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McLaren team neutered
The World Motorsport Council (WMSC) has commended the new McLaren regime for its "open and honest" approach to the authorities.

In a statement confirming the lenient punishment for the Woking-based team over the 'lying' scandal from the Australian grand prix that threatened to engulf Lewis Hamilton's season, the WMSC said it was impressed with the direction the team was taking under new principal Martin Whitmarsh.

Whitmarsh took sole control of the F1 arm of the British manufacturer when former chief Ron Dennis stepped back from the sport to concentrate on McLaren's sports car arm of the business.

And it seems the more direct and humble approach of Whitmarsh is already winning friends in the paddock.

"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," a statement released by the chairs of yesterday's meeting in Paris revealed.

In a departure from its previous dismissive attitude towards the authorities - which saw frequent clashes between Dennis and the sport's top brass such as Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley - Whitmarsh released a meek statement in response to the hearing.

"McLaren accepts the FIA World Motorsport Council's decision and wishes to thank the FIA World Motorsport Council members for the very fair hearing they have given us," the statement read.

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

Whitmarsh himself added: "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."

Referring to the decision to sack former sporting director Dave Ryan after it emerged he had instructed Hamilton to mislead the stewards in Melbourne, which resulted in yesterday's hearing, the team principal continued: "I was also pleased to be able to assure the FIA that we had taken appropriate action with a view to ensuring that such mistakes do not occur again." Daily Mirror
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