Here’s a summary of paddock view points on the Lewis/Kimi incident from last weekend: Had Hamilton followed Raikkonen through the chicane in the normal way, he would not have been close enough – or, certainly, not as close as he was – when the pair crossed the start/finish line.
Therefore, he did have an advantage. But, sorry Bill Thomas, I have yet to find anyone – of any nationality – who felt Hamilton was deliberately ‘cheating’. Cheating is when you deliberately drive someone else off the road or leave a washer out of your refuelling rig or employ a secret spring in the underfloor of your car. Hamilton was racing, rightly or wrongly carried away by an intense battle which the excellent on board film on this site shows all too well.
Raikkonen made a mess of his braking into La Source.
Raikkonen appeared to attempt to damage Hamilton’s car at the apex of La Source.
Raikkonen used the run-off to his maximum advantage at Pouhon and nothing was said.
Raikkonen re-took the lead, so any advantage Hamilton may have had was nullified.
How come Race Director Charlie Whiting gave McLaren two assurances that everything was okay and then changed his mind. Why did he change his mind? Who, if anyone, spoke to him? And if Whiting took a while to deliberate, then what chance has a driver in the heat of battle?
Timo Glock received a 25-second penalty for ignoring a yellow, one of motor racing’s cardinal sins and surely more serious than a driver gaining an advantage which came to nothing in any case.
In summary, Hamilton was at fault but the penalty and, worse still, its administration, was wrong and badly handled.
Max Mosley will be here tomorrow for the first F1 appearance since the News of the World sting . There is a feeling in the paddock is that the FIA president should gently back down and earn himself and the FIA much-needed positive PR. He should also count himself lucky that the Hamilton affair is more newsworthy than lingering questions about time spent in Chelsea basements.