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McLaren head to Paris for Hamilton appeal 22 Sep 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 6 September 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

The FIA’s International Court of Appeal met in the French capital on Monday to hear McLaren’s appeal over Lewis Hamilton’s recent Belgian Grand Prix penalty.

Hamilton had 25 seconds added to his Spa race time after stewards decided he had gained an advantage by cutting the final chicane during his late battle with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The penalty dropped the British driver from first to third in the results, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa inheriting the win.

Among the points expected to be raised by McLaren in Hamilton’s defence were that he allowed Raikkonen to re-pass on the start-finish straight following the incident, and the fact that the team were twice told by race control that Hamilton’s conduct appeared to be within the rules.

Should McLaren’s appeal be successful, Hamilton’s lead in the drivers’ standings will go from one point to seven. If it fails, he will head to this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix with a one-point advantage over Massa. Either way, the Court’s decision, expected Tuesday, could play a vital role in the outcome of the 2008 championship.