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Hamilton excluded from Australian results, Trulli regains third 02 Apr 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 2 April 2009 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota and Jens Marquardt, Toyota General Manager F1 Operations, heads to the Stewards Office to re-discuss the events at the end of the Australian GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 2 April 2009

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after a second stewards’ investigation on Thursday decided both he and his team had provided ‘misleading' evidence during a hearing held after the Melbourne race.

Hamilton crossed the finish line in Australia in fourth, but was subsequently promoted to third after Toyota’s Jarno Trulli was handed a 25-second time penalty for passing his McLaren under the safety car during the race’s closing laps.

Stewards, however, decided to reinvestigate the incident after fresh evidence came to light and convened a second meeting in Sepang. After the hearing, the stewards issued the following statement:

“The Stewards having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009, a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

"Under Article 158 of the International Sporting Code, the driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are excluded from the race classification for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix and the classification is amended accordingly."

In addition to Hamilton’s disqualification, Trulli’s penalty has been withdrawn and the Italian therefore regains his third place - and six world championship points.

In accepting the stewards' decision, McLaren issued the following press release, stating they have no plans to appeal:

"The FIA Stewards have reviewed their decision of Sunday 29th March 2009, and have excluded Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton from the results of the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes understands that the Stewards made their decision on the basis of reviewing radio transmissions between the driver and the Team.

"The Team mistakenly believed that the radio transmissions had been reviewed by the FIA on Sunday 29th March 2009, and consequently did not believe it was necessary to discuss them with the Stewards on that date.

"Nonetheless, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team now regrets that it did not do so, accepts the Stewards' decision and will not appeal."