McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

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McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by bud »

McLaren suspends Sporting Director
03/04/2009
In the wake of its exclusion from the results of the Australian Grand Prix, McLaren has suspended its Sporting Director, Dave Ryan.

A statement issued by the Woking team reads as follows:

"This morning, Dave Ryan was suspended from his position as sporting director of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "In my 20-odd years working for McLaren, I doubt if I've met a more dedicated individual than Davey. He's been an integral part of McLaren since 1974 and has played a crucial role in the team's many world championship successes since that time.

"However, 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."
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by Denthúl »

bud wrote:McLaren suspends Sporting Director
03/04/2009
In the wake of its exclusion from the results of the Australian Grand Prix, McLaren has suspended its Sporting Director, Dave Ryan.

A statement issued by the Woking team reads as follows:

"This morning, Dave Ryan was suspended from his position as sporting director of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "In my 20-odd years working for McLaren, I doubt if I've met a more dedicated individual than Davey. He's been an integral part of McLaren since 1974 and has played a crucial role in the team's many world championship successes since that time.

"However, 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."


I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by texasmr2 »

Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh.

It is only a suspension and not a termination.
Denthúl wrote: but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/

Nah bud is bigger than that and it could lead to a very insightful debate. :thumbup:
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by Denthúl »

texasmr2 wrote:
Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh.

It is only a suspension and not a termination.
Denthúl wrote: but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/

Nah bud is bigger than that and it could lead to a very insightful debate. :thumbup:


I wasn't talking about the punishment itself, but rather who they punished (or perhaps, who they did not). Martin Whitmarsh has since admitted that Dave Ryan wasn't entirely honest with the stewards.

Autosport.com wrote:McLaren 'embarrassed' by Oz events

By Jonathan Noble Friday, April 3rd 2009, 09:21 GMT


McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says he has 'deep, deep regret' for the situation his team has found itself in after Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix.

On the day that he was was forced to suspend McLaren stalwart Dave Ryan, its sporting director, for providing 'deliberately misleading' comments to race stewards in Melbourne, Whitmarsh said his team was embarrassed by all that had happened.

He revealed that it had only become clear last night and this morning that Ryan had not been totally truthful with the race stewards as they discussed Jarno Trulli overtaking Lewis Hamilton in the final safety car period of the Australia race.

Ryan and Hamilton misled the stewards because they claimed that there had been no radio conversation to discuss letting Trulli retake third place - something that was disproved after the race.

Speaking during a tense FIA press conference at Sepang on Friday, Whitmarsh said he had no choice but to suspend Ryan for his behaviour in the stewards' meeting.

"It has become clear from discussions with Dave last night and through into this morning that during the stewards meeting after the Australian Grand Prix, he was not entirely full and truthful in the answers he gave the stewards," said Whitmarsh.

"Consequently we had no alternative today other than to suspend him. As you can imagine, it is a very sad day for the team. We have got to deal with this weekend. We have to look in a bit more detail all of the events that surrounded it.

"From my perspective obviously it is a point of deep, deep regret – it is not how I wanted this year in particular to start. It is something for which the team and myself are not only deeply embarrassed but deeply regretful, and for Davey it has been a shattering day for him."

Whitmarsh explained that Ryan and Hamilton's decision not to tell the stewards about the radio conversation between team and driver was taken unilaterally, without consultation with senior management.

"I think anyone who knows Davey will know that he did not set out with any deliberate intention to mislead the stewards," said Whitmarsh.

"He went to that meeting with Lewis I am sure with the intention of being very clear and straightforward, but I think during the course of that meeting, as we have explored it more with him over the past 24 hours, it has become clear that he was not as full and comprehensive as he could have been."

When asked if he felt Hamilton had also been truthful in the meeting, Whitmarsh said: "No. I think that Lewis was not entirely truthful, but we have spoken to Davey. He was the senior member of the team and they went into the situation together.

"I think they were trying to deal with the situation and they got it wrong – but Davey as the senior member of the team was responsible for what happened and therefore I took the decision this morning."

Whitmarsh said a decision about Ryan's future would be made when the team returned from the Malaysian GP.

"Davey has been sent home, and we need to during the course of this weekend we need to understand exactly what happened and make the decision about Davey's future."

Whitmarsh also suggested further action could be taken, and did not rule out resigning himself over the matter.

When asked if he had considered stepping down, Whitmarsh said: "I think there are a lot of things going through my mind today as you can imagine, and it has happened during an event where we are trying to do the best job we can.

