Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix and excluded from the results. Jarno Trulli’s 25 sec penalty has been rescinded and so Trulli keeps the 3rd place he achieved on track.
Both drivers were summoned to meet the stewards in Malaysia this morning following new evidence regarding their behaviour behind the safety car. The new evidence suggested that Hamilton might have mislead the Australian GP stewards. After hearing out both drivers again the stewards decided the way they decided.
A statement issued by the stewards:
“The Stewards having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009, a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.
Under Article 158 of the International Sporting Code the driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are excluded from the race classification for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix and the classification is amended accordingly.”
Jarno Trulli following the stewards decision:
“I am happy because I just wanted some justice, and I am happy I got it. I am happy for myself, for the team – and I have to thank the FIA because it does not happen very often that they reconsider something. It must have been really hard for them, but they had common sense to really try and understand what was going on. I have been always honest and it has paid off.”
We did not appeal. We did not do anything, and I did not make any further comments. I think the FIA was clever enough to understand the situation. They had a very busy end of the race, with so many accidents, and they now had a bit more evidence to understand the case. So they wanted to hear us again, and it just confirmed what happened in Australia as I didn’t change my statement. That is it. I don’t know what made them change their mind.”
This means that all the top 3 teams in 2008 Constructors Championship are without any points after round 1 of 2009 F1 season.
Update: McLaren had suspended their sporting director Dave Ryan for his role in the Melbourne stewards fiasco:
“In my 20-odd years working for McLaren, I doubt if I’ve met a more dedicated individual than Davey,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “He’s been an integral part of McLaren since 1974 and has played a crucial role in the team’s many World Championship successes since that time. However, his role in the events of last Sunday, particularly his dealings with the FIA stewards, has caused serious repercussions for the team, for which we apologise. Therefore, I suspended him this morning and he has accepted this.”