As expected, McLaren have announced they will be appealing the decision made by the stewards after the Belgian Grand Prix. As it stands currently, McLaren have lodged their intention to appeal and firmly believe Lewis Hamilton played fair by backing off and allowing Kimi Raikkonen to move ahead before continuing. And as the previous post here on BlogF1 shows, a fair few fans are behind Ron Dennis as well.
The incident, which saw Hamilton attempt a move to pass Raikkonen, run over the run-off area and rejoin ahead of Kimi, has brought the world of Formula One to the fore as fans voice their shock at changing a result and their annoyance that the FIA once again look to be giving an advantage to Ferrari. However, in this case McLaren believe they have enough evidence to claim the decision by the stewards was wrong. Should the decision stand though, McLaren could face an even larger penalty, such is the way the FIA operate.
The official decision is that Hamilton received a post-race drive-thru, which because it happened after the completion of the grand prix, means 25 seconds was added to the driver’s total time. This demoted Lewis down to third, promoting Ferrari driver Felipe Massa to the victors position and Nick Heidfeld into second. Here’s what some of the key people involved had to day on the matter…
What is really the advantage that you are taking in such conditions that can be used in the second situation at the first corner? That, in my view, is the most important thing. But this is racing. Stefano Domenicali.
Ferrari deny making any complaint to the stewards at the time, indicating (and only indicating at the time) they felt Hamilton fairly returned Kimi to the lead before re-attacking the position. It is also interesting that Domenicali states “this is racing”. A fair point, I believe, and if I may add; it is not a political battle, it really is just racing.
We looked at all our data and also made it available to the FIA stewards. It showed that, having lifted, Lewis was 6km/h slower than Kimi as they crossed the start/finish line. Having passed the lead back to Kimi, Lewis repositioned his car, moving across and behind Kimi to the right-hand line and then outbraked him into the hairpin. Based on this data, we have no option other than to register our intention to appeal. McLaren Spokesperson.
McLaren now have eight days to write to the FIA and officially lodge their appeal, the outcome of which will not be heard until a meeting has been scheduled. The final, final result of the 2008 Belgium Grand Prix will not be known until after this hearing.