Hamilton Appeal Thrown Out

Dave HarrisCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2008

Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's appeals against the 25-second penalty imposed at the Belgian Grand Prix were heard this afternoon and rejected.

There was considerable contention about whether or not Hamilton deserved to be penalised, having overtaken Kimi Raikkonen by cutting the Bus Stop Chicane and then temporarily allowing the Finn to regain the lead across the Start/Finish line before overtaking again at La Source.

Normally this would incur a "drive through" penalty where the offending driver would have to pass through the pits at reduced speed, but in the last three laps of a race this is converted to a time penalty instead.

However, the FIA Court of Appeal simply ruled that since the "drive through" penalty that was applied was not subject to appeal, then there was no case to make, and the penalty would stand.

Hamilton had argued that he had conceded the lead back to Raikkonen and the penalty should never have been applied by the stewards at Spa-Francorchamps, saying that "I've since studied the footage about 10 times and I can remember it vividly like it was yesterday. I believe I then gave the advantage back. I honestly, hand on heart, feel I did so."

However, this element of the case was not given consideration, since the appeal judge determined that "Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that drive-through penalties are 'not susceptible to appeal.'"

With four races remaining in the season, Hamilton leads the Drivers' Championship by one point from Brazilian Filipe Massa.