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Hamilton could be in trouble in Malaysia
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Hamilton could be in trouble in Malaysia
Posted By:   |  01 Apr 2009   |  4:08 pm GMT  |  0 comments

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….

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  1. Clackers says:

    I hate April 1st.

  2. Senad says:

    Is he a cheater ? Yes.

  3. Peter Williams says:

    Well this story was posted on Speed Channel on the day of the race: http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-hamilton-team-asked-me-to-let-trulli-past/

    Why was no action taking before today?

    You can’t blame Lewis for doing what he did. The FIA and the stewards seem to be unsure of what the rules are whenever they are asked on the spot, as we saw spectacularly in Spa last year, and so it was wise to avoid a penalty in this instance.

    The stewards have made a mountain out of a mole hill. They should have moved Trulli down to 4th place and placed Hamilton 3rd.

  4. yos says:

    Is it april the fool? I have alrready read a story saying that Toyta has withdrawn their appeal.

  5. MB says:

    Interesting….Toyota have just dropped their appeal. Maybe this is the reason.

    ps loving the new coverage at BBC.

  6. Steve Arnott says:

    April the 1st? I hope so, but if McLaren did actually cheat then a punishment is only fair. However, after a drive like his last Sunday, Lewis’s exclusion would be harsh…Trulli did well too, but in a far superior car.

  7. Paul says:

    Quite right that the matter should be investigated if new evidence comes to light. I’ve never understood the non-appealability of stewards decisions in theses circumstances.

    Surely the telemetry available (gps/throttle/engine logs) plus video feed would show if Hamilton did swerve off? If he did, surely Trulli was right to pass?

    I thought the FIA had promised to publish the relevant material (video, etc) after a stewards decision to give greater transparency? Or is that my naivety…

  8. Jason says:

    Is this true, or an April Fools joke? All the sources I have see thus far have HAM on record as saying that he was told to let Trulli through. I hadn’t heard of the ‘reading instructions’ bit….sad state of affairs this is.

  9. Vince says:

    Perhaps Toyota have been made aware of this pending investigation and may be the reason why they’ve dropped the appeal on Trulli’s penalty?

  10. Dave says:

    April Fools?

  11. TBarnes says:

    Is this an april-fools joke James? I thought Toyota withdrew the appeal?

    If not, then I’d like to think Hamilton is a professional and would tell the truth to the stewards no matter what, for better or for worse…I’d like to think that anyway…

  12. F1 Scoop says:

    Sounds like justice to me.

  13. Joel Heaton says:

    That’s very interesting, but I’ll not believe it until something does/does not happen.

    It would be very bad if Lewis had lied, but I’m somewhat sceptical about this. He doesn’t seem the type and he would have known that the stewarding team would have access to radio transmissions.

    What is your own opinion on it, James? Do you think it’s conceivable?

  14. drJeckyll says:

    For a pinnacle of motorsport that kind of stuff is really annoying … they have all telemetry data, they have all radio communication … why is so hard to find what really happened?

  15. Kayleigh says:

    I hope this is true and not some April Fools joke!!

  16. bodmonk says:

    ha ha – almost as funny as f1live.com saying he is going to drive for Brawn for the rest of the year.

  17. Poo poo story says:

    Unless Hamilton came to a complete stop Trulli shouldnt have passed him, It was Trulli who went flying off the tracks in the first place not Hamilton. The most that could happen is for Trulli to be given 4th and Hamilton 3rd as it should have been as Trulli went flying.

  18. Kleber says:

    It is’n April 1st, is it ?

  19. rpaco says:

    Well we all thought we knew absolutely, that the team told Lewis to let him past, it was even in the commentary on tv. Presumably the team radios are recorded, and listening to them will clear it up.
    If Lewis felt he had been wrongly told to let Trulli past his loyalty to the team may had led him to lie, an incredibly stupid act!!
    I posted elsewhere about this at the time saying it was unfair the Trulli was penalised.
    Maybe Lewis will loose the points as well.

