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McLaren suspend sporting director Ryan 03 Apr 2009

Dave Ryan (GBR) McLaren Team Manager.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 2 April 2009 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 3 April 2009

McLaren sporting director Dave Ryan has been suspended by the team following Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.

Ryan was McLaren’s representative in the original post-race stewards’ enquiry in Melbourne, where according to the FIA both he and Hamilton denied deliberately moving aside for Toyota’s Jarno Trulli during the final safety-car period - evidence that was subsequently contradicted by recordings from McLaren's team radio.

“In my 20-odd years working for McLaren, I doubt if I’ve met a more dedicated individual than Davey,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “He's been an integral part of McLaren since 1974 and has played a crucial role in the team’s many world championship successes since that time.

“However, his role in the events of last Sunday, particularly his dealings with the FIA stewards, has caused serious repercussions for the team, for which we apologise. Therefore, I suspended him this morning and he has accepted this.”

Speaking later in the day at a scheduled FIA team principal press conference, Whitmarsh revealed further details and expressed his ‘deep regret’ at the situation.

“I think anyone who knows Dave will know that he did not set out with any deliberate intention to mislead the stewards,” he said. “He went to that meeting with Lewis, I am sure, with the intention of being very clear and straightforward but I think during the course of that meeting, as we explored it more with him, over the last 24 hours it became clear that he was not as full and comprehensive as he could have been.

“As you can imagine I think it is a very sad day for the team. From my perspective obviously it is a point of deep, deep regret. It is not how I wanted this year in particular to start and it is something for which the team and myself are not only deeply embarrassed but deeply regretful. I think for Dave is has been a shattering day for him.”

Following his suspension, Ryan was sent back home to the United Kingdom from Malaysia. A decision on his future isn’t expected to be made until after this weekend’s Sepang race.