Stewart questions FIA-McLaren situation

Stewart questions FIA-McLaren situation

9 April 2009 – Former World Champion Jackie Stewart has admitted that he is confused over the severity of the situation in which the McLaren team finds itself at the moment; the Woking-based squad faces race bans or even the possibility of being thrown out of this year's World Championship after giving false information to race stewards regarding an incident in the Australian Grand Prix.

"My understanding is that the McLaren officials tried to contact Charlie (Whiting, race director) in the tower, by radio link, to ask for his position on the situation which had occurred between Hamilton and his Toyota rival, Jarno Trulli," Stewart explained. "But Charlie was apparently unavailable, trying to sort out the Sebastien Vettel problem in which the German was involved in a crash with BMW's Robert Kubica, and completed the last three laps with one of his tyres hanging off the car."

Stewart took the title in 1969, '71 and '73

The Hamilton-Trulli incident took place under the second and last safety car of the race, as Trulli lost third place to the McLaren after running wide and onto the grass. Hamilton then slowed to let the Italian through, only to explain (with sporting director Dave Ryan) to the stewards after the race that he had in fact not yielded. The FIA then investigated the radio communication between the two, revealing that the World Champion had been given clear instructions to allow the Toyota to retake the position. "It seems strange that only one person has the authority to deal with these inquiries, which could be result-changing in a multi-million-pound sport," Stewart continued. "When you have four stewards at the race, you would think they would have been able to clarify McLaren's position by radio, if Charlie was otherwise engaged. As it is, we now have a potentially serious state of affairs for McLaren - it is hard to see how they can escape stringent sanctions when Lewis has already apologised publicly and the team has admitted that it got things wrong, which leaves them at the mercy of the FIA.

"I am surprised that McLaren have been caught up in something like this, and if there were lies told, they will have to suffer the consequences and it is difficult to believe they will get off with simply a financial penalty, considering that the World Council fined them $100m for their role in an alleged spy scandal involving Ferrari as recently as 2007. We have to put things in perspective - yes, this episode has reminded us that Hamilton is still an inexperienced driver in the grand scheme of things and there is no excuse for telling fibs, if that is what happened."

Stewart added that the aftermath of the incident which brought out the safety car, though, should have been dealt with more seriously. "In my opinion, what Vettel did in Melbourne was potentially more serious than what McLaren have been accused of; that loose wheel could have flown into the crowd and killed somebody, yet he was only penalised 10 places on the grid at the next race, which is no more than a strong slap on the wrist." The German's Red Bull team was also handed with a fine of $50,000 for instructing their driver to attempt to finish the race, despite lacking the wheel.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 18 April 2014

  2. 04:33

    Chinese GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  3. Alonso fastest in first Shanghai practice 04:32

    Alonso fastest in first Shanghai practice

    Fernando Alonso set the standard during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The...

    F1
  4. 03:32

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Shanghai

    F1
  5. McLaren running special livery in China 03:31

    McLaren running special livery in China

    McLaren will race with a modified, one-off car livery at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. As it did to celebrate its...

    F1
  6. 03:00

    Follow first practice for the Chinese GP!

    F1
  7. Video of the Day: Hamilton's China guide 01:30

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's China guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a lap of the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  8. Thursday 17 April 2014

  9. Video: Rosberg previews the Chinese GP 16:00

    Video: Rosberg previews the Chinese GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg looks ahead to the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  10. Hamilton tipped to triumph in China 15:07

    Hamilton tipped to triumph in China

    GPUpdate.net readers have backed Lewis Hamilton to claim victory at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. The former World...

    F1
  11. Vettel targets top five finish at Shanghai 14:31

    Vettel targets top five finish at Shanghai

    Sebastian Vettel says he would see a top five finish at the Chinese Grand Prix as a good result. The German, who won the...

    F1
  12. Video: DJ mixes Formula 1 car noises 14:08

    Video: DJ mixes Formula 1 car noises

    This May, Mobil 1 engine oil turns Jenson Button's McLaren MP4-29 into a musical instrument like no other.

    F1
  13. Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton 13:43

    Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg has revealed that he is planning to clear the air with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the run up to this...

    F1
  14. Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant 12:57

    Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant

    Jenson Button expects Mercedes to continue its dominance of the 2014 season for the foreseeable future, admitting that it...

    F1
  15. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q) 12:00

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 4 looks at M to Q.

    F1
  16. Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit 11:53

    Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit

    Kimi Räikkönen says Stefano Domenicali's resignation as Ferrari team boss came as a surprise to him. Domenicali, who had b...

    F1
  17. Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on 11:09

    Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on

    Despite admitting to disappointment after Red Bull's failed appeal over his exclusion from the season-opening Australian...

