Lewis Hamilton Stripped Of Australian Grand Prix Podium

Lewis Hamilton Stripped Of Australian Grand Prix Podium

As if Formula One couldn’t get any more controversial and political, Lewis Hamilton has now been stripped of his third place in the Australian Grand Prix last weekend. The news came after the investigation into the incident involving the McLaren driver and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli was reopened in Malaysia, the venue for this weekend’s grand prix. An updated version of the results can be viewed here: Australia 2009: Amended Race Result.

During the final safety car period last Sunday evening in Melbourne, it appeared that after Jarno Trulli had a minor excursion off the track, Lewis Hamilton passed the Toyota as he is allowed to do. However Trulli then somehow managed to find himself back in front of the British driver, which under the rules is not usually permitted. After the race though, new evidence came to light that explains why Trulli finished in third place.

Initially, Jarno Trulli was deemed incorrect and was given a post-race 25-second penalty. The penalty, which was generally seen as being quite harsh as the race finished one corner after the safety car came in, meaning the pack were tightly bunched, was protested immediately by Toyota. Earlier in the week though, Toyota backed down and said they had withdrawn their appeal.

At Sepang though, both drivers were ordered to the steward’s office and the matter was once again discussed, this time with audio footage of the car-pit radio from the #1 MP4-24; Lewis Hamilton’s.

Jarno Trulli has stated that Hamilton slowed excessively and thinking there was a problem with the McLaren, Trulli took the position. This is allowed, as Hamilton had passed Trulli when he went off track. Hamilton moved offline and backed-off the throttle. Once Trulli had overtaking, he apparently then slowed himself and was happy for Lewis to retake the position once back up to speed. Hamilton did not retake the position.

Lewis Hamilton stated that he slowed under direction of the team to let Trulli repass, and that he was reading something on his steering wheel display that demanded a fair amount of concentration. Some Formula One insiders questioned this as they believe the display would have been cleared at that point of the lap.

The Stewards having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009, a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

Under Article 158 of the International Sporting Code the driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are excluded from the race classification for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix and the classification is amended accordingly. FIA Statement.

Jarno Trulli has now been reinstated in his original third place, and Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the event. So not only is the McLaren not performing as well as its predecessor did (McLaren are now equal on points with Ferrari, 0), but now the reputation of the team and driver are under question.

I am happy because I just wanted some justice, and I am happy I got it. I am happy for myself, for the team – and I have to thank the FIA because it does not happen very often that they reconsider something.

It must have been really hard for them, but they had common sense to really try and understand what was going on. I have been always honest and it has paid off. Jarno Trulli.

McLaren has said that they mistakenly thought their radio transmissions had already been reviewed, and also stated they will not appeal the steward’s decision.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes understands that the Stewards made their decision on the basis of reviewing radio transmissions between the driver and the Team.

The Team mistakenly believed that the radio transmissions had been reviewed by the FIA on Sunday 29th March 2009, and consequently did not believe it was necessary to discuss them with the Stewards on that date.

Nonetheless, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team now regrets that it did not do so, accepts the Stewards’ decision and will not appeal. McLaren Statement.

Of course, should the FIA deem the diffuser on the Brawn BGP-001 as illegal on the 14th April, then Jarno Trulli could see himself promoted to winner, therefore gaining the team’s very first victory. It is just such a shame that the result of the first race was decided not on the track, but in the offices four days later.

Download Original Wallpaper

18 comments

  • Of course, should the FIA deem the diffuser on the Brawn BGP-001 as illegal on the 14th April, then Jarno Trulli could see himself promoted to winner, therefore gaining the team’s very first victory.

    I think appeal is for BGP, Toyota and Williams diffusers … so Jarno will not be winner in that case 🙂

  • should the FIA deem the diffuser on the Brawn BGP-001 as illegal on the 14th April, then Jarno Trulli could see himself promoted to winner, therefore gaining the team’s very first victory.

    But Toyota’s diffuser is also under protest, so at this rate the win could end up going to Fernando Alonso.

    What a mess…

  • I think appeal is for BGP, Toyota and Williams diffusers

    But Toyota’s diffuser is also under protest, so at this rate the win could end up going to Fernando Alonso.

    Oh yeah. (Whoops.) Blimey!

    What a mess…

    Totally, totally agree. Exactly how are new fans supposed to follow all this? What good does all this do to the sport?

  • At this rate, I would rather see the Australian GP results cancelled TOTALLY and the race to be repeated at the end of the season.

