Hamilton demoted, Massa wins Spa

UPDATE #3 With the win Massa pulls to within 2 points of Lewis Hamilton for the points lead, 76 to 74 points. Raikkonen remains third but his performance of late means he's probably out of the hunt.

09/07/08 (GMM) Felipe Massa has been declared the official winner of the Belgian grand prix at Spa-Francorchamps, after stewards penalized Lewis Hamilton.

25 seconds were retrospectively added to the British championship leader's finishing time, meaning his victory at the checkered flag now becomes third place, behind the Ferrari and also BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld.

The amended result also means 23-year-old Hamilton's lead in the drivers' standings is reduced from a potential 8 to just 2 points with five races to go in 2008.

Stewards deemed Hamilton did not properly allow Kimi Raikkonen to re-pass after overtaking the Ferrari driver by cutting the Bus Stop chicane with 3 laps to go.

Hamilton did let the Finn pass him after the chicane, but he then used the slipstream of the Ferrari to immediately launch a successful overtaking move at the next corner.

Stewards also gave Toyota's Timo Glock a 25 second time penalty for overtaking the Red Bull of Mark Webber under yellow flags, which were waving in the wake of Raikkonen's race-ending crash.

The penalty promoted Webber back into to eighth place.

09/07/08 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton's victory at the Belgian grand prix has been thrown into doubt, with news not only that stewards are probing an incident, but also that Ferrari has lodged an official protest.

Shortly after the championship leader took the checkered flag at the end of a frenetic finish to the 44-lap race at Spa-Francorchamps, it emerged that FIA officials would investigate his earlier battle with Kimi Raikkonen.

While the stewards are probing the Bus Stop chicane and La Source incident, it is believed Ferrari have also taken exception to a separate element of Hamilton's racing tactics.

09/07/08 After the Belgian Grand Prix came to its dramatic end at the Spa Francorchamps circuit, stewards of the course announced that car 1, the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and car 22, the car of race winner Lewis Hamilton, are under investigation for an incident in the race.

At this stage it can only be assumed that it was for the incident that saw Hamilton take to the escape road after a failed overtaking maneuver on Raikkonen and then coming back onto the circuit ahead of the Ferrari. However, Hamilton corrected the situation and let Kimi back in front of him before re-taking the position under braking for the next turn.

“To be honest he pushed me wide, I was a little bit ahead and he could have been fair. I had no room," Lewis explained in the post race press conference. “It was either hit the curb and crash into him or take the escape road."

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