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. Steven Roy said on 9th September 2008, 16:38

    Long term F1 Fan #401.

    Because trucks don’t have diffusers, beam wings or low level highly sophisticated aerofoil wings. A truck effectively blocks all the air so that it has to pass round, over or under it leaving an immediate low pressure area behind it. An F1 car has air effectively going through it. For example under the rear wing and being kicked up by the diffuser. A truck is more like a stock car hence the NASCAR bump drafting analagy. Effectively a truck and trailer are bump drafting.

    A truck or stock car is effectively a solid shap like a brick. An F1 car or any sophisticated single seater is not. with an articulated truck you would strugle to get any kind of rooster tail effect in the wet for example.

    The air going under a truck will mainly go under the trailer too because of the ground clearance. An F1 car is much clser to the ground and has a difusser so the air that should go under the following car doesn’t. First because it is lifted by the diffuser on the preceding car and second because there is so little ground clearance.

  2. As a kubica fan i can honestly say there are a lot of very biased comments. Firstly, i wan to say the decision to inflcit a 25 sec penalty was a harsh one, however numerous things must be considered:
    1) Hamilton already did a similiar thing in France
    2) he rammed Kimi in the back in the pitlanes when the light was red

    Lat year he even managed to get away with the Caterpillar taking him off the gravel trap and back on track. That episode was not illegal, but was not sportsmanlike either.

    This last episode is the same. He comes into the corner to deep (Kimi was following his normal racing line, and even if Lewis had edged him, 10-20 cm ahead in late braking on the exterior cannot be considered you have passed your adversary) He completely cuts the chicane , making no effort to try and minimize the “cut”, obstructs Kimi’s exit , and bang right into hi slip stream to overtake again. The rules only say you have to give back the position and Lewis in a few seconds brilliantly took a disadvantageous position to his advantage. However it was not sportsmanlike at all. Th problem here are the rules, if there was grass or gravel in the chicane, surely he would have lost more time.

    Given the previous episodes and LEwis’s rpeutation for being too aggressive (which yes is ironic in its own right as he is a F1 driver) i personally think here is where we see Lewis’s only weak spot, due to lack of experience more than anything else; given the past penalties he should have kept his cool and tried to pass him a few corners laters, particularly as he was racing against Massa more than Kimi.

    Please no conspiracy theories, how many times have Ferrari had decisions go against them, and if we really need to be so picky then should McLaren even be allowed to race given the scandal and constant denial lies of last year?

    At least the season finale will be more ineresting and i will be watching Monza and all other races.

  3. LongTimeF1Fan said on 9th September 2008, 17:07

    So your saying that an F1 car is somehow using a different set of the fundamental laws of physics?

    You should write a paper on that!

    Just because SOME of the airflow is through the car does not mean that the car has negative mass. ANY mass passing through the air has to conform to the laws of fluid dynamics.

  4. the bottom line is lewis always tries to outbreak people and gets into trouble. lewis should grow up a lot. he is not the greatest driver as some britih fans feel. he is not at all comparable with micheal.

  5. Just wondering whether LH will be allowed to overtake Kimi or Massa at Monza, or should he wait until next season to be on the safe side!!

  6. if it was a german in a red car,it would of been an outstanding bit of diving……. f 1 just as it seems to be getting better it shoots it’self in the foot. I don’t think i’ll bother watching the rest or next year.

  7. If that was a red car instead of Hamilton not one word would have been said by the stewards. It is a total fix, I will not be watching the rest of f1 this year as it has lowered itself to the comical levels of WWE wrestling in America. shame on the FIA and the stewards.

  8. LOOK !
    just put 2 ferarris on pole & 2nd place on the grid, put hamilton 3rd & order him not to overtake & follow the favoured red cars to the finish.if he does overtake the stewards can find an excuse to penalise him to give the victory to ferarri
    the racing is over!
    ayrton senna if your watching from above you must be thinking what ever happened to REAL racing!!!
    real fans who want to see racing should boycott the next race & see the mighty F1 bosses fall & realise LEWIS HAMILTON is the finest thing to happen to the sport since AYRTON

  9. Bobulon said on 10th September 2008, 2:37

    Never in the field of human conflict has so much whining been done by so few… or so many.

