http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/70786 wrote:Hamilton: I hope judges see the truth
By Jonathan Noble Monday, September 22nd 2008, 18:00 GMT
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren appeal, ParisLewis Hamilton flew out of Paris on his way to Singapore on Monday night saying he hoped the judges at the FIA International Court of Appeal had seen the 'truth' after their lengthy hearing into the Belgian Grand Prix controversy.
Hamilton testified at length about his version of events at Spa-Francorchamps in front of the five judges, and at one stage got into an exchange with Ferrari counsel Nigel Tozzi QC.
And as he left the court, Hamilton said he would not worry tonight about what decision the judges will come to when they deliver their verdict tomorrow morning.
"Whatever happens I am not worried either way," he said. "I just hope the judges see the truth. I am a racing driver, driven by excellence. It's what I do. It's what I enjoy doing. I am now just going to focus on my next race and hopefully winning there.
"At the moment, as I see it, I am one point ahead and that's how I will go into it."
Hamilton had only been called up to testify in the afternoon, with the morning's session dominated by talk between lawyers about whether the appeal was admissible.
When he was called up to give his account of the events, Hamilton stood his ground when cross-examined by Tozzi.And at one stage, when angered about some comments regarding his behaviour, Hamilton said to Tozzi: "Are you a racing driver? No!
"I have been a racing driver since I was eight years old and I know pretty much every single manoeuvre in the book, and that's why I'm the best at my job. We are talking about a skilled driver under intense pressure making a split-second decision which no-one, not unless they are in Formula One, can comprehend."
The court looked at detailed video footage of the incident to try and get a better understanding of the situation.
Hamilton remarked: "Your heart is battling whilst you are racing.
"The last thing I wanted to do is crash into him. When you have gone so far, you want to finish the race. We had a great battle and there was no need to take stupid risks, so I had to cut the chicane.
"I've since studied the footage about 10 times and I can remember it vividly like it was yesterday. I believe I then gave the advantage back. I honestly, hand on heart feel I did so."
The five judges preciding over the case - Xavier Conesa (Spain), Philippe Narmino (Monaco), Erich Sedelmayer (Austria), Harry Duijm (Netherlands) and Thierry Julliard (Switzerland) will spend this evening deliberating on their verdict.
They will first of all have to decide if the appeal was admissible in the first place.
According to FIA regulations, drive-through penalties are not subject to appeal, but McLaren's QC Mark Phillips has argued that this case should revolve simply around the time penalty as there was no way to serve the drive-through.
Only if the judges rule that the appeal is valid will they then deliberate over their view on whether Hamilton did gain an advantage by cutting the chicane.
Hamilton admitted to an element of relief when he left the court, as he headed for a flight to Singapore via Zurich.
"It was long and intense," he explained. "I said what was on my mind because in that position you can be talked down to. But by no means am I an idiot. I had a right to my opinion.
"But I am very, very proud of my team because I am amazed at how much work and attention to detail went into it.
"There were much better things I could have done with my day, like prepare for the next grand prix in Singapore, but today was a very important issue.
"I was unfortunately penalised, so it was good to come here and put our point of view, as well as listen to other people's opinions."