Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton. Nick Heidfeld, Spa-Francorchamps, 2008

Hamilton: FIA screwed me out of Spa 2008 win

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Lewis Hamilton’s lost victory in the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa still rankles with him 10 years on.

Hamilton, who was driving for McLaren at the time, finished first on the track but fell to third place in the final classification when the stewards penalised him for an incident involving Kimi Raikkonen.

The pair were disputing the lead when Hamilton went off at the chicane and rejoined in front Raikkonen. Hamilton allowed the Ferrari driver to overtake him, then re-passed Raikkonen at the next corner.

Hamilton was given a 25-second time penalty for “cutting the chicane and gaining an advantage”, according to the stewards. His penalty promoted Felipe Massa to first place ahead of Nick Heidfeld. Raikkonen crashed out with two laps to go.

Speaking in a video for the official F1 website titled “A Letter to my Younger Self”, Hamilton made it clear he still feels the penalty was unjust.

“Don’t let the FIA screw you in Spa,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful.

“They will say it’s OK for you to let Kimi by and that you’ve done enough. And at the end of the race they will not let you keep that win.

“So you have to do double, you have to do more. Let Kimi by and give him a good margin so they can’t use it as an excuse.”

The FIA rejected McLaren’s attempt to overturn the penalty on the grounds that it could not be appealed against.

Hamilton announced a new two-year deal to continue driving for Mercedes earlier today.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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129 comments on “Hamilton: FIA screwed me out of Spa 2008 win”

  1. Pretty sure he forgot about this but the fact recently emerged after the collision with Kimi at Silverstone.

    1. 25s penalty though? One was a collision the other one was potentially a marginal advantage. There is plenty to dislike about Hamilton, including the way in which he complained about this. But I still think that penalty was absurd.

      1. Nooo there’s no plenty to dislike abt Hamilton. There’s actually plenty to like abt him……. A legend in the making, multiple records that your favourites will never break, an exceptional F1 racer. The 25 secs was to make sure he doesn’t win and become the legend that he is. I bet in 2008 you probably supported the decision

  2. I can’t believe he still hasn’t gotten over it. He should’ve allowed a bigger margin for Kimi before attempting to re-overtake. He barely let Kimi pass, kept the momentum, had a slipstream and immediately re-passed. In all other similar incidents the driver who gained an advantage has let the other car through with wide enough margin before trying to re-take the position. A penalty Hamilton received was a no-brainer and still is to this day.

    1. Damn that was still with Kimi? i thought it was after Kimis crash with Massa. my bad.

      1. You should check Wiki before….

    2. Why should he have allowed for a bigger margin when he rule at that time clearly stated that all he had to do was give the position back? So by the letter of the law, he did exactly what it said.

      Also, let’s not forget that it was this incident that saw them alter the rule. And to make it worse, Kimi then binned it and retired from the race. You’re probably the only person who thought that the penalty was a ‘no-brainer’

      Did you think Seb’ or Kimi’ penalty was a ‘no-brainer’?

    3. @huhhii I disagree, but it’s nice of you to confirm Lewis can literally defy the physical laws of the universe. In allowing Kimi to pass while maintaining 100% momentum?

      I dare say Lewis may have the secret to perpetual motion locked away somewhere in his abilities…

      1. You are putting words in @huhhii‘s mouth; the original comment did not say “100% momentum”.

        I won’t comment on whether the penalty was correct or not, but “he barely let Kimi pass, kept the momentum, had a slipstream and immediately re-passed” is an accurate description of the events in my opinion.

        1. The rule should not be worded left open to this level of “advantage” interpretation.

          As written, the judgment could go either way legitimately.

          It should be re written to be that if you cut the track you have to yield positions gained and not re overtake until going through a following decel/accel cycle (a legitimate corner).

          Even that is not perfect, since it still leaves open slight probability cases where one might retain a slight advantage via scissoring a complex…but it is good enough. Certainly better than the eexisting rule.

          Longer term, an even better rule would be that the stewards could simply apply a performance penalty via a command to the standardized ECU.

        2. @barnstable1 I’ve never been able to comprehend how Lewis allowed Kimi past, without himself losing momentum to a level at least the same as that of Kimi. At the very least, Lewis had to come of the throttle, pass around the back of Kimi, to be on Kimi’s right for La Source.

