The Belgian F1 grand prix ended with a spectacle. Slight rain turned the race into a gliding party and a historic fight for 1st place started. Hamilton (McLaren) passed Räikkönnen (Ferrari) who later crashed into the wall and Hamilton won the race… until FIA came into action.
Just before overtaking Räikkönen in La Source, Hamilton had little choice but to cut the last corner of the Bus Stop chicane. By doing that he got in front of Räikkönnen so he let him pass again. The traction of the Ferrari on the wet surface was awful, but when they both passed the start/finish line, Hamilton was driving nearly 7 kph slower than Räikkönnen. Hamilton got behind him again and passed him in the next corner where the Ferrari was again very slow.
Two hours after the race, FIA stewards decided Hamilton had gained an advantage by cutting the corner and gave him a drive-through penalty. That’s a bit silly after a race so it was converted into a 25 second penalty, putting Hamilton third in the race’s rankings.
I have read the Formula One Sporting Regulations and the FIA International Sporting Code with special attention for the two rules quoted in the official press release, but those rules say nothing more than “you must use the track”. The so called “gaining an advantage” is never explained or declared and the rules are absolutely void of any regulations about what should be done to normalise the situation again.
The decision has once again fueled the discussion about FIA being biased in favour of Ferrari and several important people in the F1 have now said what a big part of the public has been thinking for years. In any case, such decisions are the exact opposite of what the sport needs. An online petition has been started to try to convince the FIA to revert the decision. Will it help? Probably not, but not trying won’t help at all.
Do you want to sign the petition? Just click here. I already did!