Why did the FIA let Vitantonio Liuzzi appeal but not Lewis Hamilton?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The FIA\'s ruling on Hamilton contradicts a similar verdict from last year
The FIA's ruling on Hamilton contradicts a similar verdict from last year

Lewis Hamilton has had Belgian Grand Prix penalty appeal thrown out, bringing another wave of reaction, much of it highly critical of the FIA.

At the heart of the controversy is the FIA’s decision not to allow Hamilton to submit his appeal, despite letting another driver, Vitantonio Liuzzi, do so last year.

The official documents that shows how the FIA permitted Liuzzi’s appeal is below. How are the FIA going to explain why they allowed Liuzzi to appeal, but not Hamilton?

How Liuzzi was allowed to appeal

The International Appeal Court verdict on the Liuzzi appeal is still available on the FIA’s website.

Here are the relevant parts from that document (emphasis added):

Having acknowledged that the due hearing of all parties was in order, that the appeal was admissible, that the rights of each of the parties had been duly examined both in the proceedings which preceded the hearing and during the hearing itself, that the appealing competitor, the intervenor and the knowledgeable parties were duly heard…

And in the conclusion:

WHEREAS under these circumstances it is necessary to confirm the decision of the Panel of the Stewards of the Meeting;
ON THESE GROUNDS,
STATES AND RULES the appeal to be admissible,

It doesn’t get more clear-cut than that. The article under which Hamilton was refused grounds to appeal was apparently never discussed. Liuzzi was allowed to appeal.

How Hamilton was not allowed to appeal

McLaren knew Liuzzi had been allowed to appeal his 25-second penalty which, just like Hamilton’s, was intended as a drive-through penalty but took the form of a time penalty because the incident occurred so late in the race. A McLaren representative, Mark Hubbard, had been at the Liuzzi hearing, but even if he hadn’t been the appeal court’s findings were freely available after the verdict. (See correction below)

However when Hamilton made his case on the same grounds as Liuzzi he was refused appeal under Article 152 paragraph five of the International Sporting Code:

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.

One might ask whether Hamilton’s penalty, given he never took a drive-through or stopped in the pits, applies here.

But assuming it does the more compelling question is: why was this same clause not used against Liuzzi? As it was not invoked, any observer might reasonably have drawn the conclusion that time penalties applied after a race can be subject to appeals.

The FIA’s decision to refuse Hamilton grounds of appeal is a stunning act of hypocrisy. How can they justify treating two identical cases so differently?

Suspicious timing

Let’s assume for a moment the FIA genuinely felt the Liuzzi ruling was a mistake and wished to correct it. We must ask then why did they not announce the change earlier? They’ve had almost a year.

The FIA only revealed it would no longer admit appeals such as Liuzzi’s after McLaren confirmed its decision to do just that. The FIA sent notification to McLaren at 6:30pm last Friday.

The suspicious nature of the timing and the highly dubious means by which the FIA attempted to prove such appeals were no longer valid (more on that here) gives the strong impression that the FIA changed its own rules to hinder McLaren.

Time for an explanation

The FIA must be held to account over this. It is a disgrace that two F1 teams should appeal on the same grounds, and for one to be given the right to appeal and the other denied it.

Before the hearing Max Mosley said:

It’s a reflection, and I’m sorry to say this, of the stupidity of the people who say it because they haven’t really thought the thing through and put themselves in the position of the people who have to take these very difficult decisions.

The Liuzzi precedent is not the first glaring inconsistency we’ve observed in the FIA’s handling of this penalty. If you think through the case, the rules and the precedent you end up with a simple observation: that one driver was allowed recourse to the law and the other was denied it.

So why did the FIA let Vitantonio Liuzzi appeal but not Lewis Hamilton? Share your thoughts in the comments. (For general comments on the Hamilton verdict see here: Lewis Hamilton?s appeal fails and Felipe Massa keeps Belgian Grand Prix win).

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104 comments on “Why did the FIA let Vitantonio Liuzzi appeal but not Lewis Hamilton?”

  1. Probably because he’s Italian, like the accent of the whispering voice in the FIA’s ear.

  2. http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/080923172326.shtml

    “The judges said the Fuji case was not relevant because “none of the parties concerned had raised the inadmissibility of the appeal in that case.”

    Still in reference to the Fuji case, the ICA added: “the Court was able, in the conclusion of its decision, to declare the appeal admissible, but it did not give reasons for its decision on the issue, as the question was not debated.”

    “Consequently that judgment does not present itself as settled law with respect to this question and does not bind the court in the present case,” the court said.”

  3. Probably because Article 152 does not, in fact, give the FIA latitude to ignore time penalties. Only drive-throughs, pit-stoppages and series-specific incidents.

  4. Law’s are made by precedent or decree.

    If a precedent is set then it should be adhered to until such time as the decree over-rides the precedent, but this can not be applied retrospectively (as in this case).

    The FIA is corrupt.

  5. “How are the FIA going to explain why they allowed Liuzzi to appeal, but not Hamilton?”

    Why do they have to? And to who? The FIA doesn’t have to to explain anything they decide. That’s the biggest part of the problem.

  6. @ Keith…

    …regardless of all that is going on, arguing about it won’t bring back those points…

    …I feel like Lewis just has to regroup and simply try to outscore Felipe in the last races, that’s it…no ‘balls-out, win-at-all-cost, i’m the best’ driving…that’s what messed him up in Bahrain, Canada, France, and Hungary (I think he was overdriving the car, causing the tire to rupture, as Heikki’s did not). The truth of the matter is none of us really know what goes on behind the scenes…hell, BMW could be plotting with the FIA to make sure they win 09

  7. being English (not Italian or German), a Maclaren driver (wrong colour car and not Italian or German and being Black means Hamilton “needs some more of zee punishment”

    I may be wrong of course – it may just be that Mosley just likes punishing people. Maybe he will invite Lewis to one of his parties!
    Rod S (a very disilusioned ex F1 Fan)

  8. Mail123456 – here’s the FIA verdict in full. The relevant bit says:

    The Court, in a judgment of 12 October 2007 rendered in the Toro Rosso case concerning the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix (driver Vitantonio Liuzzi), concluded, in similar circumstances, that the appeal against a decision to impose a 25-second penalty was admissible. However, none of the parties concerned had raised the inadmissibility of the appeal in that case, the FIA for its part leaving the matter to the sovereign appreciation of the Court. Therefore, the Court was able, in the conclusion of its decision, to declare the appeal admissible, but it did not give reasons for its decision on the issue, as the question was not debated.

    Consequently that judgment does not present itself as settled law with respect to this question and does not bind the Court in the present case.

    This is a perverse attempt at logic. The fact neither party had raised the question of admissibility neither proves nor disproves anything. Furthermore, if Max Mosley is apparently so infuriated by cases such as these being a waste of time (recall his comments at Monza) why did he not clear up the matter between the Fuji and Spa incidents?

