Judgement has been rendered on the McLaren “lie-gate” and the team has gotten off relatively light for a scandal that was blown into massive proportions. The team was handed a suspended three race ban. Stipulations in the verdict indicate that if any further details come to light or if the team steps out of bounds once more this year then they will be banned from competition for three races.
The FIA WMSC stated that due to the “culture” change withing the organization and the fact the team admitted to lying, that the suspended ban was the appropriate punishment. One must be curious if the change was also in regards to the departure of Ron Dennis. Dave Ryan, the one that was blamed for the lying has already been fired from the team followed by Ron Dennis resigning all of his control in the Formula 1 operation. The relationship between Ron and the FIA was never great.
In the days leading up to the decision, McLaren’s main sponsors and engine partner Mercedes had threatened to leave the sport if the punishment was overly stiff. However, moments before news of the verdict broke, Mercedes said that leaving F1 would not save any money and that they would be in the sport a while longer. The team accepted the punishment given by the FIA and I know are counting their lucky stars for it being a little lite. This was the second large scandal of three that the team has been involved in the last few years. We will post updates and reactions as they become available.