No decision on McLaren yet - FORMULA 1


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Saturday, April 4, 2009

No decision on McLaren yet

FIA president Max Mosley says he is awaiting reports from officials before deciding whether or not McLaren will be brought before the World Motor Sport Council to explain why the deliberately misled race stewards.

With the controversy surrounding McLaren's misrepresentation of a radio conversation between the pit wall and Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix still dominating talk in the Sepang paddock, Mosley has indicated that he remains open minded about the matter.

When asked during a briefing with journalists at the Rally Portugal whether Hamilton's apology for lying to the stewards was enough for McLaren to avoid facing sanctions, Mosley said: "I don't know. We haven't had the reports.

"There may be a report to World Council. If there is, I will almost certainly be one of the people there to decide what happens. Therefore it would be completely wrong for me to discuss the rights and wrongs of the situation."

Further details about the McLaren team's specific involvement in the affair, and especially what happened in the days following the original stewards' hearing at the Australian Grand Prix, could be revealed during the team's regular press briefing which has been scheduled to take place at Sepang on Sunday morning.

Questions are being asked about why McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was not aware of what Ryan and Hamilton had been saying to the stewards prior to the second hearing that took place in Malaysia on Thursday afternoon. Even later that day, following the hearing and stewards' decision, Whitmarsh insisted that his team had not 'lied'.

The events have overshadowed the Malaysian GP weekend, and it is understood that relations between Hamilton and his McLaren team have been strained by all that has gone on.

Hamilton himself admitted during his emotional appearance at a press conference on Friday that he had been 'misled' - and was hurt that by acting on the orders of a team he had left him open to scathing criticism in the media for ‘lying'.

"I've never felt so bad," he said. "Try and put yourself in my position and understand that, like I said, I am not a liar. I have not gone through my life being a liar or dishonest. And so for people to say I am dishonest and for the world to think that....what can I say?"

Mosley has insisted that despite Hamilton's disqualification from the Australian GP coming on the back of a number of penalties over the past 12 months, there was no personal vendetta against the British driver.

"We're trying to make sure everybody conducts themselves as they should," he said. "But you always have to remember with motorsport generally and Formula One in particular that it has all the complexities of any sport when there's one person or people against each other plus all the mechanical difficulties so it's very complex.

"Our system isn't perfect but we are doing our utmost to make sure everybody follows the rules. I wouldn't say we're stricter than in the past but maybe we've got better people doing it."