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McLaren to face the music – without Ryan
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McLaren to face the music – without Ryan
Posted By:   |  07 Apr 2009   |  5:02 pm GMT  |  85 comments

The familiar ping of the incoming email alert on my Mac. The sender: FIA press, the subject: Extraordinary meeting of the FIA world council.

We’ve been expecting this since Friday, now the date is set – April 29th, the Wednesday after Bahrain and the rap sheet has been published.

“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has been invited to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Wednesday, 29 April, 2009, to answer charges that, in breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, it

- on 29 March, 2009, told the stewards of the Australian Grand Prix that no instructions were given to Hamilton in Car No. 1 to allow Trulli in Car no. 9 to pass when both cars were behind the safety car, knowing this statement to be untrue;

- procured its driver Hamilton the current World Champion, to support and confirm this untrue statement to the stewards;

- although knowing that as a direct result of its untrue statement to the stewards, another driver and a rival team had been unfairly penalised, made no attempt to rectify the situation either by contacting the FIA or otherwise;

- on 2 April, 2009, at a second hearing before the stewards of the Australian Grand Prix, (meeting in Malaysia) made no attempt to correct the untrue statement of 29 March but, on the contrary, continued to maintain that the statement was true, despite being allowed to listen to a recording of the team instructing Hamilton to let Trulli past and despite being given more than one opportunity to correct its false statement;

- on 2 April, 2009, at the second stewards’ hearing, procured its driver Hamilton to continue to assert the truth of the false statement given to the stewards on 29 March, while knowing that what he was saying to the stewards was not true.”

The range of punishments goes from a fine, to a ban for a certain number of races, to disqualification. But the more likely route would be the loss of constructors’ championship points, as in 2007.

McLaren responded a few minutes later.

“We undertake to co-operate fully with all WMSC processes, and welcome the opportunity to work with the FIA in the best interests of Formula 1.

“This afternoon McLaren and its former sporting director, Dave Ryan, have formally parted company. As a result, he is no longer an employee of any of the constituent companies of the McLaren Group.”

McLaren are in an awkward position as they have already accepted that the above charges are valid. However, what the WMSC will seek to learn is whether Dave Ryan acted alone in telling Hamilton to ‘deliberately mislead’ the stewards, or whether anyone higher up in the organisation was involved.

Now Ryan is no longer an employee of McLaren, as long as he has no plans to work again in the sport (he is getting close to retirement age), he will be under no obligation to appear before the WMSC. This could turn out to be quite significant, as he could then be cast in the rogue employee role by McLaren and will not be there in Paris saying anything about who else was involved.

McLaren have ringfenced him in this way and it could be tricky for the WMSC to prove that anyone else in the team was involved.

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85 Comments
  1. Steve Rodgers says:

    What a total mess…to have missed out on several opportunities to straighten things up and to then maintain a false story when presented with the evidence defies all belief. If the allegations are all true, and it would seem that they are, then Maclaren will need a miracle to avoid going to FIA hell.

    What was Davey thinking of? ….and I wonder how he is feeling now that his world has come crashing down around him?

  2. rpaco says:

    The only question remains once you have been tried how shall we execute you?
    That the team did not take any opportunity to rectify or deny the original supposition automatically places them in a no win situation.

    Were this Ferrari of course, there would be no hearing, no trial, no steward’s decision, we saw nothing. Omerta!

    Funny to see Mr Cobbler getting some unjustified stick now. :-)

  3. Roberto says:

    I think Mclaren has done nothing but shoot themselves in the foot. It is astonoshing how something so insignificant has developed on a problem that could ban them or make them lose their points for 2009 whatever they get. What amazes me more is that Hamilton only show remorse after Ryan was sent home and the penalty came, he vener stood out and said to the FIA or the public, listen this is what realy happened. For that reason he should be punished too, i feel sorry for him because the preasure in his shoulder right now has to be umbeareable but i think the FIA and the WMSC will go hard on Mclaren and either Hamilton or Whitmarsh and the team will be punished and the 2007 “spygate”will be at the table again.

  4. Finn says:

    Let’s not beat about the bush here.

    The really fundamental, critical, important, significant, determinant, and pivotal fact in all of this … is that you’ve got a Mac.
    ;)

    Macca seem to have covered themselves in dung and dumped Ryan in a bid to save their own skins. Makes them look even more duplicitous if they have moved now just to block Ryan from attending the hearing.

