Hamilton apologises, Ryan sacked at McLaren

April 3rd, 2009 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Sepang, Malaysia, April 3 (DPA) McLaren sports director Dave Ryan was sacked and Lewis Hamilton issued a public apology Friday over their role in incidents leading to the world champion’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.
Ryan, 54, had to leave after 35 years at the English outfit while Hamilton promised better conduct in the future.

Race stewards ruled Thursday that Hamilton had given them “deliberately misleading” evidence in a hearing over an overtaking move concerning him and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli during a safety car phase in Sunday’s Melbourne race.

Trulli was docked 25 seconds as he lost third place to Hamilton. But McLaren team radio evidence then prompted stewards to disqualify Hamilton Thursday and reinstate Trulli as third-place finisher.

Hamilton said he was told by Ryan, who accompanied him at the hearings, to withhold information.

“I was misled,” Hamilton told a news conference after Friday practice on the Sepang course.

“I’m not a liar, I’m not a dishonest person, I am a team player. Every time I’ve been informed to do something, I’ve done it. This time I realize that it was a huge mistake.”

“I could not tell you how sorry I am for the embarrassment,” he said.

Hamilton said the incident took “a huge toll” on him, while it ended Ryan’s term as sports director.

“His (Ryan’s) role in the events of last Sunday, particularly his dealings with the FIA stewards, has caused serious repercussions for the team, for which we apologize. Therefore, I suspended him this morning and he has accepted this,” McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh was quoted as saying.

Whitmarsh spoke of an unfortunate incident for Ryan, who had been at the team for 35 years, saying “I doubt if I’ve met a more dedicated individual than Davey” and that Ryan “played a crucial role in the team’s many world championship successes.”

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