As both a huge fan of McLaren and Lewis Hamilton it’s disappointing to hear that at a press conference earlier this morning, Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren Team Principal) admitted that Dave Ryan (McLaren sporting director) told Lewis to lie to the stewards concerning the whole incident with Jarno Trulli after the safety car been deployed towards the end of the Australian Grand Prix. For a full account of the press conference head over to James Allen’s Blog
On the day where I decide to start a Formula 1 blog because my everyday blog (A Little Less Geek) was becoming too F1-centric, and I decided that as a big McLaren fan then that would be my hook on this blog, this happens.
I have to say I am a little ashamed of Lewis Hamilton, and while he was acting under the instruction of Dave Ryan he is the current World Champion and a role model for millions as well as a worldwide ambassador for Formula 1, and should have known better.
Since I started writing this blog Lewis has spoken in a press conference and had this to say (transcript courtesy of James Allen’s Blog):
“I went into the meeting wanting to tell the story and I was misled. I was instructed and misled by my team manager to withhold information and that’s what I did. I sincerely apologise to the stewards for wasting their time. I’m very sorry for the situation. Sorry to all my fans, who have believed in me. Who I’ve showed you I am the past three years is who I am, I’m not a liar, I’m not a dishonest person, I’m a team player and every time I’ve been informed to do something I’ve done it. This time I realise it’s a huge mistake and I’m learning from it. It’s taken a huge toll on me.
This is the worst thing I’ve experienced in my life and that’s why I’m here, because it’s right for me as a human being and as a man to stand up here in front of you all and tel you exactly what went on and say how sorry I am. I’m sorry to the team, to my family for the embarrassment.
I’m sure that the FIA will act accordingly and in the right way.”
Davey Ryan has been understandably suspended, as it was his initiative to deceive the stewards and with the Ferrari Spygate Scandal still a memory for many, this has and will continue to cause a massive amount of negative press for both McLaren and Lewis.
I’m still a fan of both McLaren and Lewis – they acted irresponsibly but not unforgivably. I just hope the press they get going forward with this season is about the improvements to the car and better race performances. Lewis needs to concentrate on racing his MP4-24 to the best of his vast ability and keep his nose clean both on and off the track.
In practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang this morning, Heikki Kovalainen led the charge for McLaren as the 9th fastest, with Lewis Hamilton trailing just behind in 11th. It was the two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa that led the field in 1st and 2nd respectively showing a return to form for the team.