McLaren penalty – Three-race suspended ban

The verdict is out – McLaren has been given a suspended three-race ban for lying to stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.

At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 29 April 2009, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes admitted five charges of breaching article 151c of the International Sporting Code relating to events at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.

The following decision was taken:

“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.

“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.”

The full reasons for this decision will be issued shortly.

On one hand I am glad that we can now go on racing with no cars missing from the grid. The penalty itself however is sort of no penalty penalty. The team got penalized but nothing really happens.

So is the penalty lenient ? Probably yes but possibly this was the only sensible way how to close this unfortunate matter. I am sure that the econo mical impact of any harsher punishment at these times played important role …

And the now fully FIA compliant McLaren team is the cherry on the pie for Max Mosley :-) :

“In the end there were decisions taken by the people who are no longer involved. That being the case, it would have been unfair to go on with the matter.

“We think it’s entirely fair. They’ve demonstrated there’s a complete culture change and under those circumstances it’s better to put the whole thing behind us.

Ron Dennis’ departure surely had nothing to do with this case …

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. I think McLaren took all the right measures and got off lightly as a result. Now they can put all this behind them and concentrate on defending the title.

    Now all they need is a competitive car. Over to you, Martin…

    http://nickgilmartin.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/lewis-hamilton-its-a-suspended-three-race-ban/

    Nick Gilmartins last blog post..Lewis Hamilton: It’s a suspended three race ban.

  2. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    so they get a three race penalty if they cheat again, or if more facts emerge in this case that cast more discredit upon F1…ie – no penalty. Why bother to make a ruling.

    They must really hate Ron Dennis. If he was still involved, they probably would have gotten at least three races, and maybe the whole season again.

    What bothers me is the hypocracy that is F1. McLaren certainly deserves some penalty for lying to stewards in a attempt to change the results…but calling them out for discrediting F1 after Mad Max does his Nazi dance with hookers, yet remains in charge with no penalty is a farce.

    The inconsistencies scream of favortism and discrimination, depending on whether you are in good or bad graces of the powers that be.

    I’m glad they can race this year as we need the competition and I believe they are the only team in position to challenge Brawn.

  3. bmwf1guyNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t expect this kind of penalty, but I think for once WMSC did the right thing. Basically the matter was cleared up almost completely before the hearing making the hearing more of a formality.

    I think McLaren did all the right things and said all the right things in the lead up to yesterday and by owning up to what happened and taking steps to prevent it from happening again, anything else dramatic by the WMSC would be overkill.

  4. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    I think this was the only choice the WMSC had, they ban them and they piss off a lot of people and fans. Then bring the sport into disrepute again over what was already basically sorted out and penalised already (with the DQ of Hamilton from 4th).

    If the FIA had gone and made a big deal out of this as well, they were definitely showing clear favouritism for one person (Mosley) and then angst against McLaren.

    In the end all this points out is that the current system that the FIA has for penalties and the way stewards handle incidents is probably outdated and in need of adjusting. The FIA needs to probably keep its nose out of decisions like this in the end and give control to a group within F1 who better understand it from a team and drivers point of view.

    Members on the board have no real clue of what is going on and take it for facts without checking all circumstances. Mosley is the biggest blight and cause of this problem because he is so out-dated.

    One day, maybe we will get a FIA who do it for the racing (in all categories) not for the business.

  5. RichNo Gravatar says:

    are they banned from points or competing?

  6. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    This ruling seems very inconsistent with past penalties to McLaren. They lost the constructors championship last year for hiring an ex-Ferrari Engineer…they lost all points in a race two years ago for team orders having Hamilton pass Kovaleinen (yet Ferrari blatently did the same last year in the final race without penalty)…and then this where they got caught lying and cheating yet bear only a one race penalty for Hamilton.

    The one difference…Ron is gone. I say it again…Bernie and Max obviously hate Ron Dennis.

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