  5. Rob says:

    If Ryan has gone, then it would appear that the team and now more so Hamilton,will have to take the punishment.Trouble is it`s no good fining the team,more action will have to be taken regarding this year`s championship and Hamilton should be looking at at least 2-3 race ban,also due to the ( VERY ) large part that Pedro Del a Rosa played in the spy scandal they should not be allowed to use him as a replacement driver.

  6. Ben G says:

    I am still baffled by the sheer stupidity of it all. How, even after the radio transmissions were played, could Ryan & Hamilton still deny that they had let Trulli past?

  7. Peter says:

    Sorry James, but why exactly is it important for the WMSC to know who knew what at McLaren?
    I was under the impression that Ryan and Lewis lying was the main issue here.
    Anything else is a witch hunt by definition.

  8. Aaron Fisher says:

    Do you think that maybe ryan may have received a pay-off when he was made the scapegoat? And that he will be too busy spending his new wealth to appear at the hearing. Thereby meaning that there is no evidence that anyone else knew about the lie.

  9. doctorvee says:

    James,

    I think this is my first substantial comment here. First of all, I’d like to say how much I enjoy reading your blog.

    I wanted to follow on from your final couple of paragraphs. You say it could be tricky for the WMSC to prove that anyone other than Dave Ryan was aware of the misleading story that would be given to the stewards. I find Martin Whitmarsh’s interview recorded by the BBC immediately after the Australian Grand Prix (the monitors in the background reveal that it was recorded before the podium ceremony) very interesting. The video of it is here. Only people based in the UK will be able to view it, so for the benefit of those outside Britain I have transcribed the relevant section:

    …there’s some debate about whether it’s a 3rd place at the moment given that Trulli fell off and re-passed under the Safety Car…

    [Ted Kravitz asks him to expand on this.]

    …At the end, under the Safety Car, Trulli fell off onto the grass and Lewis had no choice but to go past him. He was not on the racing circuit. Trulli then re-took the place under the Safety Car, which ordinarily you wouldn’t do.

    I know that the FIA are looking at it at the moment and doubtless we’ll have a ruling in due course.

    Martin Whitmarsh was not asked if there were any radio conversations. But he chose to omit this information regardless. The BBC’s viewers were left with the impression that Jarno Trulli had passed Lewis Hamilton of his own accord, not having been invited to do so. This version of events is very similar to the one we are led to understand was relayed to the stewards.

    This would seem to suggest that very soon after the end of the race, a version of events — the official McLaren party line, as it were — was constructed. This is the version of events that Martin Whitmarsh gave to Ted Kravitz and the BBC’s viewers. It’s the version of events Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton gave to the FIA stewards. If my hunch is true, McLaren’s decision to scapegoat Dave Ryan is absolutely reprehensible.

    For what it’s worth, I think what McLaren have done here is unacceptable. However, for the sake of the sport I hope that any further action taken by the FIA is not too over-the-top. Perhaps a fine, or the removal of the right to score Constructors’ Championship points for a few races, but nothing more.

  10. MartinWR says:

    I absolutely hate to be the first one to say that this looks as if it stinks to high heaven, i.e. if they are really trying to prevent Ryan being questioned, but to be charitable, what other interpretation can you possibly put on this development? I just hope I’m wrong and maybe he will appear after all.
    What on earth are they trying to hide (if he doesn’t appear)? It also makes it even more obvious than before that Ryan has been singled out to be scapegoated to save you know who.
    Is it impossible to hope that the McLaren management will ever decide to come clean? It looks as if they will never change.

  11. Michael Deaton says:

    This whole situation is descending further and further into dangerous waters, not only for McClaren, but for the sport as a whole.

    Back in the wake of spygate, there was talk and rumour of McClaren possibly being permanently ejected from the sport as a consequence of their acquisition and dissemination of Ferrari data. I just wonder if the mindset of the team at this stage is that they are making sacrifices now to ward off any possibility of that very sentence being pronounced upon them.

