Lewis Hamilton´s third place finish in Australia – awarded to him after stewards penalised Toyota´s Jarno Trulli – is again under question as the FIA reopen the issue.
Under safety car conditions, Trulli made a mistake and went off the track and Hamilton had no choice but to pass him, the world champion told Speed TV. Trulli then illegally re-passed Hamilton, for which act he was penalised and demoted from the podium position.
But stewards are investigating new evidence which has come to light. The new evidence – thought to be previously unheard McLaren radio traffic – raises the possibility that the team told Hamilton to slow and let Trulli by.
After the race, Trulli explained the events from his point of view.
“When the safety car came out towards the end of the race, Lewis Hamilton passed me but soon after he suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road,” he said.
“I thought he had a problem so I overtook him as there was nothing else I could do.”
If the new enquiry finds that the McLaren team withheld evidence, the consequences could be serious, as failing to produce key evidence in such a case clearly contravenes sporting regulations.
Hamilton and Trulli have both been summoned to appear in front of three race stewards today in Malaysia to explain the story. They, together with Australian GP race stewards, will reconstruct the sequence of events for the FIA panel.