          Where in that movement does Lewis maintain a momentum advantage (before they brake for La Source)?

          To this day I still think it was a superb instinctive manoeuvre, fully compliant with the regulations (giving the position back).

          1. Lewis should never had had that much momentum down the straight to begin with. If he had backed off to make the corner, his apex speed, and then exit speed, would have been much worse.

            Further, in sports, penalties are not to bring things back to break-even. They are supposed to have a punitive factor.

    4. The FIA had to change the rules retrospectively to apply the penalty having said it ok at the time!

    5. Whether he gave up sufficient advantage is the stewards’ decision and I won’t argue either way.

      The part I found annoying is that the stewards could have made their decision immediately and told him to do it properly instead of waiting 20-odd more laps to think about it and deciding after the race was over.

      1. @squaregoldfish They didn’t wait 20 odd laps, It happened 2 laps from the end of the race, On the next lap both Lewis & Kimi went off 2-3 times more as it started to rain heavier & Kimi crashed at the end of the lap so even if they had wanted to tell Lewis to let Kimi back past they couldn’t have.

        1. Oh yes, my mistake. For some reason I’d got it into my head that Spa had a lot more laps.

        2. 25s for arguably a marginal overtaking advantage (even though he did let Kimi by) but 5s or 10s for crashing into someone… I am not saying the 5s or 10s penalties Kimi and Sebastian have received were wrong. I’m saying that the 25s penalty was absurd. It’s not even clear that a penalty was warranted. Lewis was cheeky that’s for sure.

          1. @ajpennypacker there was no 5s or 10s penalties back then. Then smallest one was a drive through which is equivalent to 20-25s so that was the penalty he got.

          2. @ajpennypacker: The stewarding guidelines have changed since then, it has been clearly stated that the stewards are expected to be much more lenient now. Therefore, there’s no point in comparing the penalties of 2008 with the penalties of 2018.

        3. The thing with the whole Spa 2008 incident was that Kimi crashed out so and any advantage gained was of no importance once Kimi crashed out. The advantage gained would be marginal due to hsmiton having to lift to allow Kimi back through but Lewis was a little to instinctive to pick up the slipstream and pass Kimi as fast as he did.
          Lewis was miles faster than Kimi at that point in the race anyway and Lewis overtaking Kimi was bound to happen at some point and then the rain nullified everything.
          After Kimi crashed out the whole incident was nullified anyway but the FIA found the perfect excuse to keep the title race alive a little longer and did do.

          1. It should not matter if the advantage was lasting a race long. He gained an advantage. Period

          2. For the advantage he gained it would’ve had to be a 3 sec penalty max!

    6. Tony Mansell
      19th July 2018, 13:22

      There was no rule then, they hadn’t thought of it. Lewis had and he used it to his full advantage. The rule needed tweaking not where he finished,

    7. FreddyVictor
      19th July 2018, 14:57

      (@huhhii)

      A penalty Hamilton received was a no-brainer and still is to this day.

      totally agree
      I think the thing was that it was the first time this was considered as a penalty when there was no clear rule to prohibit it
      Funny how things rankle, still remember HAM shortcutting the track @ Mexico a year or so back & subsequently winning, so these things do even themselves out …
      eventually …

    8. A penalty Hamilton received was a no-brainer and still is to this day.

      He was level coming into the corner, Raikkonen left no room, Hamilton returned the position, when he went past Raikkonen even had a little dab at him into the corner, then Raikkonen, when he was unable to keep the car on track, decided to use the higher friction run off to catch up with Hamilton again, he overtook under yellows, before binning the car. All in all, Raikkonen was fairly trounced by a far superior driver in wet conditions. But Ferrari-Moseley controlled FIA decided the useless Massa had to be given the race victory after an iconic battle in which he played no part, ruining what would have been a epic race by the absurdity of altering the race result hours later. Some of the calls against Hamilton were marginal but this was very clearly political during the FIA/Ferrari vs. McLaren cold war.

    9. HUHHII…..What was Lewis supposed to do when he let Kimi by. Count to 10 before getting back on the throttle, before continuing his attack on Raikkonen, which is an absurd idea.

