29 March 2009 during Australian Grand Prix - Under the safety car, Trulli goes off the track and Lewis passes. Lewis gives back the place to Trulli.
Originally posted by scottb32
When you listen to the recording it becomes apparent that LH and the team (is that Ryan?) are NOT working in unison. Here is my interpreation of what is being said and what happens on the track. This is pure speculation - we need an in-car camera to verify.
0:00 Team: OK Lewis, you should need to make sure your delta is positive over the safety car line. After the safety car line the delta doesn't matter but no overtaking. No overtaking.
TRULLI GOES OFF TRACK, HAMILTON PASSES
0:16 Lewis Hamilton: The Toyota went off in a line at the second corner, ..., is this OK?
0:20 Team: Understood, Lewis. We'll confirm and get back to you.
0:24 LH: He was off the track. He went wide.
0:30 Team: Lewis, you need to allow the Toyota through. Allow the Toyota through now.
0:40 LH: OK.
HAMILTON HAS SIGNIFICANT LEAD – STARTS TO SLOW – (85 Kmh according to Trulli) – TRULLI PASSES HAMILTON -TRULLI THEN STARTS TO SLOW, YET REMAINS IN FRONT
1:04 LH: He's slowed right down in front of me.
1:06 Team: OK, Lewis. Stay ahead for the time being. Stay ahead. We will get back to you. We are talking to Charlie.
1:11 LH: I let him past already.
To me it appears the team thought Lewis did NOT allow Trulli to pass (see 1:06). Hence the team thought Lewis never slowed down for him. This whole thing stinks of confusion - even Trulli starts to slow down. Should Lewis have passed him back?
So, did Lewis sit down with the team and concoct a plan to deceive the FIA, thinking they would never listen to the radio transmission, or any post-race interview? Or, was this a case of the team mis-informing the driver, while themselves trying to get an answer from Whiting, and Lewis being confused and giving an answer that best served his interest at the FIA hearing?
For me, I look to Occam's Razor.
29 March 2009 immediately after the Grand Prix - Lewis gives an interview to the BBC where he states "I guess you heard on the radio what was going on" in relation the race in general.
29 March 2009 immediately after the Grand Prix - Lewis gives another interview where he states that the team told him to pass.
29 March 2009 immediately after the Grand Prix - Martin Whitmarsh gives an interview to the BBC where describes the incident under the safety car.
From Autosport (http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/74043)
"At the end, under the safety car, Trulli fell off onto the grass and Lewis had no choice but to go past him, he was not on the racing circuit," said Whitmarsh.
"Trulli then re-took the place under the safety car, which ordinarily you wouldn't do so I know that the FIA are looking at it at the moment and doubtless we'll have a ruling in due course.
"That's our position at the moment and we will see what happens in the coming hours."
29 March 2009 stewards investigation - four days later the FIA asserts that the following happened during this hearing:
From the full decision of the stewards released on 2 April:
During the hearing, held approximately one hour after the end of the race, the Stewards and the Race Director questioned Lewis Hamilton and his Team Manager David Ryan specifically about whether there had been an instruction given to Hamilton to allow Trulli to overtake. Both the driver and the Team Manager stated that no such instruction had been given. The Race Director specifically asked Hamilton whether he had consciously allowed Trulli to overtake. Hamilton insisted that he had not done so.
29 March 2009 after the stewards investigation - in the McLaren press release, Norbert Haug states openly that Lewis let Trulli past.
2 April 2009 11:15 Malaysian time - FIA reconvenes stewards investigation. Lewis Hamilton leaves the track immediately after finishing talking to the stewards.
2 April 2009 15:00 Malaysian time - FIA disqualifies Lewis Hamilton from the Australia Grand Prix.
2 April 2009 18:00 Malaysian time - McLaren press release say they wont appeal, and the issue is around their failure to reveal radio communications that they though the FIA were already aware of
2 April 2009 18:30 Malaysian time - Martin Whitmarsh says "we did not lie, we just failed to provide a full account of the radio conversation.
2 April 2009 18:30 Malaysian time - a Q&A with Martin Whitmarsh again states he believes the issue is around not being "explicit enough" with details of a radio conversation, although he doesnt think it would have affected anything if they had been more explicit.
2 April 2009 20:00 Malaysian time - FIA publishes the full decision by the stewards
3 April 2009 around midday Malaysian time - Autosport reports that David Ryan is to 'leave' McLaren
3 April 2009 14:40 Malaysian time - Martin Whitmarsh confirms that David Ryan is suspended
However, his role in the events of last Sunday, particularly his dealings with the FIA stewards, has caused serious repercussions for the team, for which we apologise. Therefore, I suspended him this morning and he has accepted this.
3 April 2009 16:00 Malaysian time - Martin Whitmarsh asserts he was in the dark during this episode.
Martin Whitmarsh (http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/74189)
Whitmarsh explained that Ryan and Hamilton's decision not to tell the stewards about the radio conversation between team and driver was taken unilaterally, without consultation with senior management.
