A story has just appeared on the Auto Motor und Sport website in Germany, which could have explosive consequences for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren this weekend.
It is written by Michael Schmidt, who is one of the most respected journalists in F1.
The gist of the article is that Lewis Hamilton may have some explaining to do to the stewards, for what he said to them in Melbourne, which led to him deposing Jarno Trulli for third place.
The story is headlined “Did Hamilton tell the truth?”.
“Possibly the exclusion of Jarno Trulli in the season opener in Melbourne must be reopened. Doubts have emerged whether the beneficiary Lewis Hamilton told the truth to the hearing.
“Trulli drove past Hamilton between the turns 4 and 5. The Toyota driver said that Hamilton so strongly deviated from the racing line that he thought Hamilton had a problem. Under these circumstances passing him would be permitted. Hamilton denied the allegation of intentionally slow driving. He changed line, because he was busy reading off the Safety Car instructions on the dashboard display.”
But after examining this, the stewards have apparently discovered that at that point in time and on the circuit, the dash display would have been cleared and there was nothing more on the display, which could have diverted Hamilton.
The story continues: “The central issue however to be gleaned is whether the team instructed Hamilton to drive intentionally slowly. Hamilton answered in the negative. However after the race the following story circulated: Hamilton is said to have told a reporter that the team told him over radio to let Trulli through again,”
The story then develops: “This contradiction brought the FIA officials to listen once again to the recordings of the radio traffic. Although there is no statement from official sources, speculation increases that the stewards from Melbourne will be reconvened in Malaysia.
“There are two scenarios. If Hamilton, from ignorance of the rules, let Trulli by, then Trulli would be given back his points and could be restored to third place. Hamilton would then be fourth. But if it should turn out that he did not tell the truth to the stewards, then there could be serious consequences, possibly exclusion from the results. Also in this case Trulli would be again third.”
It sounds like Lewis will either end up losing a point, or all of his points. If the stewards find that he misled them, he may face carrying a suspended ban over his head for a while, or worse….