  • It’s extremely disappointing that once again to have the results of a race are decided after the event – not once but twice – with more appeals pending and it’s only the first race!

  • However Trulli then somehow managed to find himself back in front of the Italian driver, which under the rules is not usually permitted.

    Shouldn’t it be British driver? You’re making a very Murray Walker-like mistake. 😛

  • At this rate, I would rather see the Australian GP results cancelled TOTALLY and the race to be repeated at the end of the season.

    I know how you feel.

    It’s extremely disappointing that once again to have the results of a race are decided after the event – not once but twice – with more appeals pending and it’s only the first race!

    It’s just ridiculous. Even I’m struggling to keep up with all the changes in results, and I’ve been following F1 for about fifteen years and been writing BlogF1 for over three!

    Shouldn’t it be British driver? You’re making a very Murray Walker-like mistake. 😛

    I’m not doing very well today. 😀 I missed the error on the amended results post and now this one as well. Thanks Akshay, I’ll fix it in just a moment. 🙂

  • It seems FIA is going to crown the new world champion, right from the office! What a shame…

  • This situation is nothing but farcical. An absolute joke.

    I dunno about you guys, but I am getting really fed up with this buracratic bungling from the FIA.

  • What an absolute disgrace!

    If rules were broken and a penalty needs to be assigned, fine, but do it right after the race, before the drivers and fans leave the circuit. The penalty was harsh in my opinion, but the real bad thing was how long it has taken to clear it up. it’s unprofessional and frustrating, and things like this are a black eye to the sport in all regards.

    The FIA is supposed to be the best of the best, but the officials at my local dirt track oval do a better job of officiating races!!!

  • I live in KL and always get free tickets but I think I won’t attend anymore races as I can get the “actual” race results (which is the correct one) from the race stewards about a week after..saves money, time, effort and hair (since I don’t have to pull out mine)..

  • It’s just ridiculous. Even I’m struggling to keep up with all the changes in results, and I’ve been following F1 for about fifteen years and been writing BlogF1 for over three! {Ollie – 5 comments ago}

    My educational support officer casually followed F1 and was completely confused when we discussed the matter of Lewis yesterday – and that before I told her he’d been disqualified.

    While she understands that results sometimes need changing after the race, she finds the idea that a race result is not known one day before the next race’s first practise session starts a bit strange.

  • After I posted my comment last night I heard an interview with Martin Whitmarsh – who explained what happened – although I still don’t understand the decision made by the FIA. I have also seen the footage of Trulli going off the track and Hamilton going past, although I haven’t seen Trulli retake the position other than his on board camera (which is inconclusive).

    From what I can see Hamilton didn’t break the rules as you can pass a car under yellow flags / safety car if it has left the track. The team told him he should let Trulli through again as he rejoined the track, but Hamilton said that he didn’t need to as Trulli had left the track (which the team hadn’t seen). Whilst this conversation was going on Trulli retook the place.

    So, Trulli passed under yellow flags and broke the rules. This seems fairly simple, what is confusing me is why the FIA said Hamilton / Mercedes “acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading”. From what I can gather, the stewards didn’t investigate the incident properly and wanted a fall guy – enter Hamilton / Mercedes!

    This reminds me of Spa last year, stripping Hamilton of a race win after the race. The stewards made a mistake and have made an even bigger mess of trying to clean it up. If the stewards have a legitimate reasons for stripping Hamilton of his points then they should make a clear statement that fans can understand, not hide behind ambiguous conclusions!

    The lesson to be learned is decisions should be clear and unambiguous and made at the race track – preferably before the podium ceremony.

    I think the correct decision would have been to allow Hamilton to keep 3rd place and Trulli 4th. The punishment is extremely harsh and difficult for fans to understand and sets the tone for another confusing season influenced by the stewards and the FIA.

    One last point, both Trulli and Hamilton had driven brilliant races!

  • Just to add to the stupidity I found out today that stewards meetings are not minuted. So the Sepang stewards who were reviewing the outcome of the Melbourne stewards meeting had no hard evidence to say who said what, when there.

    The real problem here is that both teams asked race control to rule on who should be in third but rather than clear the whole thing up efficiently Charlie kept his head down and said nothing.

  • Stewards’ meetings aren’t minuted? That is bizarre. I would have thought the FIA wanted a permanent record of what had been decided to aid internal communications, if nothing else. Apparently not 🙁

Follow BlogF1