    10. A lot of grey area with all that. To my knowledge i didn’t think either of them knew the proper protocol a part from giving the position back. They should of just let the result be

  3. You had to yield the position for blatantly corner cutting and you did this in a way that had you immediately get the run on Massa again. That is not what is meant by giving back your advantage and you know it.

    1. The rule at the time did not clearly define what, “giving back the position” meant.

      Get what run on Massa? Massa was a distant 3rd when the incident happened.

      1. It’s been over 85 years…… ……. and i still smell the fresh paint

    2. @mrboerns Nowhere did a rule state that Hamilton was not allowed to immediately get the run on Kimi again, the rule stated that he had to let Kimi by which Hamilton did. So stop it already

      1. There exists such a thing as the spirit of the rules. Also there are wobly terms in there such as ‘lasting advantage’

        1. Watched the video it’s not just the part about FIA screwing him over. Rather he goes on to say give Kimi more space before trying to overtake again.

      2. Have you watched Suzuka 2007, where the FIA’s indecision about a situation just like this ruined FA’s race (he should have won, nice win for Kimi instead. And anyway FA already was WDC).
        Well, after Suzuka 2007 it would have been blatantly unjust to leave any other driver get away with it. So they didn’t even let the guy who was used to get away with everything get away with this one too.

        1. The exact opposite of what you are saying actually happened at Suxuka 2005 and Kieth did an article on it ages ago

          https://www.racefans.net/2008/09/12/hamilton-penalty-fia-closes-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted-video/

          Charlie Whiting rescinded the order for Alonso to let Klien re-pass. A precedent was set At Suzuka 2005 that proves Hamilton didn’t have to let Raikkonen repass after the next corner.

          1. Yep the order rescission by Charlie Whiting was terrific, it came after FA’s race was already ruined, nobody gave him back the lost time.

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    19th July 2018, 12:50

    Fair point. I always thought the problem was that Raikkonen was being overly cautious on the damp track, rather than anything Hamilton did wrong…

    That aside, I’d recommend fans watch the video if they haven’t already. Not for this particular thing, which will obviously draw out all the bores and give them something fresh to have digs about, but it comes off as pretty honest and interesting to a neutral. Hope we get plenty more (and a Verstappen version in 10 years or so!).

    1. Completely agree. Despite the ink spilled on the topic, Hamilton clearly says it slightly tongue-in-cheek.

  5. And the FIA gifted your first WDC. I’m referring to the Suzuka race when you caused Vettel and Webber to crash under the safety car because of a stupid move by you. You should have penalized points or positions for it but you weren’t. Not to mention the 5 place penalty Alonso unjustly received in Hungary for an incident you instigated by refusing to follow team orders during qualy.

    1. Atleast get the race right. They didn’t race at Suzuka in 2008.

    2. Ah, you mean all the events that happened in 2007? The year before Hamilton won his first WDC?…

      Might be worth visiting Wikipedia or something to back up your ludicrous arguments before you put them here.

      1. You are correct. He screwed Alonso out of a championship. My mistake.

        1. @Jim The move was not illegal so stop your moaning, i can clearly feel you hate Hamilton no matter what. How did Hamilton screw Alonso out of the championship ? Hamilton outclassed Alonso as a No2 driver, McLaren even gifted Alonso the Monaco win despite Hamilton was faster the whole weekend. Stop your nonsense already

    3. You mean were Vettel crashed into Webber because he couldn’t stop his car and immediately tried to blame somebody else for his mistakes just like baku 2017

      1. +1 Vettel even admitted he was busy watching Hamilton rather than Webber in front of him.

    4. If Massa had won the title that year, it would have been permanently tainted by the points given to him by the FIA in this race.

      1. Yeah? Crashgate at singapure doesn’t count? a race that should not be counted? that had results manipulated? right….

        1. Crashgate didn’t cost Massa, driving off with the refuelling hose still attached to his car did.

    5. Actually the Webber/Vettel crash won the title for Kimi Raikkonen. Had Webber and Vettel finished 2nd and 3rd, Raikkonen would have been 5th, and Hamilton would have won the title.

