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Formula 1 News - September, 2008
FIA likely to dismiss Hamilton appeal

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Sep.23 (GMM) Despite the full day of proceedings in Paris on Monday, the FIA's Court of Appeal judges are likely to rule that the McLaren appeal is not even admissible.

Only the first couple of hours of the eight-hour proceedings at the Place de la Concorde were spent arguing whether the 25-second addendum to Lewis Hamilton's Belgian grand prix time can be subject to appeal.

Even though retroactive time penalties can be appealed, Hamilton's actual penalty applied by the stewards was a drive-through, which could not be served in the normal way because it occurred so late in the race.

So while lawyers for McLaren, Ferrari and the FIA spent most of the day arguing about Hamilton's driving at the Bus Stop chicane and across the start-finish line, multiple sources report that F1's governing body is likely to announce on Tuesday that the McLaren appeal has simply been thrown out.

If the appeal is admissible, however, McLaren's lawyers had some strident arguments, including the suggestion that the FIA misrepresented the view of former chief steward Tony Scott Andrews in an email three days ago about an incident last year.

McLaren argues that its appeal against the Hamilton penalty is similar to the successful appeal last year involving Toro Rosso's Vitantonio Liuzzi at Fuji.

In an email to McLaren's lawyers, the FIA said Scott Andrews had admitted by phone to Charlie Whiting that he had been wrong to penalise Liuzzi in Japan.

But when McLaren checked last Sunday, Scott Andrews told team officials that he had not agreed the Liuzzi penalty was wrong. He also submitted to the court that he was "extremely surprised" by the FIA email, which was "grossly inaccurate and misleading".

McLaren's QC Mark Phillips 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."

Hamilton is quoted as telling the media on Monday by The Times newspaper: "Did you catch on with the email?"

Also on Monday, FIA race director Whiting backtracked on his in-race confirmation to McLaren officials that the manner in which Hamilton had given back the gained position to Kimi Raikkonen was 'okay'.

"It became clear to me after seeing the incident in a more detailed way the whole advantage had not been given back," he said.

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