September 23, 2008

Hamilton's Appeal Ruled "Inadmissible."

The FIA's International Court of Appeals has thrown out Lewis Hamilton's appeal of his 25 second penalty, applied post-race at Spa, on the grounds that the appeal was "inadmissible".

In their decision, the International Court of Appeals cited Paragraph 5 of Article 152 of the International Sporting Code, which states: “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.”

Even if they were applied in error.

Color me shocked.

So Felipe Massa is now officially the winner of the 2008 Grand Prix of Belgium, Hamilton is dropped officially to third, and the FIA has taken yet another step towards complete irrelevance. 

The person that crossed the line first at Spa, having done nothing wrong, has had his victory taken away... and I'll going to go so far as to say that it was taken away because he was driving the wrong color car. 

We here at F1 UPDATE! will finish this season, but then we'll be taking a long look at whether we want to be associated with this sport any more.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:02 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 All drivers asked in the press conference before Italy about it were UNANIMOUS that Hamilton breached the regulations. How can you say that he "has done  nothing wrong" when people who actually drive these things agree that he has?

MASSA: "What's happened is that he took an advantage by cutting the chicane. You can ask other drivers how many overtaking manoeuvres you see there: no overtaking. Going from the last corner to the first corner is such a small straight, so he took an advantage, that's clear, that's my opinion, so it doesn't change."

I have just seen pictures, so it is difficult for me to say whether what happened was right or not. For sure, maybe, he took a small advantage, that's why he had the possibility, as Felipe said, to overtake him again in braking for turn one."

BOURDAIS: "Yes, I think the rules are very clear. Maybe the penalty was a bit hard, but I think he's made the same mistake twice: he's done it in Magny-Cours and he's done it again in Spa. I don't really understand why there's been such a mess around it."

ROSBERG: "Yeah, I definitely agree, because he did get an advantage, because he wouldn't have been that close behind Kimi had he not cut the chicane."

Well, I agree completely with my colleagues. The penalty was quite big but I'm not a steward and I cannot decide what kind of penalty should be given. But on the other hand, it was very clear that he got an advantage out of it, so that's where it is. The rules are very clear."

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 23, 2008 06:44 PM (/ppBw)

2 How can I say it?  Easily.  I've watched the incident countless times, I've seen Hamilton avoiding a collision with Kimi (who, let it be said, left the racing line to shove Hamilton off course), then relinquishing the position AS PER THE RULES, then beating Kimi in the next turn. 

Yes, as the rules are now written, that's not good enough, he would have to stay behind Raikkonen thru the next turn.  But that's not how the sporting regs read before the incident. 

Yes, I'm not a F1 driver.  The drivers probably have a better insight into the situation than I do.  But, and I can't stress this enough, neither are the stewards.  If you can tell me at what point he violated the rules as written at the time, please do!

By the way, if you want to hold Massa's comments up to the light, it must be pointed out that he's hardly a disinterested bystander here.   It did involve his teammate, after all, and oh by the way, he only got a race win out of it. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 23, 2008 08:47 PM (AW3EJ)

3 They asked 5 drivers and all of them agree, I wouldn't use a capitalized unanimous to deliver that point, especially when one of the drivers asked is a direct beneficiary of that decision. Nikki Lauda thought that was the worst judgment in the history of F1, does that count? He was a former driver after all.

So why is this appeal inadmissible, when Toro Rosso was allowed to appeal a 25 second penalty last year? Because there was no red car involved?

As for the rule itself, what is the exact wording? Is it position, or is it advantage? Because I can't argue much that he didn't relinquish the advantage back. Cutting the chicane did put him in a position much closer to be able to overtake Kimi at that corner.

The thing is, this just add to the whole FIArarri image. That's why people are upset. No black flag for Kimi to fix that broken exhaust? No penalty for that unsafe release of Massa? Really? How do they justify those? Oh, sorry, I forgot about that unwritten 'Let the red car win' rule.

Posted by: pxcasey at September 23, 2008 10:19 PM (+wspV)

4 PX, the stewards' statement after Spa used the word "advantage." has a very interesting article about the stewards' decision, and how the Three Wise Men of Spa were a little unclear on the subject.

The problem is, the actual rule on cutting a corner says "position", as in "the driver who has cut the corner must relinquish the position."  Nothing about advantage.

Please note that in actuality, Hamilton was penalized for violating rule 30.3(a), which states that a driver can only drive on the racetrack.  So he didn't get dinged for cutting the corner, he got dinged for being forced off-circuit by Raikkonen in the final chicane.

Now, never mind that both Ferraris left the track in Spa (Kimi multiple times, AND passed Hamilton under a yellow flag, to boot) and they didn't get penalized...

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 23, 2008 11:00 PM (AW3EJ)

5 As Duck is saying, the real problem is that the rules aren't applied universally. They're kind of vague and kind of open to interpretation and frankly, there's already a perception of advantage to certain race teams which will remain nameless, unless you've ever read an F1 post on this blog. ;p

If someone commits a technical violation, sportingly relinquishes the lead that it gave him, and then comes back to win the race, that's just great racing and a gentleman at the wheel. To then take the race away from him after the fact makes a mockery of that gentlemanly act; it's to say "there's no point in driving honorably, because the stewards will end your racing day anyway; if someone is moving toward you, you had best hold your course lest you stray off the track, as they might not actually hit you, but if you go off the track to avoid him, you might as well pull into the pit now."

That kind of thinking is going to cause crashes, and in F1 that means people can get killed. You -don't want- people to drive in such a way as to promote collisions!

Maybe talking in terms of gentlemanly behavior is old-fashioned of me, but by golly, this is F1 racing, not the Detroit Pistons.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 24, 2008 04:46 PM (pfysU)

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