaren was honest and open during the council

  76. McLaren should not be punished any further. Why only this team? I remember Renault was also partially involved in last year’s spygate. I believe they had McLaren’s car specs.

    How about Toyota’s rear wing band during this year’s Australia GP. Dont tell me, the engineers did not know about the rules. They tried to do something illegal and got caught. And we dont heard anything from council wanting to meet up.

  77. I voted yes, but I dont think that McLaren should be suspended from races or have points stripped from them. I think they should be fined a few million, and then the FIA could take that amount and give it to Jarno Trulli’s Abruzzo Nel Cuore charity, as if by surprise (since I think forcing McLaren to donate directly to a charity would just create a politically awkward situation). This would serve as punishment for McLaren, retribution for Trulli, great publicity for FIA (and F1 in general), and most importantly, it would serve a good cause. That is the kind of thing F1 needs these days to bring some levity, at a time when the public is becoming increasingly disenchanted with its politics and over-governance. Maybe this is just too much idealistic feel-goodery to work, but I’d love to hear people’s thoughts.

  78. Isn’t running Ron out of the sport with his tail between his legs enough of a punishment? That damn Max must be smugly gloating over all of this.

  79. McLiar won.. ;( Cheatlton too – unfortunetly
    R.I.P. of Formula One Sport Code (some cares instead of some comments a specjally F1 Old Fans)

    1. bigbadderboom
      29th April 2009, 22:56

      Just like Ferrari and a certain Mr Schumacher respected the F1 code. If the FIA could hit McLaren with a fine and suspension they would have, history proves that. I have been watching F1 since the late 80’s and the witch hunt for McLaren is the most bias form of discrimination I have witnessed in the sport.There have been may documented cases of rule “Stretching” over the last 20 years but the severest form of punishment has only bee dealt against McLaren.

  80. Knowing Max, I can’t rule out him saying there is new evidence that has turned up, maybe that famouse Whitmash interview with the BBC and the haul them back to the WMSC to be fined or kicked out.

  81. Once again the hamiltons get what they want

    1. like 2007 right??

      I think Hamilton has suffered enough in 2008 via the stewards – anyone who follows F1 properly can see this, so I disagree with this comment.

      I’m suprised by today’s verdict however.

  82. I cant see how he suffered when there is a rule book.

  83. “They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindnss” – even if McLaran had lied, it can be criticized of them of being
    1. dumb – don’t they know FIA would have the radio trans?
    2. afraid – they’ve made a mistake

    but for these, its becoz the ppl who were the reason for that (whitmarsh et al), couldn’t determine which is right and which is not, since they have been bullied in the past with the safety car period mistakes. I feel sorry for them, but only apathy against FIA for bullying the teams.
    if only they follow something like IRL for safety cars, we won’t have a controversy would we? Better to diagnose the root cause than the symptoms!!

  84. I think the issue is … why are the people who are supposed to be running the race asking teams what happened????? …. and then punishing them for lying … passing responsibility I think … it was hardly a lie anyway … just trying to stop Mclaren from having a chance this year cause they know Ferrari are stuffed !

  85. Maybe also because Hamilton is Black and good no one likes it. Ferrari is spoilt and others make far worse problems, funny how Maclaren and Hamilton are always aimed at is it not.

  86. Dane wrote:
    Once again the hamiltons get what they want

    unfortunately :-/

  87. Hamiliton didn’t lose his job because he was instructed to lie !!! … just as drivers are all the time … and they do what their team tells them to do … any driver that did not would find he couldn’t get a drive at any team !

    (They do seem to be very hard on McLaren tho … anyone who’s watched F1 for a few season will be comparing the penalties to the slap on the wrist ferrari have received in the past)

  88. Get real … Hami lied under direction of the team … as many drivers have been asked to do at some stage … any driver that did not would find himself out of his car and would have trouble getting a drive at any other team … even though drivers are supposed to drive to the best of their ability can you imagine no2 drivers at Ferrari not letting the no1 driver past for higher points even though they are faster??? (thats EVERY season Schumi drove for Ferrari by the way)

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