McLaren confirm Ryan departure

d07chn1386McLaren have formally ended their relationship with sporting director Dave Ryan after suspending him for his involvement in the Lewis Hamilton ‘liegate’ affair.

McLaren were disqualified from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after the FIA ruled that they “deliberately mislead” stewards in a post-race enquiry [see separate story HERE].

Lewis Hamilton was originally promoted to third place because Toyota’s Jarno Trulli was penalised for overtaking the British driver under safety car conditions.

But Hamilton and his McLaren team were later disqualified from the race in light of new evidence. Team radio communications revealed that Hamilton had been ordered by his team to slow down and let Trulli pass.

Sporting director Dave Ryan lied about the team orders in the hearing and persuaded Hamilton to do the same. McLaren later suspended him, while an emotional Lewis Hamilton apologised for his actions in a press conference.

Following an invitation from the FIA to stand before the FIA World Motorsport Council and explain their actions, McLaren confirmed that they have now formally parted company with Ryan.

“This afternoon McLaren and its former sporting director, Dave Ryan, have formally parted company. As a result, he is no longer an employee of any of the constituent companies of the McLaren Group,” the team said in a statement.

They also confirmed that they would be attending the FIA council meeting [see HERE]

“McLaren acknowledge receipt of an invitation to appear at an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on April 29, received this (Tuesday) afternoon,” McLaren said in a statement

“We undertake to co-operate fully with all WMSC processes, and welcome the opportunity to work with the FIA in the best interests of Formula 1.”

Dave Ryan

After competing in motorcycle speedway events in New Zealand, Ryan moved to England in his late teens and joined McLaren as a mechanic, working on the McLaren M23 of Jochen Mass. After nearly a decade as a mechanic, Dave was appointed to the role of Chief Mechanic for the team, before another promotion arose in 1988, when he became McLaren Factory Manager.

In 1990, he became the Team Manager meaning he took responsibility for the race and test team activities on track and at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. 2008 saw Dave appointed as Sporting Director, showing his responsibilities were growing at McLaren, however he was suspended prior to the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix after an incident concerning Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s disqualification at the previous race, the Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren parted company with Ryan on April 7, 2009.