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GP Week : Issue 40
> F1NEWS> on McLaren exclusion? But Lewis says he isn’t walking away from Grand Prix racing ... “I sincerely apologise to the stewards for WILD pit-lane speculation suggesting that Lewis Hamilton could walk away from F1 in the wake of the weekend’s scandal have been discounted, after the F1 rumour-mill went into over-drive at Sepang over the weekend. Hamilton was forced into making an unprecedented apology for misleading the stewards at the Australian Grand Prix, on the Friday afternoon of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Following the revelations that Hamilton had acted under the instruction of McLaren Sporting Director Dave Ryan in his actions before the stewards, the reigning World Champion called a solo press conference, held in the official FIA Press Conference room (in itself a move for which there was little precedent), to explain, and apologise for, his actions in Melbourne. wasting their time and for making them look silly,”he said. “I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans who have believed in me, who have supported me for years, who I showed who I am for the past three years, and it is who I am. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person. I am a team player.” Hamilton admitted that Ryan’s request for him to not mention that McLaren had informed him to let Jarno Trulli through had been a surprise to him, but that in the heat of the moment he had simply done what was asked of him by a senior team official. “I didn’t have time to really think about it. But for sure afterwards I wasn’t completely sure why [Ryan asked me to lie]. We hadn’t done anything wrong, we were just going in there to give account of what happened – regardless of if I had third or fourth. “Jarno did a fantastic race and I had no need and no intention of giving him the penalty. That was not my aim. That is not something I do. I earn my points and my positions through hard work, and that is not the way I think.” Rumours in the Sepang paddock radically suggested that the reigning World Champion even considered quitting Grand Prix racing over the latest scandal, but was reportedly advised by FIA President Max Mosley that he should stick with McLaren and Formula 1. Considering what many now see as a huge breach of contract by McLaren, due to a high ranking team member bringing Hamilton’s reputation into disrepute, there is every reason to believe he could leave the team for pastures new in 2010 – if he wanted to ...