  20. rpaco says:

    Addition to first para above: In fact I am sure that Martin W was on camera saying so!

  21. jeremy says:

    april fool’s……

  22. Andy says:

    Don’t the stewards watch the in-car-video and listen to the in-car-radio for all decisions?

    Sounds like an Amaturish mistake!!!

  23. Finn says:

    Doubt anything will come of this.

  24. Charles says:

    And you’re sure this isn’t an April Fools joke?

  25. james_allen_joker says:

    April’s fool!!!

  26. Zorbmeister says:

    April Fools!

  27. vicweir says:

    Well, it’s an interesting story and we shall see what we shall see, but Trulli is not the first driver to have found driving behind LH under safety car conditions a confusing experience, Webber and Vettel would bear testament to that I guess.

  28. Steven says:

    Hmmm interesting if it’s true. Lewis though is too wise to lie to stewards surely after the problems last year.

  29. jeremy says:

    btw. since toyota withdrew their appeal, should hami still be held liable?

  30. Peter says:

    James, did you get April fooled?
    Because no other german F1 site is running the story and they usually copy instantly, especially Schmidt`s …

  31. Spike says:

    For real? This is not April Fools or anything? Because some of those events have happened. The passing under safety car. The team telling Hamilton to slow down and so on. So that would mix fiction with fact which seems odd in such a serious matter.
    I just want to be sure because of the date.. :P

    Thanks for an excellent blog by the way.

  32. Bengurio says:

    Could this be April Fools?
    I had my suspicions while watching the race how Trulli having lost the spot ended up in front of Hamilton and had assumed that Lewis must have given him back the place. It is quite possible that Lewis didn’t know any better.
    Taking nothing away from him as I believe he was the driver of the day, from 18th to 4th or 3rd in a very slow car.

    If they took away the point from him I would say its Spa last year all over again. If they put him 4th, he deserved it. 3rd even better.

  33. Peter says:

    Sorry but this is witch hunting I feel. Why would Hamilton lie? Why haven’t Toyota or Trulli come out with utter anger at the decision??? Instead Toyota have dropped the appeal because they know they can’t win an appeal because it’s unappealable. Maybe one of the most respected journalists, but Michael Schmidt is merely just trying his best to sell papers.

  34. hmmmmmmmm….. today is April1st (aka April Fools Day)….

  35. Tibet Fonteyne says:

    April fools? I sure hope so…

  36. Kristian says:

    Politics and hazy rules. We love them or else we wouldn’t punish ourselves by living, breathing and eating F1. I’m not surprised Hamilton would lie, every team is looking for the unfair advantage.

    It will be a big slap in the face if they lose their points. They’ll work harder for every point this season than any of them can remember.

    James, as others have said, you dethroned almost every other F1 website on the net.

  37. Dan Smith says:

    april fools?

  38. Cort says:

    How ugly and distasteful. *If* this turns out to be true then it will support those views aired by some in 2007 that Lewis will do anything to get what he wants, including bare-face lie to officials and act like a victim.

    I have no time for Lewis, but I do hope this isn’t true.

  39. Jon says:

    Whatever next! It seems to be one thing after another already this year. Let’s hope it was just a misunderstanding, and we can get on with the racing…

  40. David Forbes says:

    This is not much of a surprise I have to say. I got the impression that there was something fishy going on.

  41. Alex says:

    James to me this feels like no one understands the safety car rules. Once Trulli span off both drivers were a bit confused as to what place they should be in. The simple answer is that neither Mclaren nor Toyota understood the safety car rules properly. I suspect that Lewis will be punished by the stewards, because generally that’s what happens. It would make a total mockery of his awesome drive from the back of the field and would make F1 look totally ridiculous to the general public. What’s that? Lewis was disqualified because he wasn’t sure whether he should yield the place or not. Anyway Mclaren are usually on the radio to Charlie Whiting when issues like this arise to ensure they make the right decision. Not that it makes any difference as the Stewards will no doubt punish Lewis for having the audacity to turn up and race.

