Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Hamilton disappointed but not depressed by FIA verdict 23 Sep 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 18 July 2008

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has vowed to concentrate on the final four races of the 2008 season, after the FIA International Court of Appeal rejected his team’s appeal against the 25-second time penalty imposed on him at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was punished after the Spa stewards decided he had gained an advantage by cutting a chicane during a tussle with Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen. The penalty, handed down after the race, cost Hamilton his victory and handed 10 points to Raikkonen's team mate, Felipe Massa.

"People will probably expect me to be depressed about today's result, but that isn't me,” said the British driver. “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.”

McLaren’s case was deemed inadmissible by the court because the punishment was imposed in place of a drive-through penalty (as the incident occurred so late in the race) and drive-through penalties cannot be appealed under the International Sporting Code.

"We are naturally disappointed with today's verdict, and to have received no ruling on the substance of our appeal,” added Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren Group CEO. “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. It nonetheless decided that our appeal was inadmissible. We will now concentrate on the remaining four races of the 2008 Formula One season.”

Hamilton leads the driver standings by one point over championship rival Massa.