Lewis Hamilton, McLaren And Newspaper Reaction

Adam PooleAnalyst ISeptember 23, 2008

The ICA's (International Court of Appeal) decision to call the appeal against Lewis Hamilton's 25-second penalty at this years Belgium Grand-Prix 'inadmissable' has sparked many reactions, most of them being disgust.

The decision, made yesterday, says that McLaren had "no right" to appeal the penalty under, "Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that drive-through penalties are 'not susceptible to appeal."

Now correct me if I am wrong, but even if the penalty was to reflect a drive-through penalty, it wasn't an actual drive-through. Therefore, the ICA aren't actually playing by the rules to the letter, which shows yet more favor to Ferrari.

British newspaper columnist's have their own views on the court's ruling.

"Falling back on an appeal simply being inadmissible is just too convenient. It is fundamentally damaging to a sport when spectators leave the event believing they have seen one thing, only to discover that their eyes deceived them."

"And when senior figures tell you that it is better that the fans are arguing over 'controversial rulings by the referees' rather than the majesty of the on-track action, you know that the sport is in dire danger not just of losing its soul, but its very raison d'etre.'  David TremayneThe Independent

"The five judges decided that the stewards in Belgium had imposed a 'drive-through' penalty on Hamilton for gaining an advantage by cutting a chicane."

"This type of penalty, even applied retrospectively, cannot be appealed against, so the court threw out McLaren's case without passing judgment on the detail of whether Hamilton had driven fairly."  Edward GormanThe Times

"Lewis Hamilton said he was 'disappointed but not depressed' after a court rejected McLaren's appeal to have the Formula One leader reinstated as the Belgian Grand Prix winner."

"The decision left the 23-year-old Briton just one point clear of Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa with four races remaining."

"Motor sport's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said in a statement that the court of five judges had 'concluded that the appeal is inadmissible' after Hamilton gave his version of events at the hearing in Paris on Monday."  Andrew BakerThe Telegraph

Lewis Hamilton, himself, said that he was 'disappointed, but not depressed' at the ruling.

"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," said Hamilton in a statement from him and McLaren.

Although the appeal was judged as 'inadmissable' by the court, McLaren CEO, Martin Whitmarsh, thought otherwise.

"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."

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