8 Sep 2008

Hamilton stripped of victory after thriller in Belgium

3:57 pm on 8 September 2008

Lewis Hamilton still leads the world motor racing championship, despite being stripped of victory after an all-or-nothing duel with the world champion Kiki Raikkkonen over the closing laps of this morning's Belgian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen was in charge of the race until rain began to fall late in the race, and after the two rivals had banged bodywork, skidded and narrowly avoided other cars, Raikkonen lost control and crashed out, leaving Hamilton to take the chequered flag ahead of Felipe Massa and Nick Heidfeld.

But race stewards later penalised Hamilton 25 seconds for an illegal passing manoeuvre on a chicane two laps from the finish, and he was regelated to third place.

Hamilton's championship lead is now only two points over Massa with five rounds remaining.

McLaren have said they will be appealing although it's not clear whether or not the rules will allow it.