  12. Patrick Byrne says:

    Seems to me like everybodys scrambling to cover their asses and protect their interests:
    - McLaren have shamefuly (in my opinion) left an employee of 35 years service carrying the can. They are desperate to protect their image and keep their no.1 driver sweet.
    - The Hamiltons have been complicit in this. They have a strong hand in ensuring the team do everything in it’s power to shield LH.
    - The FIA are fully within their rights to follow up this matter but it is difficult to believe there is not a certain amount of glee in certain quarters of the association. (To put it mildly!)
    - The FIA are pursuing McLaren with vigour. At the same time it appears to me that they are bending over backwards to protect Hamilton. His threat to leave F1 may not ring true but both Max and Bernie will be keen not to effect the popularity of their no. 1 box-office draw and to ensure he has a long, fruitful and profitable (for all concerned) career in F1.
    So in summary the FIA are twisting the knife in McLaren, they in turn have stuck the knife in Ryan’s back and both parties are keen to protect Hamilton because the one thing they have in common is that his talent and celebrity status are hugely important both to the McLaren team and to F1 as a whole…

  13. Marilyn says:

    I think some of you have missed a very important point in the FIA statement it goes on about Lewis being “procured” if you know what this means, it seems to me that they think he had no choice ( I don’t agree but that’s another story).
    No charges have been brought against Lewis Hamilton. He may have to appear to clarify his part, but this is about McLaren. Of course Lewis is part of McLaren so must be in bits right now. I am sadden that they did not come clean when they had the opportunity. I know it would not have made any difference, they would still have been taken to the FIA court, but at least it would not look so bad.

  14. Dave H says:

    I’m getting a sneaky suspicion that keeping people in the dark is the ‘Whitmarsh way’.
    I believe Ron Dennis when he said he was not aware about how deeply the Ferrari data had got into his team.
    So who was overseeing it being passed around?
    And now we have Liegate in Martin’s first race as head honcho, it smells more than a little.
    I reckon Ryan was told to lie here and subsequently passed-on that information to the driver, but he’s been named as the cause in the hope that MW gets to keep his job.

    The FIA should call for Martin Whitmarsh to stand down as he’s not only bringing shame to a good team but also making the sport look bad as well. If Whitmarsh stays it’s bad for Formula 1.

  15. Oh please let this sorry saga be over. Accept that this kind of thing has always happened in the sport and it’s not going to destroy it. Slap some wrists. Tighten the rules a bit. And let’s go bloody racing again.

    As usual, it’s what happens behind closed doors that’s producing headlines. What a shame.

  16. james says:

    Good luck Davey Ryan! After so many years at Mclaren, he,s certainlly a top guy, can’t believe he would take one for the team in such a drastic way without being asked! Skapegoat certainly! You don’t let a top guy go like that!

  17. sean says:

    I can understand hamilton not being happy but leave hardly.All these issue’s could be moved to the backburner if they had a competitive car, and we won’t know that till after tuesday .Assuming the trick diffusers are outlawed as they should this will bring all the cars back on a level playing field,then the racing will take centre stage not the politics. On that issue james if the ruling goes against the three teams will they get the right of appeal could this go on all season.

  18. Raelene says:

    typical McLaren – they did the same in Spygate – use someone as a scapegoat to try and clear their name…..

  19. falmouth says:

    It smacks of double-standards to be throwing the book at Maclaren but letting Lewis get away with, it seems, twice telling blatant lies to the stewards, especially when Lewis’ apology was anything but unequivocal. ‘I was misled by the team’. Lewis’ ‘explanation’ that it was all done in the heat of the moment, doesn’t really stand up in the light of the apparent fact that he told the same porky-pies at the second stewards’ inquiry. He’s supposed to be a sportsman and it is he who would have benefited at the expense of his fellow competitor Trulli.

  20. F1 fan says:

    Well if McLaren lose their Constructor’s points, it won’t be like last time because they wont have as many points, they wont be close. I think another fine for McLaren, but I don’t think another punishment is neccisary. They did break 5 rules…but you could easily class that as one rule…so for me, the disqualification was enough.

  21. pSynrg says:

    Is anyone still interested in this? ZZZzzz…

  22. Janet says:

    James, love your blog. Ok so they lied. Hamilton was excluded from the race and Ryan was suspended. Why not let it go there? I don’t follow why it’s becoming such a huge issue. Let’s just go racing!!!!!

  23. DanSloan says:

    Oh look, someone bought up Monaco 2006. Get a clue. Schumacher wasn’t stupid enough to tell the media one story and the stewards something else. The stewards didn’t believe him, it does not mean that he lied. Get over it.

