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 29 July 2016

  2. 17:02

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Hockenheim

    F1
  3. Vettel positive but wants 'steps forward' 16:57

    Vettel positive but wants 'steps forward'

    Sebastian Vettel described a positive opening day of practice in Germany but still feels that Ferrari needs to make significant…

    F1
  4. Mercedes moved to prevent Hamilton penalty 16:09

    Mercedes moved to prevent Hamilton penalty

    Mercedes says it acted to remove any risk of Lewis Hamilton being handed a reprimand over track limits during German Grand Prix…

    F1
  5. Button cleared after precautionary checks 15:37

    Button cleared after precautionary checks

    Jenson Button has been cleared to compete in the remainder of the German Grand Prix weekend after he required a precautionary…

    F1
  6. 15:31

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Hockenheim

    GP2
  7. Sirotkin edges Gasly for Hockenheim pole 15:29

    Sirotkin edges Gasly for Hockenheim pole

    ART Grand Prix driver Sergey Sirotkin claimed his third GP2 pole position of the season as he edged series leader by just 0.016s…

    GP2
  8. Ricciardo: Red Bull/Ferrari battle 'close' 15:10

    Ricciardo: Red Bull/Ferrari battle 'close'

    Daniel Ricciardo says the battle between Red Bull and Ferrari at this weekend's German Grand Prix will be "close", given…

    F1
  9. Button goes to hospital for eye check-up 14:49

    Button goes to hospital for eye check-up

    Jenson Button has gone to hospital for a "precautionary check-up" after experiencing an eye irritation during Friday afternoon's…

    F1
  10. 14:33

    German Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  11. Rosberg stays ahead in second practice 14:32

    Rosberg stays ahead in second practice

    Nico Rosberg kept his place at the top of the times during Friday's second practice session for the German Grand Prix, ahead of…

    F1
  12. Red flags in qualifying to stop improvements 13:09

    Red flags in qualifying to stop improvements

    Formula 1 qualifying sessions are to be red flagged immediately in the future in the event of double yellow flags being waved…

    F1
  13. 12:52

    Follow second practice for the German GP!

    F1
  14. Vandoorne downplays Manor speculation 12:20

    Vandoorne downplays Manor speculation

    McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne has played down talk that he could replace Rio Haryanto at Manor from the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  15. Video: Classic Mercedes at Hockenheim 11:02

    Video: Classic Mercedes at Hockenheim

    Nico Rosberg, Pascal Wehrlein and Nico Hülkenberg drive three legendary Mercedes cars at Hockenheim.

    F1
  16. 10:33

    German Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  17. Rosberg leads Hamilton in first practice 10:31

    Rosberg leads Hamilton in first practice

    Nico Rosberg edged out team-mate Lewis Hamilton during Friday morning's first free practice session for the German Grand Prix…

    F1
  18. 08:52

    Follow first practice for the German GP!

    F1
  19. GPDA chief Wurz 'surprised' by halo delay 08:34

    GPDA chief Wurz 'surprised' by halo delay

    Grand Prix Drivers' Association Chairman Alexander Wurz says that he is "surprised" by the decision to delay the introduction of…

    F1
  20. Hülkenberg confirms Force India stay 08:00

    Hülkenberg confirms Force India stay

    Nico Hülkenberg has formally confirmed that he will remain with Force India into 2017, for what will be his fifth season with…

    F1
  21. Formula V8 3.5 to link up with WEC in 2017 07:44

    Formula V8 3.5 to link up with WEC in 2017

    Formula V8 3.5 will act as the support category to the World Endurance Championship from the start of the 2017 season…

    FV8 3.5
  22. Video of the Day: Being a race engineer 05:22

    Video of the Day: Being a race engineer

    Former Olympic rower Tom Stallard talks about his switch to F1 to become Jenson Button's race engineer.

    F1
  23. Thursday 28 July 2016

  24. 19:02

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Hockenheim

    F1
  25. Formula 1 agrees to free up radio rules 18:45

    Formula 1 agrees to free up radio rules

    Formula 1 has agreed to relax its much-criticised radio communication restrictions from this weekend's German Grand Prix…

    F1
  26. Formula 1 votes against halo for 2017 18:02

    Formula 1 votes against halo for 2017

    Formula 1 will delay the introduction of increased head protection until the 2018 season, with it agreed at the latest meeting…

    F1
  27. Hamilton feels he is 'still behind' in standings 16:45

    Hamilton feels he is 'still behind' in standings

    Lewis Hamilton says he feels as though he is "still behind" Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the championship standings…

    F1
  28. Gutiérrez: Hamilton deserved penalty for gesture 16:17

    Gutiérrez: Hamilton deserved penalty for gesture

    Haas driver Esteban Gutiérrez reckons rival Lewis Hamilton should have been sanctioned for his "disrespectful gesture" during…

    F1
  29. Haryanto: Summer break crucial for future 14:23

    Haryanto: Summer break crucial for future

    Manor driver Rio Haryanto has stated that Formula 1's traditional summer break will be crucial if he is to complete his rookie…

    F1
  30. Sauber takeover has accelerated development 13:33

    Sauber takeover has accelerated development

    Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson says the team's takeover has enabled the squad to increase its development programme, as it bids…

    F1
  31. Formula E presents new-look 2016/17 car 12:36

    Formula E presents new-look 2016/17 car

    Organisers of the Formula E championship have presented a new-look single-spec car for the 2016/17 season. Formula E has used…

    FE
  32. Pérez: I will decide on Formula 1 future 12:19

    Pérez: I will decide on Formula 1 future

    Sergio Pérez says that it is up to himself and sponsors to decide where he will be racing next year, going against Force India…

    F1
  33. Stoneman gets IndyCar test with Andretti 11:11

    Stoneman gets IndyCar test with Andretti

    Dean Stoneman will sample IndyCar machinery with Andretti Autosport at Watkins Glen next month, with the team handing test runs…

    Indy
  34. 10:18

    Photos: Schumacher charity football match

    F1
  35. In photos: Ricciardo hits the F1 century 09:04

    In photos: Ricciardo hits the F1 century

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo will make his 100th appearance in Formula 1 at this weekend's German Grand Prix. GPUpdate.net…

    F1
  36. Mercedes must accept driver 'idiosyncrasies' 08:32

    Mercedes must accept driver 'idiosyncrasies'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he and the squad must deal with the "idiosyncracies" of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and…

    F1
  37. Binder replaces Canamasas at Carlin 07:59

    Binder replaces Canamasas at Carlin

    René Binder will return to the GP2 Series at Hockenheim this weekend in place of Sergio Canamasas at Carlin. Canamasas…

    GP2
  38. Video of the Day: Vettel on home Grand Prix 05:42

    Video of the Day: Vettel on home Grand Prix

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to his home race, the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

    F1
  39. Wednesday 27 July 2016

  40. 16:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  41. Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany 15:04

    Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the squad wants to enter Formula 1's summer break having gained a position in the…

    F1
  42. Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016 13:42

    Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016

    Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will leave MotoGP at the end of the season, with a switch to the World Superbike Championship…

    MotoGP
  43. Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity' 12:50

    Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity'

    Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says this weekend's German Grand Prix will be "a bit of an unknown quantity" tyre-wise…

    F1
more news