  9. @Keith:

    The FIA is also the governing body for motor sport worldwide. It administers the rules and regulations for all international four-wheel motor sport including the FIA Formula One World Championship, FIA World Rally Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship.

    This says that FIA must administer rules and regulations, not to wait someone to complain :)
    … oh yes they did it! at Spa after the race, when nobody complains :) (yes I know that Ferrari may be asked race control, and knew about investigation but there is no appeal)
    Source: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/the-fia/about-fia/Pages/AboutFIA.aspx

    And again agree about wasting time … already said that 2 days waiting and receive inadmissible is pure joke with all fans and competitors.

  10. My complaint all along has been that the FIA’s refereeing system is completely messed up.

    No other sport in the world would need the amount of time required by the marshals at the track to come to a decision regarding the rules. If the marshals had made a ruling in an appropriate period of time (one lap should really do it, and they had three), then the confusion surrounding the case would be slight. Fans of EVERY sport argue about the justice of penalties all the time – F1 fans would accept joining that group.

    No other sport in the world tries to impose a post-event “equivalent” of an on-field penalty. Football referees don’t add a point to one team’s score because later that evening, it final appeared conclusive that they deserved a penalty kick. An official in a 100m dash would never take three seconds off one runner’s time because an opponent tripped in front of them and disrupted their run. The punishment here may have been the functional equivalent of a drive-through, but it didn’t involve driving through anything.

    All of this is wrapped up in a cloak of pseudo-legal terminology that I am convinced serves only to render the verdict unreadable (and therefore unopposed) by the public. It obviously isn’t there to ensure that the rigorous logic of the ruling is correctly interpreted.

  11. @Keith

    I think it may be because if they had established the rule and then one of my beloved red cars had broken it then that would mean the FIA would have to punish them.

    And if there’s any punishing to be done than Max will be the one doing it (or getting it) and not too (but possibly from) Ferrari.

  12. All I can do is sigh… Doesn’t seem worth the effort to do anything else.

  13. What’s the point in saying anything. We all knew that this would be the verdict anyway. A pointless waste of time, money, carbon emissions, breath etc……

  14. FIA(T) can publicly spit in its own face and loudly announce decisions that have nothing to do with law or justice. So why would they give a s**t for what we have to say?
    Time to let go and move on.

  15. So what we see is not what we get.

    My wife thinks the mafia must be involved. She’s usually right.

  16. i personally think it is absolutely disgusting, im sure it is nothing against lewis per se, but rathe that his boss happens to be Ron Dennis

    i would stop watching F1 but i love it too much,

    great work with the site Keith, definitly one of the best on the net, im sure evyone else would agree?

  17. michael counsell
    23rd September 2008, 22:53

    Why didn’t someone say they couldn’t appeal it in the first place without waiting all this time to say it, or is the Court of Appeal only allowed to say that in the Court of Appeal.

    The stewards are there to pass judgement there and then and handout penalties within the race and following the race as happens all the time and yet receive disrespect from all whom they punish (especially Scott Speed). How can they have any authority if it is deemed correct to take them to court every time.

  18. …because Liuzzi didnt drive a McLaren….

  19. I think there is no question that the FIA comes down hard on them for ruining the integrity of the sport, but each time they appealed they had a reasonable argument and its the FiA creating the whole mess.

    I would love to see another series sprout up outside of the FiA’s control. I’m no Hamilton fan, but I’m not going to be waking up at 7:30 each weekend to watch an artificial spectacle.

  20. Simple,the FIA are and you can quote me on this as in the online dictionary “Crooked” crooked – not straight; dishonest or immoral or evasive .They can if they wish sue me on this.They have treated two identical cases(in Penalty) in two completely different manners ie. NOT STRAIGHT! Also the same can be said of the stewards Kovalinen inthe same race recieves a penalty for not avoiding a avoidable incident,whilst Hamilton is penalised for avoiding one.Whoever may win the Driver Championship REAL F1 Fans will always Know who the real champion is and that is why F1 will never be taken seriously stateside,well done Bernie ,well done Max

  21. Andy – thank you very much :-)

  22. It happened because this was the easiest way for the fia to get it over with!

  23. ukk

    I agree, time to move on. The fact is that had Lewis and his McLaren team not switched him onto inters at the start of Q2 at Monza, there’s a very good chance he’d be 9 points ahead now rather than one. It’s still more probable Hamilton will lose the championship because of this kind of mistake, or the mishaps we saw last year, than by being out-driven by Massa or Kubica (or anyone else).

  24. @ Chris-

    I think she probably is- my girlfriends like that, much to my annoyance;)

    Look at the backround of some of the guys at Ferrari and you wonder.

    @ Keith- agree with Andy- one of the least bitchy sites on the net, really enjoy the video preview of circuits (great for getting friends not into F1, to sit and endure me talking constantly through it with me), generally talking with people who love what they’re watching.

    I guessed it would come to this unfortunately.

    Max appears to be fire proof.

    There is no doubt that Ferrari are treat in a different way than everyone else.

    I am dissapointed for F1.

  25. The FIA are not saying that the Liuzzi ruling was wrong, they’re saying that there was a mistake in the handing out of his penalty.

    Instead of giving him a drive through penalty, (which seeing as the race had ended would be converted to a time penalty) which would not be appealable, he was given a straight time penalty which can be taken to appeal.

    Obviously, “traditional” drive throughs cannot be undone, because its near impossible to quantify how much time was lost, particularly when track-position issues are at play.

    So, when the stewards are awarding penalties post race, they get to pick from two functionally-equivalent penalties… The only difference between them (other than wording) being that a time penalty can be appealed and a drive-through cannot. Is it any surprise that they pick the “my word is final” option?

  26. Oh well, if this link is anything to go by, Lewis is enjoying himself in Singapore and is going down quite well.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Sport/Story/STIStory_281959.html

  27. William Wilgus
    24th September 2008, 2:01

    Precedents are not necessarily binding, nor are they considered to be or set law. Further, who is to say the a precedent is correct?

  28. Why cook up a conspiracy against mclaren, when clearly the problem is with liuzzi and fuji.

    You cant appeal a drive through, so that appeal should have been thrown out, that appeal was FIA being what you call typical FIA uselessness.

    The rejection of the appeal yesterday is the correct decision as per the rules.

    Liuzzi and fuji was the screw up, yesterday was normal as per the rules.

    @William Wilgus hit the nail on the head also – just because Liuzzi in fuji was able to appeal, doesn’t mean it was right, FIA clearly makes wrong decisions at times, and that was one of them since the rules state you can’t appeal.

    Keith, your only fueling the fire of hamilton fanatics by misrepresenting what has happened.