    Hamilton was impatient, Hamilton cheated by driving dangerously. Kimi did nothing wrong or anything illegal.

    END OF STORY

    All of you saying “well if the car hadn’t been red” blah blah blah. Well if the other car hadn’t been Hamilton would all these posts be here? No because all the GP n00bs that read this blog wouldn’t care.

  10. Chalky said on 10th September 2008, 9:35

    Most of us have probably had enough of this but I wonder how many have actually read the sporting regulations and sporting code for F1?
    Let’s not argue if the stewards were correct on Lewis but as you can see, it’s all too easy to apply the following rules to plenty of other occasions.

    Try section 16 of the sporting regulations about “Incidents”

    16.1 “Incident” means any occurrence or series of occurrences involving one or more drivers, or any action by any driver, which is reported to the stewards by the race director (or noted by the stewards and referred to the race director for investigation) which :

    – necessitated the suspension of a race under Article 41 ;
    – constituted a breach of these Sporting Regulations or the Code ;
    – caused a false start by one or more cars ;
    – caused a collision ;
    – forced a driver off the track ;
    – illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver ;
    – illegitimately impeded another driver during overtaking.

    Unless it was completely clear that a driver was in breach of any of the above, any incidents involving
    more than one car will normally be investigated after the race.

    Lewis broke the sporting code. Annex L Chapter 4 2(g)
    g) The race track alone shall be used by the drivers during the
    race.

    Lewis also failed on section 30.3(a) of the regs that says the same thing and just doubles up 16.1 and 2(g) in one line.

    30.3 a) During practice and the race, drivers may use only the track and must at all times observe the
    provisions of the Code relating to driving behaviour on circuits.

    However – How many other drivers could you point these rules at. Especially about forcing another driver off the track or – “illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver”

    These are a nightmare and can be easily seen both ways.
    This needs better clarification for all our sakes!

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th September 2008, 9:38

    Thanks Chalky – I thought Raikkonen forced Hamilton off the track so I’d argue he deserves a punishment under article 16.1. But there are plenty of other occasions when the FIA hasn’t bothered to enforce that rule…

  12. Yes Keith, but I cannot find any breach in the Sporting Code for Kimi’s actions. Even under the whole of section 2 about overtaking. Blocking and swerving on the straights is covered but during a corner, or curve, it is not. The closest you could get would be part 2(c) as it is the only part relevant to overtaking and curves.

    2(c):
    Curves, as well as the approach and exit zones thereof, may be negotiated by the drivers in any way they wish, within the limits of the track. Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be done either on the right or on the left. However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers such as premature changes of direction, more than one change of direction, deliberate crowding of cars towards the inside or the outside of the curve or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited and shall be penalised, according to the
    importance and repetition of the offences, by penalties ranging from a fine to the exclusion from the race. The repetition of dangerous driving, even involuntary, may result in the exclusion from the race.

    It would be, in my mind, unfair to say Kimi did something wrong here against the Sporting Code.

    However the manoeuvre did force Lewis off the track (breaching the Sporting regulations) and was a contributing factor for Lewis cutting the track (breach of code and regulations).
    I would have thought that common sense would prevail and one breach of regulations each would be weighed against each other. Obviously not.

    That makes me wonder if the reason the stewards only looked at this Incident on the side of Lewis was because he breached rules on Sporting Code as well as the Sporting Regulations?

  13. I am an avid F1 fan and have been for years and my experience is that there are always controvercial decisions and emotional responses, whatever the sport.

    I think that Reikonnen did nothing wrong in pushing Hamilton to hold the position, that’s motor racing and Hamilton gained an advantage by cutting the corner but then gave the position back, in my view that should have been the end of it. I can’t remember a driver ever being penalised for cutting a corner after having given the position back.

    This ruling to penalise Hamilton is a step too far, it’s clear that there are different rules for the 2 top teams.

    How can any driver or team decide how far they should drop back in such circumstances in the future?

    The only issue here is the stewards interference, everything else is emotion or support for a particular driver or team, I’m not a Hamilton or Ferrari fan.

    Sean

  14. michael said on 10th September 2008, 12:10

    I went to every F1 GP in Adelaide. Since then I have watched them on TV. Agfter Spa in have stopped doing both. You have lost a great F1 fan. Michael

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