The McLaren F1 racing team has fired sporting director Dave Ryan after Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix
Ryan, a New Zealander and employee of McLaren for 35 years, was stood down after Hamilton said Ryan told him to deliberately withhold information from race stewards.
Hamilton was awarded third place in Melbourne, only to be stripped of his points after he and Ryan gave inaccurate information about Toyota’s Jarno Trulli overtaking Hamilton behind the safety car.
Trulli went off the track and Hamilton went past, only to be told to give the place back by Ryan who was concerned the driver had taken it illegally.
Hamilton slowed and Trulli re-took the position, only to face a stewards enquiry at which Hamilton denied he had received any order to let the Toyota go past. The Briton was promoted to third and Trulli demoted to 12th.
Trulli has now been reinstated to third.
The McLaren team has now been charged by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) with breaching the international sporting code on five counts. The world motorsport council will meet on 29 April to decide the team’s fate.