McLaren and Hamilton Liers

Lewis Hamilton has been stripped of his third place finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after the world champion and his team were judged to have provided 'misleading' evidence during a post-race stewards' hearing.

The British driver had finished fourth on the road, but was moved up a position when original third place finisher Jarno Trulli was handed a 25-second penalty for having overtaken Hamilton behind the safety car.

However, following the discovery of new evidence, believed to be radio transmissions from the Toyota and McLaren teams, the race stewards convened a fresh hearing in Malaysia this afternoon to discuss the matter.

It is believed the radio transmissions contradicted the original statements presented to the stewards by Hamilton and McLaren.

A statement issued by the stewards said: "The Stewards having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009, a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

"Under Article 158 of the International Sporting Code the driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are excluded from the race classification for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix and the classification is amended accordingly."

Further to the Hamilton decision, the race stewards have scrapped the penalty against Trulli and he has now been awarded third place for the Australian Grand Prix.

Revised Melbourne standings:

Classified:

Pos Driver Team Time
1. Button Brawn GP (B) 1h34:15.784
2. Barrichello Brawn GP (B) + 0.807
3. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1.604
4. Glock Toyota (B) + 4.435
5. Alonso Renault (B) + 4.879
6. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 5.722
7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 6.004
8. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 6.298
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 6.335
10. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 7.085
11. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) + 7.374
12. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1 lap
13. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 2 laps
14. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 3 laps
15. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 3 laps

Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:27.706

"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes understands that the Stewards made their decision on the basis of reviewing radio transmissions between the driver and the Team.

"The Team mistakenly believed that the radio transmissions had been reviewed by the FIA on Sunday 29th March 2009, and consequently did not believe it was necessary to discuss them with the Stewards on that date.

"Nonetheless, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team now regrets that it did not do so, accepts the Stewards' decision and will not appeal."