    It has nothing to do with lewis, it has to do with every driver and team, no driver and team can appeal. lewis is no exception just because you’re a fanboy, just because of the hype doesn’t mean he can appeal, no one can.

    If you want to start a topic on it, the topic should be focused on Liuzzi and the FIA stewards at fuji, nothing at all to do with hamilton or mclaren because at the end of the day that’s what you are arguing as a ‘precedent’ for appeal. you need to look at why they were able to appeal, not why hamilton was NOT able to appeal because once again, hamilton is being treated just as fairly as any other driver – no other drive is be able to appeal, that is the rules.

    Any deviation from the rules deserves a question, but this verdict with hamilton does not, since it’s 100% to the rules.

  29. Today’s decision is unsurprising, but yet still hard to swallow. After having two weeks to digest the events of that race, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Hamilton bent the rules to the point of breaking, but little to warrant the penalty he recieved.
    With the benefit of hindsight, on McLaren’s part, they would have been better off ‘ordering’ Hamilton to let Raikkonen past, and to not attempt any counterattack for atleast another couple of corners.
    Alot has been said of McLaren going to Charlie Whiting and asking him if they were within the rules, and Whiting’s answer was yes. If the media are to be believed, Whiting’s influence on such matters is limited to say the least. If this fact is true, and is well known within the sport, then McLaren made a terrible blunder in putting too much faith in Whiting’s opinion. They would have been far better off not taking a chance at all, and covering all bases, as it was obvious that Ferrari were going to appeal against the La Source pass by Hamilton.
    Concerning past cases such as the Luizzi incident, as others have implied, Luizzi was not competing for the world championship. At the Hungarian Grands Prix of 2006, Michael Schumacher was guilty of cutting a chicane whilst battling with De La Rosa, and was not even investigated by the stewards. Unlike Luizzi, he was fighting for a championship.
    Alonso, in the same year, was famously put back on the grid at Monza under very suspicious circumstances, just when the Scuderia needed a boost to their title campaign. If any of you have noticed, these scandals, more often than not, always occur around the latter half of the season, when penalties are doubly painfull to the team involved.
    Mentally, to a team coming off the back of such a decision, this must be very difficult. Whatever your opinion concerning last year’s spy scandal, the wheels seriously came off McLaren’s wagon after they were relieved of $100 million, not before. The bottom line is, is that Ferrari’s relationship with the FIA is so close, so interwoven, in that when needed, situations like this can arise. When Ferrari’s dominance is threatened, as with Alonso in 2006 and with Hamilton in 2008, Ferrari wheel out the heavy artillery.
    For me, if I am right, it proves that Ferrari are desperate. Desperate because that in wet/dry or full wet conditions, the McLaren, particulary in Hamilton’s hands, beats their car. Raikkonen in the dry, sweeping corners of Spa, was untouchable, until it rained!
    The same can be said of Silverstone, Monaco, and Monza.
    They know, as in Ferrari, that if there is just one or two more wet races, which is not impossible, they are in trouble.
    McLaren need to remain strong, focused, and they can become world champions for the first time since 1998, and have a champion driver for the first time since 1999. If they take today’s ruling to heart, and let it affect their performance, then this whole saga would have served its purpose, and scandal should never settle an F1 championship, only talent and sheer skill will ever do, for the fans who watch this sport.

  30. Keith,

    First of all, congratulations on your F1 site. Your stories are well researched and your passion for the sport is evident. I personally like your ‘bias’ towards Lewis; at least you don’t pretend to be some impartial commentator like the ITV morons.

    On the hot topic of the moment, I am amazed that none of the fans who posted here bothered to notice Liuzzi’s was a yellow flag incident: he was penalised for overtaking under the yellow flag, but later appealed claiming that the green flag had already come out in a different part of the circuit (and which showed in his GPS system) prior to the manouvre. The FIA, rightly in my opinion, decided to hear the appeal, make sure it would’ve been impossible for Liuzzi to have seen a green flag between M2 and M3 and clarify that cockpit light signals can only be used to “give drivers information concerning track signals or conditions”. This only shows how strict the FIA can be in observing regulations; in my opinion, this was an even harsher application of the rules than in Lewis’ case.

    This is obviously different to Lewis’ appeal: there was no sense in which Lewis could have been ‘unaware’ of the situation that characterised the penalty. It was painfully obvious that he gained an unfair advantage by cutting the chicane (he would not have been on Kimi’s slipstream otherwise), and you can’t just claim ‘heat of the battle’ sort of excuses. What he did was misjudge how much he could get away with, and every single driver on the paddock agrees with the FIA ruling (very different from many of Schumacher’s past favourable rulings).

    Now, I almost feel like I’m playing devil’s advocate here considering how many unfair rulings FIA has pulled in the past. Sorry folks, but this is just not one of them.

  31. one must surely notice the irony…

    the FIA is headed by someone who well understands the legal concepts in question, yet the organisation brushes them aside at a moment’s notice. i would wager that were Mosley representing McLaren in a legal capacity, he would be outraged at this outcome. FIA… feifdom in action?

  32. Why? I’ll be damned if I know Keith. Enlighten me when you find out would you? ;) Keep up the great work my friend.

  33. Dan aka AussieLeb
    24th September 2008, 7:36

    Beautiful work William Wilgus and Todd!

    Exactly correct. Of all the words (besides the swear words such as McLaren or even worse Ron Dennis etc) the word “precedent” will be the word remembered as the most exploited, to argue the point for ChicaneGate (That’s mine Keith!). The fact of the matter is that unless a precedent is party to the establishment of a law or rule that is to be adhered to, no amount of jumping up and down screaming “corruption” and the even more comical “but he did it so why can’t I ?” will do any good for future cases. It is now up to McLaren and any other team who should seeks to gain from this outcome, to demand a clarification of the rules and issues that have been exposed herein.

    One thing todd, I don’t think Keith is really trying to pervert anything. I do agree with you that this issue has brought out Keith’s allegiance and solidified my opinion that this site is geared more towards the English fan base and that of Lewis Hamilton. That’s not to say I will stop trying to post my own opinion and stir up a few of these ****! After all would I be a true blue aussie if I didn’t?

    One other point I would like to make is that as justified as I think they were to pull the “inadmissable” card the fact that this was not declared prior to (hence closing) proceedings has a touch of arrogance about it on the part of the FIA. Maybe the judges wanted to send McLaren a message, not to come in half cocked in the future.

    Keith, have we heard anything from anyone that has a genuine knowledge of law and due process etc? I can’t seem to find anything from proper law makers, not ex drivers or team principals etc. on their opinion of how the process was handled.

  34. It is a shame that the FIA didn’t give Massa a drive-though in Valencia. Ferrari would have appealed that and wouldn’t it have been interesting to see if that was admissible?

