McLaren statement on appeal loss

The Paris-based FIA International Court of Appeal decided on Tuesday that the appeal presented by McLaren Mercedes, in hopes of overturning the time penalty which cost Lewis Hamilton his Belgian Grand Prix victory, was not admissible.

Since the post-race 25-second penalty was given in replacement of a drive-through sanction, the court decided that the same inadmissability applied, therefore putting an end to the proceedings.

The McLaren Mercedes team issued the following statement:

Statement from McLaren Mercedes

The FIA International Court of Appeal has announced today that it has found Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' appeal in respect of the penalty awarded to Lewis Hamilton after the Belgian Grand Prix on September 7th to be inadmissible.

Martin Whitmarsh (Chief Operating Officer, McLaren Group) said:
"We are naturally disappointed with today's verdict, 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."

Lewis Hamilton said:
"People will probably expect me to be depressed about today's result, 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 maneuver. If it pleases the spectators and TV viewers, it's better still. So I'm disappointed, yes, but not depressed."

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