McLaren suspend Ryan over exclusion

McLaren have confirmed the suspension of sporting director Dave Ryan following Lewis Hamilton’s exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix.

Ryan was present at both the hearings following the Malaysian Grand Prix into the Hamilton-Trulli incident.

According to BBC Radio, Ryan was seen being summoned down from the pit wall during free practice at Sepang this morning and left the circuit later.

Martin Whitmarsh, who is in his second race in charge at McLaren having taken over from Ron Dennis, said:

His role in the events of last Sunday, particularly his dealings with the FIA stewards, has caused serious repercussions for the team, for which we apologise. Therefore, I suspended him this morning and he has accepted this.

Ryan, who was born in New Zealand, joined McLaren in 1974 and became chief mechanic for the team in 1982. He was promoted to sporting director last year. McLaren’s biography of Ryan described him as “the team’s conduit to the wider world of Formula 1″.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton excluded from Australian Grand Prix, Trulli third

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33 comments on McLaren suspend Ryan over exclusion

  1. Noel said on 3rd April 2009, 9:10

    Is he the scapegoat, or the root cause of the problem?

    Interesting development.

    • Nathan said on 3rd April 2009, 11:02

      According to James Allen’s blog McLaren held a press conference this morning where Martin Whitmarsh stated that Dave Ryan had told Lewis Hamilton to lie on the way to the stewards’ meeting. So, he’s not just a scapegoat, I think the whole thing is his fault.

    • Ayrton4ever said on 4th April 2009, 18:00

      All the ‘court’ hearings, conferencing, transcripts and politics is bad for racing and makes me sick. Do we want racing or races manipulated by politicians?

      I still do not understand why did Trulli passed Hamilton under the safety car? Even if HAM was doing 0.5 mph he should have stayed behind until told by stewards to pass.

      Hamilton’s or any driver’s job is not to be a lawyer or politician and they way it’s going drivers should rather be making comments through spokesmen and lawyers

  2. ukk said on 3rd April 2009, 9:21

    Listened to the radio transmission – the situation was out of control for HAM and up to Ryan (fault 1), then if he’s the one who told HAM to lie to the stewards then this is fault 2 and is sufficient to be thrown out of F1 at all.

  3. todd said on 3rd April 2009, 9:22

    what is this, high school? its a race team and business, deal with it internally and work that **** out.a public offering of sacrifice isn’t going to fix the issue.

  4. Bigbadderboom said on 3rd April 2009, 9:41

    Harsh, probably McLaren having to be seen doing soemthing. Sad to see a team with a deep history in such a mess now, there will be a few more falling on their swords before the end of all this I fear, is the job to big for Mr Whitmarsh, it looks like its getting away from him to me.

  5. pSynrg said on 3rd April 2009, 9:57

    Ron Dennis – biggest boots in F1? It will take some time to find a good fit…
    After this one can only guess that Dave Ryan took it upon himself to deliberately try and manipulate the situation without consulting his superiors?

  6. Stanzo said on 3rd April 2009, 10:14

    We haven’t seen a transcript of the stewerds meeting, but I can imagine things going like this;

    Stewards ask Dave Ryan if there was an order to let Trulli pass. Ryan answers no.
    Stewards ask the same question to Hamilton. Hamilton now hesitates… Should he follow the team and also lie to the stewards or should he tell the truth?
    He decides to follow Dave Ryan’s answer and also lies to the stewards.
    What follows is DQ from the Australian GP and maybe more races…

  7. Agree that a taped (voice) transcript with the Stewards is critical as this provides us with the tone of questioning; also it would clear up a lot of grey areas. My take is that this exchange may not be as clear cut as FIA would like us to believe. But let’s wait and see.

    On another note, everyone must have noticed how frightened Mclaren pit wall comms was; this strikes me that this is not (and perhaps never has been) a true rules based sport but more a public/private show for the amusement of Max and Bernie in which we all wittingly play a part by getting emotional about our favourites and they (FIA) manipulate our emotions in. Fun if you can be detached and laugh at yourself but otherwise rather sad.

