Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did Lewis Hailton gain an unfair advantage over Kimi Räikkönen?

Watch the video and you decide.

I say... NO.

If the stewards stand by their decision based on Hamilton breaching Article 30.3 (a) of the 2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations as well as the near-identical Appendix L chapter 4 Article 2 (g) of the International Sporting Code where, to sum it all up, both articles state that a driver must only use the track alone during the race, then shouldn't the stewards also punish the other drivers who also failed to use a portion of the track during the race? Like Kimi Räikkönen, for instance, as he went off of the tarmac at the Pouhon corner as he tried to re-take the lead? Or even Nico Rosberg whose own off-track excursion and subsequent return to the track almost resulted in a crash involving both Kimi and Lewis which led to Kimi's overtaking maneuver of both cars under the yellow flag?

But if they're sticking to their statement that by cutting through the corner, Lewis gained an advantage, why can't they look at the telemetry system and timing sheets to find out if Lewis did indeed gain an advantage over Kimi? A look at the video above alone tells us that Lewis slowed down and handed over the lead to Kimi when that happened. And even the timing sheets have it that Kimi did cross the start/finish line first at 212km/h, compared to Hamilton's 206km/h. On a dry track, that 6km/h difference would have vaulted Kimi far ahead of Hamilton by the time he gets to La Source. But in a wet track where Hamilton's talent is far more evident than that of
Räikkönen's, it only means Ferrari simply wasn't in a position to retain control of the lead any longer.

Still, I also agree with Felipe Massa's take that Hamilton trying to regain the lead he handed over to
Räikkönen, only to chase it back so soon after he gave it, seemed too optimistic a move. Lewis' pace was considerably much, much quicker than Kimi's, particularly with the way the rain was pouring down. He was bound to catch Kimi napping in the last couple of laps left, particularly in the uphill climb from Raiddillon, for him to take the lead from Kimi for good.

Either way, it's about time the stewards got their heads out of the sand and took a look at the bigger picture. Either everyone who did the very same thing Hamilton is being accused of gets punished or they reverse their statement and give the win back to the REAL winner of the race - the fans of F1... and Lewis Hamilton, of course.

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