  42. kalofer_bg says:

    James,

    can you comment on article I read on F1-live.com? Is that true or just BS?

    Check this out:
    http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/090401093727.shtml

    The reigning World Champion will therefore leave the McLaren Mercedes team with immediate effect, and will be wearing the Brawn operation’s white overalls at this week-end’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

    “It was a logical decision to make when considering the situation both our teams are facing at present,” Ross Brawn stated. “Everyone is very confident in regards to our potential in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.”

  43. Steve says:

    I always knew Lewis would do and say anything to get what he wants. Still believe every word he said about 2007?

  44. Long Time Observer says:

    April Fools?

  45. Peter Freeman says:

    This is odd! On most websites the story of the team telling Hamilton to pull over for fear of the stewards is openly told.

    I am amazed that this is news to you James…?

    The debate else where is how come its right for Truli to be punidhed when he thought the McLaren had a problem and come the teams can’t call the FIA for clarification?

    It has comes down to the kind of fiasco we had in Aus, with McLaren in fear that they will be done, no matter if Trulli had an off or not and so pulling Hamilton back, AND THEN Toyota believing they had passed a car that had a problem, being penalised off the planet! What incompetents from the FIA!!!

    Really F1 is where it is today IN SPITE of Bernie and Max, not because of them.

  46. Shaun says:

    The press are looking for a reason to hunt Lewis down, this could be it. I like the guy and think he is a real talent but I thought I’d heard something about him being told to concede the place to JT after the race.

    It seems so daft to lie for a point. One of Schumi’s weaknesses was his win at any cost mentality – he was one of the great drivers but not one of the great sportsmen. I hope LH and Maclaren are not following suit.

    Either way the penalty handed out to JT needs investigating, it was out of all proportion in my opinion.

  47. Joe says:

    Well looks like this season is going to be anything but simple…

    Lets hope the stewards make the right decision and once again James keep up the great work…great blog! :)

  48. Kevin Brock says:

    Sounds like the saga of Australia 2009 will never end. If LH has been a little economical with the truth though, then I’m sorry but he deserves everything he gets but I’m sure it will be thoroughly investigated in the usual unbiased manner of the FIA ;)

    Great blog by the way James, only found it today… already following you on twitter. Nice to see the behind the scenes action in between races.

  49. Matthew says:

    Oh dear, more scandal. Is Lewis a lier? Hard to condone someone who beats someone off the track, in that manner.

    If he did lie, he should suffer the very serious consequences.

    However, could it be that the truth has not come through the various lines of media, unscathed? Time will tell I guess.

  50. Des Murray says:

    Please let this be an April Fool….!!

  51. Richard says:

    Hmm..
    Seems that Mr.Hamilton was acting like a child if it is true that he lied.. Supposed to be a sport of professionals. No wonder no one likes Hamilton.

  52. Stuart says:

    I hope this is an april Fools joke…because you cannot be serious! If not…well that’ll be it for the season for me.

  53. Nick Lynn says:

    Once again it seems that the ‘lets single out Hamilton’ steward brigade are at work here. I thought the consensus of opinion from last season was that we need to have less steward interference? Seems to me, that a great opening race and a potentially wonderful season is already getting bogged down in off-the-track gerrymandering. Do we want F1 to be a racing spectacle or are we going to allow it to degenerate into farce once again?

  54. James Southey says:

    april fools prehaps?

  55. Fergie1 says:

    Is this an April fools joke?

  56. Peter says:

    I am not sure that would be the first time Lewis trying to say what he supposed to. It is typical McLaren stuff. Probably he is an honest guy off track, but McLaren PR makes him talking a lot of rubbish. Not nice, but let’s see how the story unfolds.

