McLaren Suspends Sporting Director Dave Ryan

Paige Michael-ShetleyCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - APRIL 03:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes is seen in the paddock following practice for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on April 3, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

According to the Formula 1 website, McLaren has suspended sporting director Dave Ryan followng the disqualification of Lewis Hamilton and the team from the race classification of the Australian Grand Prix. 

Ryan was the McLaren representative who went before the race stewards following the grand prix to discuss the team's account of the incident between Hamilton and Toyota's Jarno Trulli.

According to the FIA, both Ryan and Hamilton mislead the stewards in their account of the incident, which prompted the punishment. 

Hamilton has apologized for his role in the deception, saying that he was instructed by Ryan to withhold information from the stewards about the incident after telling the media immediately after the grand prix that he was instructed by the team to pull over and let Trulli past. 

This introduces an interesting new wrinkle to the story.

Ryan is amongst the most long-tenured members with the team, so this is not a move to take lightly. It shows that McLaren is taking this situation very seriously, and that it does not want a public relations firestorm stemming from this incident. 

Furthermore, by effectively identifying Ryan as responsible for the situation, the truth about this incident is one of two options—Either, as Hamilton said, Ryan did tell him to mislead the stewards, or McLaren have made him as the scapegoat.