29 Apr 2009

McLaren chief Whitmarsh to face FIA alone

6:22 am on 29 April 2009

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh will throw himself at the mercy of Formula One's governing body to keep Lewis Hamilton's team in the world championship.

Whitmarsh, who has apologised unreservedly for his team's lying to stewards at last month's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, will attend a hearing in Paris tonight unaccompanied by senior colleagues and without legal representation.

A team source says the world champion Hamilton, former McLaren chairman Ron Dennis and Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug would all be absent from the meeting of the International Automobile Federation's world motor sport council.

McLaren's in-house lawyer Timothy Murnane will be present purely as an observer.

The team, 40 percent owned by Mercedes, have been charged with five counts of bringing the sport into disrepute after 'deliberately misleading' stewards at a first hearing in Melbourne and then in Malaysia a week later.