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Hamilton makes a swift getaway at Sepang

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F1 Mole | 15:21 UK time, Thursday, 2 April 2009

It might not have been the best of days for Lewis Hamilton or McLaren, but the team played a blinder when it came to keeping the world champion away from the media melee in Malaysia.

Hamilton was stripped of his third-place finish in last Sunday's Australian Grand Prix and Toyota's Jarno Trulli reinstated after a hearing in Sepang.

The sport's governing body decided to exclude the Englishman from the results for "misleading the stewards" as they tried to determine whether Trulli broke the sport's rules by passing Hamilton when the safety car was on the Melbourne track.

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McLaren's team orders worked to perfection on Thursday as Hamilton snuck away from the Sepang circuit without answering a single question.

Martin Whitmarsh's first media scrum since taking over as team principal from Ron Dennis provided the perfect distraction.

Whitmarsh, the vein in his temple throbbing, held the world's media captive in front of the McLaren garage as he faced an intense interrogation into Hamilton's disqualification in Australia.

That gave Hamilton enough time to nip out of the garage's side exit and evade the press pack in an overtaking manoeuvre timed to perfection.

A handful of eagle-eyed television cameramen did spot Hamilton, but by the time they peeled away to give chase, it was too late - Hamilton had made his getaway.

McLaren succeeded in ushering Hamilton to safety, at least for tonight, leaving the world champion free to do his talking on the track when first practice starts at 1000 local time on Friday.

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