Lewis Hamilton’s appeal fails and Felipe Massa keeps Belgian Grand Prix win

McLaren losing an appeal is hardly news, but anyway, it\'s happened again

McLaren losing an appeal is hardly news, but anyway, it's happened again

Lewis Hamilton was not successful in his appeal against the penalty he received in the Belgian Grand Prix.

The FIA International Court of Appeal’s decision means Felipe Massa remains the winner of the Belgian Grand Prix ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Hamilton.

As was widely expected the FIA threw out the appeal on the grounds that it was inadmissible, despite claims they mis-represented the opinions of one of their own stewards to do so, and contradicted a precedent set when Vitantonio Liuzzi appealed a similar penalty last year. Decision in full below:

International Court of Appeal – Decision

At the Grand Prix of Belgium, run on 7 September 2008, and counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Stewards of the meeting imposed a drive-through penalty upon the driver of car No. 22, Lewis Hamilton, for a breach of Article 30.3 (a) of the 2008 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Appendix L, Chapter 4, Article 2 (g) of the International Sporting Code.

As the drive-through penalty was imposed at the end of the race, 25 seconds were added to the driver?s elapsed race time in accordance with Article 16.3 of the FIA 2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that drive-through penalties are ??not susceptible to appeal??.

The competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes appealed the Steward?s decision before the International Court of Appeal in a hearing in Paris on September 22nd.

Having heard the explanations of the parties the Court has concluded that the appeal is inadmissible.

The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Philippe NARMINO (Monaco), elected President, and composed of Mr Xavier CONESA (Spain), Mr Harry DUIJM (Netherlands), Mr Thierry JULLIARD (Switzerland) and Mr Erich SEDELMAYER (Austria).


Article 16.3 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations provides as follows:

The stewards may impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident:

a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping.

b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then re-join the race.

c) a drop of ten grid positions at the driver?s next Event.

However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 25 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned.

Paragraph 5 of Article 152 of the International Sporting Code provides as follows:

Penalties of driving through or stopping in pit lanes together with certain penalties specified in FIA Championship regulations where this is expressly stated, are not susceptible to appeal.

The FIA verdict in full

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164 comments on Lewis Hamilton’s appeal fails and Felipe Massa keeps Belgian Grand Prix win

  1. S Hughes said on 24th September 2008, 16:43

    Massa’s dad is always there, Vettel’s dad was there when he won. Have you ever thought that maybe you notice Anthony Hamilton more because he is black and stands out because there are not many black people in F1? Yes, being black can have its disadvantages, ie being picked at and analysed and criticised more than any other driver on the grid.

  2. AussieLeb said on 24th September 2008, 16:48

    Come on Hughesy. We’ve been there and it’s over!

  3. anytime aussieleb.

    just for the record your comment was just the latest of dozens of anti hamilton stanced posts. You dOnt really have to think that deep to know that people get jealous. well i dont anyway, i cant speak for you.

  4. S Hughes said on 24th September 2008, 17:08

    AussieLeb, it ain’t EVER over!

  5. hughes- aussieleb is right. but more to the point where can your argument possibly go? only to more assumptive speculation. so yep its over. move on. its not like theres nothing else to argue over.

  6. AussieLeb said on 24th September 2008, 17:16

    OK it’s time to come clean. It’s 2:15am on Thursday morning and you guys are killing me here. I don’t even know whether I know what I am talking about!

  7. Fergus Gallas said on 24th September 2008, 17:28

    Cool down everyone.
    Keith has created this space for us to express our feelings about the “sport” that we all support and like. We’re here to chat, be passionate, disagree now and then, and most of all respect everyone’s opinions.
    But, prejudice and racism, in all their forms should be banished from the face of this planet we call earth, that in fact is the home of us all.
    It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, if it is purple, green, blue, white, black. Everyone’s blood has the same color.

    Mr. Hamilton’s face is a presence on the TV during the races because he is the father of a very gifted driver, title contender, and is always there to support his son. You all notice him more because he has, for good and bad, become a celebrity on his own. But others drivers parents, brothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends are constantly presents at the GPs, to support them. The fact is that most people don’t know their faces, it’s simple as that. Massa’s father was in every race of 2008. But who cares about him.

    Keith, how’s the weather in singapore for a change?

  8. Emerson Fittipaldi, who BTW is brazilian and Massa´s mate, said that Lewis´s penalization was INJUSTICE

  9. beneboy said on 24th September 2008, 19:22

    @ Fergus

    I agree mate, we all (at least most of us) want to see racism banished from the planet, and if it exists in F1 then from our beloved sport (no “” for me :~>) too.

    One of the best things about F1 is that once in the car it’s almost impossible to tell what the driver looks like, he could be green with pink spots and the casual observer wouldn’t know.
    This did give me a bit of a surprise a few years ago, while watching my mate get battered in a Kart race I was very (pleasently) surprised to see a young black lad emerge from the winning helmet at the end of the race.

