Lewis Hamilton will find out on Tuesday morning whether the FIA will overturn his 25-second penalty for cutting a chicane during his duel with Kimi Raikkonen in the Belgian Grand Prix.
McLaren’s appeal against the ruling, on the grounds that Hamilton yielded to Raikkonen and did not gain an advantage, was heard before the FIA’s Court of Appeal in Paris on Monday.
If the appeal is successful, Hamilton will have his Belgian GP win reinstated and head to Singapore with a seven point lead over Felipe Massa, who was promoted to the top step of the podium as a result of the penalty.
Should the judges reject the appeal Hamilton will retain a single point lead over Massa.
“Whatever happens I am not worried either way,” said Hamilton, who testified at length during the proceedings and at one point entered into a heated exchange with Ferrari counsel Nigel Tozzi QC.
“I just hope the judges see the truth. I am a racing driver, driven by excellence. It’s what I do. It’s what I enjoy doing. I am now just going to focus on my next race and hopefully winning there.
“At the moment, as I see it, I am one point ahead and that’s how I will go into it.”
Only in the afternoon did the judges begin to analyse the events in detail with much of the morning session being used by lawyers to debate whether the appeal was admissible.
Hamilton’s penalty was a drive-through, but issued retrospectively as a 25-second time penalty. McLaren barrister Mark Philips QC argued that since no drive-through took place the appeal must be decided on.
Should the judges agree with Philips that the appeal is not admissible, they will then have to decide whether Hamilton gained an unfair advantage by cutting the chicane.
The five judges deliberating on the case are: Xavier Conesa (Spain), Philippe Narmino (Monaco), Erich Sedelmayer (Austria), Harry Duijm (Netherlands) and Thierry Julliard (Switzerland).