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Hamilton, Massa, and The Belgian Grand Prix: Bizarre Business at Spa

Posted in Fast Cars, Ferrari, Racing by Vito Rispo | September 10th, 2008 | 1 Response |

With Complete Championship Standings

Felipe Massa

Lewis Hamilton set the pace this past weekend at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and seemed destined to walk away with the Belgian Grand Prix win. It was not to be though.

The real strangeness happened after the race was over. Race stewards watched the replay over and over again, trying to determine if Hamilton gained an unfair advantage when he tried to overtake Kimi Räikkönen even though he didn’t have the line. It turns out he did, he apparently took a short cut inside the corner while off the track (aka “straightlined the chicane”). The stewards gave him a 25 second penalty for that, which moved Massa up to the top spot and put Hamilton behind Heidfeld, but still ahead of Alonso. I always hate when any type of competition comes down to a technical decision.

Either way, this race will go down in the books as a win for Ferrari with a small asterisk and footnote next to the record. The result was enough to ensure Ferrari kept their lead in the constructor’s championship and Massa has pulled within two points of Hamilton in the driver’s title.

Hamilton, before the decision – ugh, awkward “can we have that bottle of champagne back plz?”

Belgian Grand Prix race results

1 MASSA Ferrari 1h22m59.394s
2 HEIDFELD BMW Sauber + 9.3s
3 HAMILTON McLaren-Mercedes + 10.5s

Renault + 14.4s
5 VETTEL STR-Ferrari + 14.5s
6 KUBICA BMW Sauber + 15.0s
7 BOURDAIS STR-Ferrari + 16.7s
8 WEBBER Red Bull-Renault + 42.7s
9 GLOCK Toyota + 67.0s
10 KOVALAINEN McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap, transmission
11 COULTHARD Red Bull-Renault + 1 lap
12 ROSBERG Williams-Toyota + 1 lap
13 SUTIL Force India-Ferrari + 1 lap
14 NAKAJIMA Williams-Toyota + 1 lap
15 BUTTON Honda + 1 lap
16 TRULLI Toyota + 1 lap
17 FISICHELLA Force India-Ferrari + 1 lap
18 RÄIKKÖNEN Honda + 2 laps, accident
19 BARRICHELLO Honda + 26 laps, gearbox
20 PIQUET Renault + 32 laps, accident
Fastest Lap RÄIKKÖNEN Ferrari 1m47.930s

NOTE: Hamilton was initially classified first, but had 25 seconds added to his race time for gaining an advantage through cutting the final chicane. Glock was initially classified eighth, but had 25 seconds added to his race time for passing under yellow flags.

Driver’s Championship Standings so far

1 HAMILTON McLaren-Mercedes 76 Points
2 MASSA Ferrari 74 Points
3 KUBICA BMW Sauber 58 Points
4 RÄIKKÖNEN Ferrari 57 Points
5 HEIDFELD BMW Sauber 49 Points
6 KOVALAINEN McLaren-Mercedes 43 Points
7 TRULLI Toyota 26 Points
8 ALONSO Renault 23 Points
9 WEBBER Red Bull-Renault 19 Points
10 GLOCK Toyota 15 Points
11 PIQUET Renault 13 Points
12 VETTEL STR-Ferrari 13 Points
13 BARRICHELLO Honda 11 Points
14 ROSBERG Williams-Toyota 9 Points
15 NAKAJIMA Williams-Toyota 8 Points
16 COULTHARD Red Bull-Renault 6 Points
17 BOURDAIS STR-Ferraro 4 Points
18 BUTTON Honda 3 Points

NOTE: Super Aguri withdrew from the championship after round four.

Constructor’s Championship Standings

1 FERRARI 131 Points
3 BMW SAUBER 107 Points
4 TOYOTA 41 Points
5 RENAULT 36 Points
8 STR-FERRARI 17 Points
9 HONDA 14 Points

NOTE: Super Aguri withdrew from the championship after round four.

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One Response

  1. carnet says:

    well, I also watched the situation at least ten times, because I really thought Hamilton shouldn’t got the penalty. However, than I thought that if he hadn’t cut the chicane, he wouldn’t be able to overtake Raikkonen. what is more, he didn’t let Raikkonen take a good position on the track before the next turn so he was able to get in the corner from better position. he should have waited till next curve or lap, cause he was really faster that day.