London, Apr 3 (ANI): World Champion Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren team could be expelled from Formula One after being found guilty of lying and cheating.
Sanctions include expulsion from races, the championship or fines such as the one imposed in September 2007 when McLaren Mercedes were found guilty in an industrial espionage case.
Hamilton and his team were yesterday stripped of the six points they scored for his third place in Australia on Sunday after race stewards reopened their inquiry into an incident near the end of the race.
McLaren deny deliberately misleading the stewards, but say they will not appeal, the Daily Express reported.
A meeting was held at the Sepang circuit, where F1 are gathered for Sunday's second race of the season, the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The stewards insisted new evidence had come to their attention and after hearing again from Hamilton and the team manager, Dave Ryan, their verdict was damning for driver and team.
The new conclusion was that they had provided evidence, which was "deliberately misleading" at the original hearing after the Melbourne race.
They also said that Hamilton and the team had acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event. It all stemmed from an incident near the end of the Australian race when Hamilton overtook a Toyota to take third place but then, unsure if that was legal, the team told him to let Trulli past again.
Hamilton slowed to snail's pace and Jarno Trulli went past but as it was during a safety period when overtaking is banned, the Italian was relegated after standing on the podium.
The mystery is why Hamilton and Ryan, when asked point-blank if an instruction had been given to let Trulli overtake again, both said no. Trulli said yesterday: "I told the truth and all I wanted was the truth." (ANI)