Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hamilton to wait for Belgian GP appeal decision

Lewis Hamilton will have to wait until Tuesday to find out if his win at the Belgian Grand Prix is to be reinstated, according to the FIA on Monday.
The current Formula One championship leader appeared before the Paris tribunal on Monday in a bid to overturn a 25-second penalty which denied him victory at the Spa-Francorchamps course on September 7.
The British McLaren driver was adjudged to have cut a chicane during a duel with Finnish rival Kimi Raikkonen in the closing laps, thereby gaining unfair advantage.
However, Hamilton on Monday reiterated his version of events as recorded in a statement given days after the race, saying he had taken the chicane to avoid a collision with Raikkonen.
"I thought I had given back the advantage that I had taken by cutting the chicane. I thought I had done what I needed to," Hamilton insisted.
Shortly after the hearing, the Briton said: "It was long, intense and I was impressed by the complexity of the debates.
"I hope the judges will see the truth and uphold it."
McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh and team engineer Phil Prew also appeared before the Paris hearing on Monday.
The time penalty dropped Hamilton into third place, handing rival Felipe Massa of Ferrari the win, and slashing the Brit's lead in the championship which now stands at just one point.
Tuesday's appeal outcome will have ramifications for the championship with just four races left to go.
The Briton now sits on 76 points, just one point ahead of Massa, with Poland's Robert Kubica, of BMW Sauber, on third with 58.
McLaren's lawyer Mark Philips on Monday said: "Fans want to see good races on the track and it is very bad for Formula One that decisions of this type are made behind closed doors."

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