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Hamilton will keep on `racing` despite Spa ruling.

Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has vowed not to be dissuaded from overtaking in the top flight, despite the FIA International Court of Appeal having today rejected his and McLaren-Mercedes' attempt to be re-instated as winners of the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix.

Following an eight-hour meeting at its Paris headquarters on Monday, the Court of Appeal announced that Woking-based outfit's appeal was 'inadmissible' [see separate story – click here] – meaning Hamilton travels to Singapore this weekend holding an uncomfortable one-point margin over Ferrari rival Felipe Massa in the title standings, and with 40 remaining up for grabs between now and season's end.

“People will probably expect me to be depressed about today's result,” the 23-year-old acknowledged after the outcome, “but that isn't me. All I want to do now is put this matter behind me and get on with what we drivers do best – racing each other.

“We're racers, we're naturally competitive and we love to overtake. Overtaking is difficult, and it feels great when you manage to pull off a great passing manoeuvre. If it pleases the spectators and TV viewers, it's better still. I'm disappointed, yes, but not depressed.”

“We are naturally disappointed with today's verdict,” echoed McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh, “and to have received no ruling on the substance of our appeal. No one wants to win grands prix in court, but we felt that Lewis had won the Belgian Grand Prix, on-track, in an exciting and impressive manner.

“Our legal team and witnesses calmly explained this, as well as our belief that the appeal should be admissible, to the FIA International Court of Appeal. It nonetheless decided that our appeal was inadmissible. We will now concentrate on the remaining four races of the 2008 Formula 1 season.”

The verdict has generated further controversy after the Court of Appeal last year allowed a similar appeal by Scuderia Toro Rosso, following Vitantonio Liuzzi's 25-second post-race penalty for passing Force India's Adrian Sutil under waved yellow flags during the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji – an appeal that ultimately proved unsuccessful.

According to F1SA, in an e-mail to McLaren's lawyers three days ago, the FIA revealed that former chief steward Tony Scott Andrews had admitted by phone to FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting that he had been wrong to penalise Liuzzi.

When McLaren checked on Sunday, Scott Andrews denied any such admission, telling the court that he was 'extremely surprised' by the governing body's email, which he described as 'grossly inaccurate and misleading' and misrepresenting his earlier comments.

It was also reported at the time that Whiting had informed McLaren during the race that Hamilton's behaviour had been 'okay', only to subsequently backtrack and remark: “It became clear to me after seeing the incident in a more detailed way the whole advantage had not been given back.”

McLaren's QC Mark Phillips had told the Paris court: “I ask you to reflect on that when you come to consider the way in which certain members of the FIA conducted themselves.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 9th-11th May, 2008
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32

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Pete - Unregistered

September 23, 2008 5:35 PM

Wherever did Lewis get the idea you were supposed to overtake other cars in F1 from anyway ?.Thank god the FIA saw sense and upheld his hefty Spa penalty.That should stop any other drivers from attempting such things in the future.Pit stops and stewards meetings are the only place F1 cars change race position and thats the way the FIA clearly wants it to stay.If you want to see actual racing you''ll have to watch Moto GP or Superbikes.

Savas - Unregistered

September 23, 2008 8:06 PM

Mark What advantage gained Hamilton for christ shake?He overtook Kimi like he was stopped and he could do it a thousand more times as he did in Monza!LEWIS GAINED NO ADVANTAGE BECAUSE KIMI CRASHED AND THAT INCIDENT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OUTCOME OF THE RACE! The only one who gained advantage was Massa!And it's very suspicious that race control said twice that it was ok!Because if they said that there was a problem Hamilton would let Kimmi overtake and pass him again after 100 meters! And for all those who claim that rules are rules and must be strict i remind 1)massa's incident 2)the lighter fuels of Williams and BMWs in the last race,last year! rules are rules and bullsh..!

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