  6. Never watched the race, but seeing a clip of it now, I’m wondering shouldn’t have Kimi given room to Lewis when they entered the chicane? So that Lewis didn’t have to cut it.

    1. @carbon_fibre No cause Kimi had the racing line.

  7. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    19th July 2018, 13:04

    I’m no expert but isn’t there a rule after you let a driver through you cannot pass them at the next corner?

    1. That rule was added after Spa to clarify such issues for the future. His Spa punishment was based on a “Spirit of the law” ruling, which is why I agree with him that it was absolutely unjust. “Spirit of the law” is a pathetic excuse for badly written laws/rules.

      1. The thing is, he barely allowed Raikkonen back in front. Hamilton wouldn’t be so close to Raikkonen had he slowed down and followed Kimi through the chicane. Therefore he maintained some of the advantage he gained by cutting chicane.
        It’s as simple now as it was ten years ago.

        1. @torrit Did you even saw the race ? Hamilton was next to Kimi but on the outside. And barely doesn’t count, Hamilton gave the place back which he had to do and that’s what he did.

          1. @noname
            Yes, I did see the race. You should see it too.

        2. @torrit ‘barely’ is ‘enough’, that’s the whole point of racing.

          1. @david-br Well, it seems that it isn’t enough, as evidenced by the stewards’ decision.

          2. @torrit But it’s precisely the merit of the stewards decision that’s in question, so there’s little point in citing it as evidence!

          3. @david-br OK. I’ll keep it as abstract as you then: Isn’t the whole point of track racing to race on track?

      2. @klon It was also based on precedent.

        2 years earlier at the 2006 Japanese Gp Alonso had passed Klien in an identical way. He’d cut the chicane, Let Klien past but immediately re-passed him having ended up closer than he woudl have been if he’d gone through the chicane.

        A few laps later was told he had to let Klien past again which is what the Spa stewards would have done had the Lewis/Kimi thing happened with more laps left. Only reason it turned into a 25 second penalty was because it was the only penalty they had available to them under the circumstances. Now you have 5-10 second penalty’s but back then if a driver couldn’t give a place back it was a drive-thru or 25 seconds added to race time.

        1. The exact opposite of what you are saying actually happened at Suzuka 2005 and Kieth did an article on it ages ago

          https://www.racefans.net/2008/09/12/hamilton-penalty-fia-closes-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted-video/

          Charlie Whiting rescinded the order for Alonso to let Klien re-pass. A precedent was set At Suzuka 2005 that proves Hamilton didn’t have to let Raikkonen repass after the next corner.

  8. Would he have cut the chicane if there was gravel rather than tarmac?

    1. @brickles Would Raikkonen consistently drive people off track if it was walls rather than gravel?

      1. @david-br – Touché. It’s all ifs and buts I suppose.

  9. Does the penalty make a difference? Or was it even worth it? Kimi crashed out on that lap and Massa was behind Lewis. So it does not make any sense to punish Lewis if he finishes 15seconds ahead of a driver whose actions were not even part of the incident. Because he got 25 seconds added and finished 3rd place behind Heidfield and 10 seconds behind Massa.

  10. Tony Mansell
    19th July 2018, 13:20

    Ha! Ive not got over it either. I was still celebrating on the campsite when someone told me. Such was life pre proper Smartphones and any signal abroad.. Fantastic race, very tricky conditions and the cars looked a handful.

    They changed the rules after that because he had done nothing technically wrong, as most great drivers do, they think of ways round rules. Admittedly it probably needed a tweak.

    Few armchair sneerers about him not getting over it but its much easier if your emotional and physical involvement is pouring yourself a bowl of frosties and sitting watching it in your dressing gown.

  11. Had Massa won the title that year, it would have been permanently tainted and marred by this race …

    … he would have less of a champion thank Chick Hicks.

    1. Of course. Spa 2008 would’ve been way more significant than Hungary 2008 or Fuji and China 2007.

      1. @davidnotcoulthard Fuji was just as bad. They gave Hamilton a drive-through penalty for locking up at turn 1. While almost the whole field locked up barring Raikkonen.

        After that he ended up near Massa who blatantly rammed into him in the most ridiculous “overtake” attempt ever and destroyed Hamilton’s car.

