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Reactions to Hamilton's Spa penalty UPDATE #3
"Any suggestion there is a bias for or against any team or driver is completely untrue. Absolutely not. I think it's a reflection, and I'm sorry to say this, of the stupidity of the people who say it because they haven't really thought the thing through and put themselves in the position of the people who have to take these very difficult decisions. I think he [Lewis Hamilton] is a brilliant driver and it would be really excellent for Formula One and the world championship, if he won it. But that doesn't mean we are going to help him or hinder him. We are going to be utterly neutral. But that said, it would be brilliant if he won because he is a supreme talent and when it's difficult, that's when we see it. He has done a great job, and whilst we can admire, we mustn't assist or hinder." Max Mosley, FIA President

"If Lewis had taken the chicane correctly, he would never have been able to pass Kimi on the very short straight that follows it. What Lewis did is the sort of thing that can happen, but I think he was maybe a bit too optimistic in thinking he could just hand back the position, albeit only partially to Kimi, and then immediately try to pass him again. Incidents like this have often been discussed in the official driver briefings, when it was made absolutely clear that anyone cutting a chicane has to fully restore the position and also any other eventual advantage gained Maybe if Lewis had waited and tried to pass on the next straight, that would have been a different matter." Felipe Massa, Formula 1 driver, Ferrari, awarded Belgian GP win after Hamilton received penalty.

"There are rules about cutting chicanes and gaining an advantage.  I don't have anything (else) to say." Kimi Raikkonen, Formula 1 driver, Ferrari, 2007 World Drivers Champion

"I thought it was an absolutely appalling decision." Sir Stirling Moss, best Formula 1 driver never to win the World Championship

In the end, what they say is always fair, whether you like it or not." Fernando Alonso, Formula 1 driver, Renault, 2 times World Drivers Champion

"It's inconceivable that you shouldn't be able to appeal in a situation like this.  It could affect the world championship's outcome. F1 attracts the largest capital investment in sport, but it's being overseen by people who are not doing it full time and we get inconsistent decisions." Sir Jackie Stewart, 3 times World Drivers Champion

"I never believed those stories. But it is clear to me now -- Ferrari does get preference." Niki Lauda, 3 times World Drivers Champion, reversing his opinion that the FIA is biased in favor of Ferrari

"The pendulum clearly swings in the favor of Ferrari, and that has often been the case." Hans-Joachim Stuck, former Formula 1 driver

"Lewis deserved to win but it was taken away. To me, it was fair overtaking. In my experience, Ferrari has always had priority in Formula One, which we have seen in many situations. Ralf Schumacher, DTM driver, ex-Formula One driver

“This is motor racing and if there’s a penalty, then there’s something wrong because I was ahead going into that corner, so I didn’t gain an advantage from it. We were still able to race at the next corner and I gave him his spot back, and I think it was fair and square, so I think it would be absolutely wrong.” Lewis Hamilton, McLaren F1 driver, quoted before he knew about his penalty

“They can’t take it away from Lewis. They can take it away from Formula One, but they can’t take it away from us because we won the race. Politics is one thing; we’ve been bitten twice - or on a few occasions - by decisions by the stewards but, in this case, I thought what Lewis did was correct.” Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’s father, quoted before they did indeed take it away from Lewis

“This is the worst judgment in the history of F1, the most perverted judgment I have ever seen. It’s absolutely unacceptable when three functionaries [the race stewards] influence the championship like this.” Niki Lauda, 3 times Formula 1 World Champion

“This is racing.”  Ferrari team chief Stefano Domenicali, when asked about the Hamilton/Raikkonen incident

“It is disgraceful the stewards feel Raikkonen was not at fault in forcing another driver off the track. A similar piece of driving at Eau Rouge or Blanchimont could have lethal consequences. Whether the stewards have done this to keep the championship close or keep their friends at Ferrari happy, this is an utterly lamentable decision.” F1 Fanatic blog

“This was a heat of the moment stuff and a difficult decision for the stewards. It’s easy to criticise them, but Ferrari had a case too.” The Times’ F1 correspondent, Ed Gorman, gives the stewards the benefit of the doubt

“I don’t think it’s for us to comment on what it does for the sport. I think for us it’s disappointing, but we’ve got to make sure we focus on the next race.” McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh takes sporting diplomacy to new heights

“The decision to demote Lewis Hamilton to third place here yesterday will long be remembered as being farcical and disgraceful by all in motor racing.” David Tremayne, The Independent

“Our car is slightly superior to that of our opposition in slippery conditions, so when the rain came we were reasonably confident that Lewis would be able to press home his advantage. He duly took the lead, finished first on the track, but then received a 25-second time penalty. After the race we registered our intention to appeal it.”  McLaren boss Ron Dennis keeps his cool, although inside he must be seething

“This is not what sport or F1 is meant to be. Winning a race should be a black-and-white business. The driver of the car that crosses the line in first place is the winner and the glory is his. End of story.“ Pete Gill, Planet F1 website

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