Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix after presenting "misleading" evidence to stewards.
The McLaren driver and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli were called to an FIA hearing in Malaysia — the site of the next grand prix — Thursday to discuss an incident during last weekend’s Australian race. Trulli finished third at Melbourne’s Albert Park, only to later be handed a 25-second penalty by race stewards which relegated him to 12th position and saw Hamilton lifted into third. McLaren had complained that the veteran Italian illegally passed Hamilton under yellow flags following an accident late on involving Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica in his BMW Sauber. Trulli had decided not to appeal the original decision but the FIA, the sport’s governing body, said it had received new information and pressed ahead with a second hearing.
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“The stewards, having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1, Lewis Hamilton, and the competitor, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009,” the FIA said in a statement. It said Hamilton and McLaren had violated its rules and retrospectively disqualified him from the race.