Lewis Hamilton stripped of Belgian GP win – another asinine FIA decision

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Felipe Massa has been given the Belgian Grand Prix win by the stewards

Felipe Massa has been given the Belgian Grand Prix win by the stewards

Lewis Hamilton has had his victory in the Belgian Grand Prix taken away from him by the Belgian Grand Prix stewards.

The stewards added 25 seconds to his race time for cutting the chicane while battling with Kimi Raikkonen, leaving him third behind Nick Heidfeld.

This is an absolute travesty of a decision which mocks the notion that the FIA stewards are fair arbiters of the sport.

Hamilton cut the chicane on lap 42 of the race while alongside Raikkonen. Raikkonen forced Hamilton off the track by swerving across the front of the McLaren. Hamilton had been entirely alongside the Ferrari going into the corner.

Hamilton then let Raikkonen past him and re-took the Ferrari driver at the following corner. Despite taking the standard course of action to let Raikkonen regain his position, the stewards have stripped Hamilton of his win.

After letting Raikkonen re-pass him, Hamilton was no closer to the Ferrari driver than he had been before they went into the chicane. I do not agree any advantage was gained by Hamilton.

I also think it is disgraceful the stewards feel Raikkonen was not at fault in forcing another driver off the track. A similar piece of driving at Eau Rouge or Blanchimont could have lethal consequences.

Whether the stewards have done this to keep the championship close or keep their friends at Ferrari happy, this is an utterly lamentable decision.

It comes only two weeks after the stewards avoided stripping Felipe Massa of a win at Valencia for a clear infringement of the rules. This very weekend we saw further evidence that decision was bogus.

It is quite clear Ferrari can rely on the FIA to give them a favourable hearing at appeals.

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430 comments on Lewis Hamilton stripped of Belgian GP win – another asinine FIA decision

  1. bernification said on 7th September 2008, 17:39

    This is absolutely disgusting.

    I hope McLaren challenge these decisions in Court.

    After last races decision in favour of Massa, and no fine for Raikonen, despite him nearly killing one of his pit crew (and I AM NOT BUYING ALL THIS- HE”S FINE CRAP) and then the exact same pit lane release scenario being penalised yesterday- there can be no doubt about the FIA’s agenda.

    Disgusting. You will see the viewing figures decreasing as a result of this.

    No penalty for Raikonen- forcing Hamilton off the road- I see then.

    I’m furious. Hamilton should quit. It’s obvious they will never allow him to win.

  2. mail123456 said on 7th September 2008, 17:39

    yeh right … if we wanna see spectacles like this we will watch WWE …
    I’m starting to wonder why Formula 1 need FIA at all …

  3. spectre said on 7th September 2008, 17:39

    No wonder people think F1 is boring… Every time two drivers race each others, they are penalised! That’s it for me. I’ll stick with MotoGP and WTCC rest of the season.

  4. sultryBOB said on 7th September 2008, 17:39

    this is complete bull thay do nothing to massa but strip the win form hamilton i am a fan of massa but he is stealing points

  5. verasaki said on 7th September 2008, 17:39

    why don’t they just change the rules and make f1 a slot car racing series? it would be easier than this.

    i wish i could say i’m surprised but really, this is the way the fia have been cheapening their own sport for years and turning off the people who really love racing.

    maybe turning everyone off is their way of dumbing down their audience so eventually they won’t have to listen to the persistent criticisms they deserve.

    shane, if mclaren appeals, get ready for another disqualification. the fia has nothing to do with fairness these days and appeals have rarely gone in the favor of the team/driver even before now.

  6. I am done with F1. I might keep reading your site Keith because you seem like a nice guy but I am finished with this so-called “sport”.

  7. also checking the video again, Kimi was swerving because his back tire was about to hit lewis. Lewis never even let him fully by.

  8. Mr Soap said on 7th September 2008, 17:40

    Utterly shameful.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th September 2008, 17:40

    Nick, I’m sorry but “Hamilton was never going to make the corner”? Please.

    He had already made the right-hand part of the corner quite easily. And the fact that he would have been able to make the left-hand part of the corner is proved by the fact that he took an even tighter line to avoid Raikkonen’s swerve.

    He was clearly in control of the car.

  10. Throttle said on 7th September 2008, 17:41

    Sav is wrong, this is not MCLAREN-FANATIC.com it is LEWIS-FANATIC.com.

  11. Forgot to add a smiley :)

    But seriously, I don’t think I’ll be watching Monza. Can’t wait to see (or rather, read about) what kind of injustices will happen when they’re on the red home soil.

  12. Yeah, I agree. McLaren and Lewis shouldn’t just accept this. If the decision is overruled, they should think of pulling out. Otherwise, frankly, Ferrari will be allowed to win the WDC under just about any pretext.

    Lewis had the edge on the first corner of the chicane, Kimi nudged him off (Kovi having been punished for a worse version of the same in the same race!), Lewis duly ceded the position. As the rules state. Do they say anything else, like, don’t immediately try to race again????! He was then struck (again!) by Kimi at La Source. Given he then stayed on track while Kimi spun off, the event had no bearing on the eventual race positions either.

    Sham. Angry, angry, angry.

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th September 2008, 19:04

    Those making comments about me being a Hamilton fan have very short memories. I thought his Magny-Cours penalty was entirely correct, for example.

    If you think the stewards verdict today was correct I’d like to hear why, because it makes no sense to me, for the reasons I’ve explained above.

  14. Shocked and disappointed. I think the stewards have ruined a great race and it is getting a little more than coincedential how much McLaren are penalised in comparison to the boys in red. I mean Kimi didn’t even finish so where is the advantage?

    Having said that after taking time to consider the decision it is pretty clear that if Lewis would of followed Kimi round the corner there is no way he would of been so close to his gearbox on that straight, so in that sense he gained an advantage. I’d like to see the exact wording of the rulebook on this one.

    As a fan I’d like to have seen the result stand, but seeing F1 as a business, and a sport with rules, I have to say by the letter of the law I imagine Hami broke the rules. So in that sense it is fair.

    The question is, would it of been the same decision if the colour of the cars were reversed?

  15. Tengil said on 7th September 2008, 19:06

    Here is the ruling:
    http://www.fia.com/belgiumgp/documents/BEL_08_Document_49.pdf

    Nicholas Deschaux, Surinder Thatthi and Yves Bacquelaine, your mothers must be so proud
    And don’t forget Mosley’s political commissar Alan Donnelly

    Remember Surinder Thatthi’s views on facial hair?
    http://www.autosport.com/news/grapevine.php/id/67205

    Nasir Hoosein wasn’t even involved, wonder what had happened if he was ;)

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