Sunday, September 7, 2008

Belgian Grand Prix: McLaren appeals decision

Quoted from

McLaren have lodged an appeal against Lewis Hamilton's demotion to third place in the Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA confirmed on Sunday night. Hamilton was handed a 25-second penalty for gaining an advantage against then race leader Kimi Raikkonen after cutting the chicane two laps from home at Spa-Francorchamps.

McLaren spent some time on Sunday night evaluating whether they could appeal the penalty, but an FIA statement said that the team had indeed notified the stewards of their intention to appeal. It means the result of the Belgian Grand Prix will now be decided at a hearing of the FIA's International Court of Appeal.

Ferrari did not hide their criticism of the way Hamilton behaved after cutting the chicane, with their team principal Stefano Domenicali saying he had no doubt the way Hamilton retook the lead was the result of the benefit he had in cutting the chicane. "Personally, I think it was a little bit extreme," he explained. "It's normal that when you attack that you are racing, but the problem is (of) the advantage that may take by doing a manoeuvre and this is the key point of it, so I think that that's the focus that has to be considered.

"What is really the advantage that you are taking in such conditions that can be used in the second situation at the first corner? That, in my view, is the most important thing. But this is racing."

Domenicali did not wish to make any comments on the decision to impose a 25-second penalty, however. "As I said to your Italian colleagues, we are not used to commenting on decisions. The only thing I would say is that as soon as we had been summoned by the stewards, we gave our position to the stewards and that was it. "Then the stewards for sure listened to the Hamilton discussion on that, and that is the decision. On that we don't want to take any further comment." Ferrari have insisted that they did not lodge any official protest with the race stewards about the matter.

We will see what is to follow...

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