  35. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I cannot think of any major disputes with the FIA in any of the other motorsports they ‘govern’. I think there was a grumble or two from GT Racing and WRC when they first took over, but apart from that, nothing of any consequence.
    So why is there all this hassle over F1? I still feel that we need to look at the bigger picture, the is he / isn’t he tug of love between Bernie and Max and who is best to control F1. Is Bernie inciting Big Ron to mad acts of commercial suicide, just to point out how badly the FIA run things? Is this the motorsport equivalent to insider-trading?

  36. If it really is as petty as Max holding a grudge against Ron that Max needs his own padded cell somewhere.

  37. Can anyone explain what the term “fanboy” means? Other than sounding like the sort of character you should probably avoid on a trip to Bangkok, is this now the collective term for any supporters of Hamilton, McLaren or aggressive racing in general?

  38. Todd, If we go by your reasoning, then why did the FIA come up with the lie, that the race steward at the time, admitted he made an error, as reason not to allow for an appeal?
    If the race steward was in the wrong, they he should have been read the rule book.
    Its Max who says, race control shouldn’t communicate with the teams, but its the same race control that asked alonso to give the position back.

  39. I have a doubt whether it is a F1BLOG or HAMILTON fan site?????@@@@@

  40. Todd:

    Hamilton is being treated just as fairly as any other driver – no other drive is be able to appeal, that is the rules.

    That simply isn’t true – Liuzzi was allowed to appeal, Hamilton wasn’t. If the FIA wanted to clear up the implementation of their own rules then it would have been fair enough if they’d done it before McLaren lodged an appeal. As ever, this has nothing to do with which drivers I do or don’t like – I read the reports, I read the rules, I look at past precedent, and I call it like I see it.

    Senor Paz & Negative Camber – thankyou!

    AussieLeb (& Madurai) –

    I do agree with you that this issue has brought out Keith’s allegiance and solidified my opinion that this site is geared more towards the English fan base and that of Lewis Hamilton.

    This site is only geared towards English fans of F1 in that it’s written in English (I’d love to make multi-language versions available but I don’t have the time/knowledge/resources). As I always say, impartiality is something one strives to achieve while knowing it’s impossible. But if you think I never criticise Hamilton or I never support what the FIA has done, then you’re wrong on both counts:

    Video: Pressure on Lewis Hamilton after error in French Grand Prix …

    Traction control banned in F1 from 2008

    John Beamer – Indeed…

    Owen – ‘Fanboy’ is a last-resort term used when you disagree with someone else’s point of view and want to claim they only hold a certain opinion because they support a certain driver. See above.

  41. Madurai, couldn’t you have attempted to argue a case as todd did (even though with flawed points as Oliver mentioned) instead of flaming this thread? I love this blog because of the standard set here with people trying to reason and show their reasons. You I am afraid to say are far below that standard.

  42. Someone has alreay pointed out it, but I would like to insist: Liuzzi didn’t get a drive-though, that’s why they accepted the appeal. One can agree or not with the drive-though given to Hamilton, but the difference with Liuzzi is clear and simple.

  43. Brazillian, Spanish and Italian press generally make no mention of the Liuzzi precident and seem to imply justice was done. I don’t imagine that news surprises anyone. I did find a Fittipaldi interview where he said Hamilton would be the more deserving world champion though, despite his love for Massa. He said Hamilton has been more consistent.

    German press makes plenaty of mention of the Liuzzi precident and the strange obfuscation by the FIA. Perhaps the Mercedes connection would induce some bias, I offer no view on that.

    Personally I’m unimpressed with the verdict, not because they upheld the penalty but the manner in which it was done. The FIA needs to be consistent and have its laws and regulations clearly stated for all to read. It really wouldn’t take that much for them to deal with all this negative reaction in a positive way, instead they look arrogant, insular and inconsistent.

  44. so what is the difference between FIA and Zimbabwe again?

  45. Dan aka AussieLeb
    24th September 2008, 9:53

    Sorry for the clear breach of your comments policy Keith I never knew you Englishmen took the word *** as racial abuse.

    Nice try also on the splitting of hairs in regards to where your deep seeded allegiance lies. By English fans I do mean British. I’m sorry but to fuel the fire burning inside of the Hamilton, Mclaren and British fans after the case has closed, smacks of sour grapes to me, Keith. What is your motivation for this thread when McLaren have clearly moved on and to this date, have not sought clarification on the incident? I would think they would be entitled to do so? What happens next time? No one knows, and I believe it’s the task of the teams to seek such clarification by posing their own questions otherwise accept the referees decision!

    Nice jibe at the end to Keith!

  46. so what is the difference between FIA and Zimbabwe again?

    Um, Zimbabwe’s a country where the dictator’s had to agree to a power-sharing deal to the opposition?

    And the FIA isn’t a country, it just runs motorsport… with no recognized opposition?

    Makes Zimbabwe seem better sometimes…

  47. Jian I really didn’t like to argue as this site ends with .UK…..sorry to tell this but I really loved some of the articles posted by keith that i got some knowledge about technical stuff in F1 only after reading it.Thanks Keith…

  48. I’m sorry but to fuel the fire burning inside of the Hamilton, Mclaren and British fans after the case has closed, smacks of sour grapes to me, Keith. What is your motivation for this thread when McLaren have clearly moved on and to this date, have not sought clarification on the incident? I would think they would be entitled to do so? What happens next time? No one knows, and I believe it’s the task of the teams to seek such clarification by posing their own questions otherwise accept the referees decision!

    Can’t an F1 fan have an opinion on the issue? Keith is of his own mind to have an opinion and state it; he does not need to follow McLaren’s lead.

    Also, the purpose of McLaren’s appeal was also in part to get a clarification on the penalty! But given the FIA is acting, they’ll never get such a clarification. Do you think they’ll get a clarification from the FIA? The appeal was the perfect moment for them to give it to McLaren, but they did not do so.

  49. Roser –

    Liuzzi didn’t get a drive-though, that’s why they accepted the appeal.

    Neither did Hamilton, that’s why the two are the same.

    Diseased rat –

    Brazillian, Spanish and Italian press generally make no mention of the Liuzzi precident and seem to imply justice was done.

    Inevitably it’s not just one nation’s press that only sees things a certain way.

    Dan – I don’t want to get into a whole racism thing. Inevitably some people think some words are and others aren’t, I’m staying to the safe side because I don’t want to get sued.

    What is your motivation for this thread when McLaren have clearly moved on and to this date, have not sought clarification on the incident?

    What makes you think McLaren have any further recourse? As far as I’m aware F1 teams can’t take matters to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Whitmarsh said after the verdict they were disappointed “to have received no ruling on the substance of our appeal”. The FIA has since published its full reasoning (linked in my comment above) which came out after this article was written. But even with that new information we can see the mechanism of how the FIA disallowed the appeal but the question why remains.

