McLaren, Hamilton lied, Whitmarsh comes clean
(GMM) Despite the denials of Thursday, McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh on Friday admitted suspended sporting director Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton did lie to FIA stewards.
|Martin Whitmarsh - we lied|
During a packed and dramatic FIA press conference at the Sepang circuit, he was asked if F1's reigning world champion told the truth relating to the Jarno Trulli safety car incident of a week ago.
"No. I think that Lewis was not entirely truthful, but we have spoken to Davey (Ryan). He was the senior member of the team and they went into the situation together.
"I had to take an incredibly difficult decision. I have personally known Davey for 20 years," Whitmarsh added.
He explained that Ryan, who has been sent home despite his 35 years of service to the Woking based squad, decided to lie "in the heat of the moment" and possibly due to his "high" level of sensitivity after being involved in last year's controversial Spa-Francorchamps penalty.
"Lewis was led by that," Whitmarsh said, referring to Hamilton's decision to also lie. "The team and myself are not only deeply embarrassed but deeply regretful."
Whitmarsh said a decision about Ryan's future, and indeed his own, will be taken after this weekend.
"I don't rule anything in or out," he insisted.
"In Melbourne I had a great race and as soon as I got out of the car I did TV interviews at the back of the garage and straightaway I told them what had happened during the race," Lewis Hamilton said in Malaysia today.
"Straight after that we were requested to appear before the stewards and whilst waiting for the stewards, I was instructed and misled by the team manager to withhold information and that's what I did.
"I sincerely apologize to the stewards for wasting their time but really, I'm very sorry for the situation and for my team and for Dave, because he's been a good member of the team for many years and I don't think that it was his intention. He's a good guy.
"When I went into the meeting, I had no intention (to lie). I just wanted to tell my story and see what happened. I was misled and that's just how it went.
"I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans who have believed in me and supported me through the years. They watched me for what I am the last two years - that's who I am.
"I am not a liar. I'm not a dishonest person. I'm a team player and every time I've been informed to do something, I've done it.
"This time I realize that it's a huge mistake and I'm learning from it.
"I apologize for not speaking to you (the media) yesterday but it's a lot to take in and a lot to deal with it so I'm hear to apologize to everyone."
Hamilton felt that he owed it to his fans and supporters to explain his side of the story.
"This is not an easy thing for anyone to do, to put their hand up and to step back and to realize that they're in the wrong," he added.
"But the fact is I was in the wrong and I felt that I owed it to my fans and I owed it to my people to let them know.
"I was misled - it's easy to be misled sometimes - but that was the situation and that's why I'm here.
"I acted as a team member. When I've been asked to do something, I've generally done it.
"I didn't have time to think about what I was going to do. I went in and I did it and felt awkward and very uncomfortable and I think that the stewards could see that.
"I've never felt so bad. Try to put yourself in my position. As I've said, I'm not a liar and I've not gone through life being a liar or dishonest. So for people to say that and for the world to think that way, what can I say?"