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

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. Did Hamilton gain an advantage from cutting the chicane? Yes…

    I think that is all the stewards would have considered. If he had waited unitl after La Source to attack, I think there would be no fuss…

    Nevertheless, it still seems a little harsh..and I’m a red supporter thru and thru.

    I think most Mclaren fans are also Brits which is why more people on this blog seem to be upset. I’m sorry Keith, but you seem to have let your normally unbiased demenour disappear for a moment.

  2. From: The stewards of the meeting

    To: The team manager, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

    The stewards, having received a report from the Race Director and having met with the drivers and team managers involved, have considered the following matter, determine a breach of the regulations has been committed by the competitor and impose the penalty referred to.

    No./driver: 22, Lewis Hamilton

    Time: 15:21:33

    Facts: Cut the chicane and gained an advantage

    Offence: Breach of Article 30.3(a) of the 2008 FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations and Appendix L chapter 4 Article 2 (g) of the International Sporting Code.

    Penalty: Drive-through penalty (Article 16.3 (a)), since this is being applied at the end of the race, 25 seconds will be added to the driver’s elapsed race time.

    FIA Stewards of the Meeting

    Received by: Lewis Hamilton, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

    What a load of crap !

    Maybe time for a boycot ?

  3. Right, Massa’s pit release from valencia was unsafe, not his fault but ferrari’s I think the correct decision would be the loss of felipe’s constructor’s points for that race. I don’t think he deserved to be stripped of his victory as all he did was drive away when his team told him to.

    As for today, I think Lewis deserved the penalty, not particularly for cutting the chicane, but for barely conceding the position, he let kimi’s rear wing get just about ahead of his front wing before getting back on the throttle. His attempt at giving back kimi’s position was questionable, I think he was too eager at taking the lead, anyway, he definately gained an advantage, because had he conceded P1 a bit more fairly, he wouldn’t have had the run in on kimi at la source. But then again, i think 25 seconds it too harsh, a 10 second penalty would have sufficed.
    Had Lewis not overjumped it a bit at the end. I still think he would have won. But I think the penalty was justified because his over ambitious manouvere put pressure on kimi which wouldn’t have been there had he not cut the chicane.

    As for lewis complaining about being squeezed out, Alonso did the same thing at the same track last year. It’s not the oppositions fault he’s not as ruthless as they are, just because he wouldn’t do it to them, doesn’t mean they can’t do it to him.

    And all that crap about not being overtaken on the outisde, I’m sure someone will own his ass again just like felipe did at hungary. He really should watch what he says, because he mocked massa for letting him by so easily at germany then we all saw what happened.

    It’s not Felipe’s fault he was second, the win would have gone to whoever was in his place, bu I do feel Ferrari get favourable treatment, I’m not blind, but if drivers put themselves in silly, questionable situations they should expect the worst.

    Finally, it wasn’t the best day for the Finns out there, Heikki had a shocker, tangled up with webber, unnecessarily and then parked it on the last lap. They’ll never win a WCC with heikki failing to convert his decent qualifying form in results.

    But for Kimi, I feel very sorry for him, it was truly do or die, not accepting second place and going all balls or bust with 2 laps to go is admirable and brave. I think his title hopes are over, but then again F1 is crazy, he’ll be back nextt year, with ice in his belly ;)

  4. Well I said before that Hamilton didn’t deserved to be punished, so I must say that this penalty is a bit ridiculous. But but but, I really didn’t think that the way Hamilton handled the situation was very fair. He came into the last chicane too fast, he must have known that there was no way he was going to get Kimi there. He did it anyways though, and of course had to cut the chicane to avoid the accident.

    I don’t think there’s any way that he would have been inches behind Kimi’s gear box if he had followed Kimi through the chicane. He could have been close, and still had a chance at La Source, but not as close as he was.

    So there’s where I thought it was unfair, the advantage he gained cutting the chicane. If it were legal, someone say 2 seconds behind could just brake late and intentionally get forced off and then rejoin the race close to the person ahead of them. It would be an easy way to get right behind someone’s gearbox, which everyone knows is hard in F1.

    Now I know there are those of you that though he entered the chicane fairly and got forced off by Kimi, but I didn’t see it like that. I guess that’s where people’s opinions mainly differ.

    But once again, it wasn’t too big of a deal, not big enough to change the outcome of the race.

  5. Firstly, I dont think it´s fair to criticise Kimi in any way for protecting his position at the chicane, he´s doing what is expected of him and it was fair, if a bit hard. But Hamilton could not be expected to do any more than what he did having been forced wide.

    Yes he cut the chicane (through no fault of his own by the way) but imediately slowed and let Kimi back through. Is there any rule that dictates at what point after allowing a car back through you are allowed to re attack? I dont think so.

    It was a great scrap, I very much doubt Kimi would have had any complaint what so ever over the incident in question and would admit Lewis did him good and propper!

    The new regulations for 2009 drawn up by the FIA have been developed in an attempt to improve the show and allow more scraps like what we´ve seen today, so it´s the FIA that really need to step in here and do what´s right for the sport.

    Let´s hope common sence prevails and Lewis is given the win he deserves after a really agressive and spectacular finish to the race. Come on Bernie, get ya head out ya wallet for a second and do something good for your sport for a change!