    Madurai – Two-thirds of the users of this site are not British.

  50. Over at Sidepodcast, one of our fellow commenters Alex Andronov had this to say over the incident.

    My guess is that during the Sutil/Liuzzi case the high powered lawyers were not brought out. Nobody raked that closely through all the rules surrounding the admissibility of the event.

    My guess is that this time the lawyers from Ferrari were much more on the ball and noticed that it was not able to be appealed according to the rules. So what happens? McLaren’s on the ball lawyers bring a precedent. But all the precedent shows is that a mistake was made last time. That means it wasn’t a precedent.

    Case dismissed.

    My view is that conspiracy is very hard to pull off when there is so much attention. I do believe that Ferrari have a very close relationship with the FIA. And I think that if I were running Ferrari I would work very hard to keep that relationship close. If I were McLaren I’d be cozying up with them too. (Taking them out to dinner maybe).

    In most cases conspiracy turns out to be incompetence. No wonder Ferrari wanted their lawyer there. The lawyer for Force India and the FIA didn’t correctly notice that the cast was inadmissible.

    Obviously the FIA should be more competent, but I can see Ferrari’s point of view.

    I always come back to something Bernie said at the height of Schumacher’s dominance. It was something along the lines of “it’s not our job to slow down Ferrari, it’s everyone else’s job to catch them”.

    In simple terms: what happened last time was a mistake, regardless of what Tony Scott-Andrews said or not said. Your thoughts?

  51. Journeyer – I still think Alex’s argument fails the ‘if this wasn’t about nobbling McLaren, why didn’t the FIA clarify the appeal process months ago?’ test.

  52. ‘if this wasn’t about nobbling McLaren, why didn’t the FIA clarify the appeal process months ago?’

    Based on Alex’s opinion, it was because of sheer incompetence.

    In most cases conspiracy turns out to be incompetence. No wonder Ferrari wanted their lawyer there. The lawyer for Force India and the FIA didn’t correctly notice that the cast was inadmissible.

    Obviously the FIA should be more competent, but I can see Ferrari’s point of view.

    So again, it goes back to incompetence over conspiracy.

  53. Journeyer – I still think Alex’s argument fails the ‘if this wasn’t about nobbling McLaren, why didn’t the FIA clarify the appeal process months ago?’ test.

    Keith, my point I guess, for what it’s worth, is that I don’t think they noticed the mistake until they looked at the case this time. That would point to incompetance rather than conspiracy.

  54. also from sidepodcast/me:

    interesting aside for you here. the lawyer acting on behalf of force india last year was one mark philips.

    it’s a small world :)

  55. @Keith, sorry but i disagree, i think Senor Paz #30 post sums it up pretty well. What happened to liuzzi was in adverse conditions where it could not see and didn’t even know he was breaking a rule.

    On the point about the FIA misrepresentation of a fellow steward – the effect of Chinese whispers is likely, he said one thing in a discussion, they took it as something else, then made even more of it and it grew from there.

    I also suggest that they just wanted to stand strong on the point that they are trying to stick to the rule book since they are coping so much flak about the rule book.

    I’m inclined to suggest that the FIA aren’t the brightest people in the world, they are just people – people are inconsistent and make mistakes; I highly doubt there’s a conspiracy against mclaren.

    @Dan aka AussieLeb – Hey i’m an Aussie too! :D

    @Keith

    “That simply isn’t true – Liuzzi was allowed to appeal, Hamilton wasn’t. If the FIA wanted to clear up the implementation of their own rules then it would have been fair enough if they’d done it before McLaren lodged an appeal. ”

    So, something that is in writing, in the FIA rule book, for everyone to see and download from the FIA website, you want the FIA to clarify every rule in there before the start of every race weekend?

    It’s a rule. In the book. No clarification is needed.

    End of the day, it’s good to see a consistent outcome, as per the rules, rather than an inconsistent outcome like in Fuji. Wouldn’t you agree? Surely you can agree that the Fuji appeal was against the rules and should not have gone through, whereas Tuesday’s outcome is a good outcome – just what you have been arguing for? The FIA to stick to the rules?

  56. @Journeyer – great post. couldn’t agree more, the appeal in fuji should have been thrown out but they were all too incompetent.

    just because he overtook under yellow, the team should have notified him and told him to give the advantage pack, they have the data in front of them, not the driver.

  57. Keith,

    Inevitably it’s not just one nation’s press that only sees things a certain way.

    Agreed, although I feel the German press response has been very much in line with the British press response, so it’s not purely a British view.

  58. Which is probably what you were saying and I misread so ignore me :)

  59. @todd – Don’t thank me, thank Alex! I just quoted him because he explained it very well and I agree with him. :)

  60. @Madurai

    I have a doubt whether it is a F1BLOG or HAMILTON fan site???

    Whatever site you think this is, it’s Keith’s site and we are all just guests here. Keith can hold whatever view he wants, it’s his prerogative as it is his blog. You can comment here all you like and disagree with Keith until you’re blue in the face, but you’ve got to swallow the fact that Keith is free to write what he wants on his own blog. If you want to read a blog that supports the same team as you, I’m pretty sure there are plenty out there.
    .
    Now I’m going to stop as I suspect I’m just feeding the trolls….

  61. @todd:

    End of the day, it’s good to see a consistent outcome, as per the rules, rather than an inconsistent outcome like in Fuji. Wouldn’t you agree? Surely you can agree that the Fuji appeal was against the rules and should not have gone through, whereas Tuesday’s outcome is a good outcome – just what you have been arguing for? The FIA to stick to the rules?

    Please, could you point us where is written anything about advantage when leaving track – since we have only clarifications that even drivers make simple mistakes when asked before Monza, and where is written ammount of 10,000EU when leaving pits in unsafe way – since there is only 3 possible penalties written?
    Is that consistency?

  62. @ade…
    Of course Keith can write whatever he wants and there are many people (who supports the same team as keith) to read it.I am just concerned whether I am into a F1FAN site or a fair blog..

  63. So if the Liuzzi incident was a mistake, why did the FIA feel the need to lie about it’s own stewards? Why did they hold an appeal and then say it was invalid?

    If it all genuinely was a mistake on the part of the FIA, then the FIA could not have handled this worse.

    This is obviously not helped by Max Moseley having the personality of a spoiled brat.

  64. @mail123456 – we’re not debating the the penalty, but if the appeal of the drive through given as a result of the incident is admissible or not.

    and as per the FIA rules, it’s not. end of case.

    also, what does massa’s fine have to do with cheese in france?

    if you go to f1.com and watch the video, there’s a great high resolution in car video of massa’s incident, and as a person who races cars on a regular basis, it’s a non incident. he knew he was there, never turned too hard or was looking like he was going to hit him, and simple slowed down and went behind him when the pit exit approached.

    there’s been many other pit lane releases that were side by side that received no penalty at all. i admit, from out of the car, it looked bad, but in car from his point of view, it really looks like nothing.

    but i digress.

    we’re not debating the the penalty, or why it was given etc. The debate at the courts were about the admissibility of the appeal.

    which as per the rules, it’s not admissible.