  8. zerogee said on 3rd April 2009, 10:38

    I’ve changed my mind. Lewis should have been sanctioned. But, at the same time, the punishments need to be consistent and transparent, which neither of them were.

    Also, plenty of drivers will have misled the stewards in the past, why have they decided to punish somebody for this now in this manner?

    • Sush Meerkat said on 3rd April 2009, 15:26

      because it affected the order of the race, promoting themselves a spot while simultaneously punishing another racer that was essentially innocent.

      Trulli’s Toyota is the key here, its not the points involved, its the fact McLaren were willing to let the Toyota get screwed, only when the stewards asked for more from McLaren did they admit their transgression up until that point they didn’t mention a word of it.

  9. scunnyman said on 3rd April 2009, 10:42

    Well it’s possible Ryan is a scapegoat, but i feel that maybe he was out of his depth with the stewards and caused the problem in the first place.
    I’m neither a lewis fan or hater, but i doubt he would such a fundamental mistake as lying deliberately. He’s been before the stewards a few times now to know better.
    I agree that we all need to know what went on the stewards room to make an informed judgement.
    But whatever, we can’t change things now.

  10. I think this is more of a superficial manoeuvre, to make it look like they are doing something. I’m sure we’ll see him back on the pit wall in 2 weeks.

    • smboyce said on 3rd April 2009, 11:26

      I don’t think so. This whole episode has massively embarrassed Whitmarsh and now he’s asserting himself over the team. I’m sure there’ll be more personnel changes in the near future as Ron’s team becomes Martin’s team.

    • DGR-F1 said on 3rd April 2009, 13:41

      It depends if McLaren mean he is suspended from the Team or suspended from the Company…..

  11. Erico said on 3rd April 2009, 11:29

    We have to go back the roots, races should be won or lost on the tracks not in the confrence rooms fullstop.

  12. Oliver said on 3rd April 2009, 11:38

    Didn’t Schumacher lie many times to the stewards, even when he parked his car in Monaco, both he and the team lied. But he was only demoted for that race, there was no threat of further action.

    • Isn’t that the exact punishment meted out to Hamilton? Only, Schumacher was caught lying during qualifying and thus his punishment was to start from the back.

      If you lie at the end of the race, well, you won’t have time to remedy your mistake.

  13. Tom said on 3rd April 2009, 11:40

    “I apologise to the race stewards for wasting their time and making them look silly,” says Lewis. (according to BBC).

    Don’t worry, the stewards are perfectly capable of doing those things by themselves.

  14. Erico said on 3rd April 2009, 11:48

    Who hasnt lied there entire lives, truth be told, Hamilton is/will always be expected to be perfect.

  15. Snoopy said on 3rd April 2009, 11:49

    I am sad that Lewis hamilton is not man enought to say that it was his fault as well. He said in his interview that he was leaded by Ryan and that he told what Ryan said and that it was Ryans fault.

    I thought that teams lose and win together…it just don not seems to be case in McLaren or with Hamilton.

    Comon is he 3 years or 23 years old??? I start think that A. his IQ is not very high or B. He is selfish.

    • matt said on 3rd April 2009, 12:45

      If a senior member of the team tells Hamilton to lie, obviously he shouldn’t, but he’s been put in an awkward situation, and who wants to go against their bosses? Given the full picture I suppose that disqualification was appropriate, but I think further action would be quite harsh. The fact that he told the truth to reporters initially does show that he was led in the end. Ryan is (was) the sporting director and Hamilton would expect his advice to be appropriate normally, even if this time it was very stupid.

    • DGR-F1 said on 3rd April 2009, 13:46

      I’d like to know what Daddy Hammy suggested his son should do too. He has made the lad the maker of his dreams, and I think has pushed the lad very hard to get where he is – as do all sporting dads, I think.
      Hammy had to please his boss and his fans, and the FIA, and has learnt you cannot please everybody at the same time.
      I hope this will mean the end of all the Hammy-hype and he will be allowed to race how he wants and to say what he wants.
      He has proved he is human.

    • Baneybo said on 6th April 2009, 11:22

      ‘I was only following orders’
      Where have we heard that before?

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