    Whitmarsh needs to be excluded from having anything to do with F1. I can’t believe that he still insisted there was no radio transmission. Either he was complicit and should be banned from the sport, or McLaren want us to believe that Ron Dennis appointed a team prinicpal who, in the face of such furious contraversy, did not sit down with Lewis and Dave Ryan, ask them what they told the stewards and then listen to the radio transmissions. I’m sorry, but I do not believe Whitmarsh is that stupid.

  24. guy says:

    He is a scapegoat. Witmarsh knew, Hamilton knew, David knew, perhaps even the boys with the air guns in the pit box knew what was going on. I don’t blame them. Lie and inherit 3rd place… why not give it a go? People seem to forget how ruthless the sport can be. Ayrton crashed into Alain at 185mph in Japan to win the Championship; not to mention the tactics employed by Michael over the years. I don’t particularly like McLaren, or the often obsequious Hamilton, but give them a break. The FIA has it out for them and it is so transparent. I am a Tifosi and I don’t think it is fair… Here comes another arbitrary $100 million fine!

  25. Peter Dawson says:

    It’d be in formula one’s best interests if they were punished with just a hefty fine. It should never have come to this, stemming all the way down from the brainless idiot who told Hamilton to move over for Trulli after his Toyota went and did a bit of gardening. To think these guys don’t know the simplest of rules is mind boggling.

  26. Colin says:

    “McLaren have ringfenced him in this way and it could be tricky for the WMSC to prove that anyone else in the team was involved.”

    Until an aggrieved Mr. Ryan ignores any muting clause in his severance agreement and spills the lentils to the Press’ highest bidder.

    I wonder if Mr. Mosley’s least favourite newspaper would be interested in the story?

  27. JohnBt says:

    Basically there will be big cover-up. What’s new. The British are rising and falling at the same time.

  28. Paul Douglas says:

    It seems pretty obvious at this stage that Dave Ryan did not act alone. But aside from that, what exactly makes Hamilton squeaky clean in all this? He knew what he had said on TV, why did he not speak up and say “this lying idea is both wrong and won’t work because I already told the truth publicly”?

    “Misled” by the team. What does that even mean? Is he so stupid that the team can tell him something is true and that then overrides the information he already had, firsthand, disproving it?

  29. benno says:

    I see human cost. I hope that Ryan guy is okay – he gave his best adult years of his life to McLaren. He’d probably feel pretty low coming home and telling his family that the company he loved all his life, shafted him big time.

    Will he take the golden egg or maybe he turn up in Paris and return the favour?

    McLaren’s image is now a big PR problem. Would you pay megabucks during a financial crisis to associate your product with them.

  30. Bill says:

    James, a great blog and twitter site.

    A few comments on liegate:

    1. Even though Ryan is no longer with McLaren, and therefore, can’t be compelled to come before the WMSC, McLaren may be asked if he was given any severance benefits. I assume that under UK law an employee who is terminated for cause is not entitled to much, if any, severance benefits. If he was given benefits beyond those normally afforded to employees terminated for cause, then it would appear that he was a scapegoat and that the lying ran deep in the McLaren organization.

    2. Given the evidence, including Hamilton’s mea culpa, it seems that the only question is determining McLaren’s penalty.

    3. If McLaren’s penalty is exclusion from the constructor’s championship, it will also be a de facto monetary penalty since the revenue split from FOM is determined by constructor’s points.

  31. M__E says:

    This team beggars belief, nevermind disqualifying them or taking world champ points, just throw these ‘bad apples’ out of the circus, they just get worse by the day. And like you pointed out James, Ryan wont be there, so they can just scapegoat him and blame him for everything.

    Reminds me of Doping in cycling, get rid of the bad apples for the sake of the sport, McLaren have NO scruples, and would walk over/and shaft anyone it seems to get what they want.

  32. PaulL says:

    So McLaren and Hamilton lied on two separate occasions at two hearings?

    pSynrg: yes many are still interested in this. In my view it’s more interesting than the racing at the moment.

  33. Colster says:

    Isn’t it convienient that Mrs Whitmarsh decided to take Martin on a holiday just after the Melbourne GP….

    Of course other people in Mclaren knew what Hammy and Ryan had said!

  34. rpaco says:

    I read elsewhere that Dave Ryan had been contacted by the FIA, will appear and has promised to cooperate fully with the FIA enquiry.

