Mike Stevens | Apr 22, 2009

Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton is again at the centre of controversy after it was revealed McLaren workers are furious with his threats to quit the team.

Hamilton refused over the China weekend to dispel rumours regarding his future, still deeply upset at the treatment he received in the wake of the ‘lying to the stewards’ scandal.

Team mechanics are unhappy with Hamilton’s behaviour, believing he has turned his back on the crew that helped build his career.

An insider told News of the World: “The mechanics are unhappy with Lewis and he has got a lot of bridges to rebuild.

“They have all known Davey (Ryan) for many, many years and are upset that he became the fall guy. Then there was the talk of Lewis threatening to quit the team.

“That did not go down well because we feel he should have shown more support after the work we've done for him. The guys put all the hours in and don't get anywhere near the rewards he does.”

It is believed the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing into McLaren’s actions in Melbourne and Malaysia will be crucial to Hamilton’s fate, as the team face a number of potential sanctions, including a race ban.

Mercedes-Benz McLaren 2009
Photo by dSLRartist

McLaren sacked Ryan as soon as news emerged of the team’s deception in an attempt to diffuse the situation, while team principal Martin Whitmarsh revealed he was prepared to resign from his role to help the team.

But as rumours flowed over Whitmarsh's knowledge of McLaren’s decision to mislead race stewards, it was Ron Dennis who was the eventual big-name victim.

Dennis took pre-emptive action in a bid to save McLaren from stern punishment, standing down from his role as CEO of the F1 team, although he denied his decision was influenced by the fiasco.

“I was the architect of today’s restructure of the McLaren Group. Again, no-one asked me to do it. It was my decision,” he said at a press conference last week.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone though was far more sceptical of Dennis’ actions, maintaining that McLaren will still face investigation by the council for its role in the scandal.

“The fact that Ron has gone does not change things. This is an issue for the McLaren team to deal with,” he said.

“They still face the same range of punishments if the WMSC find them guilty. I don't know if Ron stepped back to put distance between himself and the team but it won't matter to the Council. If he resigned to stop the hearing, it won't work.”

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