  65. Keith,
    sure: it was not drive-through penalty, but the 25 seconds were given IN PLACE of a drive-through penalty, because the incident occurred late in the race…

  66. @todd: I quote from your post only part which says anything about consistency, which have something to do with the case I think … or may be appeal is not part of penalty?
    Anyway my point is that in FIA decisions have no consistency … nothing more, nothing less

  67. @mail123456 – i understand what your saying, and i do agree, the race incident rulings are inconsistent- because they are open to interpretation by the stewards.

    however, that’s a different post that’s already been made and we should stick on topic in here – which is the ability to appeal the decision.

  68. Dan aka AussieLeb
    24th September 2008, 11:41

    @Journeyer – By no means am I suggesting that Keith not share his opinion nor do I expect him to censor mine. My opinion however is that in this case i.e. SpaGate (I’ll claim that one to Keith) Keith’s opinion has shown him to be a little patriotic, not saying he’s not entitled to be. It’s just an observation, I may be wrong!

    @Keith – Not interested in racial issues either just never even crossed my mind that it could be considered racial. Do you have a problem with called a ***, Keith? Just for consistancy also, could we censor the use of the word Nazi, I am German born and I don’t want the Nazi name tainted by association with Max Smacker!

    Regarding the clarification issue, I am only suggesting that McLaren and other teams should attempt to get this clarified. No need for arbitration and more court hearings etc Let’s call it mediation.

    @todd, Yep I’m an Aussie and a Ford fan in V8 Supercars. Huge Schumi and Ferrari fan and according to some as follows:

    * In bed with the FIA
    * Racist, Hamilton Hater
    * Unqualified to seek explanations as to aerodynamics and the impact of the new “High Tail” wing (I know Keith I’m on fire now) Hence I should keep my mouth shut
    * Oh and might soon be labelled a troll!?!?

    Anyway life is good and I honestly can’t wait until Friday for the first F1-SNR (I’m sure you can work that out!)

    And, just for ***** and Giggles. I wonder, would there be any chance that Lewis harbours some jealousy that he wasn’t the youngest winner in F1. Is there any press that have taken a “Congratulations Sebastian” from Lewis?

  69. :D love you work Dan you troll

    the SNR should be a good one, hopefully it’s not too cold and wet so ferrari can get some heat into those tires.

    i’ve never been much of an alonso fan, but did you notice that he was the first to come up and congratulate vettel just as he got out of his car? alonso was parked down the road and made the effort to come all the way around and congratulate him.

    i respect that and i’m gaining more respect for alonso.

  70. Dan aka AussieLeb
    24th September 2008, 12:03

    My thoughts exactly on Alonso. My only reason for hating him was that he took the glory off Michael at the end. Since exposing the mess that is McLaren, he’s been a changed man IMO. As I have said before, I would love nothing more than to see Mercedes drop McLaren and stick their engines into Vettel’s Toro Rosso!

  71. Lot’s of comments – I just have no time to read it so i don’t know whether one very important issue has already been rised.

    Please, bear in mind that in FIA cases the Swiss Law applies. Swiss Law is a typical continental system of law and is very different to the one in anglosaxon country like UK. You simply should be very carefull when you talk about a precents. In the continental system of law precents mean as much as nothing. In continental law each case is a new case.

  72. @roser said: “Liuzzi didn’t get a drive-though, that’s why they accepted the appeal”
    @keith said: “Neither did Hamilton, that’s why the two are the same.”

    keith, that’s factually incorrect. the fia statement post belgium said:

    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.

    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.

    @roser is correct, and i think if you misunderstand this vital point, you missing a major part of this argument, are you not?

  73. @koper that’s a very good point. keith – response to that?

    since there is no precedent, the rule sticks.

    @sidepodcast – correct. Roser’s comment and then keith’s subsequent response were both factually incorrect.

    the penalty given to liuzzi was a drive through, however since the race had finished he was hit with the 25 seconds, the same as hamilton.

    from what i can remember it was after the race the penalty was given, someone refresh me on that if you know.

    either way:

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

    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 … 25 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned.

  74. Roser / Sidey – I take your point, but I still wonder why, if the Liuzzi case was no precedent, the FIA went to such lengths as mis-representing its own steward’s point of view?

    Nor does the thought that Liuzzi was given a penalty he could appeal, and Hamilton given a penalty of equal weight he could not appeal, fill me with confidence in the consistency of the FIA’s governance.

    Still at least that answers part of the question – I’ll amend the article later when I’ve got more time.

    Dan – As I said before it’s not really relevant to this discussion but if you feel strongly I should reconsider it then drop me a line: Contact Form

  75. @todd said: “the penalty given to liuzzi was a drive through”

    nope. the stewards should have given him a drive-through, but they messed up and only gave him a 25sec time penalty. then no-one contested that during the hearing either. so two mistakes were made.

    the penalty handed down to hamilton was technically correct though, in that it was a post-race drive-through, which includes a 25sec time penalty.

  76. @keith said: “why, if the Liuzzi case was no precedent, the FIA went to such lengths as mis-rif the Liuzzi case was no precedent, the FIA went to such lengths as mis-representing its own steward’s point of view?”

    as yet though, we only have one lawyers word on the mis-representation don’t we? and it appears the level of that lawyer’s competence is somewhat debatable right now.

  77. @sidepodcast – when was the penalty given? within the last 5 laps? after the race?

  78. It’s not just a case of looking at the wording – in
    fact “not susceptible” isn’t a definite statement, and
    the “susceptibility” connotes the difficulty of
    undoing the penalty if appealed as the reason.

    Therefore you have to look at the intent and reason for the regulation.

    The reason drive through penalties are “not susceptible
    to appeal” is that it is entirely hypothetical
    where a car would have finished had it not driven through the pit lane. You simply can’t reverse the penalty in a way that is fair by subtracting race time.

    A time penalty, including a time penalty in place of
    a drive through, is emminently reversible if appealed.
    You know exactly where the car did finish.

    I think that is the reason Liuzzi was allowed to appeal,
    and is the reason Hamilton *should* have been allowed to appeal.

    I’ve read the regulation again and again, and
    it seems to me to be very much the face value interpretation, and one has to start taking a contrived
    lawyer’s approach to interpret a time penalty
    in place of drive through as a “drive through”.

