According to their website, the FIA stands for Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, but from the events I saw today, it appears to me that it should stand for Ferrari Interests Association as they showed a total bias towards drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.
In the closing laps of today’s Belgian Grand Prix, it started to rain when McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen were in a battle for the lead. The rain really started to fall heavily in the 2nd and 3rd sectors of the course, and neither driver was going to give up their track position to get wet tires and they both stayed out.
Then things started getting interesting, as all the cars in the rear are sliding around it really caused the field to bunch up and Raikkonnen and Hamilton both run wide and somehow manage to gather it back up. BUT, going into the last chicane that leads on to the front stretch, Hamilton got very, very loose on braking, over shot the chicane and inadvertenly passed Raikkonen in the process. Hamilton, whose teammate Heikki Kovalainen was given a drive through penalty for causing an avoidable accident with Mark Webber and Hamilton didn’t want to suffer the same fate and gave back the position to Kimi and then repassed him going into the La Source hairpin.
Then Raikkonen, pushing his Ferrari to the limits pushed it a little to much, and in nearly the same spot that Hamilton cut the chicane, Raikkonen’s Ferrari swapped ends and crashed into the tire barrier, ending his race, and most likely his chances to repeat as World Champion. And Hamilton, with such a big lead knew that he would win provided his car didn’t do the same as Raikkonen’s, and he did just that.
But, there was an unexpeceted turn of events, shorty after the race, the FIA filed this report stating that Hamilton would be penalized 25 seconds for cutting that chicane and accidentally passing Raikkonen, even though he had given back the position to Kimi. This would in-turn demote Hamilton to 3rd on the podium and would give Felipe Massa his 5th win of the year. Hamilton’s lead in the drivers points would be cut from 6 points to only 2.
What I don’t understand is why would the FIA penalize Hamilton even though he did what he was supposed to do to avoid disqualification? The FIA has been under constant fire, especially recently showing a blatant bias towards Ferrari. Remember the Stepneygate scandal last year involving former Ferrari mechanic Nigel Stepney and the McLaren team? Well, reportedly the data wasn’t stolen from Ferrari, it was actually given voluntarily to McLaren engineer Mike Coughlin. And whether or not McLaren ever used that data will never be known, but apparently the FIA saw that McLaren gained an ‘unfair’ advantage by having the data in their possession. McLaren were fined $100 million, and had all of their 2007 constructors points stripped.
Anyway, back to this matter, according to the rulebook, it states absolutely NOTHING about a driver cutting a chicane, the only way a driver could get penalized would be (these come straight from the rule book, viewable to anyone on the F1 website) to cause a false start by one or more cars (whatever that means), cause a collision, force a driver off the track, illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver. or by illegitimately impeding another driver during overtaking.
Now, if you watched the race you saw that Raikkonen was blocking Hamilton a ton down the straightaways, which according to the rules I posted above would mean that Raikkonen prevented Lewis from making a legitimate overtaking maneuvre and may have caused a collison. That means that Raikkonen, not Lewis should’ve been penalized 25 seconds for violating section 16 of the FIA rules.
As usual, McLaren gets all the heat while Ferrari gets away with murder yet again, another example of the Ferrari Interest Association showing their Italian friends bias.
Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.