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GP Week : Issue 29
Hamilton to attend appeal > F1NEWS> BY the time GPWeek publishes, Lewis Hamilton will have arrived at the FIA Court of Appeal in Paris to stand alongside his McLaren Mercedes Team as they attempt to have the stewards’ decision that denied him a Belgian Grand Prix win, rescinded. Hamilton will attend the hearing to give his version of events in the overtaking move which has caused so much controversy that the rules on handing back an advantage have subsequently had to be redefined. “All we can do is present the facts,” said McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh. “Most people who were watching would say Lewis deserved to win that race and not Felipe. I’m probably slightly partisan on this but I do actually believe that’s what most people would imagine. We have just got to present the data and, whatever the outcome is, that is the outcome.” The roles played by both FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting and the “Non- voting Chairman of the Stewards”Alan Donnelly, are both believed to be crucial in McLaren’s argument. McLaren claims that Whiting had twice told the team that Hamilton had heeded sufficient advantage to Raikkonen after his ill- judged initial overtaking manoeuvre. In addition, it is understood that, having been called to see the stewards in Belgium to explain his actions, Hamilton was only permitted to make his case to Donnelly, rather than to the three voting stewards of the day, Nicholas Deschaux, Surinder Thathi and Yves Bacquelaine. It remains to be seen whether McLaren is even allowed to appeal the decision of the stewards. As previously reported by GPWeek, Article 152 of the International Sporting Code does not allow appeals against drive-through penalties to be heard, and as such it could be decided that McLaren’s appeal will fall on deaf ears and be deemed inadmissible. A decision is expected on Tuesday.