• Belgain Grand Prix

Massa wins after steward's decision

ESPNF1 Staff
September 7, 2008
The race will be remembered for one incident at the bus stop chicane © Sutton Images
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There were 44 laps of Spa-Francorchamps, but it is just one corner that sticks in everyone's mind. The Bus Stop chicane, lap 42, was crucial to the outcome of the race. Lewis Hamilton cut the corner and used its momentum to pass Kimi Raikkonen on the way to the next corner at La Source. There the saga began...

Raikkonen had led the race after pulling off a bold move on his team-mate Felipe Massa to give him second place and then when Hamilton spun away his lead at the start of lap two, the Ferrari was clear. With three laps to go, though, the rain came and the Ferrari instantly struggled with tyre temperatures. It meant that Raikkonen was driving a car with limited traction, he was easy prey for Hamilton.

They were level as the raced towards the Bus Stop, Raikkonen stood his ground and forced Hamilton to skip the second left-hand element of the chicane. He slowed, just, and left Raikkonen back ahead, but he hadn't slowed by much. As a result he had the run on the Finn approaching La Source and outbraked Hamilton. They both ran off the track at Pouhon and then, at the Pif-Paf chicane, came across the Williams of Nico Rosberg recovering from a spin. Hamilton went off in avoidance, Raikkonen slithered by, grabbed the lead and promptly spun. Hamilton was back ahead and Raikkonen then crashed hard into the wall at Blanchimont. Hamilton took the flag first from Felipe Massa and Nick Heidfeld who had dived in for wets as the first spots of rain arrived.

Three hours after the flag fell, the stewards ruled that Hamilton had gained an advantage. They gave him a 25 second penalty and he fell to third presenting Massa with the victory. After superb driving, it was a derisory end to the race.

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