Stewart: FIA to Blame for "Lie-Gate"
Stewart unveiled that the McLaren staff issued a radio call to FIA's race director Charlie Whiting during the race – in order to receive clarification on the matter – but the aforementioned official was out of reach. As there was no answer from the FIA, McLaren told Hamilton to let Trulli pass, therefore avoiding a potential penalty from the international body.
Of course, what happened later was no fault of the FIA, as McLaren's sporting director Dave Ryan and Lewis Hamilton lied to the Melbourne stewards out of their own will. However, had Whiting or another FIA official responded in time to the McLaren call, the entire scandal wouldn't have happened in the first place.
“He (Charlie Whiting) was apparently unavailable, trying to sort out the Sebastien Vettel problem. It seems strange that only one person has the authority to deal with these inquiries which could be result-changing in a multi-million pound sport. As it is, we now have a potentially serious state of affairs for McLaren,” argued Stewart.
Further on, Stewart is quite certain McLaren will be handed a harsh penalty from the FIA, especially since the British team is to appear and defend themselves before the World Motor Sport Council later this month (April 29th). McLaren have already admitted to their wrongdoings, as they are now investigated to be in breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, referring to sporting fraud.