      2. Not to forget singapure 2008 that had result manipulated.

  12. So I clicked through on the ‘2008 Belgian Grand Prix‘ tag at the bottom of the article, and came across this article from 2008, which seems to be back in an era when Keith was much more vocal about his opinions, in contrast to the safe middle ground he treads today :-) That’s not a criticism of either the past or present attitude, but it does make for a nice contrast. In Keith’s defence, he followed it up with one of his insightful and analytical pieces that has made many of us fans of this site.

    Oh, and if only this news/article had broken two months later, it would have been a perfect 10-year throwback.

  13. When you look at the data the stewards looked at & hear how they came to there conclusion based on said data I think it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t a fair penalty based off what they were taking into consideration.

    They were looking at it based solely on the wording of the regulations ‘Cutting the track & gaining an advantage’ & when you look at the data it’s hard to argue that Lewis didn’t cut the track & gain an advantage, Especially when you look at the data they had.

    The data showed that in cutting across the chicane rather than going through it Lewis had ended up closer to Kimi than he would have done had he gone through the chicane. I can’t remember the exact figures now but it was something like Lewis was 3-4 tenths behind Kimi at the start of the braking zone but after he cut the chicane he was less than 1 tenth behind Kimi which showed he had gained an advantage.
    They also concluded having looked at the telemetry from Lewis’ car that while he had lifted off the throttle when he rejoined the circuit to allow Kimi alongside, He had returned to full throttle before he had let Kimi fully back past him so again had not given back all of the time it was felt he had gained.

    The final conclusion was that he had cut the track, Gained a clear time advantage (That was clear from the data available) & therefore been in a better position to pass Kimi into turn 1 than he otherwise would have been.

    Had it been earlier in the race he would have been told to let Kimi back past (As Fernando Alonso had been during the 2006 Japanese Gp when he pulled a similar move on Christian Klien), But with it happened so late in the race & with what happened over the final laps there wasn’t the opportunity or time to do so & the only penalty they had left available to them was 25 seconds added to the race time post race (They didn’t have as many options back then as they do today with 5-10 seconds etc..).

    1. @gt-racer I don’t recall Alonso overtaking Klien similarly in Japan little under two years earlier. Then again, that race took place almost twelve years ago, but still.

      1. @jerejj Your correct, It was 3 years earlier in 2005.

        @ 1:55 – https://vimeo.com/207177943

        1. Then you see him back off to let Klien back past at 2:57 before passing him again at 3:40.

    2. Archit (@architjain07)
      19th July 2018, 14:08

      @gt-racer – So according to you, Stewards gave him 25 second penalty for gaining 0.2 seconds on the track? Wow! I mean gaining an advantage means gaining a few seconds not miliseconds. Your whole argument is based off of bad reasoning.

      Its like Ferrari’s mirrors this season coz it wasn’t specified in the rules, they could run it for the weekend until the rules were tweaked. Similarly Lewis took advantage of an unwritten rule. Logical thing to do was to let him keep the place and tweak the rules (as they did) and enforce them from next race. You can’t punish someone for something which is not clearly stated in the rule book!

      1. @architjain07

        gaining a few seconds not miliseconds. Your whole argument is based off of bad reasoning.

        How is your argument (I’m not saying he’s innocent, but the gain was only a wee bit so he shouldn’t have been penalised (despite things like Australia 2011)!) anything other than bad reasoning?

        I am somewhat inclined to agree with your 2nd paragraph – that should’ve happened after Suzuka 2005 but as it was in 2008 had the stewards left HAM with a No Action people would’ve been crying inconsistency (there was precedent of someone doing that failing to satisfy the stewards, as @gt-racer said). And that’s one of the complaints we see nowadays which many want to see resolved soon.

      2. @architjain07 They gave him 25 seconds because that’s the only penalty they had available at the time.

        In that sort of a situation where they felt a time advantage had been gained they only had 3 options.
        1 – Ask the driver to give the place back.
        2 – Drive-Thru penalty.
        3 – 25 seconds added to race time.

        They couldn’t use option 1, It was too late in the race for option 2 & option 3 was created specifically for occasions when it was too late in a race to use option 2.

        Today they would have had things like a 5 second penalty, Reprimand or points on super-license but they didn’t have those available to them in 2008.

