McLaren embarassed, Hamilton misled, not entirely truthful but not a liar

Lewis Hamilton - not entirely truthful

Lewis Hamilton - not entirely truthful

A day after coming out saying that his team did not lie Martin Whitmarsh came out again and very much confirmed that Dave Ryan (now suspended team sporting director) and Lewis Hamilton lied to stewards in Melbourne. What else could he do when the evidence was that strong …

“It has become clear from discussions with Dave last night and through into this morning that during the stewards meeting after the Australian Grand Prix, he was not entirely full and truthful in the answers he gave the stewards. Consequently we had no alternative today other than to suspend him. As you can imagine, it is a very sad day for the team. We have got to deal with this weekend. We have to look in a bit more detail all of the events that surrounded it. From my perspective obviously it is a point of deep, deep regret – it is not how I wanted this year in particular to start. It is something for which the team and myself are not only deeply embarrassed but deeply regretful, and for Davey it has been a shattering day for him.”

He also sort of admits that while Hamilton played very serious part in the whole “get Toyota penalized” theatre, McLaren picked only Dave Ryan as a scapegoat.

I think that Lewis was not entirely truthful, but we have spoken to Davey. He was the senior member of the team and they went into the situation together. I think they were trying to deal with the situation and they got it wrong – but Davey as the senior member of the team was responsible for what happened and therefore I took the decision this morning.”

Whitmarsh did not rule out possibility of his own resignation …

What a major screw up from a team that less than 2 years ago got itself into the Stepneygate trouble. The spy affair was a serious thing but that is something that happens (or used to happen) all the time and McLaren simply got caught. What happened in Australia in my opninion is much worse – two guys (Ryan and Hamilton) from one team (McLaren) decided to get a competitor from another team (Trulli) unfairly penalized. And for what – for one single point ! Yes, one point is what made the difference in the title fight last year, but is it worth all of this ?

Lewis Hamilton in the meantime joined his boss in pointing the blame at Dave Ryan (while saying how great guy he is …), while making himself look like an innocent victim of deception:

“I’d like to say sorry to all my fans who have believed in me and supported me for years. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person. I am a team player. Every time I have had to do something I have done it. This time it was a huge mistake. I am learning from it. It has had a huge toll for me. It was a lot to deal with. I was in the wrong and I feel I owe it to my fans to let them know that. Like I said I was misled. We went straight there and while we were waiting I was instructed what to do. I did not have time to think about what I was going to do. I felt awkward and very uncomfortable and I think the stewards could see that. I am not a liar.

Dave is a great guy and has worked for the team for many years and he is feeling it just as much as the whole team.

The situation is the worst thing I have experineced in my life. That is why I am here. It is right for me as a human being and a man to tell you exactly what was going on. I am sorry for the embarrassment I have caused to may family and to the team.”

Well, I do not know, but a guy with such a position as Hamilton surely has within McLaren should have enough courage to stand up to “a senior member” of his team, especially if he claims he is not a dishonest person or a liar…

And here is a little flashback to the interwiew Hamilton gave to Autosport on March 31:

“I saw a photo of the podium on the internet this morning – he (Button) looked really, really happy. They’ve shown just what an incredible sport we have and just how unpredictable F1 can be – I just wish I could have been on the podium to share his celebrations on Sunday.

I think now he must be glad he was not there …

I do understand that sometime things are done without thinking and in the heat of the moment, but both Hamilton and McLaren had enough time to rectify the situation before FIA decided to re-open the case. They haven’t done so, instead they decided to celebrate the unexpected podium, regretting they could not stand on it while someone else received unfair 25 sec penalty thanks to their actions …

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    This story will be part of the history. Better said, chapters like this aren’t ever forgoten. I remember some previous episodes, same impressive like this one, so seems that it’s not easy to learn to not fall with the same stone.

    Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video

  2. bmwf1guyNo Gravatar says:

    It really is a sad situation you know. Having the possibility to admit or at least correct their “mistake” (which it would be called if they did admit) was the only thing to do. I have always liked McLaren as a team, but just can’t believe this.

    Lewis Hamilton needs to grow up and FAST. His rep is already in the dumps and now pointing the finger away from himself. Man, he’s the one driving the car.

    bmwf1guys last blog post..BMW Sauber Slow Friday Practice not Surprising

  3. BazNo Gravatar says:

    Whether or not this punishment for McLaren and Lewis was fair, I leave others to judge.

    One thing comes out of this – as long as the stewards and FIA maintain the same robust judgement stance throughout the season, without any ‘favourites’, then the sport can only benefit. Don’t you agree that it is time for a complete cleanup?

    If they are seen to be lenient with some and heavy-handed with others, as has happened too frequently in the past, then they will be shooting themselves in the foot and doing untold damage to an already tarnished sport.

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I have always believed that McLaren has been unfairly disciplined for things that other competitors get away with, and that Max and Bernie had a vendetta against them.

    Perhaps I have been unfair to Max and Bernie and McLaren are truelly the cheaters that they have been called out on by F1.

  5. bmwf1guyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m with Baz.

    A cleanup is necessary now. Not just McLaren, everyone. I can’t believe McLaren are the only ones pushing it, they just get caught.

    bmwf1guys last blog post..BMW Sauber Slow Friday Practice not Surprising

  6. moelmschNo Gravatar says:

    It is becoming very obvious that McLaren has trouble telling the truth and/or playing by the rules. I can understand why one point is so important given last years tight points race for the driver’s title but being untruthful again after the Stepney-gate affair is very difficult to rationalize as a mistake in judgement. I see a pattern here. This team will do anything to win including not telling the truth! Shame on Lewis Hamilton for making Dave Ryan the fall guy. I am loosing respect for Hamilton and his team.

  7. JRNo Gravatar says:

    Then again, look at Vettel and Red Bull.

    Immediately after the collision with Kubica, he called himself (for everyone to hear) an idiot and repeatedly apologized. He should have kept his mouth shut. It cost him a 10-spot penalty.

    There are obviously different views on this, but I’ve reviewed the footage frame by frame from all the angles including the helicopter one and to me Kubica was clearly at fault. There was no reason he had to overtake on that particular corner and he was viciously aggressive about it. He drove Vettel over the curb before they were even into the corner and then shut the door on him so hard that he (Kubica) was literally facing into Vettel who was coming off the grass practically.

    I have no idea where that decision came from. Possibly because just a millisecond before the turn Kubica pulled a foot or two ahead?

    Both cars were retired, so why push the thing into the next race?

    • moelmschNo Gravatar says:

      Kubica was clearly at fault and Vettel would be well served to keep his mouth shut in the future given the position he finds himself in for Malaysia. He was trying to be a good sportsman and take blame for the accident when it was not even his fault. Kubica and Vettel are both very gifted and talented drivers and they do not need to be taking these kinds of chances this early in the season

      • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

        well, but look at the reaction – people may call Vettel stupid for being honest, but nobody calls him liar or cheater. and that is the big difference here … yes, I agree, the 10 place grid penalty is too harsh but I would prefer to be in his position rather than in Hamilton’s ..

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