APRIL 2, 2009

Hamilton excluded from Australian GP!

The FIA Stewards have ruled that Lewis Hamilton and McLaren "acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards" in Melbourne. They have been excluded from the results and the classification amended accordingly. Jarno Trulli has been reinstated in third place.

The FIA Stewards were reconvened in Kuala Lumpur with African delegate Surinder Thatti replacing Czech Radovan Novak. They heard new evidence, believed to be radio conversations between the team and Hamilton which showed that he gave the place back to Trulli deliberately. Hamilton is understood to have told the stewards in Melbourne that this was not the case.

This means that Trulli gets six points and is third in the Drivers' World Championship, while Toyota gets 11 points and moves to second in the Constructors' Championship.

This is embarrassing for McLaren but very good fortune for Toyota. The team had both cars sent to the back of the grid in Australia for having run illegal rear wings in qualifying. One could argue that this was a rather lenient punishment for such a serious offence...