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ICA reject McLaren appeal // The FIA's Court of Appeal uphold Lewis Hamilton's Spa penalty

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

On Monday, 22nd September 2008, the FIA's International Court of Appeal met at the Paris headquarters to rule on McLaren's appeal.

The Belgium penalty has been the topic of conversation since it happened, with the media, fans and drivers talking about little else. Despite a race in Italy since then, it has played on our minds and we couldn't wait to hear the result.

Unfortunately, the result is that the appeal is inadmissible. Despite the fact that both McLaren and Ferrari representatives, including Lewis Hamilton, all turned up in Paris to share their side of the story, the FIA ruled that the appeal couldn't go ahead.

The official statement declared that the Sporting Code that governs Formula 1 stated drive through penalties, as given to Lewis Hamilton, couldn't be appealed. McLaren were arguing against this, using a previous penalty appeal from last year as a precedent for the case. The FIA didn't agree with this idea, and after a day's deliberation, ruled against the team.

Therefore, the championship remains as it stands, with Massa just one point behind Hamilton in the fight for the driver's title, and McLaren catching Ferrari in the constructor's battle.

This ruling, as most FIA actions seem to do at the moment, has caused a lot of frustration and questions amongst fans. Why did it take them a day to decide that the appeal wasn't going to be allowed? Why did they have to sit through all the evidence, listen to everyone's speeches, and then take a good few hours to just throw the case out of court.

McLaren and Hamilton have issued statements saying they are disappointed with the day's events, but are prepared to let the matter drop and move on. Hamilton, in particular, says that he isn't going to get depressed about it and is ready to get back to racing. With the upcoming Singapore race a complete unknown, this is something he really needs to do.

Hopefully, we will be able to do the same - put the politics behind us and get on with watching some spectacular track action.