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McLaren lodge Belgian Grand Prix appeal 09 Sep 2008

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 battle for the lead of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 7 September 2008. © Sutton Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 takes the chequered flag 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 7 September 2008

McLaren confirmed on Tuesday that they have lodged an appeal against the penalty handed to driver Lewis Hamilton following Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton was given a 25-second time penalty by race stewards at Spa-Francorchamps, after they decided he had gained an advantage by cutting a chicane during his late battle with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

"Following our decision to register our intention to appeal the penalty handed out to Lewis Hamilton by the FIA Stewards at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, we hereby confirm that we have now lodged notice of appeal,” explained McLaren’s Formula One CEO Martin Whitmarsh in a statement released by the British squad.

As a result of the time penalty, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was declared the winner of the Belgian race, while Hamilton was dropped to third place.

McLaren’s statement in full:
Martin Whitmarsh said: "Following our decision to register our intention to appeal the penalty handed out to Lewis Hamilton by the FIA Stewards at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, we hereby confirm that we have now lodged notice of appeal. Lewis describes the incident as follows."

Lewis Hamilton said: "In the closing stages of the race I was catching Kimi (Raikkonen) consistently, lap by lap, and with three laps remaining I got close enough to attempt to overtake him on the entry to the last chicane. I managed to get slightly ahead of him in the braking area for the first apex of the chicane. He fought back approaching the second apex - but, in doing so, he left no room for me on the inside line. The only way for me to avoid a collision was therefore to cut inside the second apex.

"I came out of the second apex in front of Kimi and so I momentarily lifted-off on the straight, to ensure that Kimi got back in front. The team also came on the radio and instructed me to allow Kimi to repass, which I had already done. As a result, Kimi crossed the start/finish line ahead of me and 6.7km/h quicker than me.

"After allowing Kimi to completely repass, I crossed from the left side of the track to the right side of the track, passing behind Kimi in the process. I then attacked Kimi on the inside of the first corner, and successfully outbraked him."

Martin Whitmarsh added: "From the pit wall, we then asked Race Control to confirm that they were comfortable that Lewis had allowed Kimi to repass, and they confirmed twice that they believed that the position had been given back in a manner that was 'okay'.

"If Race Control had instead expressed any concern regarding Lewis’s actions at that time, we would have instructed Lewis to allow Kimi to repass for a second time."