SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton and McLaren could face further sanctions from Formula One's governing body after being found on Thursday to have deliberately misled stewards in Australia last weekend.
"We could not rule out further action at this stage," an International Automobile Federation (FIA) spokesman said after the world champion was stripped of third place from the Melbourne season-opener.
Both Hamilton and his team were excluded from the classification for "providing evidence deliberately misleading to the stewards" at an enquiry immediately after Sunday's race.
Hamilton was promoted to third place at that hearing while Toyota's Jarno Trulli, who was reinstated on Thursday, was demoted to 12th for overtaking the Briton while behind the safety car.
The stewards, who summoned Hamilton to a meeting at the Malaysian Grand Prix, also said on Thursday that they considered Hamilton and McLaren had both breached article 151c of the international sporting code.
The article regards "any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally" and carries penalties ranging from a reprimand to disqualification.
If the FIA were to pursue the matter, it would go before the world motor sport council.
Mercedes-powered McLaren were fined a record $100 million and stripped of their constructors' points by the same body in 2007 for breaching article 151c in a spying controversy involving Ferrari data in the team's possession.