McLaren: No choice but to appeal

McLaren have said that they had no option but to register their intention to appeal against Lewis Hamilton's penalty at the Belgian Grand Prix after data showed the Briton had backed off to let Kimi Raikkonen through on the start-finish straight

McLaren: No choice but to appeal

Hamilton cut the chicane two laps from home at Spa-Francorchamps and, after taking the lead, slowed to let Raikkonen back through.

However, after retaking the lead almost immediately, the race stewards felt that Hamilton had still gained an advantage from running off the track.

McLaren have revealed that Hamilton was 6 km/h slower than Raikkonen as they crossed the start/finish line - which is why they felt they needed to register their intention appeal.

A McLaren spokesman said: "We looked at all our data and also made it available to the FIA stewards. It showed that, having lifted, Lewis was 6km/h slower than Kimi as they crossed the start/finish line.

"Having passed the lead back to Kimi, Lewis repositioned his car, moving across and behind Kimi to the right-hand line and then outbraked him into the hairpin. Based on this data, we have no option other than to register our intention to appeal."

The team have also made it clear that their focus will now switch to next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, on Ferrari's home turf in Monza.

"We are a racing team and now focus on Monza, with a view to extending our lead in the drivers' world championship," added the spokesman.

According to the regulations, McLaren have eight days to confirm in writing their appeal, and then the FIA will call a hearing of the International Court of Appeal for the earliest possible date.

There are some doubts about whether McLaren are allowed to appeal against a drive-through penalty, which means the Court of Appeal may first have to decide at its hearing whether or not the appeal is admissible.

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