The McLaren-Mercedes F1 team have announced that they have lodged an appeal following the stewards' decision to hand Lewis Hamilton a 25-second time penalty on Sunday, something that dropped the Englishman to third and robbed him of his Belgian GP victory.

Although the team said on Sunday that they were 'intending' to appeal, it wasn't until today that CEO Martin Whitmarsh actually confirmed that they will press ahead with the proceedings.

This means the result of the grand prix - round 13 of 18 on the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar - will now remain provisional until a hearing of the International Court of Appeal is convened.

"Following our decision to register our intention to appeal the penalty handed out to Lewis Hamilton by the FIA Stewards at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, we hereby confirm that we have now lodged notice of appeal," Whitmarsh told the team's official website.

Whitmarsh also went on to add that while the stewards said Hamilton had gained an unfair advantage by cutting the chicane at the final corner, initially the team was told twice that what Lewis did was actually 'okay'.

"From the pit wall, we then asked Race Control to confirm that they were comfortable that Lewis had allowed Kimi to repass, and they confirmed twice that they believed that the position had been given back in a manner that was 'okay'," he continued.

"If Race Control had instead expressed any concern regarding Lewis's actions at that time, we would have instructed Lewis to allow Kimi [Raikkonen] to re-pass for a second time."

Hamilton meanwhile continues to maintain that in his view he did nothing wrong: "In the closing stages of the race I was catching Kimi consistently, lap by lap, and with three laps remaining I got close enough to attempt to overtake him on the entry to the last chicane," he added.

"I managed to get slightly ahead of him in the braking area for the first apex of the chicane. He fought back approaching the second apex - but, in doing so, he left no room for me on the inside line. The only way for me to avoid a collision was therefore to cut inside the second apex.

"I came out of the second apex in front of Kimi and so I momentarily lifted-off on the straight, to ensure that Kimi got back in front. The team also came on the radio and instructed me to allow Kimi to re-pass, which I had already done. As a result, Kimi crossed the start/finish line ahead of me and 6.7km/h quicker than me.

"After allowing Kimi to completely repass, I crossed from the left side of the track to the right side of the track, passing behind Kimi in the process. I then attacked Kimi on the inside of the first corner, and successfully outbraked him."


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