        It also wasn’t simply about 0.2 seconds, It was also that it was felt those few tenths had put him in position to be close enough to pull off an overtake he otherwise wouldn’t have necessarily been close enough to make work.

        1. Archit (@architjain07)
          19th July 2018, 14:46

          @gt-racer, @bascb, @davidnotcoulthard – But he already used Option 1 and let him gain the position back! And then overtook him again. I am just putting my opinion and think that they should’ve let it go especially in the end it didn’t affect the end result of the race.

          1. he already used Option 1

            @architjain07 Again though put yourself in the stewards minds in 2008. If nothing else, 3 years or so earlier ALO did what HAM did, which the stewards there found unacceptable of ALO resulting in option 1 being applied again (the intent being on it being applied properly 2nd time around), which in the case in Spa 2008 wasn’t available to be applied again.

            especially in the end it didn’t affect the end result of the race.

            Which is why I made a reference to Australia 2011 (though to be fair things like Spa 2012 and maybe Baku 2017 do rather ruin the consistency achieved)

            I am just putting my opinion

            yeah, at the end of the day we all are.

      3. At the time, as @gt-racer mentions, they had only one penalty available to them @architjain07 – a drive through, that was converted to a 25 second penalty if not taken before the end of the race.

        The option to give time penalties of 5 or 10 seconds was only added a few years later – giving the stewards more options to make the penalty fit the infringement better.

      4. By your logic, we could replace DRS with letting the drivers cut chicanes and pass their opponent when they’re under a second behind. You wouldn’t give someone a penalty for that little time gain.

    3. @gt-racer The point was that first of all Raikkonen pushed Hamilton off, while Hamilton was ahead when they entered the last bit of the buss stop. So Raikkonen should have been penalised for that move already.

      Hamilton than had to go off track avoiding Raikkonen and he lost time if anything.

      The rule at the time was that if you went off track you had to give the position back. So even if we assume that Raikkonen actually had the rights to that position, Hamilton gave it back. Done deal.

      Then Alan Donnelly changed the rule saying that you had to give the place back … and then added that they could not attack at the next corner. He could have added that for future incidents perhaps, but you cannot simply change the rules on your own.

      Well he could of course since he was the sole steward at the time and could decide whatever he wanted. With Mosley hating Ron Dennis and Alan Donnelly being a consultant for Ferrari it wasn’t so weird that a whole slew of odd decisions were taken against McLaren/Hamilton and in favor of Ferrari.

    4. The exact opposite of what you are saying actually happened at Suzuka 2005 and Kieth did an article on it ages ago

      https://www.racefans.net/2008/09/12/hamilton-penalty-fia-closes-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted-video/

      Charlie Whiting rescinded the order for Alonso to let Klien re-pass. A precedent was set At Suzuka 2005 that proves Hamilton didn’t have to let Raikkonen repass after the next corner.

    5. @gt-racer
      The exact opposite of what you are saying actually happened at Suzuki 2005 and Kieth did an article on it ages ago

      https://www.racefans.net/2008/09/12/hamilton-penalty-fia-closes-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted-video/

      Charlie Whiting rescinded the order for Alonso to let Klien re-pass. A precedent was set At Suzuka 2005 that proves Hamilton didn’t have to let Raikkonen repass after the next corner.

  14. I agree with him. He shouldn’t have lost that race win. He didn’t overtake illegally. The rule of not being allowed to attempt to re-pass immediately after having conceded a position wasn’t in place at the time that particular move took place, so, therefore, it was questionable to penalize him afterwards for something that wasn’t technically prohibited to do when it happened.

  15. What would happen if Hamilton had kept his Spa win and the Singapore results would be (as they should be) ignored? Massa champion?

    Better yet, could we take the 2008 season of the record books?

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      19th July 2018, 14:19

      Funny you mention that, because in that scenario, Hamilton gains 6 points from Belgium (he gets four points back after moving from third back to first, and Massa loses two points by moving back from first to second). However, Hamilton then loses 8 points from Singapore, so overall from these two races Massa has gained an extra two points, so he would win the championship by two points.

      I wouldn’t try to get rid of the 2008 season all together though. Red Bull as per norm would start threatening to leave because it would strip Toro Rosso of their one win.