  35. Colin says:

    Looking at the current state of Formula One, a question comes to mind: Does any student of English know the derivation of the idiom:

    “Gone to the dogs”.

    Possibly related to Andy Capp and Greyhound racing?
    Or throwing meat unfit for human consumption to the Hounds and Beagles?

  36. David Hodge says:

    There is a story on Planet F1 which is a comment on a story in The Times. Here is the link: http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_5160891,00.html

    Perhaps I am making too much of a connection here but it is an accepted fact I think that The Times is Mr. Ecclestone’s favoured point of leaking. Most of Ed Gourmand’s (he frequently describes his meals) stories seem to be along the Bernie lines.

    So is this a continuation of Max’s determination to ruin Ron Dennis and hound him from the sport completely? I would have thought that Ron stepping down as Team Principal was enough but it seems not. I agree with all the sentiments about McLaren telling lies and so on but to quote Sir Frank, this is now being pursued with extraordinary vigour by the FIA and the words witch and hunt are coming to mind. Renault possessing McLaren IP in 2007 anyone?

  37. alistairblevins says:

    “Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has been invited to appear before an extraordinary meeting…”

    It’s only an invitation. That implies attendance isn’t mandatory! Maybe they’ll be busy that day…

    “We undertake to co-operate fully with all WMSC processes, and welcome the opportunity to work with the FIA in the best interests of Formula 1.”

    From the statement above it seems that the team view it as a McLaren/FIA love-in!

    Maybe these opportunities to work with the governing body to make the sport better don’t arise unless you’ve been accused of cheating…

    I wonder if Max is getting in some book-throwing practice.

    Is the Indycar Series FIA sanctioned? We could see Vodafone McLaren/Dallara Honda going round-and-round racing next year.

    Wonder if Lewis gets dizzy easily?

  38. MartinWR says:

    A brilliantly perceptive article in the Times today sums this awful mess up far better than I could ever do:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/matthew_syed/article6054328.ece

  39. Jon says:

    Hamilton should be punished. He was part of the deception, which has now seen Ryan sacked. If Hamilton gets away with only loosing his points from OZ, then this is not F1, it’s the Lewis Hamilton Show. He is the current world champion, and shouldn’t be allowed to act in this way. No driver is bigger than this sport.

    During Spygate, Hamilton and Alonso managed to keep their points even thou McLaren were thrown out, something I didn’t agree with. This is turning into the same thing, just because it’s Lewis Hamilton. I for one am getting fed up with it.

  40. adrian says:

    No sportsman worthy of the name would ever want to win anything by lying. Hamilton, on the other hand, was quite happy to do so twice for one measly point (the stewards’ inquiries 5 days’ apart). His ‘apology’ was nothing more than an attempt to cast the blame elsewhere. Having decided to totally shaft David Ryan by doing so rather than taking the blame jointly, he then has the effrontery to call him “a good guy”.

    While the FIA was quite right to impose sanctions for this rank dishonesty on Hamilton’s part and Maclaren’s part, however, there is surely a limit on the extent to which the FIA should see itself as moral arbiter of the sport. Yes, the sporting regulations prohibit ‘bringing the sport into disrepute’ but does this really require a state trial as to where in the Maclaren organisation things stood at every stage of this affair? Punish the driver and punish the team, but is it really necessary to have the whole dirty laundry washed in public? This really does look like someone (i.e. Max) is again enjoying someone (i.e. Ron’s) else’s discomfort.

  41. Graeme says:

    “……for one measly point”

    At the end of the season, each “measly” point is worth something approaching one million US dollars when it comes to proportioning out the prize fund amongst the teams based on the points won in the season.

    Ryan/Hamilton/whoever’s motive might have been to have an extra point in hand, as that is what has decided the last couple of years’ championships. But in doing so they “defrauded” Toyota out of six points, which would be worth in the region of $5 million in prize money at the end of the year. Even though it was probably an unintended or not-thought-through consequence of their lies, $5M deserves more than “a slap on the wrist”.

  42. Chris Roberts says:

    It’s such a shame Dave Ryan is no longer in the sport – or with Mclaren anyway. If he reads this – I fully support him-…we all make mistakes, he has been thrust as the scapegoat. I know he is a role model for alot of young mechanics and engineers in the sport.

