Sep 23

FIA rules McLaren appeal not admissible

Hamilton ‘not depressed’ after verdict

Hamilton-03-2008-09-14The FIA International Court of Appeal on Tuesday ruled that McLaren’s appeal against the controversial Spa-Francorchamps penalty involving Lewis Hamilton was not admissible.

“Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that drive-through penalties are ‘not susceptible to appeal’,” formula one’s governing body announced in a statement.

A hearing about the matter was held at the FIA’s Place de la Concorde headquarters in Paris on Monday.

Lawyers for McLaren had argued that, while drive-through penalties are not susceptible to appeal, 25-second time penalties are.

But in its ruling released on Tuesday, the FIA said that even though the penalty took the form of a time penalty because the incident took place near the end of the race, that did not “change the nature of the penalty”.

The FIA also rejected McLaren’s claim that the precedent of a successfully appealed penalty involving Toro Rosso’s Vitantonio Liuzzi last year be followed.

The judges said the Fuji case was not relevant because “none of the parties concerned had raised the inadmissibility of the appeal in that case.

“Consequently that judgment does not present itself as settled law with respect to this question and does not bind the court in the present case,” the court said.

McLaren was ordered to pay court costs.

Hamilton ‘not depressed’ after verdict

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton on Tuesday said he was “disappointed but not depressed” with the FIA’s decision to reject the appeal against his stripped Belgian GP victory.

The International Court of Appeal on Tuesday announced that the appeal, lodged by Hamilton’s team McLaren, was not admissible because drive-through penalties – even when they take the form of a 25-second time penalty – are not subject to appeal.

“People will probably expect me to be depressed about today’s result, but that isn’t me,” said the British driver, whose 1 point lead over Ferrari’s Felipe Massa would have been increased to 7 had the appeal succeeded.

“I’m disappointed, yes, but not depressed.  All I want to do now is put this matter behind me and get on with what we drivers do best: racing each other,” Hamilton, 23, added.

Team chief executive Martin Whitmarsh said he was disappointed that the Court of Appeal offered “no ruling on the substance of our appeal”.

source: GMM