      1. I wouldn’t try to get rid of the 2008 season all together though. Red Bull as per norm would start threatening to leave because it would strip Toro Rosso of their one win.

        Maybe just keep that only race stand for 2008, @vettelfan17.
        And rewrite history with STR as WCC ;-)

        1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
          19th July 2018, 14:27

          @coldfly This world needs more people to think like you ;)

    2. @johnmilk All those events wouldn’t be far off from a certain FCA power unit lasting 3 more laps in Hungary so I’d throw that in

      1. wait no I forgot FCA didn’t exist in 2008. Still I doubt Fiat would’ve had the world’s best reputation for reliability

      2. @davidnotcoulthard at least that is part of motor racing, the rest though

      3. Lewis had a puncture on that race too. No one seem to remember…

        1. Exactly, nobody is talking about taking all the mechanical aspects out of racing as that is part of motorsport. The spa incident was just daylight robbery.

  16. I thought FIA made good on that in Mexico 2016 – they’re even now.

  17. Gary Simmons
    19th July 2018, 14:25

    I’m not a big fan of Lewis, but I always thought it was unfair to take that win away. He cut the track and then gave the place back. When he gave it back, he was clearly going slower than Kimi and he changed sides of the track while behind.

    I thought that was clearly within the rules… Whether he got past again the next corner was irrelevant (at the time).

  18. No Lewis, you cut the corner and gained an advantage. Not in place but certainly in time.

    1. @matthijs He gave the place back. That was the only consequence before they changed the rules after the fact.

      Besides, I wonder how you felt about Verstappen not getting the podium in the USA when he overtook Raikkonen with 4 wheels off track.

      1. @patrickl I loved Max’ overtake in USA but of course the time penalty was justified. Just like I loved Lewis’ overtake in Spa 2008, but again the panalty was fair (or at least I understand why it was given). Both clear examples of leaving the track and gaining an advantage. But you got to try right?

  19. Another example of Hamilton never admitting that he did something wrong . To him the world is against him unless it is praising him ( and not mentioning that most of his wins were obtained because he was in the seat of one of the two superior cars that have dominated the turbo-hybrid era ) .
    Speaking of “superior” I saw that Hamilton was referred to as a ” far superior driver ” in comparison to Kimi Raikkonen. I did not know that Timothy Leary was writing about auto sports AND that he was back to full scale experimentation .

  20. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th July 2018, 19:35

    He did something wrong and lost the win. He deserved to lose it.

  21. Whether or not the penalty was just or not, that’s imho not the point here. Hamilton is imho right to say that he was screwed by the FIA because he explicitely asked the stewards during the race if he had done enough and they agreed, only to change their minds afterwards.
    That’s what McLaren’s denied appeal was about.

    1. Yep they checked with Charlie Whiting, he agreed it was ok and that Ham did not have to give the place back. But despite all the teams trusting Whiting’s rulings to be correct it was found that Whiting’s feedback were merely an opinion not a ruling. The teams were effectively told don’t ask Charlie for advice make up your own mind.
      This ruling ruined any authority Whiting has in a race other than sending the safety car out and enabling DRS.

  22. No wonder it’s still smarting. FIA let him get away with absolutely everything those years, except with this one. So, the only proper and just ruling sticked out

  23. 10 years on, I’M STILL MAD ABOUT THAT RACE. The FIA ABSOLUTELY screwed him at Spa, nearly screwed him out of the championship, and utterly ruined a fantastic race. To this day, I still don’t understand how cutting a chicane and IMMEDIATELY GIVING UP ANY ADVANTAGE YOU MAY HAVE GAINED warranted a 25 SECOND PENALTY. Now, evidently, you only get a 10 second penalty for DELIBERATELY hitting someone during a safety car period.

    There’s little wonder why the FIA often gets referred to as “Ferrari International Assistance”.

    1. That was in Schumacher times, since 2007 it is the HIA

      1. Vettel purposefully drove into the side of Hamilton last year and got a slap on the wrist.

    2. @mangyblacksheep Settle down, it’s quite simple. Yes he gave the place back, but he was so close that he could overtake in La Source. Prette obvious that he gained an advantage (in time) by cutting the chicane. Listen, they didn’t have to give that penalty, it was a close call. But it was fair nonetheless. And it’s certainly not worth to be this MAD about something minor that happened a decade. It’s not like he lost the championship.