  79. @todd said: “when was the penalty given? within the last 5 laps? after the race?”

    after the race i believe:

    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2007/09/30/liuzzi-penalised-sutil-gets-first-point/

  80. I still don’t understand your stubborn with your precedents.

  81. @koper:

    But the primary mistake in my view was the team’s. The team should have decided on precedent, and from everything they know, what advice to give him (Hamilton). I’m not going to express an opinion but the correct procedure was for the team to decide what to tell their driver

    guess who say this…

  82. Mr AussieLeb, I guess one only sees what one wants to see. If you want to see Lewis as a bigheaded spoiled brat then all the evidence you find will of course be on your side. Otherwise you don’t have to look any further than f1.com and its official interviews:

    http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8386.html
    “Finally, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Sebastian on winning his first grand prix – I know what a sweet feeling that is!”

    http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2008/9/8413.html
    “I am really pleased for Sebastian (Vettel), he did a great job. Winning your first race is a fantastic feeling, and good luck to anyone who can achieve this dream. ”

    I am sure that if somebody would put enough effort into it, they could conclude that Lewis is a jerk from these comments as well but please try to be (somewhat) objective.

  83. mail123456: Max isn’t it? All these FIA lawyers from the absolute top to further down wield a double edged sword in shape of ambigious words, one for protecting themselves and one for cutting down McLarens. The fact that it is debatable whether they hide a conspiracy through sheer incompetence or hide their incompetence behind conspiracy theories makes their decisionmakings a sad joke.

  84. @ mail 123456:

    No. Here in continent to obey law we must act with accordance to statue law – codes, acts etc. and not past verdicts. So the written law tells us we are allow to do and we are not. In Hamilton case – his team should find a proper article which says that his move was ok or proper article which says that appeal should be heard rather than looking at what happened in the past.

  85. Koper – according to the letter of the law Hamilton was punished by, every driver who went off the track at Spa should have been punished. So how are they deciding who does and who doesn’t get punished, other than by looking at precedent? (Also, in Mail123456’s quote Mosley is stating quite clearly precedent plays a role).

  86. Dan aka AussieLeb
    24th September 2008, 15:21

    Hey Jian thanks for the heads up. I tend to steer clear of the official website. Too boring for me. I like the non stop, hair raising, adrenaline pumping and not to mention, thought provoking website that is F1Fanatic.co.uk !

    I don’t think I said those things about Lewis but maybe……. What I will say is that I feel Lewis needs to make some serious moves to change his attitude and the perseption that many people have of him. As for his father being at every race……manager or not the guy is old enough now not to need his Dad making sure his son is being looked after. I just can’t get the image out of my mind of Lewis’s Dad wearing a football mum’s attire yelling abuse at Charlie Whiting because Lewis was handed a drive through…..awwww it’s awful. As for the voices in my head, I’m used to them anyway…..what’s that Max you want me to what with that whip?!?!

  87. Dan aka AussieLeb

    Hamilton’s dad is his manager. The same attention isn’t given to other ‘dads’ who turn up at the races; maybe because of the TV cameras focused on him, maybe because he’s black? Is that your problem with him? I’ve never seen him jumping and yelling: where exactly are you getting your mental imagery from?

  88. Keith – we can all argue now about the case, but…does it change anything? In my opinion Lewis gained an advantage and his move was a bit cheeky. You can have a different opinion – but does it change anything now? I would suggest we should move on.

  89. ALL it matters is the Sportsman spirit and respect to the sport . Lewis forgetting this some times , that is what happened in this case ..like many times before.

  90. Keith,

    Regarding your answer to Koper: not so. Not everybody should be penalised, only those that gained an unfair advantage. The rules are clear.

    Regardless of whether the FIA takes precedents into account, I think it’s fairly obvious that Liuzzi’s and Hamilton’s cases are not similar in terms of the circumstances of appeal. I’ve already made that clear in my previous post.

    That whole ‘We’ve consulted Charlie Whiting’ thing was a rather pathetic McLaren stunt. As I’ve said before, Liuzzi’s penalty actually constituted a harsher application of the rules, and nobody is claiming a Toro Rosso witch-hunt.

    I think Keith’s article title declaring Lewis Spa’s ‘moral victor’ summarises almost everyone’s feelings towards the race: overall, Lewis did, in my opinion, deserve to win the race. However, that does not change the fact he’s broken a rule and should be penalised for it.

  91. That whole ‘We’ve consulted Charlie Whiting’ thing was a rather pathetic McLaren stunt.

    No it wasn’t. As I wrote here, on the only past occasion I can find where a driver was told he didn’t do enough to cede back position, that driver was initially given an instruction from race control to cede the position back again, which was later retracted. Checking with race control was the only sensible thing McLaren could have done under the circumstances.

    You could say Hamilton should not have passed Raikkonen until after the following corner, but how was he supposed to know about that requirement? The FIA’s ‘clarification’ only came out at Monza. Perhaps if the trial had gone ahead we would have heard testimony that drivers were told to do this in a briefing or something, but we may never know now.

  92. @Kimster
    I agree with what you say in principle (and despite all the – mostly – valid and insightful comments above, nothing will change either this or Liuzzi’s result now), but sportsmanship can’t possibly exist in modern-day F1. There’s too much at stake.

    The modern greats of our sport (not including current drivers) are the likes of Senna, Prost and Schumacher – all three of whom were happy to stretch the boundaries of ‘sportsmanship’ in the quest for success.

    As a result of this the rules for modern F1 should be – as close as possible – black and white. At the moment they’re so grey and hazy that the FIA can wag a finger in the general direction of any one of a number of so-called ‘rules’ and interpret and apply it in exactly the way they want.

    The Result? Disgust, ridicule, claims of favouritism and even racism.

  93. I have had enouhg myself. Not so much about the inadmissibility of the appeal, but more of the fact that the penalty itself was inapropriate and it was imposed knowingly that appeal would be inadmissible.

    This fact that Luizzy was, with the same penalty and grounds, heard by the court, makes it even more mind boggling. For Hamilton and his fans, this mess should be ‘cool fuel’ for the next few races. He is good enough to win with all these obstacles. He just has to finish in front of Massa and not overdrive his car.

  94. The remaining sensation, is that everybody was hurt,and everything gets worse each day in the relations between Mclaren, Ferrari, FIA and Hamilton (and a long list).

    I pray for someone with a superior strength to show up and bring things together in F1 family. Someone like SuperNanny

  95. “At the Maranello launch of the California road car, Kimi and Felipe met President Luca di Montezemolo, who made it very clear that, as usual Ferrari’s simple target come the end of the season is to win both titles,” says Domenicali.

    “Both drivers will be working towards this target over the remaining four races, knowing that, as always for the Scuderia, the good of the team comes first.”

    Sounds a little like team orders to me, wonder when the FIA investigation will start.

  96. Keith, teams can go to the Court of Arbitration. Force India did it at the start of 2007. The catch is that it’s extremely slow – it hadn’t even begun deliberating by August 2008, which was why Force India ended up accepting a settlement on the customer car issue from STR.

