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phill_catterick Posted on 02/04/2009 18:46
Hamilton Disqualified

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LEWIS HAMILTON and Mclaren Mercedes have been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix after the governing body eliminated the driver and the team `for providing evidence deliberately misleading to the stewards. `

The evidence relates to the incident which occurred under the last safety car period just laps from the end of the race involving the Brit, and Toyota driver Jarno Trulli.

Unseen by the cameras, Trulli left the circuit and was overtaken by the reigning champion under safety car conditions, rules stating that no driver can overtake for position while the car is deployed.

Hamilton went past the Italian while he was off the circuit, and had no choice but to take 3rd-but the Toyota re-took the position, again under safety car conditions which was initially the reason why he and Toyota were disqualified from the race.

However, `new evidence` has suggested that Hamilton’s story in the stewards’ room doesn’t completely match that of the conversation that he and his team had over the radio, and the stewards have deemed this as an acceptable reason to exclude both he and the team from the race, meaning that Hamilton goes to Malaysia with no points on the board.

Mclaren’s relationship with the FIA seems to be at an all time low, bearing in mind they were disqualified from the 2007 championship altogether and fined a record $50 million dollars for allegedly using information from Ferrari to develop their own car.

And this last episode won’t exactly make their relationship any better with only one round of the championship gone. This sort of dishonesty towards the governing body will make future disciplinary hearings much more difficult for them to deny considering they can’t get their story straight.

In addition, its six points lost which at the time would have seemed like a victory to Martin Whitmarsh and the rest of his team, as they were quoted as saying that one point would make the weekend a complete success. Whether the car is any quicker in Sepang this weekend is a different matter, although it will need to be if decent points are to be gained.

Jarno Trulli said he was pleased with the FIA’s decision to overturn their penalty, as it has reinstated the Italian’s third place and Toyota’s constructor’s points.

The governing body very rarely overturn their decisions, but it does put into question whether any race can go by in this sport without some sort of unnecessary negative attention being created.

Racing incidents occur all the time, and no action at all should have been taken against Vettel or Kubica, and all evidence should have been collected before the FIA made a final decision on the punishments regarding Toyota and Mclaren.

Hopefully the Malaysian Grand Prix will pass by with no action whatsoever being taken against any driver or team unnecessarily, with all the talking being done on the track as the F1 party travels to Kuala Lumpur for round two
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