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McLaren confirms appeal will go ahead

NEWS STORY
09/09/2008

McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed that despite speculation to the contrary, his team will be appealing the decision of the Race Stewards at Spa Francorchamps, which saw Lewis Hamilton stripped of his win.

"Following our decision to register our intention to appeal the penalty handed out to Lewis Hamilton by the FIA Stewards at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, we hereby confirm that we have now lodged notice of appeal," said Whitmarsh.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton described the incident in detail: "In the closing stages of the race I was catching Kimi consistently, lap by lap," said the English driver, "and with three laps remaining I got close enough to attempt to overtake him on the entry to the last chicane. I managed to get slightly ahead of him in the braking area for the first apex of the chicane. He fought back approaching the second apex - but, in doing so, he left no room for me on the inside line. The only way for me to avoid a collision was therefore to cut inside the second apex.

"I came out of the second apex in front of Kimi and so I momentarily lifted-off on the straight, to ensure that Kimi got back in front. The team also came on the radio and instructed me to allow Kimi to re-pass, which I had already done. As a result, Kimi crossed the start/finish line ahead of me and 6.7km/h quicker than me.

"After allowing Kimi to completely re-pass, I crossed from the left side of the track to the right side of the track, passing behind Kimi in the process. I then attacked Kimi on the inside of the first corner, and successfully out-braked him."

Martin Whitmarsh added: "From the pit wall, we then asked Race Control to confirm that they were comfortable that Lewis had allowed Kimi to re-pass, and they confirmed twice that they believed that the position had been given back in a manner that was 'okay'.

"If Race Control had instead expressed any concern regarding Lewis's actions at that time, we would have instructed Lewis to allow Kimi to re-pass for a second time."

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