"I think as a team at the moment we have lost someone who is a significant anchor in this organisation and we have to make sure we pull together to do the best job we can this weekend. I think we have to reflect on anything that happened over the course of the Australian GP weekend after this race has finished."

He added: "I don't rule anything in or out. At the moment what we are keen and earnest to do today is make sure we put our hands up – and say there was a serious error of judgement during that process and we sure we come clean on that."

Hamilton has called a special press conference for Sepang this afternoon to explain his role in the events that took place in Australia last week.
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by McLaren Fan »

I'm genuinely gutted to have read this. Ryan has given so much to McLaren for well over thirty years, so it's a shame his career has been tarnished by this, whether it's accidental or not. Fair play to Whitmarsh for not ruling out his resignation, it's certainly very noble, but it doesn't sound as though there is anything he could have done differently. I also suspect the thinking is that if McLaren to their own internal action, they may get looked upon slightly more favourably in Paris.
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by EwanM »

Wait I see this topic has been made. Oh well.
I was slightly shocked to hear this last night during practice.

Knives out at McLaren as fallout begins
April 3, 2009 by James Allen

The fallout from McLaren’s Melbourne radio fiasco has begun with sporting director Davey Ryan suspended from duty and sent home from Malaysia. He is taking the rap for the heavy punishment the team and its driver Lewis Hamilton have received for misleading the stewards on an overtaking issue behind the safety car in Melbourne.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “In my 20-odd years working for McLaren, I doubt if I’ve met a more dedicated individual than Davey. He’s been an integral part of McLaren since 1974 and has played a crucial role in the team’s many world championship successes since that time.

“However, 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 left the circuit mid morning for the airport, apparently in tears according to eye witnesses. He has been at McLaren since the 1970s, when he was a mechanic on James Hunt’s 1976 world title winning car. With the changeover of leadership from Ron Dennis to Martin Whitmarsh some of Dennis’ oldest allies have left the team, including engineer Steve Hallam and Tyler Alexander. Team manager for many years, Ryan was given a promotion over the winter to sporting director and appeared to have a strong future at the team.

However with the damage to the team’s reputation caused by the implication of dishonesty, Ryan, who accompanied Hamilton to the stewards room and presumably briefed him on the way, has been fingered for blame.

The team is in a process of change, with Dennis handing over the reins to Whitmarsh and beneath him Jonathan Neale. Ryan was a commanding presence at the team, a real disciplinarian. He will not be missed by some members of the team to whom he gave a hard time, but his discipline might well be missed.

Whitmarsh will have to rally his team from this setback, albeit aware that there may well be more pain to come from the FIA World Council who will consider a disrepute charge. At the same time he will have some explaining to do to the Mercedes Benz board, who stuck with the team after the spy scandal of 2007, but will be disappointed by this fresh blow to the team’s image. Mercedes own just under 50% of the team with the rest of the shareholding split between the Bahraini royal family, Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh.

And behind the scenes, Hamilton and his team will be having some frank exchanges. Only they know whether he was told to say what he said to the stewards or whether it was his own idea.

Either way it has done damage to his sporting integrity.
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by EwanM »

Whitmarsh admits team told Lewis to lie
April 3, 2009 by James Allen

A sensational press conference has just concluded here in Sepang, where new McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted that his sporting director Davey Ryan deliberately set out to lie to the stewards in Melbourne and that he told Lewis to follow his lead.


Whitmarsh suspended Ryan this morning and the New Zealander is on his way back to England as we speak.

Speaking to a packed media centre, Whitmarsh said that this matter did not go any higher in the McLaren organisation and that he was not consulted before Ryan and Hamilton went to the stewards,
“We knew what had happened and there was a belief that a true and honest account of that would be given.

“Lewis got out of the car and gave a truthful account of what happened (to reporters). When they got to the stewards, Davey, who had been part of what happened at Spa (Hamilton’s penalty for passing Raikkonen) was highly sensitive and I think that in the heat of the moment his judgement was not to give a truthful account and I think Lewis was then led by that.”

When asked whether he would reconsider his own position, Whitmarsh said he could not rule anything out or in.

He said that, “We have lost a significant anchor to this team,” implying that Ryan’s suspension will become permanent.

One of the the things everyone wants to know is what was said in the original stewards’ meeting, as we have only the FIA stewards’ version of events as published yesterday. Whitmarsh said that he has not seen the transcript because one does not exist, “these things are not normally minuted and one of the stewards did not bring his notebook with him,” he said. “We have no access to that, all we can do is ask the driver and team manager what happened at the meeting.”

