McLaren Mercedes lodges appeal for SPA penalty 

Written by David on September 09th, 2008 at 10:27 pmLast Update: September 09th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Martin WhitmarshMcLaren Mercedes confirmed on Tuesday that a notice of appeal has been lodged against the Belgian Grand Prix stewards’ decision to penalise at the end of the race Lewis Hamilton for having gained an advantage after a chicane cut in the final laps. “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,” said McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh. “Lewis describes the incident as follows, ” he continued.

“In the closing stages of the race I was catching Kimi 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”, explained Hamilton.

“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,” he continued.

“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,” he added.

“From the pit wall – continued Whitmarsh – 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.”

source: McLaren Mercedes

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