    F1
  18. Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time 10:09

    Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time

    Fernando Alonso is hoping that Marco Mattiacci will be given sufficient time to adapt to his new role as Team Principal of...

    F1
  19. Marko expecting Red Bull improvement 09:54

    Marko expecting Red Bull improvement

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is expecting the team to edge towards the front of the field in coming races. Despite...

    F1
  20. Plans for championship with ex-F1 drivers 09:38

    Plans for championship with ex-F1 drivers

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is planning to set up a championship for former Grand Prix drivers. Earlier this...

    F1
  21. Chilton eyes similarly strong race in Shanghai 07:00

    Chilton eyes similarly strong race in Shanghai

    Max Chilton has said he will be aiming for a 'similarly strong race' in China this weekend after leaving the Bahrain GP on a...

    F1
  22. 06:20

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations at Shanghai

    F1
  23. Rosberg: It's going to get more difficult 06:00

    Rosberg: It's going to get more difficult

    Nico Rosberg is expecting Mercedes' rivals to close the gap more and more as the season progresses, although he is still...

    F1
  24. Shanghai memories: Gutiérrez runs into Sutil 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Gutiérrez runs into Sutil

    Esteban Gutiérrez ran dramatically over the back of Adrian Sutil's car during the opening stages of the 2013 Chinese Grand...

    F1
  25. Wednesday 16 April 2014

  26. Hülkenberg 'surprised' to be third 17:44

    Hülkenberg 'surprised' to be third

    Force India's Nico Hülkenberg has admitted he is a bit stunned by just how strongly he has started the 2014 Formula 1...

    F1
  27. Force India: Aim now to repeat podium 17:07

    Force India: Aim now to repeat podium

    Force India F1 won't sit back and will keep trying to improve, Team Principal Vijay Mallya has promised ahead of this...

    F1
  28. Video: Pirelli's guide to the Chinese GP 16:25

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the Chinese GP

    Pirelli previews this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  29. Button: We need to get everything right 15:51

    Button: We need to get everything right

    McLaren's Jenson Button has said they will need to get 'everything right' this weekend in the Chinese Grand Prix if they are...

    F1
  30. Hamilton and Alonso best paid F1 drivers – report 15:24

    Hamilton and Alonso best paid F1 drivers – report

    Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are the top paid F1 drivers, according to data compiled by ESPN Magazine and Sporting...

    F1
  31. Di Montezemolo to increase F1 involvement 14:46

    Di Montezemolo to increase F1 involvement

    Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has revealed that he is going to be more hands-on with the F1 programme from now on as...

    F1
  32. Mercedes 'must raise bar everywhere' to stay top 13:15

    Mercedes 'must raise bar everywhere' to stay top

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the team will need to keep raising the bar in every single area if it is to sustain its...

    F1
  33. Bianchi keen to put bad luck behind him 12:17

    Bianchi keen to put bad luck behind him

    Marussia's Jules Bianchi is hoping the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend will mark a...

    F1
  34. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 3 (I to L) 12:00

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 3 (I to L)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 3 looks at I to L.

    F1
  35. Alonso: Two titles not enough 11:50

    Alonso: Two titles not enough

    Ferrari ace Fernando Alonso has said two F1 titles is not enough and that he will not be happy if he retires as 'only' a...

    F1
  36. Ferrari: First priority to be second best 11:17

    Ferrari: First priority to be second best

    Ferrari is looking at every area and is trying to make as big a step as it can for each and every race, engineering...

    F1
  37. Video: Ferrari gets set for China 10:58

    Video: Ferrari gets set for China

    Ferrari engineering director Pat Fry looks ahead to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, round four in the 2014 Formula 1 W...

    F1
  38. Mosley backs Todt stance on noise 10:48

    Mosley backs Todt stance on noise

    Former FIA President Max Mosley has backed the way his successor Jean Todt is handling the noise 'issue' with the new V6...

    F1
  39. Fernández to act as driver steward at Chinese GP  10:15

    Fernández to act as driver steward at Chinese GP

    Adrián Fernández will be the FIA's driver steward at the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend, it has been c...

    F1
  40. Hamilton out to make it three wins in a row 09:46

    Hamilton out to make it three wins in a row

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said it would be 'incredible' if he could make it three wins in a succession this weekend...

    F1
  41. Shanghai memories: Hamilton slides out 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Hamilton slides out

    Lewis Hamilton suffered this agonising retirement from the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix. Driving for McLaren in his debut season,...

    F1
  42. Tuesday 15 April 2014

  43. Video: Force India duo on Chinese Grand Prix 15:48

    Video: Force India duo on Chinese Grand Prix

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  44. Renault edging closer to limit of new engine 13:53

    Renault edging closer to limit of new engine

    Renault has explained that it will be running its new turbocharged power unit "closer to the limits" at this weekend's...

    F1