9 Sep 2008

Motor racing great slams Belgium GP decision

6:05 am on 9 September 2008

The formula one great Nikki Lauda has described yesterday's decision to strip Lewis Hamilton of his victory in the Belgium Grand Prix as the worst in the history of the world drivers championship.

The respected triple world champion and television expert slammed the International Motorsport Federation, maintaining it was "absolutely unacceptable when three functionaries influence the championship with a perverted judgement".

Hamilton won Sunday's exhilarating race after a wheel-to-wheel dual with the world champion

Kimi Raikkonen, but the McLaren driver was penalised 25 seconds for an illegal passing manoeuvre two laps from the finish of the race, handing victory to Felipe Massa, his main rival for this year's world title.

McLaren have indicated their intention to appeal, and they have seven days in which to decide if they're going to proceed. But there is some debate within the sport as to whether appeals are allowed against time penalties.