Former World Champion Lewis Hamilton Stripped of Points from Australia
After being promoted to a third-place finish, Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the 2009 Australian Grand Prix following an official investigation.
Hamilton finished Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix in fourth place, behind Toyota’s Jarno Trulli. After the race, Hamilton was promoted to third place because Trulli passed the former world champion under the safety car.
After a second investigation by the stewards, it was determined that both Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes and Hamilton provided misleading evidence, causing Hamilton and the team to be excluded from the Australian results. The stewards concluded that McLaren had indeed instructed Hamilton to let Trulli pass, contrary to what both Hamilton and McLaren told the FIA originally.
The new evidence came in the form of interview footage recorded immediately after the race. The stewards had not seen the footage in the first meeting directly after the race, leading them to give Trulli a 25-second penalty for passing under a safety car and promote Hamilton to third place. The interview footage shows Hamilton stating clearly that he was instructed to move over and let Trulli pass. In addition to the interview, the stewards also heard the radio exchanges between Hamilton and his team. Hamilton receives two explicit orders from the team to let Trulli pass in the radio exchanges.
McLaren-Mercedes issued a press release saying that the team mistakenly thought the radio transmissions had been reviewed by the FIA during the first meeting and did not think it was necessary to discuss them. The team reportedly “regrets it did not do so,” and will not appeal the ruling.
Source: Official Formula One Website