  57. andrew says:

    interesting read, wish the bbc had you on there blog

    And on topic is there any precedent with something like this happening in the past and if so what was the penalty if any given then.

  58. Jay says:

    How is this an April Fool joke from James? It was reported elsewhere first in several other racing sites. Autosport have it. F1Live has it.

    And what has Toyota’s withdrawal of the appeal got to do with anything? The insconsistency has allegedly been raised with the stewards who have decided to investigate. Nothing to do with Toyota. Or are they supposed to look into the future and read minds before deciding on their course of action?

  59. Ben James says:

    Oh no, this doesn’t sound good at all. Anyone could forgive Lewis for letting Trulli past, considering the debacle in Spa last year. Poor Lewis. But then he hasn’t done himself any favours mixing his words. Sounds like he was told to say something different by his team and come unstuck! Why don’t they just let the drivers speak their minds?! That coporate Ronspeak nonsense isn’t good for anyone!

    I saw an interview of Jenson after one of the very limted tests they did, on talking about the Brawn car he said “seems to have a good lump in the back of it!” Can you imagine Lewis being allowed to refer to the Mercedes engine as a lump?! He would be instructed to say engine, all the right words in all the right places!

  60. guy says:

    this development begs me one simple question – how can a decision that cannot be appealed be ‘re-opened’?

  61. Jay says:

    Alex wrote:

    “I suspect that Lewis will be punished by the stewards, because generally that’s what happens. It would make a total mockery of his awesome drive from the back of the field and would make F1 look totally ridiculous to the general public. What’s that? Lewis was disqualified because he wasn’t sure whether he should yield the place or not. Anyway Mclaren are usually on the radio to Charlie Whiting when issues like this arise to ensure they make the right decision. Not that it makes any difference as the Stewards will no doubt punish Lewis for having the audacity to turn up and race.”

    Seriously? What on EARTH are you going on about?! This is an April Fool’s joke, surely? Enough of the anti-Hamilton conspiracy theories please. The fact is that the stewards already ruled on this incident – and against Trulli not Hamilton!!!!! They are only (allegedly) looking at it again because they have been given reason to believe that Hamilton’s evidence to the FIA stewards was false and contradicted by Lewis himself!!

    And why not complain about Trulli’s awesome drive (more so than Lewis’ who was handed nearly half a dozen places by the first lap incident) being made a mockery of by Sunday’s decision? And no-one believes this “my car was trying to shoot off the track every corner” stuff from Lewis. He claims it was his best/hardest/toughest ever drive every time he straps in.

  62. Jay says:

    Alex wrote:

    “I suspect that Lewis will be punished by the stewards, because generally that’s what happens. It would make a total mockery of his awesome drive from the back of the field and would make F1 look totally ridiculous to the general public. What’s that? Lewis was disqualified because he wasn’t sure whether he should yield the place or not. Anyway Mclaren are usually on the radio to Charlie Whiting when issues like this arise to ensure they make the right decision. Not that it makes any difference as the Stewards will no doubt punish Lewis for having the audacity to turn up and race.”

    Seriously? What on EARTH are you going on about?! This is an April Fool’s joke, surely? Enough of the anti-Hamilton conspiracy theories please. The fact is that the stewards already ruled on this incident – and against Trulli not Hamilton!!!!! They are only (allegedly) looking at it again because they have been given reason to believe that Hamilton’s evidence to the FIA stewards was false and contradicted by Lewis himself!!

    And why not complain about Trulli’s awesome drive (more so than Lewis’ who was handed nearly half a dozen places by the first lap incident) being made a mockery of by Sunday’s decision? And no-one believes this “my car was trying to shoot off the track every corner” stuff from Lewis. He claims it was his best/hardest/toughest ever drive every time he straps in.

