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GP Week : Issue 44
McLaren gets suspended penalty THE McLaren Formula 1 Team has been handed a three-race ban from Formula 1, suspended for one year, after admitting to five counts of breaking Article 151c of the International Sporting Code at a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on April 29. McLaren has made vast changes following the lying scandal that rocked F1 in the aftermath of the Australian Grand Prix, with Sporting Director Dave Ryan removed from the team, and former Team Principal Ron Dennis relinquishing all roles at the F1 operation. The FIA WMSC reasoned that McLaren, which was represented solely by Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, had not been handed a stronger penalty due in part to having already lost the points from the Australian Grand Prix, and furthermore thank to “the open and honest way in which the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal addressed the WMSC and the change in culture which he made clear had taken place.” The decision comes as stark relief to McLaren, Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 at large. No further action will be taken unless McLaren is called in front of the WMSC again within the next 12 months. One more for the KERS gang THE Force India F1 Team will introduce KERS to its cars at the German Grand Prix in mid July, Team Owner Vijay Mallya has told GPWeek. The introduction of KERS will be the final part of a raft of upgrades for the team’s VJM02, which began at the last race in Bahrain and will continue this weekend in Spain. “Right now the focus is on getting the Barcelona upgrade on the car and ready to race,”Mallya told GPWeek. “Then we have another upgrade in Monaco and then in Germany we will introduce KERS, because the car is KERS enabled and we ADVERTISE in GPWEEK to access a huGE global audience have a contract with Mercedes for the KERS. By that time the KERS will have been sorted out, McLaren will use their experience and the KERS system will have been debugged if there were any bugs. So yeah, we’re in pretty good shape.” Mallya is confident that the team’s speed in reacting to the quick pace of development in F1 in 2009 will enable his team to remain competitive. “At the end of the day, I think it is important that we are respectable. We’re not just some minnows sitting at the back of the grid following everybody else around. We’re racing.”