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. Monday 31 August 2015

  2. 18:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation 17:53

    Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation

    Pirelli has completed its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sebastian Vettel's tyre failure in Belgium, and will…

    F1
  4. Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS 14:24

    Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS

    Nico Hülkenberg is hopeful that he can make up for his non-start in Belgium with a return to the points-paying positions at…

    F1
  5. Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win 13:34

    Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win

    Watch highlights as Scott Dixon wins the double-points Sonoma finale to snatch his fourth IndyCar title.

    Indy
  6. Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium 12:06

    Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium

    Sergio Pérez says Force India should continue to target podium finishes over the remainder of the 2015 season, after an…

    F1
  7. Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible' 10:41

    Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible'

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has been praised for making a "way more sensible" compound selection for this weekend's Italian…

    F1
  8. Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over 10:15

    Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez has admitted that his chances of defending his MotoGP title are all but over after he crashed…

    MotoGP
  9. Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win 09:32

    Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win

    Yamaha's Valentino Rossi described himself as "very proud" after mastering wet conditions to win the British Grand Prix and…

    MotoGP
  10. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat 05:11

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat

    F1 brakes reach extreme temperatures, as McLaren outlines in the final part of its technical video series.

    F1
  11. 01:16

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sonoma

    Indy
  12. Peerless Dixon beats Montoya to IndyCar crown 01:12

    Peerless Dixon beats Montoya to IndyCar crown

    For the fourth time in his storied career, Scott Dixon has won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, bettering Juan Pablo…

    Indy
  13. Sunday 30 August 2015

  14. Helmet auction to benefit Justin Wilson fund 21:43

    Helmet auction to benefit Justin Wilson fund

    All of the IndyCar drivers in today's season finale have decided to donate their helmets to a large online auction for the…

    Indy
  15. 14:32

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  16. Rossi reclaims title lead amid Silverstone drama 14:26

    Rossi reclaims title lead amid Silverstone drama

    Valentino Rossi won a wet and dramatic British Grand Prix to reclaim the title lead from Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, while…

    MotoGP
  17. Redding to join Pramac Ducati for 2016 11:17

    Redding to join Pramac Ducati for 2016

    Pramac Ducati has confirmed that it has signed British rider Scott Redding for the 2016 MotoGP campaign. Redding made his…

    MotoGP
  18. Räikkönen hopes to be 'in the fight' at Monza 08:22

    Räikkönen hopes to be 'in the fight' at Monza

    Kimi Räikkönen is hopeful that Ferrari will pose a greater challenge to Mercedes at the Italian Grand Prix, despite Monza…

    F1
  19. Video of the Day: Final Formula E test recap 05:24

    Video of the Day: Final Formula E test recap

    Join Formula E presenter Nicki Shields for a closer look at the final pre-season test at Donington Park.

    FE
  20. 00:42

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Sonoma

    Indy
  21. Power steals pole, Sonoma lap record 00:36

    Power steals pole, Sonoma lap record

    A consistently fast Will Power stole P1 away from Josef Newgarden after time expired in the final IndyCar qualifying of the year…

    Indy
  22. Saturday 29 August 2015

  23. Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another 15:46

    Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another

    In 1988, after a lengthy stint as an engineer at Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team, Charlie Whiting joined the FIA's technical…

    F1
  24. 15:18

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  25. Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record 15:13

    Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record

    Marc Márquez twice broke the lap record during Saturday's qualifying session at Silverstone to secure pole position for the…

    MotoGP
  26. Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst 13:18

    Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst

    Double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen says he "can understand" why Sebastian Vettel hit out at tyre supplier Pirelli…

    F1
  27. Lorenzo stays on top in third session 10:52

    Lorenzo stays on top in third session

    Jorge Lorenzo remained on top with a blistering late effort during Saturday's third practice session for the British Grand Prix…

    MotoGP
  28. GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon 08:20

    GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon

    Across 2015, GPUpdate.net has been profiling some of the most talented up-and-coming youngsters gracing the various junior…

    GP3
  29. Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact 07:46

    Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact

    Pastor Maldonado caused his own retirement from last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps with a sizeable 17G…

    F1
  30. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine 05:14

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine

    McLaren showcases how many strokes per second are produced by Honda's engine.

    F1
  31. Friday 28 August 2015

  32. Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel 16:08

    Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is "convinced" that he would have passed Sebastian Vettel for third at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  33. 15:12

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  34. Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice 15:03

    Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice

    Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo edged out Repsol Honda rival Marc Márquez during second practice for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  35. Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car 14:01

    Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he "expected more" from the Williams FW37 this season, but he is hopeful that progress will be…

    F1
  36. GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions 12:02

    GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions

    Earlier in the season, GPUpdate.net gave readers the chance to quiz Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus driver Romain…

    F1
  37. Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone 10:50

    Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez topped the times during Friday morning's opening practice session for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  38. Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge 09:36

    Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge

    Ahead of this weekend's IndyCar season finale at Sonoma, drivers completed a demonstration run across San Francisco's Golden…

    Indy
  39. Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson 09:22

    Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson

    As the IndyCar circus arrives in California for the resolution of a tense and complex championship battle, the sport also finds…

    Indy
  40. Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma 07:38

    Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma

    Oriol Servià will drive Justin Wilson's Andretti car at this weekend's IndyCar finale at Sonoma in tribute to the Briton, who…

    Indy
  41. Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message 05:23

    Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message

    Mercedes partner BOSE covers radio tranmissions in the latest part of its 'Sounds of Formula 1' series.

    F1
  42. Thursday 27 August 2015

  43. Alonso expects 'completely different' second half 17:59

    Alonso expects 'completely different' second half

    Fernando Alonso is predicting a "completely different" performance from McLaren-Honda over the second half of the season, as the…

    F1
  44. Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops 15:12

    Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are likely to take grid penalties at the Italian…

    F1
  45. Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat 14:24

    Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat

    Robin Frijns has set his sights on securing the vacant race seat at Andretti for the upcoming Formula E campaign, but says…

    FE
more news