8 Apr 2009

McLaren fire New Zealander from team

4:45 pm on 8 April 2009

The McLaren formula one motor racing team have fired sporting director Dave Ryan over the Australian Grand Prix "lying" scandal.

The team suspended New Zealander, Ryan following Lewis Hamilton's disqualification from the GP for misleading race stewards.

Hamilton claimed Ryan - a McLaren employee for 35 years - had told him to deliberately "withhold information".

McLaren has been ordered to face an FIA hearing to answer charges relating to a breach of the International Sporting Code.

Hamilton had been awarded third place in Melbourne before being stripped of his points after he and Ryan were adjudged to have given stewards "deliberately misleading" evidence in a post-race hearing.

That evidence led to race stewards handing Toyota's Jarno Trulli a 25-second penalty for passing Hamilton behind the safety car, demoting the Italian from third to 12th.

But after discovering that Hamilton and Ryan had provided inaccurate information about the incident, the FIA subsequently stripped Hamilton of his podium finish and reinstated Trulli to third.

Hamilton had told stewards he had not been told to allow Trulli to pass him when the opposite was true, a fact borne out by team radio transmissions.

Ryan was subsequently suspended by McLaren due to a "serious error of judgement".