Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lewis Fails to win his appeal - Arrives in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton said he was "disappointed but not depressed" after a court rejected McLaren's appeal to have the Formula One leader reinstated as the Belgian Grand Prix winner.


Inadmissible: Lewis Hamilton, already in Singapore for this weekend's grand prix, has seen his Belgian Grand Prix appeal fall on deaf ears
The decision left the 23-year-old Briton just one point clear of Ferrari’s Brazilian Felipe Massa with four races remaining. Motor sport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said in a statement that the court of five judges had “concluded that the appeal is inadmissible” after Hamilton gave his version of events at the hearing in Paris on Monday.
“Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that drive-through penalties are ‘not susceptible to appeal’,” the FIA added.


Hamilton’s retrospective penalty was imposed after the race because his offence took place only two laps from the end.
Drive-through penalties, which oblige drivers to pass through the pits at low speed before rejoining the track, are not susceptible to appeal because by their nature they can affect the outcome of a race, and the fortunes of other drivers, in an almost infinite variety of ways.
The FIA court of appeal’s decision suggests that a retrospective 25-second penalty will in future be counted as a drive-through; a point of view that the FIA’s legal department was allegedly keen to pursue in controversial emails sent out before the Paris hearing took place. There is no further recourse for Hamilton and McLaren, but the ramifications of the appeal and the FIA’s tactics may rumble on yet. Hamilton, who was demoted from first to third in Belgium after cutting a chicane, will now start Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix - the first F1 race to be held under floodlights - with 78 points to 77 for Massa. Had McLaren’s appeal been successful, Hamilton would have had a seven-point advantage.


“People will probably expect me to be depressed about today’s result, but that isn’t me,” the British driver said after the court’s decision had been announced. “All I want to do now is put this matter behind me and get on with what we drivers do best - racing each other. We’re racers, we’re naturally competitive, and we love to overtake. Overtaking is difficult, and it feels great when you manage to pull off a great passing manoeuvre. If it pleases the spectators and TV viewers, it’s better still. So I’m disappointed, yes, but not depressed.”
A Ferrari spokesman said the Italian team would not be commenting on the verdict. The race at Spa was a tremendous contest, enlivened by the rain which fell over the last few laps. But the excitement fell flat when the stewards later ruled that Hamilton had gained an advantage by cutting the Bus Stop chicane while duelling with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for the lead in the closing stages. Massa, who had finished second, was awarded his fifth win of the season instead.
Hamilton, who had handed back the position gained before overtaking Raikkonen again into the next corner, told the court in Paris he felt he had acted according to the rules. McLaren had also pointed out to the court that race control had twice given Hamilton the all-clear at the time. But all of this evidence was irrelevant once the judges had decided that no appeal would be allowed.
“We are naturally disappointed with today’s verdict, and to have received no ruling on the substance of our appeal,” said McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh. “No-one wants to win grands prix in court but we felt that Lewis had won the Belgian Grand Prix, on track, in an exciting and impressive manner. Our legal team and witnesses calmly explained this, as well as our belief that the appeal should be admissible, to the FIA International Court of Appeal,” he added.
When Hamilton arrived in Singapore, he chatted and joked with fans while watching youngsters drive an F1 simulator in one of the city-state’s plushest shopping centres.

By Andrew Baker
Do watch out for my next post where I'll be posting pics and video of my meeting with Lewis and getting my McLaren Cap autographed, as well as Ian De Cotta's book, and a picture of Him, coming soon..
My wife & cousin also got a chance to meet Nico Rosberg earlier on in the afternoon...

11 comments:

FanLewis said...

You are meeting Lewis? Is it on Thurs?

Bruno said...

Hi there,

No, It was last night at Takashimaya. we ambushed him and forced our way through the bodyguards when he was going to the "Hugo Boss" store in Taka. what a rush to meet him, and I was one of the few to get an autograph

fanlewis said...

I see, so were you part of the 100 exclusive people or the "general" public who happened to bump into him along his way to Hugo Boss?

Bruno said...

No I wasn't part of the exclusive ppl, but I did come there especially to try and meet him knowing that he would comr to Hugo Boss Boutique and waited nearly two hours, but it paid off...
Tonight Raikonnen @ Paragon 19.30

Nicholas said...

Well done you all! It must have been difficult, it seemed as if they were constanted hounded the whole time they were there.

Meeting Mark Webber was easier. :P

Bruno said...

Hi Nicholas, Thanks for dropping by, Yeah the bodyguards were a bit of a pain ( See The New Paper article with my photo..)but Lewis was very obliging and got myself 3 autographs...
Cool, where did you meet Weber ?
Are you going to see Raikkonen tonight @ Paragon 19.30

Fanlewis said...

Is raikkonen's event tonight an exclusive one again? Anyway yesterday did anyone bring diecast models to give Lewis to autograph? Would he agree to sign say 2 or 3 diecast models?

Bruno said...

No time for that mate, you really have to push your way through the bouncers... Tonite Kimi's is a public appearance but I expect a lot of people... come early and bring a cap or something easy to sign on ( don't forget a marker pen too... )

fanlewis said...

I see i've an event tomorrow to meet lewis, but i'm unsure of the size of the group.

F1Wolf said...

sounds like the fun has started already in Singapore :-)

I have to wait till Friday ... I will be sitting in Turn one with bunch other 11 people, not sure if I will have chance to make it to Turn 5 :-)

fanlewis said...

I'll be at Bay Grandstand Lower deck dark green sector. Looking forward to the weekend!