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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. Keith: Is there a sort of pro-Lewis moderation going on?

  2. The one thing that I’m happy about is that even those who think Hamilton deserved his penalty agree that this ruling is a joke. If everyone finally agrees that the sport is at worst corrupt, and at best mismanaged, then perhaps change will become a genuine possibility.

  3. Antifia,

    If your post was removed, you would be absolutely wild about it. Your post #59 leads me to believe that one of your post was removed (or was posted late).

    If you can argue for your right (that your commends should be posted), so does HAM for getting his win. Yes. RAI did not have the balls to race nice in the rain (evident from his lap times and the crash). And he was well within his right to say what he said.

    Chill out.

  4. Is Max Mosely a Racist?

    I would like to ask him. And I wonder if this has baring on his views and how he “runs” the FIA. Before you shout me down, hear me out.

    We know Max treats women as slabs of meat to be screwed by his friends at Gang Bang parties. So much for womens liberation.

    We also know his father was Oswold Mosely, a famous Racist Fascist here in the UK. It is also known that Max used to be in politics, as a member of a known racist and fascist party.

    Is Max a racist? What are his views on Blacks entering F1?

    Is Max determined that a black man will NOT win the WDC? Is that what all this is about?


  5. Great decision!

  6. Guys as it says on the article there is a delay in comments appearing because of the high amount of activity on the site.

    Aside from that a couple of comments have been deleted for breaking the terms of the comment policy: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/credits-and-contacts/f1-fanatic-comment-policy/

    Antifia I don’t believe any of your comments have been deleted. If you think one has then contact me via the contact form: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/credits-and-contacts/contact-f1fanatic

  7. Indeed a sad day for Formula 1 and the many fans around the world, from the grizzly veterans who have been following the sport for 20+ years, down to the rookies such as myself.

    I was upset with the penalty in the first place, and for as much as I wanted it to be overturned, I diden’t expect anything different today. While fans such as myself will never stop watching the action on the track, the FIA is indeed doing a great job of mucking up the sport to the extent that we can no longer expect a championship battle that is decided entirely on the track, rather than in courtrooms in Paris, as has been the case the last two seasons.

  8. To hell with the FIA

    long live this post :)

  9. David, breaking news, the FiA will never let Lewis win. They are effectively saying to him, know your place. We could be back in 1930s deep South of America. He is too uppity by far, for the FiA, for some fans you see writing on this forum and other F1 forums.

    For all the little black boys watching Lewis’ amazing career and who are inspired; that instead of crime, if you work hard and are determined enough, you can reach the pinnacle of your profession, this sort of thing will make them think there is no point at all, because “the man” won’t allow it!

  10. This year, with the Max Mosley-sadomasichistic-Nazi-sex-orgy mock trial, and now this, the FIA has certainly proven their point: they operate on their own terms, doing what they want, when they want no matter the public outcry or any case made against them. They’ve made it very clear that they are bigger than anyone.

  11. Jason, no. 48, very funny and true.

  12. Antifia, for one, Heikki said “I’m better than him” of Lewis. I bet you didn’t know that because no-one picks and analyses comments from any other driver more than Lewis Hamilton. Can you IMAGINE if Lewis said “I’m better than Heikki”? I think the sky would fall in from the outcry.

  13. I wonder…

    If Massa had one at Monza and Hamilton failed to score points, would the decision go the other way for the sake of keeping the championship close?

    Nah, probably not, its was a Mclaren…

    PS. Sorry if someone already mentioned that, I haven’t had a change to go through all the comments, stupid work!

  14. Captain Caveman
    23rd September 2008, 17:49

    Guys I really enjoy reading these posts, but time and time again too many seem to go off at a tangent unnecessarily…. Racist references to US Deep South, Nazi connotations etc.

    The fact is that most of Lewis CURRENT peers agree with the penalty but recognise it was harsh (mainly because incident occurred in the last 5 laps) . But it is the way it goes.

    The vast majority of support for Lewis from within the sport has come from HISTORICAL drivers, who were in their hay day 2 if not 3 decades ago. Is their opinion relevant in todays racing? ……… i.e rules as they are now, familiarity with cars, understanding of what is an advantage in current racing conditions. ( I am not knocking them for what they have done, but questioning the validity of their comments)

    At the end of the day I am a sales director within a software company and have done well at it, in 20 years time will by thoughts and opinions be as relevant when I have not been in the hot seat of any sales activity…. I very much doubt it.

  15. Anoymouse, why should you be shouted down? Max Mosley’s father was a fascist who admired Hitler. FACT. Max Mosley always defended his father’s views. FACT. Max Mosley has been known to say he is against immigration into Britain. FACT. Max Mosley has been known to say he against mixed marriages between different races. FACT. Max Mosley is the president of the FiA. FACT.

    You can’t be shouted down for stating well known facts.

    Put 2 and 2 together and you get FOUR. FACT.

  16. Today is another sad day in the chapter of the FIA. I Really hope Lewis wins the championship this year,and then leaves F1. It’s not worth all this hassle.

  17. The verdict is really disappointing but not surprising. I sincerely hope that no other factors are involved as it will surely be a sad day for F1. Like others have said, lets move on and hopefully Lewis will blow them away with a stunning performance in Singapore.Ciao

  18. Hey All !
    I do have my on vision on this incident, but i wonder how loud would this shout for JUSTICE on all these comments be if the appeal was on apposite way. Massa appealing against FIA over Hamilton.
    I sincerelly would like to know your way of fairness. Would all of you shout this loud for Massa ?

    PS: I’m a Kimi fan though.(just for the record).

  19. For all of you adding “great outcome or great result” would you really be saying this if it wasn’t Lewis Hamilton. It wasn’t a good result it was a travesty!!

    The FIA did not have the cajones to make a clear judgement on the facts so hid behind a technicality that leaves this open to debate for ever.

    F1 should be carried out on the race track and this situation should have never tarnished one of the most exciting races in history.

    If Massa does win this year, and by the margin within the inherited points, there will be even more FIA favours Ferrari.

    Yes really great outcome.

    Well done FIA you really have balls of steel!!!

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