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GP Week : Issue 28
Short Straights Hamilton appeal date n Williams celebrated its 500th Grand Prix in Monza. Williams Grand Prix Engineering was established in 1977 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head, and with a staff of just 17 people embarked on a 30-plus year love affair with Formula 1 in which it sits second behind Ferrari in the all-time team titles list, with nine. n The Formula 1 community gathered on Sunday morning in Monza to remember Ronnie Peterson, 30 years on from his death after a fiery crash at the start of the 1978 Italian Grand Prix. Peterson, nicknamed the ‘SuperSwede’ remains one of the most revered drivers in F1 history (See Opinion, page 22, for more on Ronnie Petersen). n Felipe Massa and Mark Webber both took ‘joker’ engine change at the Italian Grand Prix. Every driver is permitted one engine change per season over the course of a race weekend, which they may take without penalty. The Brazilian incurred no penalty for his engine change after Hungary as he did not finish the race. n GPWeek was nominated for the ‘Best Media Support’ category at the GP2 Winning Attitude Awards in Monza. In a category facing stiff opposition from established names Autosport and Gazetta dello Sport, ‘new boy on the block’GPWeek was delighted to have been in the mix. McLAREN’S appeal against Lewis Hamilton’s retro-active drive-through at the Belgian Grand Prix, which manifested itself as a 25-second penalty and demoted the race-winner to third position, will be heard at the FIA Court of Appeal in Paris on September 22. It is thought that McLaren’s argument in the appeal will revolve around FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting’s role in the Belgian Grand Prix, during which McLaren claim he twice informed the team that Hamilton was “OK”, when confirmation was requested as to whether the Briton had heeded enough of an advantage after cutting the final chicane three laps from the race’s conclusion. It was Whiting’s race report, however, which then formed the foundation upon which McLaren’s penalty was decided. “From the pit wall, we asked Race Control to confirm that they were comfortable that Lewis had allowed Kimi to repass, and they confirmed twice that they believed that the position had been given back in a manner that was ‘OK’. “If Race Control had instead expressed any concern regarding Lewis’s actions at that time, we would have instructed Lewis to allow Kimi to repass for a second time,”said McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh in the days following the Belgian Grand Prix, in a team statement. By far the greatest bone of contention however, rests in whether McLaren have any right of appeal at all. Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that “Penalties of driving through or stopping in pit lanes together with certain penalties specified in FIA Championship regulations where this is expressly stated, are not susceptible to appeal.” Such a clause may mean that McLaren’s appeal is inadmissible, as the wording of the penalty handed to Hamilton after the race is that he had been awarded a “drive-through penalty (Article 16.3(a)), since this is being applied at the end of the Race, 25 seconds will be added to the drivers’ elapsed race time.” An FIA Spokesperson has confirmed to GPWeek that the FIA had a duty to hear McLaren’s appeal, regardless of the aforementioned Article of the ISC as, until all parties meet to discuss the case in Paris, nobody is aware of whether McLaren’s appeal will be admissible or not.