  43. Thierry says:

    Come on now fellows don’t hate the player, hate the game, go and get them Lewis.

  44. john g says:

    ok it’s clear that mclaren lied. trulli went off the track and hamilton passed him, then whilst waiting for clarification from race control, aiui lewis was instructed to let him re-pass even tho he felt it to be the wrong thing to do.

    lewis and mclaren should be punished for giving an incorrect account of what happened. but that’s only one side of the story – the FIA are far from blameless in all of this. it was their utter incompetence in Spa which made Mclaren ultra careful to do the right thing that it was even considered that trulli might need to re-pass lewis in the first place. were it anyone else like renault, BMW, or ferrari, they would have just said ok, trulli fell off the road, his mistake. no-one else would have even contemplated the possibility that they may need to let trulli back through. (also, in his account of things, trulli has consistently been economical with the truth – i’ve never heard himi say that he went off the road whereas this seems to be a generally accepted fact). also, the inexcusable delay from race control (something that *really* needs to be sorted out) added to the confusion, as mclaren who did the proper thing and sought guidance on what should be done in this situation were given no answers and so had to second guess the judgement of the stewards.

    i think the penalty as applied is sufficient. afterall, toyota were allowed to start from teh back of the grid in australia, having appeared with an illegal rear wing. is this a consistent punishment?

  45. Xenon says:

    FIA (or Mosley) wants a single engine supplier for Formula1. Their inclination towards Ferrari engines is a not well hidden secret. Thus, they are going strongly at McLaren and Mercedes who are the strongest and richest team outside Ferrari.

    Let’s look at the current situation: Another two years of hardball with McLaren, and Mercedes will have to leave F1 to protect its name. Toyota has already questioned its team’s performance and gave them a warning saying they are thinking of getting out if things don’t improve. Renault is also unsure about its commitment to F1, they might leave soon as well. It would be easy to oust BMW and make Ferrari the sole engine supplier.

  46. ParanoidAndroid says:

    xenon, wot are u on about, the FIA’s single engine idea is based on an engine deal with Cosworth, no where has there ever been any statement or any hint at an inclination towards Ferrari engines. these conspiracy theories just crack me up. Secondly current manufacturers can make their own engines under the proposals aslong as they conform to the standardised design of the cosworth engine.

  47. Robert says:

    Very interesting video. I’m a big McLaren and Hamilton fan but that certainly looks pretty incriminating to me. Plus, is that Dave Ryan I spy sat on the pit-wall behind Martin Whitmarsh?

  48. You’re right. That interview is very misleading. He hasn’t said anything untrue. But he has also omitted some very important information in those sentences. He could have added one sentence to clarify the whole thing and still kept his position that they wanted third place. But he chose not to. And in doing so, puts himself in an interesting position because the interview does provide a very misleading impression about Trulli’s intent.

  49. Luciano says:

    That is interesting. Thanks for pointing that out.

  50. Paul_W says:

    That’s a great spot, and backs up what a lot of people are thinking, McLaren have had far more knowledge about this than they are letting on (a’la SpyGate).

    This whole thing stinks, and I hope the FIA have the truth about the matter and McLaren are punished on that basis.

  51. Mike says:

    Yep, sounds like MW was in on it but ensured himself plausible deniability if anyone tried to pin anything on him.

    I think this was all gamesmanship. I’m sure they’re not the only team that does this sort of thing but they’re the only one consistently dumb enough to get caught doing it.

  52. MartinWR says:

    Sorry, but no way is H going to be punished in any way, shape, or form, that’s already been decided. After all he’s still in nappies and so can’t be responsible for his lying ways, at his age. Or daddy told him to fib. Or something. The greedy little gnome obviously reckons he’s bringing him in too many big ones, and that’s the end of it.
    I think McLaren are going to get it in the neck, but by preventing Ryan testifying they may be able to stop the investigation in its tracks, or at least they’re hoping to. After all, without any evidence to go on the FIA may have to fall back on punishing the culprits, and as I’ve said, someone upstairs won’t allow H to get kicked out on his arse.
    The difficulty is that if the FIA should decide on substantive sanctions on McLaren, rather than punishing both those responsible (which has been ruled out), there are hundreds of decent hard working people at McLaren, who have had no part in this tawdry business, who could suffer as a result. That would be very unfair indeed, but it seems to be a likely outcome. It’s the way of the world isn’t it, the wrong people are always the ones to get it in the neck.

