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FIA may re-open Trulli investigationUPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today - see this Hot News article.
04/01/09 (GMM) Toyota has withdrawn its appeal, but the case of Jarno Trulli's confiscated Melbourne podium may be far from over, according to a report in the German press.
The authoritative magazine Auto Motor und Sport claims FIA officials are concerned Lewis Hamilton may have lied during the post-race stewards investigation.
The reigning world champion was promoted to third place while Trulli demoted to twelfth, after stewards ruled that Trulli illegally passed the Briton's McLaren behind the safety car.
Toyota had argued that the Italian only passed Hamilton because the 24-year-old pulled over and slowed down. Hamilton was subsequently quoted by a reporter as admitting the team told him to let Trulli past.
Auto Motor und Sport claims, however, that Hamilton denied driving slowly to let Trulli past. Instead, the Briton told stewards he simply moved off the racing line "because he was busy reading the safety car instructions from the (steering wheel) display".
FIA officials, however, are now querying this explanation, as the safety car instructions would have long been cleared from Hamilton's display.
Moreover, despite his apparent admission to the reporter, Hamilton is believed to have told the stewards that he did not intentionally let Trulli pass.
In the past days, the FIA officials have checked Hamilton's radio traffic at the time of the incident, and speculation suggests that the stewards investigation may be re-opened in Malaysia this weekend.
If the re-investigation goes in Trulli's favor, the Italian may have his podium reinstated. And if Hamilton is found to have lied to the stewards, "serious consequences" for the Briton are possible, Auto Motor und Sport claims.
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