Hamilton himself will speak soon, at 5-45pm here in Sepang. He has lied, that much is obvious and as reigning world champion it puts a huge stain on his sporting integrity. He should have spoken to the media yesterday having first sorted out the details with Ryan and Whitmarsh, but instead, the whole thing has been allowed to be covered in the media with Hamilton’s reputation taking a hammering. He now has to say, “I lied, I was told to and I’m sorry,” after the event.

It will not improve things much for him, but it will help if he expresses regret. However the problem he will have going forward is that he is perceived by his critics as a manufactured product and the fact that he lied under orders will only emphasise that point.

I hate to keep comparing this to moments in Michael Schumacher’s career, but in 1994/95 he felt that he had to move away from Benetton because of all the allegations of cheating, from the FIA, which were piling up against the team and reflecting badly on him, he moved to Ferrari in 1996.

Steadying the ship generally will be Whitmarsh’s first priority, but after that he will have to work hard to persuade Hamilton that staying with the team is his best long term option.
Bleedin' heck.


Would this have ever happened under Ron Dennis?
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by McLaren Fan »

According to most people on this forum, Ron Dennis was past it, so things would actually have been worse. :rolleyes:
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

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McLaren Fan wrote:According to most people on this forum, Ron Dennis was past it, so things would actually have been worse. :rolleyes:

Ron was in Australia wasn't he? I wonder if he chipped in at all?
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by FerrariFan63 »

Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/


I don't think that's harsh. He isn't fired, only suspended. Provided (as I keep saying) everything is as described, this is a very serious action on Ryan's part, and certainly warrants a suspension.
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by bud »

FerrariFan63 wrote:
Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/


I don't think that's harsh. He isn't fired, only suspended. Provided (as I keep saying) everything is as described, this is a very serious action on Ryan's part, and certainly warrants a suspension.


I think he will get a new position within the team. Possibly back at the factory away from the races for a while. He has been there for such a long time they must take that into account before booting him out of the team.
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by EwanM »

bud wrote:
FerrariFan63 wrote:
Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/


I don't think that's harsh. He isn't fired, only suspended. Provided (as I keep saying) everything is as described, this is a very serious action on Ryan's part, and certainly warrants a suspension.


I think he will get a new position within the team. Possibly back at the factory away from the races for a while. He has been there for such a long time they must take that into account before booting him out of the team.


Maybe he'll get pensioned off?
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by Denthúl »

FerrariFan63 wrote:
Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/


I don't think that's harsh. He isn't fired, only suspended. Provided (as I keep saying) everything is as described, this is a very serious action on Ryan's part, and certainly warrants a suspension.


See this:

Denthúl wrote:I wasn't talking about the punishment itself, but rather who they punished (or perhaps, who they did not). Martin Whitmarsh has since admitted that Dave Ryan wasn't entirely honest with the stewards.


I think it's quite harsh that Ryan has been suspended, but Hamilton appears to have gotten off the hook. They were both involved...
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by Frosty »

Denthúl wrote:
FerrariFan63 wrote:
Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/


I don't think that's harsh. He isn't fired, only suspended. Provided (as I keep saying) everything is as described, this is a very serious action on Ryan's part, and certainly warrants a suspension.


See this:

Denthúl wrote:I wasn't talking about the punishment itself, but rather who they punished (or perhaps, who they did not). Martin Whitmarsh has since admitted that Dave Ryan wasn't entirely honest with the stewards.


I think it's quite harsh that Ryan has been suspended, but Hamilton appears to have gotten off the hook. They were both involved...
I think I read somewhere that Hamilton was told to follow Ryan's lead?
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Re: McLaren Suspends Sporting Director

Post by Denthúl »

Frosty wrote:
Denthúl wrote:
FerrariFan63 wrote:
Denthúl wrote:I want to say that's quite harsh, but it will only spark an argument with you if I explain it... :/


I don't think that's harsh. He isn't fired, only suspended. Provided (as I keep saying) everything is as described, this is a very serious action on Ryan's part, and certainly warrants a suspension.


See this:

Denthúl wrote:I wasn't talking about the punishment itself, but rather who they punished (or perhaps, who they did not). Martin Whitmarsh has since admitted that Dave Ryan wasn't entirely honest with the stewards.


I think it's quite harsh that Ryan has been suspended, but Hamilton appears to have gotten off the hook. They were both involved...
I think I read somewhere that Hamilton was told to follow Ryan's lead?


So..? Would you expect the following scenario to pan out as I describe it?

DR: Lewis, jump in to the fiery pit.
LH: Okay! [Proceeds to jump in to said pit]
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