Belgian GP Drama: Stewards Strip Lewis Hamilton Of His Spa Win

Nick JohnstonCorrespondent ISeptember 7, 2008

UPDATE: McLaren have announced that they will appeal this decision. We'll just have to wait and see I guess...

The drama has only just finished at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. We all felt that we'd been treated to enough of a spectacle during the 44 laps, yet the powers that be decided it wasn't finished when Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in first.

It was deemed that Hamilton gained an unlawful advantage when he cut across the final 'bus stop' corner with two laps to go. He knew this, so rightly let Kimi Raikkonen regain first place, before passing the Ferrari soon after.

Ultimately, it seemed to have been rendered irrelevant as the drama continued, with Raikkonen regaining the lead after Hamilton was nearly knocked out of the race by a spinning Williams of Nico Rosberg. Then, in yet another twist, the Finn lost control of his Ferrari and ploughed into a wall as the weather worsened.

Hamilton nursed home a car with no desire to go in a straight line and was rightly applauded for a great drive. Ten points in the bag for the Brit and a healthy lead in the driver's championship. Or not...

Hamilton was given a 25-second penalty, knocking him behind Felipe Massa and Nick Heidfeld into third position. Hamilton's lead is now just two points, rather than the eight points we all thought it had become.

Questions will be raised as to the consistency of the stewards' inquiries, with Massa receiving a measly fine in the last race, when many felt a time-penalty, like this one, would have been fairer.

Timo Glock was also handed a 25-second penalty in this race, for ignoring yellow flags, dropping him from eighth to ninth and giving the final points position to Mark Webber.

Personally, I feel that Hamilton should not have been penalised as he clearly tried to give back the advantage gained, particularly when it became irrelevant so soon afterwards. Given the lack of penalty for Massa last time, McLaren should be thoroughly disappointed, perhaps even angry, at this outcome.

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