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DATE News (chronologically)
04/02/09
f1
Hamilton could be kicked out of F1 UPDATE In re-opening the investigation, stewards at a further hearing in Malaysia ahead of Sunday's race at the Sepang circuit have taken the appropriate sanction against Hamilton they felt was necessary.

However, the situation contravenes the International Sporting Code and is viewed as so grave that the FIA have it within their power to pursue the matter further.

A FIA spokesperson confirmed: 'Given the seriousness of this matter, we cannot rule out further action at this stage.'

As Hamilton has been excluded from the race at Melbourne's Albert Park, should motor sport's world governing body take up the case, only two additional punishments are open to them.

One would be to suspend Hamilton from a further race or races, or alternatively they could disqualify him from the championship altogether.

In an effort to be more open and transparent this year in relation to decisions taken by the stewards, the FIA are now publishing the key considerations of their findings.

On Sunday, the stewards did not have the benefit of radio exchanges or comments from Hamilton to the media, and instead acted solely on video footage.

In their submissions, they note: 'During the hearing, held approximately one hour after the end of the race, the stewards and the race director (Charlie Whiting) questioned Lewis Hamilton and his team manager, David Ryan, specifically about whether there had been an instruction given to Hamilton to allow Trulli to overtake.

'Both the driver and team manager stated no such instruction had been given.

'The race director specifically asked Hamilton whether he had consciously allowed Trulli to overtake. Hamilton insisted he had not done so.

'The new elements presented to the stewards several days after the 2009 Australian Grand Prix which led to the reconvened stewards' meeting clearly show that:

'a. Immediately after the race and before Lewis Hamilton attended the stewards' meeting he gave an interview to the media where he clearly stated the team had told him to let Trulli pass.

'b. Furthermore, the radio exchanges between the driver and the team contain two explicit orders from the team to let the Toyota pass.'

To lend weight to their case against Hamilton, the FIA have also included the audio clips of the interview and radio exchange.

In the interview Hamilton explains: 'I was behind Trulli under the safety car, and clearly you are not allowed to overtake under the safety car, but he went off at the second to last corner.

'He went wide onto the grass. I guess his tires were cold, and I was forced to go by. I had slowed down as much as I could.'

Crucially, Hamilton adds: 'I was told to let him back past, but I don't know if that's within the regulations, and if it isn't then I should have had third.'

With regard to the radio transmission, that went as follows:

Hamilton: 'The Toyota went off in a line at the second to last corner. I overtook him, is this okay?'

Team: 'Understood, Lewis. We'll confirm and get back to you.

Hamilton: 'He was off the track. He went wide.

Team: 'Lewis, you need to allow the Toyota through. Allow the Toyota through now.' Metro.co.uk

04/02/09 (GMM)  A spokesman for F1's governing body late Thursday would not rule out "further action" against McLaren and Lewis Hamilton.

Following a reconvened stewards hearing at Sepang, the reigning world champion was excluded from the results of the Australian grand prix, having been found guilty of "deliberately misleading" the Melbourne inquiry.

"We could not rule out further action at this stage," the spokesman said in Malaysia.

It is Hamilton and McLaren's breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code that could carry penalties ranging from reprimands to total exclusion from the championship.

Rumors at Sepang suggested the matter could be referred by the FIA to the World Motor Sport Council. zzzz

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh, however, insists that neither the team nor McLaren "lied".

"I don't know what they meant by (deliberately misleading), you'd have to ask them," he said as he addressed swarms of media in the paddock.

"They believe that the omission of the information about the radio conversation between the team and Lewis was withheld and that is what they believe was misleading."

Triple world champion Niki Lauda told the German broadcaster RTL that he considers it "the biggest joke of all time" that the FIA took four days to come to a definitive ruling about the incident.

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