McLaren may be banned for season

Hamilton and team called to further FIA meeting that could result in expulsion

Lewis Hamilton's nightmare season went from bad to worse yesterday when motorsport's governing body, the FIA, announced that his McLaren team had been "invited" to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris at the end of the month.

This follows the accusations in Malaysia last weekend that they lied to the stewards of the Australian Grand Prix, which led to Hamilton and McLaren being disqualified from third place in Australia.

It is thought that driver and team could now face exclusion from this year's championship if they are found guilty by the WMSC of the charges they face (see below).

The "invitation" to the meeting on Wednesday 29 April comes despite the disqualification; the suspension and departure of sporting director Dave Ryan; and public apologies from both Hamilton and the team principal Martin Whitmarsh. Whitmarsh said: "Davy made a serious error of judgement, and that is something we have to put right. Lewis was not entirely truthful, but Davy was the senior team member. We're trying to deal with a situation we got wrong."

The summons also flies in the face of the advice the FIA president, Max Mosley, received from his on-the-ground consultant, Alan Donnelly, who was minded to let a disqualification be sufficient. It suggests the FIA is once again seeking to make an example of McLaren as it did in 2007 when it fined the team $100m for their alleged part in the "Stepneygate" spy scandal.

That affair centred around Ferrari and McLaren employees Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan, who sought to use confidential Ferrari data to make themselves attractive as technical gurus to the struggling Honda team.

Driving into trouble: Extracts from the FIA's statement of charges

* On 29 March, McLaren told stewards at the Australian Grand Prix that no instructions were given to Lewis Hamilton to let Jarno Trulli pass when both were behind the safety car, knowing this statement to be untrue.

* McLaren procured Hamilton, the world champion, to support and confirm this untrue statement to stewards.

* Although knowing that as a result of their untrue statement to the stewards, another driver and team was unfairly penalised, McLaren made no attempt to rectify the situation by contacting the FIA or otherwise.

* On 2 April, at a second hearing before the stewards of the Australian Grand Prix (in Malaysia), McLaren made no attempt to correct the untrue statement of 29 March, continuing 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 opportunities to correct their false statement.

* On 2 April, at the second hearing, procured Hamilton to continue to assert the false statement given to stewards on 29 March, knowing what he was saying was not true.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links