  53. MartinWR says:

    On the other hand is Ryan the sort of guy who is basically decent and might be tempted to spill the beans to the FIA rather than continue to conspire in the cover-up? If that’s the case no wonder they’re keeping him well out of it.
    I have noticed that people say Ryan is capable and well liked in the pit-lane, so maybe he isn’t entirely tainted by the McLaren ethic. However, few will bite the hand that feeds them, and being nicely looked after for the rest of your life, as no doubt he will be, having had his reputation publicly destroyed, can be a very good reason to have a sudden mortifying attack of amnesia grandprixiencia.

  54. guy says:

    that’s funny

  55. Raelene says:

    love your ethics…

  56. fb says:

    I concur, 10+ posts about the incident this week alone, bring back the F1 blog :)

  57. Marilyn says:

    Janet, it’s a big issue, world wide news, because Lewis Hamilton and McLaren are involved. If it was any other team it would be a footnote. Some are now upset because it looks like the FIA, won’t come down hard on Lewis. It’s all about Lewis. Some won’t be satisfied until he leaves the sport. Just like some went on about James Allen, now there are calls for him to come back. You see, you never know what you had until it’s gone.
    And by the way I too love this blog, best on the web.

  58. Colin says:

    Janet, Raelene and Marilyn: Welcome Ladies: Mr. Allen now has his own Pit Babes.

  59. Martin P says:

    Maybe it does always happen… but the trick is not to get caught. When you do, you get leathered.

    Someone at the FIA should suggest a punishment of strict spanking on the naked buttocks from leather clad women. If only they knew someone who could organise it.

  60. Al27 says:

    I knew James would have a Mac! Top man!

  61. Peter Freeman says:

    Yes if it was Ferrari Trulli would have been banned a further 10 races after it had been established that his presence on track had caused Ferrari to lie!

  62. Colin says:

    “Funny to see Mr Cobbler getting some unjustified stick now.”

    How do we know it IS unjustified? Because Herr Weber claimed so? Because Snr. Montezemelo refused to comment on it?

  63. Colin says:

    Red mist.

  64. Colin says:

    Remember they are “on probation” since the last witch-hunt, I mean investigation.

  65. murray says:

    Good pick, to the heart of it. If the team is to be punished for what’s happened, punish them. Interesting that the politicians who run the show want to be a part of it.

  66. murray says:

    I think that Ryan will stay away from it because, decent or not, as it’s been painted, he concocted the lie, and subborned Hamilton into it. Whether that’s true or not, as of now he won’t be believed one way or the other. His testimony has no worth other than as another act in the play. That’s sad, if the guy is a straight arrow whose judgement failed him.

  67. Roberto says:

    The problem is that Mclaren has broken the rules quite a few times especially in 2007, the cloud of the spygate still flies around, they have it cheap that time, Mercedes, Vodafone and others should be thinking right now what to do, partners to cheaters doesn’t make good advertising for sales of premium brands.

    Hamilton is a worthy champiom and a hell of a good driver, but i think he is running too hot and need to be grounded a bit, i know he is major player and Bernie won’t like to have Lewis out of the game for some races, but still i think that’s a possibilitie and if that doesn’t happen the WMSC will punish Macca very very hard.

  68. Roberto says:

    Why everybody bothers about Ferrari everytime Mclaren is penalised??? for Gods sake, enough of the theory that Ferrari owns the FIA and the WMSC and the UN…

    I think Macca fans should get prepared to have their golden boy out of the race for 2 races.

    Remember they did it to Benetton 15 years ago and it was golden boy Schumacher at that time…

  69. Toby says:

    “Assuming the trick diffusers are outlawed as they should this will bring all the cars back on a level playing field…”

    Why “should” they? Because they’re faster?

    The FIA could have had the whole thing fixed before the Australian GP even began, with a transparent writing of the safety car rules. None of this mess would have ever happened if the two drivers knew where they should be under the circumstances.

    Also, is there any way that drivers are tested on the rules of Formula 1 before they’re allowed to go racing every year?

  70. Colin says:

    Good to see some compassion here. Those quick to throw stones need to examine their own hearts and lives. How many lies does it take to become a liar? Anybody here never lied?

    Mr. Ryan is a Kiwi, they are of the finest stock of England, Wales, and Scotland, he’s also a fighter.