  6. From what I watched was.
    A pass attempt aroung the outside that left both cars side by side.
    Kimi was on a win or bust strategy so his extra speed drifted him across towards Lewis. Lewis did the only thing to avoid an accident and took the escape road.
    The “What if’s” if Lewis had had a collision would also probably have ended in a drive through penalty, as mentioned above by LongTimeF1Fan.
    In such a case both drivers are responsible for avoiding a collision. Kimi couldn’t quite make room to provide racing room for Lewis when he was along side him.
    So was Lewis wrong to avoid an accident that Kimi was 50% involved in? No I think not.
    Was Kimi wrong in not providing enough room? No I think not, but as Kimi was the car leading prior to the chicane Lewis did the correct thing and let him by on the straight.
    Kimi did get into the lead on the next straight.
    and the most important bit that I saw….
    Kimi then did not defend his lead for the next corner by taking the inside line. If he had, then there would be no penalty.
    I can’t get my head around this!
    This was racing that many F1 fans have been crying out for. Great action on track and then this news.
    I’ve been passionate about F1 for a long time. I feel sick now. I’m not sure I want to watch another GP.

  7. OUTRAGEOUS!the FIA’s just stupid!
    they manage to ruin a great race by making a stupid decision like this!

  8. I can’t believe that the best race end of the season is ruined by the idiot stewards. Who are these ***** anyway? Can we have some names so we know who to hate?

    I paid £500 for 2 Silverstone tickets this year and have just paid the same for next year but why do I bother? Even if we see Lewis win the race he can never win the drivers championship due to the massive bias against him and for Ferrari.

    Something has to be done about this before it ruins the sport I have been watching for 30 years!

    I can’t believe how upset this mess has made me!

  9. I agree with Guy, I would love to see that article, Keith. Although it could turn into a book (one that I would buy!).

    Juan, I completely disagree about Hamilton’s ‘anger problem.’ Find one F1 fan who prefers a driver who cruises for points over one who fights to the ragged edge for every possible point. That’s what separates drivers like Alonso and Hamilton from the Heidfelds (well, maybe not today!), Kovalainens and, unless he’s feeling particularly spirited, Massas of F1. If Hamilton had been the one who crashed, then yes, you could say that driving calm for 2nd place would have net him more points for the championship. But he kept his car in one piece. Unfortunately, only in a series that discourages actual racing on track would Hamilton be better off calmly accepting second place.

  10. “As for today, I think Lewis deserved the penalty, not particularly for cutting the chicane, but for barely conceding the position, he let kimi’s rear wing get just about ahead of his front wing before getting back on the throttle.


    Either he gave the position back or he didn’t.
    If he’s let Kimi get his rear wing in front of his front wing then he’s given him the place back.

    What is he supposed to do, give Kimi a 10 second gap and then try to pass him ?

  11. I feel its fair, he shouldn’t have cut the chicane.

    his car was facing towards the track, then he headed left to cut the chicane, with the momentum from that move he came onto to the pit straight faster than had he just did the bus stop as usual.

  12. I’ve been watching it over and over again on the tivo… and it just doesn’t look like Hamilton actually gives the position back… he looks like he is making another racing move to set up for passing in the next corner, not dropping back to make up for cutting the chicane.

    I hate seeing such a great race spoiled, but it just doesn’t look like Hamilton did enough to give back the position.

  13. If the FIA can go ahead with this redicule decision they should give D.Hill the 94 world title because of Schumacher deprately cutting across and crucially bending his suspension. And that terrific dual in Dijon 79, disqualify both drivers for touching each other.

    Hamilton if you do win the WDC despite this flaw it will be even the more sweeter for you and painful for Ferrari and FIA. You can do it, be bold and ruthless and fight for what you think is right. We are all behind you.

  14. If Hamilton was penalised JUST for cutting the chicane, several drivers in most races should also receive the same penalty.
    Lewis gave back the place, in case it was deemed that his avoiding action was deemed to have given him an advantage then re-took the place.
    Hamilton was much faster in the two corners before the chicane and also through the next several corners.
    There is no question in my mind that Hamilton was in the right and that Raikkonen should be punished.

  15. I am not surprised at the verdict. It seems it the turn of a Brazilian to win the F1 driver’s championship, one way or another!!!!
    What an absolutely appalling decicision!!!!
    One of the best races of the past two decades (or more) ruined by an apparent bias in favour of Ferrari.
    If Massa should be crowned F1 drivers champion 2008 by less than 7 points (remember Valencia pitlane?), it will probably be the most hollowest of victories.
    In case my comments should be interperated as a rabid Hamilton fan, I should say that I think he is an out an out racer, flawed yes, (witness Canada), doubtful ego??
    (perhaps), but take away his performances from 2008 and the season (and viewing figures) would look a lot less exciting.
    Did he deserve 10 points?……Yes!!!!!
    Is overtaking, or an attempt permissable under current F1 rules, irrespective of conditions (Go careful guys!)?

  16. this site shud be renamed as lewisfanatic.co :):):)

  17. There may be something in the argument that Hamilton didn’t conceded enough but McLaren (apparently) did check with the Race Director who seemed to think it was OK.

    So, it seems to me, McLaren took reasonable steps to verify the concession was sufficient.

  18. I don’t know Shery, I’m a Ferrari fan and I don’t think the stewards got it right.

    I want Massa to win but only if he deserves to, this is just hollow.

  19. oh well at least mclaren will appeal.
    it feels like a of a waste of 1 and a half hours!

  20. Did anyone notice that Kimi crashed, of his own accord? What had Massa to do with any of it, he was miles behind?


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