Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes have now been disqualified and stripped of their points for the Australian Grand Prix by the stewards following the appeal by Toyota.
Stewards said that they did not have the benefit of radio exchanges between Hamilton and the McLaren team nor the comments made by Hamilton to the press, when they made their decision to penalise Trulli for passing Hamilton behind the safety car.
During the original hearing just one hour after the race the race director specifically asked Hamilton if he had consciously allowed Trulli to pass back into third position and Hamilton insisted that he had not done so.
Because of this they originally concluded that,”Trulli left the track, Hamilton moved into third and then Trulli returned to the track and overtook Hamilton to regain third place which was prohibited during the safety car period and therefore Trulli was awarded a 25 second penalty.”
New information presented to the stewards have shown that
a) After the race and before the stewards original hearing Hamilton had told the press that he had been ordered by his team to let Trulli passed.
b) Radio exchanges between Hamilton and his team contain two specific orders to let Trulli passed.
The stewards felt that, in light of the new information, they had been misled by Hamilton and his team manager leading to them unfairly penalising Trulli.
Going into the Malaysian grand prix both McLaren and Ferrari are now on level pegging of zero points. So (contrived or otherwise) the fight is still on between Hamilton and Massa, with BrawnGP romping off with maximum points.
Was Hamilton treated fairly by the stewards who stripped him of his points? What do you think?