    Journeyer, the wording of the regulations suggest that last time was not a mistake, since the time penalty was still a time penalty irrespective of how it came to be one. There is nothing in the regulations to say that a converted time penalty is to be treated as if it was the penalty from which it came. The dismissal, by consequence, was done on dodgy logic. Hence the precedent of Japan 2007 holds, whether the FIA wants it to or not.

  97. Sidepodcast, if the penalty was given after the race, then it is exactly the same type of penalty as Hamilton’s (a time penalty issued through the late-penalty route given in Article 16.3). It is also the correct penalty, unless you are arguing Liuzzi should have been issued with a 10-place grid drop instead. The other two penalties cannot be given out after the 5-laps-before-finish point.

  98. @alia said: “Sidepodcast, if the penalty was given after the race, then it is exactly the same type of penalty as Hamilton’s”

    short of repeating what i said earlier, i don’t know what else to say, sorry?

    there is no provision in the rulebook for assigning just a 25 second penalty, unless it is either as part of a post-race drive through or a post race stop and go.

  99. Keith,

    Obviously Charlie made a mistake saying what he did to Ron Dennis, that’s not what we’re debating here. In many ways, the whole incident was the catalyst for McLaren’s appeal, as they understandably felt that they were given wrong information. So it was that he detracted his comment later; unfortunately he had already given McLaren something to complain about.

    Remember also how ridiculous the whole telemetry thing was: Ron Dennis showed everyone that Lewis was 6km/h slower than Kimi crossing the line… And? So what? It is obvious that he slowed down (you don’t need telemetry, just watch the footage), but the point in question is that he slipstreamed him in a short straight, something he would have NEVER been able to do had he taken the corner behind Kimi.

    Also regarding the other ridiculous controversy, whether Kimi did something illegal by ‘pushing’ Lewis off the track, I think Lewis’ overtakes in Monza and Hockenheim speak for themselves. Perfectly legal driving, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

  100. The fact that FIA cannot be questioned on certain decisions simply gives them a right to do anything! That’s simply unacceptable.

    Any organization should have some provisions of being able to question certain decisions. FIA has a provision of giving someone 25 second penalty when a drive-through penalty cannot be enforced in time, In the same tone, FIA decision to impose a 25-second post penalty should also be appeal-worthy. The only reason why drive-through penalty is not eligible for appeal is because it is irreversible! But, 25s post-race penalty is completely reversible if it can be proven that it was not the mistake of FIA giving false information to the team during the race; and then retroactively saying that the information they provided is not correct.

    FIA should grow balls and re-write their rules.

  101. If the FIA were so deliberately hell bent on crippling anything McLaren/Lewis related and favouring Ferrari , can anyone explain the reasoning for a TWENTY GRID penalty in MONACO of all places , to Schu./FERRARI in 2006 (for “parking” his Ferrari – which although it did look suspicious because of the time the “error” occurred , it was less of a clear infringement as the Lewis/Spa incidence – and incidentally was not objected to by Ferrari in court !) and the penalty (forced to come in to change tyres …) to both Ferrari’s for having the wrong tyres (I think it was in Fuji last year) . Yes , I am a Ferrari fan , and when things like that happen , it is not nice , but sometimes they do and one is forced to “take it on the chin” as it were and move on , but I’m afraid McLaren , after declaring last year they would do their “talking on the track” seem the first to run to the courtrooms whenever a decision is taken against them.

  102. Alianora La Canta
    25th September 2008, 11:16

    sidepodcast, there’s no provision that allows for a converted time penalty to be treated as a drive-through or pit-stoppage penalty. In conventional law, points of contracts are treated for what they are, not what they were. Otherwise contracts could not have conditional principles (and the part of Article 16.3 that mentions the time penalty could never apply because the change in what the penalty is could not be activated). Article 2 of the Sporting Code means that the regulations form part of a contract between the FIA and the teams.

    As a result, the admission of the Liuzzi/Sutil case is the one supported by the regulations the ICA claims to use in its Court of Appeal. It is also irrelevant whether the error of giving a straight 25-second penalty was made (and it would be an error, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it was committed in the first place – the summary of the Liuzzi/Sutil case suggests no such error) because the penalty as it became (time penalty) is the one that matters for applications of contracts as a general rule.

    Technically, McLaren can appeal this to the Swiss Court of Arbitration. Not that I expect them to – in 17 months of the customer car case, they never got round to making a decision as far as I can tell, which was why Force India eventually made an out-of-court settlement.

  103. Jean,
    Schumacher not only obstructed a fellow competitor, he illegally parked his car in the center of the race track. Had he not been found out, it was a moment of brilliance :-)

  104. I am a fan of good F1 racing and good F1 race drivers. In their respective times, I thought Senna was brilliant, Mansell blistering and Schummi a fabulous genius (who was occasionally prone to strong arm tactis) which to be fair to him were more or less part and parcel of previous seasons and commited by various former champs.

    Anyway, my point is it is glaringly obvious that the FIA have appeared to be Ferrari biased in many decisions. I am surprised not many people are also talking about the fact that during this contentious spa race Kimmi also missed a chicane/ corner and used another drive off area to a rather good advantage but never got investigated nor penalised !? Yet Lewis was.

    Equally Kimmi never got investigated nor punished for crashing into another driver during the Monaco grand prix yet Lewis indeed got done for his crash into Kimmi in Canadian race !!?

    These are just two recent incidents, going back to 2006, you-tube has many good clips of Schummi clearly missing a chicane and gaining a clear advantage from it yet receiving no penalty never mind being investigated !!!?

    In 2007 a few competitors (ahead of Lewis in that race)got away with using fuel which appeared to have been cooled beyond accepted levels and therefore affording them significant advantage. Again NO PUNISHMENT (which had it been rightly given out would have also rightly given the drivers championship to the best driver of 2007, a certain Lewis Hamilton !, but oh no that would have taken a victory away from Kimmi and Ferrari…CANT HAVE THAT CAN WE !!!

    What the hell in the world is Lewis’ crime ???! Or for that matter what is Mclaren’s crime ?. Dont give me any crap about the spying scandal…. Spying on competitors appears to have always been part and parcel of previous seasons, delve into all the little rows teams had and you will see that, that how teams knew what to report each other on and copy similar systems/ parts etc.

    Like i said at the beginning i am a fan of good F1 racing and good F1 drivers… i am not pro Lewis but i am definately pro the best drivers winning fairly ragardless of the colour of their team or skin. the more this happens the more it does really appear like formula 1 is run by FIAT for real. Sort it out Max and Bernie. Lets see the best driver win this year NOT THE BEST CONNECTED Team !!!!!!!!!!. What a DISGRACE AND DISSERVICE to all the fans who tune in the world over.

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