      1. @matthijs
        Rubbish, he GAVE UP the advantage. He even asked the stewards if he did enough to make up for cutting the chicane, and they said yes. It wasn’t not Hamilton’s fault he was the faster driver.

        “It’s not like he lost the championship.”
        He was literally one corner away from losing it and was saved by Glock’s decision to stay out on slicks in a damp track. Political garbage like what happened at Spa should NEVER decide a championship.

        1. @mangyblacksheep Lewis actually won the championship thanks to Singapore and Piquet crashing out. He won more points there than he lost in Spa. So that evens it out.

          If the stewards changed their minds about Hamilton gaining an advantage, I can understand that he’s angry. That should not have happened. But that doesn’t change the fact that the penalty was fair. No way that Hamilton could have overtaken Raikkonen in La Source without cutting the chicane so he did gain an advantage.

          It’s time that Hamilton and you give it a rest.

  24. according to the stewards

    Incorrect, Alan Donnelly was the sole steward responsible for that decision (and several other favoring Ferrari that season).

    It’s amazing that despite all that Hamilton still took the title away from them.

  25. Whatever your feelings towards to Hamilton, that penalty was, and still is, a joke! If he didn’t give the place back then absolutely but what more could he have done? People will try and argue he should have fallen further back but nowhere in the rules does it state that, he gained an advantage by cutting the chicane and immediately lost that same advantage when he gave the place back.

  26. The one who got screwed in 2008 was Massa who was leading the race when Renault intentionally brought out the safety car. Alonso and Hamilton walked away from that race in first and second and banked those points. Renault’s cheating cost Massa his only shot at a championship. Everything else is a racing incident. Throwing a race taints the entire season’s final results.

    1. No pretty sure Massas race was ruined because he drove off with the fuel hose attached. That was no one else’s fault by Ferraris.

  27. Does he ever stop crying?

  28. I loved this race, the RAI v HAM battle on a damp track was brilliant. I went to bed thinking that was epic…. then I woke up to hear the epic racing and seat of the chair duel was all for nothing. This was a disgrace.

  29. Why is everyone forgetting that the advantage was unquestionably given back when Raikkonen retook the lead as Hamilton went off avoiding Rosberg.

    It all happens within a lap of the chicane incident. Raikkonen retakes the lead with a clear track ahead of him yet throws away the adavtage by spinning off over the grass which is how Hamilton retook the lead again. – Why did the FIA ignore this? Raikkonen unquestionably retakes the lead and would have drove off into the distance had he not made an error and spun off.

    Not only did race director Charlie Whiting manipulate proceedings by twice telling McLaren they were okay but the FIA also ignored how McLaren showed willingness to concede by twice asking Whiting for clarification in the first place. This is proof that McLaren would have instructed Hamilton to concede If Whiting said said he had to concede again.

    The FIA also got caught fabricating a statement from chief race steward McLaren’s key witness Tony Scott Andrews regarding the admissibility of the appeal. Andrews responded to Charlie Whiting’s false statement by saying it was “grossly innacurate and misleading” – So the FIA got caught red handed lying but because they are a law unto themselves with nobody in a position to punish them for falsifying a statement from a key witness they just denied McLaren any kind of appeal and went about their business as if they did nothing wrong .

    Everything about Spa 2008 stinks

  30. Well, I enjoyed “A Letter to my Younger Self”. Interesting. Revealing.

    I remember the incident at Spa and I remember feeling that Lewis, even though he let Kimi back in front, held on to an advantage which helped him pass Kimi too easily again.

    Maybe I’ll do my own letter to myself this weekend. “Don’t eat so many Mars Bars. Don’t leave the superglue on the sofa and then sit on it.” Etc.

  31. Without getting in to the debate about whether the penalty was justified or not, from memory the part of the whole affair which seemed the most farcical was the appeal.

    I seem to recall that the FIA allowed McLaren to go ahead with the appeal and present all their arguments and evidence at a special hearing, and then after all that the FIA just said that the decision could not be appealed in the first place.

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