    If he should read this blog, which I suspect he will in the weeks to come, I’d like to offer my sympathy and support. None of us is without sin, but when we admit our failings there is forgiveness and redemption. Be strong Sir, and look up!

  71. floydthebarber71 says:

    they “should” be outlawed because the designs go against the intent of the rules, which was to reduce downforce and the resulting turbulent air at the rear to aid in overtaking. for one. the teams are not to blame for doing this, as its the designer’s job after all, but its taking the rules in a different direction that was intended. its just a matter of clarification. like the ferrari flexi-floors in aus 2007.

  72. Paul_W says:

    I can’t see them getting outlawed. Weren’t all teams designs sent via the FIA this year? Then the car has passed FIA scrutineering twice over as well. If they were to disallow them the FIA would look like complete idiots, and lets face it they don’t want that on their hands again.

  73. Mike says:

    floydthebarber71, please understand that the _intent_ of the rules is irrelevent. The only thing that counts is compliance with the rules as stated and the official interpretation of those statements. If the wording and interpretation of the rule doesn’t match the intent of the rule, that is the rule-makers’ problem, not the competitors’ problem.

  74. floydthebarber71 says:

    mike. i never said it was the competitor’s problem. read my post again. the intent of the rules should be properly worded and policed by the fia. what is going to happen at those hearings is probably just a clarification of the rule, so that all the teams know where they stand for the future. they wont be banned, because they are within the rules with regard to wording. that wording will probably be made clearer. should i spell it out for you more?

  75. MartinWR says:

    Unfortunately for them, McLaren have a god-given talent for making their own particular brand of cheating and lying so glaringly obvious that the regulators would be inviting the firing squad if they even attempted to ignore it in the full glare of publicity from the world’s media.
    Perhaps mandatory IQ testing for team principals could be introduced in the future by the FIA. It might just help, though I think McLaren are now beyond help.
    They will never, ever, stop lying, it is just too deeply ingrained in their corporate culture.

  76. Paul_W says:

    I don’t think it could be proven either way in Monaco 2006, he still got thrown to the back of the grid though. I believe the FIA would be biased, racist or whatever else if that happened to Lewis…

  77. Peter Freeman says:

    MartinWR your blind hatred for McLaren is so obvious it rather blunts your arguments.

    Guy is making a perfectly valid statement about his perception of an FIA persecution of McLaren, something he is not alone in pointing out. It is common knowledge that Max Mosley has a personal disliking for Ron Denis.

  78. MartinWR says:

    Hi, Peter thanks for your thoughts on the subject of McLaren’s recent woes, but surely even you must admit that at the very least it isn’t a great advertisement for any company when the boss admits that he actually tells his bods to lie to the officials of the sport.
    Have I got that wrong? Maybe I’m imagining that he said that. Perhaps you can straighten me out on that one.
    Maybe I’m imagining all the lying that went on about the Trulli business. Maybe I imagined that they eventually owned up to that? When they were forced to, of course.
    Perhaps you can straighten me out on 2007, too. I mean perhaps they didn’t have all the data on the Ferrari, because I must be under the mistaken impression that they finally owned up to lying about that as well.
    Perhaps you could tell me where I’ve got that wrong.
    Perhaps the irrational hatred that you’ve detected is making me imagine all these unsavoury goings-on, and they don’t really exist.
    Or maybe lying is perfectly OK nowadays, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it is. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.
    I’m simply out of date, I own up.

  79. Martin P says:

    Well you know how to charm don’t you. Been single long?

  80. Colin says:

    Wait until they catch sight of my new Brawn GP Henri-Lloyd Anorak (a stunning shade of grey), they’ll be begging for a lift down to Monaco in my Morris Minor.

  81. Thierry says:

    Jon don’t hate the player, hate the game, Lewis Hamilton is here to stay, in fact Lewis Hamilton is formula one. Please relax.

  82. adrian says:

    Graeme,

    Yes, good point (no pun intended…)!

    The clear financial consequences would seem to bring Mclaren’s conduct close to criminality – in the UK there is an offence of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception (more or less the same thing as theft).

    In my original post, I’d meant ‘one measly point’ to highlight that this is a the smallest unit of sporting achievement in the context of F1 (although, Malaysia reminds one that technically that is 0.5 points).

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