The McLaren ?lying to the stewards? scandal which engulfed Formula 1 last week, almost claimed the career of World Champion Lewis Hamilton this week.
The Times of London reports that Hamilton was prepared to walk away from the sport in the wake of the controversy.
FIA President Max Mosley apparently played a key role in allaying Hamilton's concerns, advising F1's only true superstar of the current field to remain in the sport despite a backlash from the Fleet Street press.
Furious at his treatment by McLaren, Hamilton, and his father Anthony, called an unprecedented press conference at the FIA media centre, apologising for his role in misleading a post-race investigation in Melbourne.
Hamilton claimed he had been encouraged by the now-suspended Dave Ryan into denying he had been asked to allow Toyota's Jarno Trulli past under yellow flag conditions, further straining his relationship with the team.
Former McLaren driver and BBC commentator Martin Brundle wrote in The Times that it is highly likely Hamilton's career will forever be linked to the events which have transpired over the last seven days.
?The Briton?s reputation has understandably taken a battering but a sense of perspective is required here. Is what Hamilton did as bad as Michael Schumacher deliberately parking his car in Monaco qualifying? No, that was a blatant act affecting most of the field,? he said.
?He will recover from this in time but he will have to live with the stigma in perpetuity, just as Schumacher does. It will always be mentioned in his epitaph.
?Lewis is 24 years old and responsible for his own words and actions. To say, as he did, that he was misled just doesn?t cut it.?