29 Apr 2009

McLaren wait to hear 'liargate' fate

6:22 am on 29 April 2009

McLaren's fate over the 'liargate' scandal that overshadowed the Australian Grand Prix will be determined by motorsport's governing body the FIA in Paris tonight.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes-backed British-based team is in the dock on five counts of bringing the sport into disrepute.

Hamilton was disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix after it emerged he and his McLaren team had given misleading response to questions about a race incident

Whatever the outcome of thes hearing the fall-out for McLaren has already been extensive.

The team's widely respected director Dave Ryan Ryan was sacked, and Ron Dennis stepped aside as team boss, to be replaced by Martin Whitmarsh.

In an attempt to soften their punishment McLaren, who will not contest the charges, have written a letter of apology to the FIA.

On the eve of the hearing McLaren could take heart from a report in the British media suggesting the FIA isn't planning to come down too heavy on them.

Formula One's commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, one of the men sitting in judgment on McLaren, has stressed that any punishment will be "fair".

According to The Times, the smart money is that McLaren could face a race ban, a financial penalty, or a combination of the two.