McLaren Mercedes manages to escape free of penalty

Today, 29th of April, 2009, the World Motor Sports Council met in Paris to deliver a final verdict in the newest liegate scandal, between Toyota and McLaren Mercedes.

As you may already know, McLaren was accused of intentionatelly misleading the FIA stewards at the audiences that took place after the first race of the 2009 season. There, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's driver, and Dave Ryan, technical director of the company, delivered a faulty speech about the Safety Car incident happened between Hamilton and Toyota's Jarno Trulli, a speech that was particularly designed to disadvantage the Italian driver. But after a few days, new evidence in this case came to light when an audio recording between Lewis and his team, whose content was completely contradictory to the situation presented by McLaren at the first hearing, was found. The British F1 team was then accused of breaching the article 151 letter c from the International Sporting Code. As a consequence to this fact, everyone expected a tough penalty, as McLaren has already been confronted with a similar situation in 2007.

Today, McLaren was solely represented in Paris by Martin Whitmarsh, team principal, who played guilty for all of the five accusations. A three-race ban for McLaren was on the way, but the FIA officials were impressed by the clear speech and arguments that Whitmarsh provided, so they decided to suspend the penalty. But not everything will be that easy:if in the next 12 months new evidence is found or McLaren is involved again in a similar scandal, the penalty will be immediately applied.

"I hope that this will draw a line and we can carry on with racing." were the words of Martin Whitmarsh after exiting the appeal in Paris. Simple, but effective!


McLaren attends FIA World Motor Sport Council hearing

This morning the FIA World Motor Sport Council met in Paris to discuss a number of subjects including issues related to events that took place at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council members heard from Martin Whitmarsh (Team Principal) and have issued the following statement:

"Having regard to the open and honest way in which McLaren Team Principal, Mr Martin Whitmarsh, addressed the WMSC, 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. The penalty is a suspension of the team from three races of the FIA Formula 1 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."

McLaren accepts the FIA World Motor Sport Council's decision and wishes to thank the FIA World Motor Sport Council members for the very fair hearing they have given us this morning.

We now look forward with enthusiasm to continuing our efforts to develop a closer and more co-operative relationship between ourselves and the FIA.

We will also continue to focus our efforts on closing the performance gap that exists between our car and the fastest cars.

Following Lewis Hamilton's encouraging fourth place in Bahrain last Sunday, we are now optimistic that we will be able to play an increasingly competitive part in what is fast developing into a very exciting season of Formula 1 motor racing.

Martin Whitmarsh (Team Principal) said:
"I would like to thank the FIA World Motor Sport Council members for affording me the opportunity to answer their questions this morning. We are aware that we made serious mistakes in Australia and Malaysia, and I was therefore very glad to be able to apologise for those mistakes once again. I was also pleased to be able to assure the FIA World Motor Sport Council members that we had taken appropriate action with a view to ensuring that such mistakes do not occur again."

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