    I was even more surprised to see that same boy driving a McLaren F1 car last year but only because of his age, his talent is obvious to see.

    International motorsport has been dominated by white men for a very long time, I think a lack of opportunity rather than racism to be the cause of this.

    How many black kids do you see karting ?
    Not many, would have to be my answer and if you don’t go karting there’s little chance of getting into F1.

    While I’m not Lewis’s biggest fan I hope that his achievement in the sport encourages more kids, especially black kids, to take up motor sport.
    Also that teams will be more open to the idea of giving black drivers an opportunity to develop into an F1 driver as McLaren have done with Lewis.

    Not because they are black but because they have the talent.

    A very big thank you to Keith, for both giving us a place to share our (sometimes dodgy) opinions of F1 with other people who share our passion, and for removing the racist remarks above.

  10. beneboy said on 24th September 2008, 19:32

    Mark Webber now says:

    “I think most guys would’ve thought it was a little bit cheeky to attack again in that way,”

    “I would’ve done it differently, personally.

    “Lewis was in such a fantastic position in that race, in terms of his pace, that he probably could’ve picked Kimi off somewhere else.

    “Easier said than done, of course – you never know, Kimi could’ve got his eye in and started to pull away again.

    “It’s very easy to look at it now and say what you could’ve done and should’ve done, but obviously it wasn’t the right decision for Lewis on the day.”

    I’m not calling anyone a liar here but I reckon Mark would have nailed Kimi had he been in the same position. I would have.

  11. AussieLeb said on 25th September 2008, 0:50

    @Beneboy – Thanks for letting us know how you feel about Kimi. After a couple of Gin and Tonics I might even consider nailing Sebastian Vettel, for what its worth! In racing terms however, the move Lewis tried to pull on Kimi could hardly be called nailing the pass. After all wasn’t their a subsequent 25 second post race time penalty?!?!

  12. AussieLeb said on 25th September 2008, 13:29

    As someone so aptly said, previously, it’s NEVER over! I realised that there is a huge issue that no one has addressed in relation to the Ferrari and FIA bashing that’s been going on since “Ham got smoked”!!! (I’ll be sure to pace myself guys) When it hasn’t been about the FIA being corrupt it’s been about Ferrari being favoured. Could anyone please explain why, if in the past 28 years of F1, Ferrari have only won 6 WDC’s. Those figures don’t seem to equate to favouritism. Who has won the most titles in that time? Wait for it…….McLaren with a staggering 9. That almost a third! Then to really stick it up all you conspiracy theorists Max Mosley has been the President of the FIA (who are representative of over 200 million drivers and their families) since 1993; see link below. Some would have you believe that if that was the case then surely McLaren couldn’t have won any titles during that time. Fact is they’ve won 2.
    If you were or are a true fan of Schumi like me you would find it hard to believe his error at Monaco 2006 was deliberate and were disappointed he got penalised. But as was pointed out, Ferrari took it on the chin although it may well have been open to appeal. On the other hand not only the supporters of Lewis Hamilton but also the conspiracy theorists on this blog, have lambasted the FIA and Ferrari, and then McLaren had the hide to appeal a blatant error made not only by Lewis but the team around him. Again this whole affair smacks of sour Grapes on the part of McLaren and their fans! Not to mention the Ferrari haters, as far as they’re concerned that’s just jealousy…….

    End of Story, Closed, Ende, Vertig, Se fini and Yibida Yibida That’s all folks!

  13. your off your dial aussileb. if you think Schumachers actions at Monaco were not deliberate then your a bigger conspiracy theorist than anyone else.

    Your argument is simplistic, Ferrari have won the last 6 WDC, the reason they didnt win before was because they were awful, the FIA cant polish a turd as the expression goes.

    The FIA are not deliberately favouring Ferrari BUT Ferrari is very important to F1, otherwise its just a load of mass market car makers on a jolly. Ferrari has the name, the image, the history, the everything the rest hasnt.

    If i worked for the FIA id still want them to do well and maybe id subconsicously favour them. Id also get a bit sick of Ron Dennis constant whingeing. Politics and the art of successful relationships will always swing decisions your way or away. So stop thinking with your Ferrari hat on and just think about it rationally.

    I still dont know why a ferrari brief was there, was he an observer or was he involved? ? Keith any answers?

  14. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th September 2008, 14:21

    Antonyob – I think the suggestion that Ferrari shouldn’t have had a lawyer there is wrong. It says in the Appeal Court rules that teams with an interest in the hearing may send representations. As Raikkonen was involved in the original incident and Ferrari stood to lose points if the appeal were overturned, I think it’s quite fair they were allowed to state their case.

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