Doubt has been thrown over whether McLaren can appeal Lewis Hamilton’s retrospective drive-through penalty at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend.
Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty after the race had ended with officials deeming that he had gained an advantage over Kimi Raikkonen when he cut the corner of the chicane two laps from the end of the race when the pair were contesting the lead. Because the stewards reached their decision after the race had ended, the equivalent time penalty of 25 seconds was applied. This meant that Massa was handed the race win, with Heidfeld second and Hamilton demoted to third spot.
McLaren immediately notified the FIA of their intention to appeal the decision however there is some doubt as to whether McLaren will pursue the issue, or even whether they can appeal the decision.
British newspaper The Guardian has said that McLaren will come to a decision today as to whether they appeal the penalty or not. Should they decide to press on with the case, the FIA’s International Court of Appeal will hear the appeal. One of the first tasks of the court looks set to be whether the case is actually admissible – drive-through penalties cannot usually be appealed. The Times newspaper has confirmed an FIA official has said that they are “not sure if it would be admissible.”