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

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  1. mail123456 said on 25th September 2008, 14:27

    The strange thing for me is not that there was Ferrari lawer, but this state:

    12. Regarding admissibility, Ferrari also claim that the penalty imposed in the present case constitutes a drive-through penalty, which is not susceptible to appeal pursuant to Article 152.

    may be Ferrari must be there to represent what happened on the track, not what stewards decide … just my thoughts …

  2. beneboy said on 25th September 2008, 19:36


    I must admit that I’m a sucker for a petite blonde and Kimi fits the bill perfectly :~)

    I too am a Schumi fan, I love the guy and regularly defend him in arguements with my friends but even I have to admit that his parking incident at Monaco was so blatent an attempt to prevent anyone else setting a faster time it could not go unpunished.

    Schumi was great but he was also ruthless, that’s why he won so often, he was willing to do things that some other drivers wouldn’t and on some occassions he definately crossed the line.

    Lewis’s indescretions have yet to even scratch the surface of Schumi’s form book.

    I think there would be a whole lot less Ferrari & FIA bashing if the FIA applied the regulations fairly & consistently.

    Remember the McLaren 3rd pedal ?
    FIA said it was ok but then punished them for it.

    Or more recently Spygate ?
    Ferrari had as much of McLaren’s technical info as McLaren had of Ferrari’s, Ron Dennis even advised the FIA that he thought they may be breaking the rules.
    The result, McLaren get hammered, Ferrari get nothing.

    Or Ferrari’s Floor ?
    Would there have been a clarifacation of the rules had it been McLaren or would we have seen them punished again ?

    I could give you countless other incidents that have gone in favour of Ferrari, be it them not getting punished when they should have been or other teams getting dubious punishments that benefited them.

    Obviously Ferrari have been punished a few times but not very often.

    As I’ve said before I love Ferrari and always have but even I can see that they have been on the right end of the FIA’s incompetence or cheating (whichever it is).

    Before Schumi joined them, bringing the sports best designers & engineers with him, Ferrari had not won a championship since the year I was born.
    The reason for this is the lack of investment and management at Ferrari, they were never really in a position to compete for the championship so there was no reason for the FIA to find in their favour.

    Since their resurgence though they have competed for every championship and could have won all of them, God knows the FIA tried for them.

    The FIA is stuffed full of ex-Ferrari personel, Max Mosely loves them & Bernie thinks F1 would die without them.
    We may even be getting Jean Todt as the next president.

    While Ron Dennis is a pariah in their eyes.
    Everything he says and does is bad and any punishment recieved is always punitive to set yet another example to the McLaren staff of why they shouldn’t even bother turning up.

    Ask yourself:

    How fair is this ?
    What impression does it give to the fans ?
    How does it make the sport look to the casual observer ?

  3. AussieLeb said on 26th September 2008, 1:47


    Thanks for enlightening me on the perspective of people that buy into the “favouritism” spiel.

    My point of view however will always be based on fact rather than hearsay. I say hearsay because, without seeming to pick apart your post, you are presenting a hypothetical in regards to “what if” it was McLaren with the floor. As for the pedal, I remember the incident well and I don’t recall a punishment any different to when Ferrari’s floor was banned. The pedal was OK’d by Charlie, yet as Ferrari felt McLaren had gained increased performance they were entitled to challenge. Likewise with Ferrari’s floor, as you said teams will push the boundries anyway and anywhere they can. Ron Dennis’s team spotted something different and at no point sought for Ferrari to be penalised. I recall an article I read at the time, in which a statement from Ron read to the effect “we seek to clarify the legality of…..” Why? Because if it was legal then they may investigate putting it on their own car. They did not seek a penalty.

    As for Spygate, I would hope that there is more to McLaren’s side of the story than “Ron Dennis even advised the FIA that he thought they may be breaking the rules”. It’s a big call to jump onto Ferrari’s case without having proper evidence. When the whole saga began it was a well presented case by Ferrari to which McLaren had no answer. If someone is seeking a counter claim it’s not enough to say “we think they are breaking the rules, now go and find the evidence” You need to provide some evidence that that’s the case.

    As simple as this might seem I have a classic scenario that taught me a good life lesson. I started working for a “Frame and Truss” manufacturer as a labourer after a failed bid at university (couldn’t afford to continue) Having lived a semi sheltered life up until then I learnt a few lessons from the many ex-cons that worked there. None more important than this. Guys would on occasion build little things out of timber and take them home, not having paid for the timber and while under company hours. Then one day a new guy started there and a few weeks later decided to wait until late in the afternoon, when the boss had left, to load his car up with timber off cuts for the heater at home. Nothing new to any of the guys working out in the factory but as luck would have it the boss forgot something and returned to work. He happended to see this guy loading timber into the back of his ute. Well to the boss he was stealing, so he promptly gave him a serve and fired him on the spot. The guy turned around and tried to justify his doings with the classic line “But the other guys do it all the time!” Well you know what the boss said? “Well they were obviously smart enough not to get caught!” So you may ask, what’s my point? I have more respect for Ferrari than McLaren because they have shown time and time again that they have their head in the game. It’s not because there’s a conspiracy theory against McLaren from Ferrari, with the help of the FIA, but rather Ferrari are better at getting away with things because they are smarter. This would no doubt be the bane of Ron Dennis’s exsistence.
    I respect your point of view but as I have said, the figures over the past 28 years prove to me that McLaren have had their time in the sun and of late Ferrari have been more dominant because they have been exactly that.
    Having rambled on however, I really want to say again that I hope and would love to see someone like Sebastian Vettel get behind the wheel of say a Toro Rosso Mercedes, for example. I believe the patriotic feel at McLaren deserves nothing less than say a resurrected Jag or Aston Martin engine in it! Or even better how about a Rolls Royce?

