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Hamilton 'did not gain advantage' appeal hears

Lewis Hamilton will find out today whether he really won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on 7 September, after the result of yesterday's appeal hearing of the sport's ruling body, the FIA, concerning the amended result is made public.

Hamilton was relegated from first to third in that race after a 25sec time penalty was applied when race stewards ruled that he gained an advantage over Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by missing a chicane. Hamilton immediately gave the place back, as required by the rules, and subsequently won after repassing Raikkonen, but the penalty was still applied.

Currently, Hamilton goes into this weekend's inaugural Singapore GP night race with a one-point lead over Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the World Championship chase, but that would increase to seven if McLaren's appeal is upheld.

The hearing began with a discussion among the five judges and McLaren's lawyer Mark Philips QC about whether an appeal was admissible. The FIA regulations do not permit appeals against stop-and-go or drive-through penalties awarded during races, but when incidents take place within the final few laps it is customary to add a time penalty to a driver's race time instead. There is a precedent for appealing against such penalties: in the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix the Toro Rosso team were given leave to appeal by the FIA president, Max Mosley, after Vitantonio Liuzzi was penalised out of eighth in favour of Spyker's Adrian Sutil, when it was ruled that Liuzzi had overtaken under a yellow flag.

Philips argued Hamilton had not gained an advantage from overtaking Raikkonen because he was 6.7kmh slower over the start/finish line.

Belfast Telegraph

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