I know this isn’t going to make me popular, but I’m surprised that McLaren has decided to pursue its appeal against the demotion of Lewis Hamilton from first to third in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Amid all the righteous indignation, I’ve not yet heard or read anything to convince me that Lewis did not gain an advantage by cutting the chicane at the Bus Stop.
And, so far as I’m aware, the rules don’t say you must simply relinquish any positions gained, but that you must not gain an advantage. So the question is very straightforward: had Lewis followed Kimi through the Bus Stop in the usual way, would he have been in a position to outbrake him at La Source? If not, an advantage was gained.
Of course the punishment did not fit the offence - if, indeed, an offence there was - but of all teams, McLaren must know that if it gives the FIA so much as a piece of string, it will be hanged by it.
I think Lewis gave them the string and once in that position, the FIA was never going to lenient. Do not mistake me, Lewis was the rightful winner of the race but sadly ‘that’s not fair’ does not constitute formal grounds for appeal.
Unless McLaren can show that Lewis did not break the rules, however unjust those rules may seem in those particular circumstances, it’s hard to see how the appeal can succeed.