    By the way I was born ’77 which makes me your superior! In other words, respect your elders and don’t argue with me…….please?

  4. wow! what a long way to say Ferrari cheat better.

  5. AussieLeb said on 26th September 2008, 9:00

    Well I’d suggest it’s better than having nothing decent to say! Would it be a debate or discussion of opinions if we all just ridiculed each other?

    I don’t think I said Ferrari cheat did I? They’re just good at pushing the boundries and getting away unscathed, relatively.

    You must be a McLaren fan…yawn….zzzzzzzz

  6. You obviously dont read anyones posts but your own. I have always followed Williams (since ALan Jones in 1980) and im a big fan of Alonso and Hamilton as they race rather than just lap. But really i just like good racing, i left “favourites” in the schoolyard

    I guess it would suit your long winded argument to say i was a McLaren fan but im not particularly. Dennis has a chip on his shoulder and hes rubbed too many people up the wrong way to get any split decisions his way. Ferrari are like a snake, they hiss and spit if you come anywhere near them but are first to bite if anyone else steps out of line. The sport is morally corrupt so your sticking up for Ferrari is laughable..were it not so long in its point making

  7. AussieLeb said on 26th September 2008, 9:43

    You have just proved you ignorance. I wasn’t going to stoop to your level but that had to be said. The post you ridiculed was in response to a response from beneboy on my point of view. Which by the way was topical. So I would suggest you think twice before you accuse anyone of being self absorbed! I never said I was picking favourites. I said I respect Ferrari for their winning culture. I am also a supporter of Ferrari and feel the same way about McLaren as you do. The problem is Ron Dennis, IMO. I won’t be taking this argument any further but I would like to say that I don’t appreciate your attitude towards me and the fact that I was responding to a fellow bloggers post makes your comments rather ignorant. I apologise that I swore at you by suggesting you are a McLaren fan! But Williams…….? Good luck with that! ;-)

  8. Not sure how im ignorant because i dont agree with your point of view, or the length of time you take to make it. We’re not all glory hunters and ive got several years on you so i think i’ll decide when i want to let anything go. Id have thought as an Aussie you’d be a bit less thin skinned but you live and learn.

  9. just another version of catch 22

    (ma)fia style

  10. beneboy said on 26th September 2008, 22:35


    Sorry mate, didn’t mean to get you into an arguement with someone else.

    I think on this one we’ll pobably have to agree to disagree, although I probably went a bit far on my last one due to my frustration after Lewis not even getting a hearing from the FIA.

    I’m not a big Lewis fan but I just wanted to get a full hearing so everyone could get their say and a full judgement to be given.

    I’ll try to calm down a bit before any future posts :~)

    I’d quite like to see a Rolls Royce in the back of a McLaren too but as they’re German too these days it would still be a German engine put together in England.

    Jaguar & Aston Martin aren’t ours anymore either.

    I don’t think we’ve got any British engines left as all of ours are foreign owned.

    Sad really.

  11. AussieLeb said on 27th September 2008, 2:17

    Cheers beneboy, I would have to say that I agree with you that in this case we’ll have to agree to disagree. At the time I made the comment about Rolls Royce I remembered they were bought by Mercedes, wasn’t it? But then I thought I heard somewhere that they were bought back by another British firm..anyway. I guess you could try to dump two Mini Coopers in the back of the McLaren, one for each rear wheel!!! As you may have read, I am German born. My Mum’s German but that’s about it as far as the German side goes. The other 99 percent of me is Australian with a glimmer of Lebanese. I have always found the German people to be very cautious when it comes to going out on a limb. Just an example, I don’t know if this a European thing, however, you can’t get a business loan from a bank in Germany, too risky they say. You have to go through a brewery. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that Mercedes aren’t willing to go out on their own either.

    Who owns Jag and AM? I thought Jag went the way of the Dodo, with Rover?

    As for the “argument” I had, it’s not really worth commenting about…waste of brain cells me thinks!!! In High School someone I knew once said to me “We should cull anyone over 65 and those with a mental disability they’re only wasting our useful oxygen” Obviously I was tempted to apply the last part to him but then again when you come across some people you can’t help but see where he was coming from!

    Take it easy beneboy and good luck to the English when you come down under for the Rugby League World Cup.

  12. antonyob said on 27th September 2008, 10:06

    …….and yet you keep commenting. listen mate nothing personal, if you cant disagree without falling out then you need to leave blogs alone, you’ll give yourself a coronary. I fundamentally disagree with you. full stop.

    oh and err the comment about culling , well from your fascinating potted history of yourself, what did we expect from a German ;)

    btw- im 38(yesterday) – still a few years to go – phew

  13. beneboy said on 27th September 2008, 12:43


    Jaguar (and possible AM too I think) are now owned by TaTa, an indian company.
    They’re the ones who are building the $2000 mini car that was in the news a few months ago.


    Calm down a bit mate, Aussie was just replying to my post.
    I don’t want to get a rant of my own but please try to look at his comments with a smile rather than a grimmace.

    We’re all friends on here but sometimes it’s easy to get carried away when your typing, especially on a topic as heated as this one has been.

    No-one means any harm and we’ll all enjoy this site a lot more if we could laugh at others comments rather than getting upset about them.

    AussieLeb & myself very obviously disagree over this one but we both see it’s not worth falling out over, just shake hands and move on to the next point.

    Take care, both of you, and get yourselves ready for a, hopefuly great, qualifying at a new track.

    Come on Felipe, do us proud !!

  14. beneboy said on 27th September 2008, 12:44

    And HA HA to both of you, your both older than me :~)

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