F1 »

FIA set to strip Hamilton of Melbourne third place?

Having inherited third place at the expense of Jarno Trulli in the 2009 curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix last weekend, reigning Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton could be set to lose it again as the FIA investigates whether he slowed deliberately to allow the Italian back past.

Trulli ascended the bottom step of the rostrum Down Under by dint of a superb charge up through the order from his pit-lane start following Toyota's qualifying demotion, but was subsequently handed a 25-second penalty by Albert Park stewards after it was revealed he had skated off-track under the late-race safety car period when he hit debris from the Sebastian Vettel/Robert Kubica accident.

That allowed Hamilton past into the final podium position, but Trulli reported that the McLaren-Mercedes then suddenly and unexpectedly pulled aside and slowed – leaving him no choice but to re-take the spot.

“The FIA really got it wrong in that decision,” the 34-year-old told Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times. “We have all the evidence, including Hamilton's admission, that I did not overtake him. He let me past.

“Under those circumstances, Hamilton had a problem and he slowed down, almost stopping, and he allowed me to pass. There was nothing else I could do but keep going, and in order to do that I had to pass him.”

Hamilton said post-race in Melbourne that he had backed off under radio instruction from his team, and the sport's governing body has now summoned the British star before Malaysian stewards in Sepang prior to this weekend's grand prix to give his version of what happened. Should the FIA decide that he did indeed slow deliberately after receiving orders from McLaren, he could lose the position and Trulli may be re-instated.

Yesterday, Toyota announced that it had withdrawn its appeal against the 25-second penalty, which dropped the Pescara native from third to twelfth.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren Mercedes-Benz FO108W   ING Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix Rd 1 World F1 Championship Albert Park Melbourne  Vic
Williams Martini Racing FW40
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Ferrari SF70H
Ferrari SF70H
The Ferrari SF70H - Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari SF70H
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director.
Front suspension Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

jiffjoff - Unregistered

April 02, 2009 1:44 PM

Trulli was in the wrong because FIA rule 40.7 states that you can only pass under the safety car if a car slows with an obvious problem. Hamilton slowed but didn't have an obvious problem therefore trulli is in the wrong. When hamilton passed trulli there was an obvious problem because trulli was on the grass. So hamilton is in the right. Even if Hamilton did tell a lie the place was rightfully his anyway. I wish the FIA would at least abide by its own rules.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.