Drama at the Belgian Grand Prix
When Lewis Hamilton breezed over the finish line at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in first place this weekend, it seemed he had claimed yet another victory for his team. However drama struck when officials later decided to impose a 25-second penalty on Hamilton, pushing him back to third place and giving the victory to Felipe Massa two hours after the race had ended.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team has already registered their intention to appeal the decision but for now it seems that Hamilton will remain in third place. Apparently after race stewards reviewed videos of the chaos that ensued after a short but heavy downpour near the end of the race, they ruled that Hamilton should be penalized for actions taken at the Bus Stop chicane. Hamilton collided with Raikkonen, who was in first place, and inadvertently cut the corner. However he subsequently slowed down and allowed Raikkonen to retake the lead, perhaps as part of efforts to ward off a penalty. Unfortunately if that was his goal, it didn’t work. The stewards have ruled that he gained an advantage due to his actions. However Raikkonen later spun off the track on the same lap due to a completely unrelated incident, leaving Massa to gain the most from the ruling.
The British driver had again proved that he was the best wet-weather driver on the track when a sudden shower turned the race into utter chaos during the last few laps. Hamilton kept his cool, took the lead with ease after Raikkonen spun of the track and finished in first place with Massa (Ferrari) hot on his tail in second place and Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) in third. After the penalty was imposed Massa was moved into first place and Nick Heidfeld was gifted with second place. The change now means that Hamilton only takes six points instead of the ten he would have got for first place in the championship. It also pushes his team a little further back in the Constructors’ Championship. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are currently second with 119 points after Ferrari with 131 points.