    (Note to webmaster: comments system isn’t working properly)

  63. guy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RGuS2PxZEE

    This is the initial pass by hamilton on trulli under SC – very clear that hamilton did the right thing. Surely (as a biased hamilton fan) the confusion afterwards is irrelevant as trulli made the mistake and lost the place – the team wouldn’t have told him to pull over…. would they?

  64. Michael B says:

    JA you’re great, This was up on your blog at least 4 hours before it hit the rest of the “popular” web sites… GPupdate… F1technical…

    keep up the great work. Not my only stop for F1 news, but one of two stops to come discuss F1!

  65. JP says:

    Doesn’t every car have a camera on? Extraordinary that stewards can’t look at these things. And why was that clip pulled from YouTube? The one of Trulli off on the grass. It all seems so Machiavellian.
    There is so much data collected on and from every car that I just do not understand why it is not used in cases like this.

    Brilliant site JA. More power to your elbow.

  66. Jason says:

    Don’t think this is an April fools joke, unless Autosport is also in the business of pulling pranks…

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74137

  67. Robbie says:

    You might be interested in this recording of Trulli’s radio :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OohT1HbaEF0

  68. hydrazine says:

    This is not April fools. A quick look at another source will indicate so. Going to the Auto Motor und Sport website and using an online translator will also confirm this.

    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2009/04/01/hamilton-summoned-by-stewards-over-trulli-pass/

    Hamilton summoned by stewards over Trulli pass
    01 April 2009

    The FIA has announced that it is to review its decision to penalise Toyota’s Jarno Trulli in last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, by calling Lewis Hamilton to the stewards’ office in Malaysia. The Italian driver lost third place and six points when handed with a 25-second time penalty for passing the McLaren under safety car conditions in the dying minutes of the race.

    The incident began shortly after the deployment of the second and last safety car of the race, as Trulli ran off the track at Turn 15. He duly re-passed the McLaren, with the safety car still circulating, to retake the third position, for which the FIA imposed the penalty later in the evening. A twist in the story occurred, however, when Hamilton admitted that his team called for him to let the Toyota driver retake his podium position, with Trulli claiming that the McLaren slowed and moved off line, as if retiring from the race.

    It has now emerged, however, that the World Champion explained to race stewards in Australia that he did not deliberately yield to the Toyota, despite seemingly telling SpeedTV the opposite just minutes before. “I was behind Trulli under the safety car, and clearly you’re not allowed to overtake under the safety car,” Hamilton explained before seeing the stewards. “But Trulli went off in the second to last corner – he went onto the grass, I guess his tyres were cold. I was forced to go by. I slowed down as much as I could but I was told to let him back past, but I don’t know if that’s the regulations and, if it isn’t, then I should have really had third.”

    The governing body has also received a copy of McLaren’s radio communications from the race, which was not available to race stewards on Sunday night. It is now looking more likely that – if Hamilton is judged to have changed his story – Trulli will reclaim his podium finish, and could mean the Englishman finishes further down the order taking his original fourth position.

  69. hydrazine says:

    Not April fool’s joke.

    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2009/04/01/hamilton-summoned-by-stewards-over-trulli-pass/

    The FIA has announced that it is to review its decision to penalise Toyota’s Jarno Trulli in last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, by calling Lewis Hamilton to the stewards’ office in Malaysia. The Italian driver lost third place and six points when handed with a 25-second time penalty for passing the McLaren under safety car conditions in the dying minutes of the race.

  70. M__E says:

    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

    the funniest thing about this was that he would possibly be excluded from the results! – do you really need me to explain why its funny ;-)

  71. caanan says:

    no april fools… see autosport.com for confirmation

  72. Andrew says:

    There’s no way Hamilton would have deliberately misled the stewards, to do so would be stupid and McLaren know better than to allow Lewis to do that.

  73. Frenchie says:

    Should Hamilton be excluded, is there any reason why Trulli should be reinstated?

    I am of the opinion that he went off during a ‘safety’ car period; and as such, he shouldn’t.

    In this case, Toyota would still be a winner as Glock would be promoted 3rd.

  74. Alvin K says:

    after all that lewis and mclaren had to endure from the stewards and fia the last 2 years, i’m not surprised anymore at any threat or actions towards them..it’s become a standard…i’d be surprised if lewis made it through this season without a single intervention from the stewards..such is the hate and prejudice..the anti lewis bigots would of course need their fix..sick..

  75. yos says:

    For me the most controversial decsion was demoting Vettel ten places, he was not 100% responsible for the accident. if there was any penality to look back it should be this one. But for the FIA there is nothing sweet than turning lewis’s head.

  76. David says:

    If Lewis Hamilton lied to the stewards, than he should be given a disqualification from the race, and a further two race ban. One of the things you don’t do in motorsport is lie to the FIA or the stewards.

    I seem to remember BAR Honda getting a disqualification and a two race ban in 2005.

  77. Padmanabh says:

    Its not the question of 3rd place or 4th place. Real issue is somebody is holding the truth and probably its McLaren. Toyota gave up the appeal because they were reminded of previous occassions. Let the truth prevail. Looks like very bad start for Mr. Whitemarsh.

  78. Treaded Lurgy says:

    If it was an April Fool it would go down as bad taste – however, sadly it’s not and it’s for real – as the farce that is FIA continues to seriously degrade the sport I love. :-(
    Is this a precursor of the races to come throughout the 2009 season with teams and drivers going up and down the points table like proverbial yo-yo’s as FIA review, change their minds,
    I mean Jeez, this is the most high-tech of sports there is, it surely can’t be that difficult to determine who was where at a set time? Can it?

    Just heard Beeb’s 10.00 am news. Hamilton excluded, Trulli back in third.

  79. Jay says:

    Let’s have another look at Hamilton’s 2007 evidence, and through a new lense, shall we?

    There were many people who said you shouldn’t trust a word he says and pointed out huge inconsistencies between regular statements from Hamilton and McLaren on the Alonso and Spygate matter, and it looks like they were absolutely right.

  80. Finn says:

    Excellent call, James – seems you were 100 percent right.

  81. H ROBINSON says:

    SO! it appears that LH is HUMAN after all, what a surprise.!
    but why is it that the people who do the most to help the sport, are punished continually by the stupidity of the FIA
    and the Stewards?
    the way things are going, it wouldn’t surprise me if drivers
    start resigning from F1 and go into another form of the sport, or teams got away from FIA dominance by forming
    their own series. in fact I’d like that to happen.

  82. Martin P says:

    MB? Not Martin Brundle??!!

  83. Dylan says:

    geez im getting sick of these hamilton fanboys. noo its never hamiltons fault, its always someone elses fault…. stewards… ferrari… trulli… the alignment of the moon… its all just a big conspiracy to stop hamilton being successful isnt it?

    racing is meant to be fair. if he keeps his 3rd place, the (impartial!!) stewards were happy that he is 100% within the rulebook. if he looses 3rd place, then he did something that was against the rules. simple as that.

    I certainly trust the stewards to deliver a fair decision then i do some of the hamilton fanboys on here.

    d.

  84. James Allen says:

    JA writes: hydrazine, what online translator did you use to do that?

  85. kiriti says:

    Hi all,

    This gives me an idea that most of the British dominated teams are fancying information, one thing about the Brawn team is that a lot of people think that they are not playing by the rules, Hamilton and his team- people should be asking the pedigree and sprit that one need to have in the sport. that why FIA folks on principal does not believe British teams….

  86. F1 fan says:

    However slow Trulli went behind Lewis, Lewis would go slower because he was told to let him past. Eventually Lewis would have had to stop.

    It is a fair penalty in some respects, but Trull 3rd, Lewis 4th would have been better.

    Why Lewis lied to the FIA then say something else to the media is suprising. Also shows how he changes when the media are around.

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