Former champion blasts Hamilton penalty

Former world champion Niki Lauda has slammed the decision that saw Lewis Hamilton stripped of his Belgian Grand Prix victory as "the worst judgment in the history of F1."

Lauda was left incensed after the race stewards handed Hamilton a retrospective 25-second drive-through penalty for 'cutting a corner and gaining an advantage.'



The incident concerned, at the end of lap 42 of the 44-lap race and as rain began to fall, allowed Hamilton to move into the lead ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.



However, the 23-year-old immediately conceded the lead back to the Finn, prior to conjuring a superb overtaking manoeuvre into the La Source hairpin.



On a greasy track, an enthralling cat-and-mouse game followed that culminated in Raikkonen sliding into a wall, and Hamilton claiming victory.



But two hours after the race the stewards intervened, awarding a penalty that demoted Hamilton to third, and as far as Lauda is concerned, also throwing the sport into chaos.



"This is the worst judgment in the history of F1, the most perverted judgment I have ever seen," lambasted three-times champion Lauda



"It's absolutely unacceptable when three functionaries (stewards) influence the championship like this.



"Hamilton did nothing wrong. He was on the outside, he then let him (Raikkonen) by, which is the rule, and afterwards he passed him.



"There was nothing special in what happened. Hamilton did the right thing in letting him by before again passing him."



Lauda feels Hamilton further underlined his title credentials, even if an eight-point lead after the race was whittled down to just two with the penalty over eventual winner Felipe Massa.



"It was an absolutely perfect drive from Hamilton, although I was disappointed with his spin on the second lap," added Lauda.



"That was unnecessary, but in the end he made up for it in much more complicated conditions, and he did a perfect race.



"It was very high risk at the end of the race for both of them, but he made fewer mistakes and won the race. He couldn't have done any better.



"He executed perfect car control when it was wet. He did a perfect job, won the race, and you can only take your cap off to him and congratulate him."



Lauda, who won his first two world titles with Ferrari in 1975 and 1977, and his last with McLaren in 1984, then had harsh words for Raikkonen who has now failed to win any of the last nine races.



"Kimi has not done a good job this season," assessed the 59-year-old Austrian, who these days works as a television pundit.



"He has been quick in races, but not in practice. Even in practice for this race he was disappointing because he could not get the grip level together in one lap.



"In this race he did a perfect job, until the end when he threw it away."



McLaren yesterday registered their intention to appeal, and now have until late tomorrow afternoon to confirm whether they will pursue such a course of action.



However, Article 152 of the FIA's International Sporting Code states a drive-through penalty is "not susceptible to appeal."



McLaren may choose to challenge this given the circumstances, and so take the matter to the International Court of Appeal, where a case would likely be heard before the end of the month.



News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam