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FIA rejects Hamilton's appeal

Latest update : 2008-09-24

Formula One's governing body has rejected McLaren's appeal against the penalty imposed on Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian GP. The British driver's demotion from first to third at Spa means he lies just one point ahead of rival Felipe Massa.

A Formula One appeal court rejected McLaren's bid to reinstate Lewis Hamilton as Belgian Grand Prix winner on Tuesday, leaving the Briton just one point clear in the championship with four races remaining. 

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement the court of five judges "concluded that the appeal is inadmissible" after hearing Hamilton give his version of events in Paris on Monday. 

The decision means Hamilton will start Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix with 78 points to 77 for Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa. 

Had the appeal been successful, the 23-year-old Briton would have had a seven point advantage.
Stewards at the Sept. 7 race in Spa-Francorchamps ruled that Hamilton had gained an advantage when he cut a chicane while duelling with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for the lead in the closing stages.
They imposed a retrospective drive-through penalty, translated into 25 seconds added to Hamilton's total time, which dropped him from first to third. Massa, who had finished second, was awarded the win instead.
Hamilton told the court in Paris he had handed back the place according to the rules.
"At the moment, as I see it, I am one point ahead and that is how I approach the next race," he said on Monday.

Date created : 2008-09-23