April 2, 2009

FIA releases Mclaren radio transmissions

I would say a new era of transparency from the FIA has begun, for better or for worse:

Press Release

Stewards Decision - Australian GP




At the first hearing following the Australian Grand Prix the Stewards did not have the benefit of the radio exchanges between driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and his Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes nor did they have access to the comments to the Media given by Lewis Hamilton immediately after the end of the race.

From the video recordings available to the Stewards during the hearing it appeared that Jarno Trulli’s car left the track and car No 1 moved into third place. It then appeared that Trulli overtook Hamilton to regain third place, which at the time was prohibited as it was during the Safety Car period.

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.

The new elements presented to the Stewards several days after the 2009 Australian Grand Prix which led to the reconvened Stewards Meeting clearly show that:

a. Immediately after the race and before Lewis Hamilton attended the Stewards Meeting he gave an interview to the Media where he clearly stated that the Team had told him to let Trulli pass.

b. Furthermore, the radio exchanges between the driver and the Team contain two explicit orders from the Team to let the Toyota pass.

The Stewards, having learned about the radio exchanges and the Media interview, felt strongly that they had been misled by the driver and his Team Manager which led to Jarno Trulli being unfairly penalised and Lewis Hamilton gaining third place.

Hamilton's statement to the media after meeting with the stewards

Mclaren radio transmissions during the final safety car period

And here is the rest of it.


  1. Also check out the Toyota radio transmissions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OohT1HbaEF0

  2. I get the feeling that Hamilton's not going to win many hearts over this year...

    ...which is actually fine with me.

  3. The funny thing is, If Mclaren and Co. had come clean with the stewards, Trulli would have gotten third but Hamilton would still have 4th place points!

  4. Un-True-Ham has really stuck his foot in it this time. Unfortunately, this is the same kind of stuff that caused the FIA to double-check Mclaren's truthiness during Stepney-gate.

  5. The FIA have to stop this all too frequent practice of altering race results.

    It is too damaging to the sport . . . the appropriate thing in this situation would have been to reinstate those results.

    With that said, I am DONE with McLaren. Finished. They have no right to point a finger at anyone. They spend the lions share of their efforts posturing and trying to manipulate this litigious system to their favor, only to cry fowl when their scheming backfires.

  6. Rather than McLaren (or Toyota) I think it's the FIA stewarts that should be blamed on this one. You can clearly hear the McLaren guys trying to figure out (from the Stewarts) what Hamilton should do after passing Trulli because he went off the track! I mean it's no passing under yellow, but if the guy goes off track IMHO it's not a pass, it's just that guy loosing position because he went off!

    Then, because they didn't get an answer in time they instruct Lewis to let me pass him back, which I interpret as "better be safe than sorry, we're happy with 4th", not "let's try to sucker Trulli into making an illegal pass" so we can complain about it later.

    If he hadn't done that, you can be sure Toyota would have been the one filing a complain about Lewis making an illegal pass (listen to their radio "we're on Lewis's case!".

    Clearly this is a case of race control not giving a positive ruling and letting the teams know what they should do in time and in the end confusing everyone. If they could not give a definite answer at that time, they should just have left it alone (Trulli 3rd Lewis 4th) and everyone would have been happy with that!

    But no, somehow they decided to penalize Trulli, and because that's a bit unfair then they decided to also punish Hamilton... lame.

    All this changing of the results after the race are only pissing the fans off and showing the FIA stewarts to be incompetent and potentially biased...

  7. CW, I read it as the FIA punishing Mclaren for events OFF the track. For whatever reason both Hamilton and Whitmarsh told the stewards Trulli took back the position of his own accord. Agree with it or not, this gave the impression that once it was seen that the Toyota got in trouble, Mclaren tried t make them look bad...

  8. OK, I'm unclear. Was Trulli's 25 second penalty lifted or not? I don't see how he could be listed as 3rd after a 25 second penalty tacked onto a parade finish. The entire field probably wasn't separated by 25 seconds so clearly Trulli's penalty was dropped.


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