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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Misstep could derail Hamilton, McLaren


One senseless lie could have devastating consequences for Formula One's McLaren-Mercedes team.

McLaren and defending F1 champ Lewis Hamilton may be suspended for one or more races after misleading F1 stewards at the end of the Australian Grand Prix.

And it was all over one championship point. At the time, it was the difference between third and fourth place, six points instead of five.

Hamilton and McLaren official Dave Ryan lied about Jarno Trulli moving ahead of Hamilton while the safety car was on the track.

Trulli spun under caution and Hamilton passed him. No problem there. But in the confusion of the moment, Hamilton let Trulli retake the spot.

Then the lies started. Ryan and Hamilton said Trulli forced his way past them, but Hamilton actually was told by Ryan to let Trulli by.

Ryan has been fired by McLaren, and Hamilton was disqualified from the race. But Hamilton is paying a bigger price: His reputation took a hit.

He did what team officials told him to do and said what they told him to say. Basically, he lied for them.

Hamilton has apologized to F1 officials, but he was so angry at being hung out to dry by his team that he considered quitting.

The lesson of this tale is simple: Just tell the truth.