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. boo FIA”T”, as expected the results because there was a FIArrari there to benefit. these last remaining races will be interesting bcos massa is so close and FIA”T will work overtime to make sure FIArrari win again this year..********!

  2. teamorders

    whats your point?

  3. mail123456 said on 24th September 2008, 10:21

    Just love the way FIA to cut down costs:

    The court bill accrued by the lawyers from Ferrari and the FIA will cost McLaren at least $500,000, but as much as double that amount, according to reports.

  4. why are you making such a fuss about this.

    really i don’t understand. Lewis cut a chicane, fumbled the let go, and got penalised.

    i dont see the ferrari’ism in it. when Ferrari was getting its ass kicked by Renault a couple years back we didn’t see Alonso be penalized for reasons of no ones understanding.

    now i concede that there might be an Anti McLaren/ Dennis sentiment going on with the FIA and the F1 community, but i wouldn’t imagine the FIA risking that much for a petty personal difference.

    Anyway, my mesage to Sean is to cool down, it’s not worth it. just enjoy every race as it comes. regardless. Lewis gave his fans and their foes an excellent time. i think these penalties couldn’t have fallen on a better recipient. he’s dealing with them in a very theatrical way. putting some panash back in the sport that has been the scene of stuck ups and turtle necked geeks.

    i think these little kinks are part of the show. without them what would we talk about this week? tyre pressure? or barrometric pressure in Singapore?

    but i must admit, reading the articles on this site made me realise the Singapore was such a cool place. i should put it on my to go to list.

  5. i echo RONS comments completely apart from the first. Making a fuss is fun, arguing the nuances of the sport is part of the very fabric of it. Lewis and Alonso are far better for the sport than the tedious to watch tedious to listen to Kimi who, either wins cos hes faster when others are off track, or hes ****.

    People have always cheated in F1, from the dawn of the motorised wheel engineers have sought ways to get a competitive advantage. The problem Mclaren have got is not that they cheat but that they havent, at this moment, got friends in high places. And that is just as important as budget/drivers/R&D.

  6. The outcome of all this annoying saga could end damaging Hamilton’s chances to WDC. This is no sooo terrible. Last year McLaren and Lewis managed to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory” to quote Lincoln. And so what? He started this year with an even greater motivation, and this has been very good, at least for spectacle itself.

    The really worrying “collateral damage” or should I say “civilian casualty” of all this disgusting farce is that fair and brave car racing itself has been thrown into jeopardy for the foreseeable future.
    Perhaps Hamilton ends taking the championship anyway. However, it will be a very dirty trophy indeed, full to the very edge with mud that FIA has put into it…

    A few days ago, a post in the Felipe Massa debate made me sick with anger, it said something like “in the end, the fastest and most consistent driver ALWAYS ends taking the championship…” Not on my watch, of the many champions I’ve seen on TV I could say that, in my opinion, Andretti was not faster and more consistent than Peterson, nor was Scheckter than Gilles V., nor perhaps was Alan Jones than my fellow Argentinean Reutemann. But at least these championships end results were consequence of legal contracts that were accepted by the parts involved, not from the intervention of some “straightening force” from outside.

    I will not make the customary promises to not watch F1 anymore, it will not be realistic. But the FIA has stained the racing sport, and will be an unending suspect from now on, even when they got their decisions right. And it will be a perennial, unnecessary damage they have inflicted upon themselves.

    I can only add that it deeply saddens me the fact that, being F1 so heavily burdened on economic matters, the option that McLaren boycotts does not exist. It would surely make Mosley and Ecclestone rethink a couple of issues. Like not being brave or unbiased enough to at least give a ruling on the SUBSTANCE of an appeal.

    Sorry if my English is even worser than as usual, I’m really angry to say the least…

  7. After all, it is a UK blog. It is normal here that most of the comments do not want to agree with FIA. I think that, by now rules have been clarified and drivers what not to do. I get the feeling that some drivers already knew it before. Or at lease it was obvious at once for them after the incident.

    Yes, I am not Hamilton fan. I never was Schumi, Massa or Kimi fan either. Somewhy, since Hamilton came I have supported anybody but Hamilton. There is something in his attitude that I just don’t like. Who knows, maybe last years Mclaren thing has something to do with my viewpoint.

    PS. they say that you don’t have to pray for rain in Singapore. It rains every night anyway :)

    Sry for OT :)


  8. Twister27 said on 24th September 2008, 15:45

    Can someone please explain to me how Hamilton cutting the chicane at Spa gave him an advantage over Massa and Heidfield? They, MAS, HEI had no right to gain from Hamilton ‘cutting’ the chicane. The fact that he probably lost time to both of them is another matter.

    The FIA has now set a precedent that I will be watching closely until the end of the season, the precedent they have set is that should any driver cut a chicane they should receive either a drive through penalty or a 25 second penalty. Which begs the question why didn’t Massa receive a penalty for cutting the chicane at Monza? Yes he gave the position back to whomever he was fighting but as we now know, he should have either had a drive through or had his end race time adjusted by 25secs.

    This is my issue with this penalty!!!

  9. Quote:

    “i dont see the ferrari’ism in it. when Ferrari was getting its ass kicked by Renault a couple years back we didn’t see Alonso be penalized for reasons of no ones understanding.”

    Yes we did! he got a penalty for not at all holding up Massa in qualifying and then we had tires that had been legal for years suddenly becoming illegal.

  10. diseased rat said on 24th September 2008, 16:13

    This dad thing is a red herring, there are numerous drivers on the grid who have their parents at races, including their Dad standing in the teams pit garage every single race. Most of them don’t get filmed as often as Lewis’s father though.

  11. AussieLeb said on 24th September 2008, 16:18

    Fair Enough D-Rat. Actually now that I think of it, I remember seeing Massa’s dad there once. I get the feeling it was at Turkey, Massa’s stomping ground?

    Anyway it was really only a light hearted jibe.

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th September 2008, 16:22

    There is absolutely no need for this argument to degenerate into racist remarks. They have been deleted and will continue to be deleted, so don’t make them.

  13. Diseased rat- yes it is a red herring but it is also a red herring (thats 2 red herrings!) that people have a problem with his dad. Theyve not got a problem with Lewis’ dad , not his colour, not his “cheek” or his arrogance.

    They just have a problem with themselves. They probably feel the same way about the guy down the pub who talks to the women or the guy at work who gets promoted when they dont. Its a human condition that we are not all thankfully afflicted with but it is not uncommon. These guys would whinge about Lewis whatever he did.

  14. AussieLeb said on 24th September 2008, 16:25

    Thanks Keith.

  15. AussieLeb said on 24th September 2008, 16:40

    It’s true, you learn something new everyday and it’s even better when it’s personal. Today I have learnt that some people really do read into comments on forums far too much. I can see my comment about Lewis’s Dad has provoked some “deep” comments! Thanks antonyob, you have enlightened me and exposed me for who I really am. I just wish my dad was here to witness my transformation! Could you keep your eye out for future posts by me? Maybe you could get behind the hidden meaning of them to uncover my other flaws. Once again, thanks Guru antonyob.

    Oh another thing that bothers me about Lewis Hamilton is the colour of the suit he wore at the trial. It should have been white or better yet purple!

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