World champion Lewis Hamilton on Friday apologised for lying to FIA stewards in Australia, but said he was instructed to by suspended team veteran Dave Ryan.

World champion Lewis Hamilton on Friday apologised for lying to FIA stewards in Australia, but said he was instructed to by suspended team veteran Dave Ryan.

Ryan, who joined McLaren as a mechanic in the 1970s and was sent back to the hotel by team boss Martin Whitmarsh on Friday, "misled" Hamilton, the 24-year-old British driver said.

"I was instructed and misled by my team manager to withhold information, and that is what I did," said Hamilton, referring to sporting director Ryan.

Hamilton said he wanted to tell the truth but has always followed the instructions of his bosses.

"I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans, who I showed who I am for the past three years, and it is who I am. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person.

"Every time I have been informed to do something I have done it. This time I realise it was a huge mistake. I am here to apologise to everyone and I assure you it won't happen again," he told masses of international media in a specially-convened media centre press conference.

Hamilton said he felt "awkward" and "uncomfortable" about lying, and now the repercussions are the "worst thing" he has experienced in his racing career.

"I've never felt so bad. Try and put yourself in my position and understand that, like I said, I am not a liar. And so for people to say I am dishonest and for the world to think that, what can I say?" he added.

He said he apologised "for the situation" to Jarno Trulli before Thursday's stewards hearing, denying the saga was a cheap trick to gain a position through seeing the Italian unfairly penalised.

"That was not my aim. That is not something I do. I earn my points and my positions through hard work, and that is not the way I think," Hamilton insisted.

 

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