Surely if it were materially wrong or the story was in any way false Autosport would not only have been requested to remove the article but also publish an apology and explanation?
As there has been no apology or clarification in any way I think it is safe to say there was nothing materially wrong with the article and the only reason it was removed is that it caused embarresment to someone.
And to be honest it's that possibility that concerns me most. The idea that Autosport pulled a story that was materially true, accurately quoted and sourced, yet pulled it under pressure from McLaren is more than a little alarming. It's not even like the story was that big a deal.
Editorial independence is critical to readers being able to trust what they're reading.