Sports Outside the Beltway

Not so fast- Felipe Massa declared winner of Belgian GP after Lewis Hamilton penalized

The British Formula One driver used some improper chicanery.

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Felipe Massa was declared the winner of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton was penalized for cutting a corner during a late duel with world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton crossed the line 14.4 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Massa in a dramatic finish that saw Raikkonen crash into a barrier, but the McLaren driver was penalized 25 seconds for his illegal maneuver.

Race stewards said in a statement that Hamilton “cut the chicane and gained an advantage” that allowed him to take the lead from Raikkonen in the rain-splashed finale.

The penalty from FIA demoted Hamilton to third, with BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld promoted to second.

I honestly don’t follow auto racing enough to recall if this ever happened before. Back in the 1970′s I followed the sport quite a bit and remember a dispute at the 1972 Indy 500. Jerry Grant was leading when he a flat tire forced him to pit. He overshot his pit, and his car was re-fueled using another driver’s supply. Grant finished 2nd, but after the race was penalized for what happened and placed 12th.

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