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F1 drivers to clarify rules after Hamilton penalty

September 12, 2008 16:36 IST

Formula One drivers will seek a clarification of the rules before Sunday's Italian Grand Prix after stewards stripped Lewis Hamilton [Images] of victory in Belgium last weekend for cutting a chicane.

"In the drivers' briefing tomorrow we will try and get clarification about the conditions we're racing under and we will move forward," Red Bull's David Coulthard told reporters on Thursday.

In a controversy that has become the talk of Formula One, championship leader Hamilton was demoted to third at Spa after he was forced wide at the Bus Stop chicane by Ferrari's [Images] world champion Kimi Raikkonen [Images] with two laps to go.

The McLaren driver came out ahead of the Finn, ceded the place momentarily on the straight before emerging again from the Ferrari's wake to take the lead through the tight first corner.

Stewards ruled the Briton had gained an advantage, applying a retrospective drive-through penalty that translated as 25 seconds added to his total time.

The ruling outraged many fans and dominated the first day at Monza, with drivers divided on the justice of the penalty while other leading figures expressed concern for the fundamentals of the sport.

Renault engineering head Pat Symonds fears the punishment could be a setback for attempts to encourage overtaking and make the sport more exciting.

"I think it does call into question [Formula One's] philosophy, because everyone is saying we need more overtaking in Formula One, we need more excitement, and we need more personalities," he said.

"And yet it seems to me that everything that actually happens seems to be against that."

Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa [Images], who inherited the win at Spa after finishing second initially, said it was clear Hamilton was in the wrong but others are divided over the harshness of the penalty.

"The rules are very clear," said Toyota's Italian Jarno Trulli. "If you cut the chicane and you get an advantage, you just have to drop back and give back the position.

"In Lewis's case, he shouldn't have attacked straight away at the next corner."

France's [Images] Sebastien Bourdais added: "The penalty is really rough but in the end it's up to you to give the position back or not. Pretty straightforward."

"He did get an advantage because he wouldn't have been that close behind Kimi had he not cut the chicane," said Williams' Nico Rosberg. "But, then again, I also think the penalty was a bit harsh as that did not have such a big effect on the actual race result in the end."

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Formula One: The Complete Coverage

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