Whitmarsh’s letter to the FIA

340xMcLaren have written to the FIA to apologise for misleading race stewards after the Australian Grand Prix.

The new McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has written to Max Mosley, president of the FIA saying that his team are in breach of the regulations.

Article 151c of the Formula One sporting regulations covers bringing the sport into disrepute. McLaren are currently facing the possibility from being excluded from Formula 1 for lying to the stewards at the first race of the season in Australia.

“We are co-operating with the FIA. I have written to (FIA president) Max Mosley but before 29 April I can’t say anything about it,” Whitmarsh told reporters in Bahrain.

“It’s a letter to them. Certainly, there’s been no leak about it from us and I can’t comment on it.”

The letter from Whitmarsh is said to also include mitigating arguments and appears to be an attempt by the Woking based team to co-operate with the FIA and limit the scale of the punishment that they will receive.

The World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has several options open to them including giving McLaren a fine, suspending the team from a number of races, or throwing them out of this season s championship.

Some believe that the team will be handed a constructor s points penalty. This is, in effect, a sort of fine as it will affect the amount of money McLaren receive from the sale of F1 TV rights next season. Others believe that the team may be excluded from two or three races and should this happen, it is possible that some of McLaren s key sponsors may choose to walk away as it would be a breach of contract. This path would also make it very difficult for reigning champion Lewis Hamilton to defend his Formula One title.