"I think anyone who knows Davey will know that he did not set out with any deliberate intention to mislead the stewards," said Whitmarsh.
"He went to that meeting with Lewis I am sure with the intention of being very clear and straightforward, but I think during the course of that meeting, as we have explored it more with him over the past 24 hours, it has become clear that he was not as full and comprehensive as he could have been."
When asked if he felt Hamilton had also been truthful in the meeting, Whitmarsh said: "No. I think that Lewis was not entirely truthful, but we have spoken to Davey. He was the senior member of the team and they went into the situation together.
"I think they were trying to deal with the situation and they got it wrong – but Davey as the senior member of the team was responsible for what happened and therefore I took the decision this morning."
Whitmarsh said a decision about Ryan's future would be made when the team returned from the Malaysian GP.
"Davey has been sent home, and we need to during the course of this weekend we need to understand exactly what happened and make the decision about Davey's future."
Whitmarsh also suggested further action could be taken, and did not rule out resigning himself over the matter.
James Allen adds more detail (http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/)
Speaking to a packed media centre, Whitmarsh said that this matter did not go any higher in the McLaren organisation and that he was not consulted before Ryan and Hamilton went to the stewards,
“We knew what had happened and there was a belief that a true and honest account of that would be given.
“Lewis got out of the car and gave a truthful account of what happened (to reporters). When they got to the stewards, Davey, who had been part of what happened at Spa (Hamilton’s penalty for passing Raikkonen) was highly sensitive and I think that in the heat of the moment his judgement was not to give a truthful account and I think Lewis was then led by that.”
3 April 2009 17:45 Malaysian time - Lewis Hamilton asserts he was told to lie, and made a 'huge mistake':
Lewis Hamilton (http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/74202)
"In Melbourne, I had a great race. As soon as I got out the car I had the television interviews at the back of the garage, and straight away I gave them a good account of what happening during the race," Hamilton told a news conference.
"Straight after that we were requested by the stewards, and while waiting for the stewards I was instructed and misled by my team manager to withhold information, and that is what I did.
"I sincerely apologise to the stewards for wasting their time and for making them look silly. I am very, very sorry for the situation: for my team, for Dave because he has been a good member of the team for many years, and whilst I don't think it was his intention or...he is a good guy.
"I went into the meeting, I had no intention of...I just wanted to tell the story and say what happened. I was misled and that is the way it went.
"I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans who have believed in me, who have supported me for years, who I showed who I am for the past three years, and it is who I am. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person. I am a team player.
"Every time I have been informed to do something I have done it. This time I realise it was a huge mistake and I am learning from it. It has taken a huge toll on me.
"I apologise to you guys, I didn't speak to you yesterday, but there was a lot of take in and a lot to deal with. I am here to apologise to everyone and I assure you it won't happen again."
Highlights from the full press conference (http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/74203)
Q. You say you were misled. Can I ask, did you talk to Dave Ryan before you went into the stewards and say, that doesn't stack up with what I have just said or what I believe? And how difficult was it for you to go in knowing that what you were saying was misleading?
LH: The thing is we were rushed. I was still in my suit, and we went straight up. Actually when I came up from the garage, we went straight up the pitlane and we went straight there, and while we were waiting for Jarno to come out, I was instructed.
I honestly acted as a team member. If the team have asked me to do something I have generally done it. I didn't have time to think about it, to think about what I was going to do. I went in and I did it, and I felt awkward. I felt very uncomfortable. I think the stewards could see that, and I guess that is why I am in this position.
To refer to the guy before's question - I've never felt so bad. 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?
Q. You have said it was a matter between you and Dave Ryan. Was anyone else at McLaren involved in the planning for the decision, or was it only you two?
LH: No. It was just me and Dave.
Q. Is this the worst thing you've ever had to do. And do you fear FIA retribution for the team, which a lot of people have speculated on? The FIA has said it is possible there could be repercussions
LH: For me, the situation is definitely the worst thing I've experienced in my life. That is why I am here. It is right for me as a human being and as a man to stand in front of you all and tell you exactly what went on and put up my hands. I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I'm sorry to my team and my family for the embarrassment. It is a very, very embarrassing situation.
I am sure the FIA will act accordingly and in the right way. I don't know what else is going to happen in the future. For me now, I have to focus on the race and try to move forward from this, learn from it and grow.
3 April 2009 16:00 GMT - The FIA appears to accept Lewis' account of what happened, and hints at further sanctions for the McLaren organisation.
"We recognise Lewis's efforts to set the record straight today," said an FIA spokesman. "It would appear that he was put in an impossible position.
"We are now awaiting reports from the FIA observer and stewards before consideration can be given to further investigation of the team's conduct.
"We cannot rule out the matter being referred to the World Council at this stage."