McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, center, left, spins on the track and is passed by Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, front, and Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil, center right, during the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa Francorcamps, Belgium, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. Ferrari's Felipe Massa has been declared the winner of the Belgian Grand Prix after McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was given a 25-second penalty for an illegal maneuver. Hamilton had finished first Sunday after dramatically overtaking Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, but race stewards said he had cut across a chicane to gain an advantage before passing the defending world champion. Raikkonen later spun off the track while trying to catch the British driver. Hamilton was demoted to third place, with BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld promoted to second. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, center, left, spins on the track and is passed by Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, front, and Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil, center right, during the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa Francorcamps, Belgium, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. Ferrari's Felipe Massa has been declared the winner of the Belgian Grand Prix after McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was given a 25-second penalty for an illegal maneuver. Hamilton had finished first Sunday after dramatically overtaking Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, but race stewards said he had cut across a chicane to gain an advantage before passing the defending world champion. Raikkonen later spun off the track while trying to catch the British driver. Hamilton was demoted to third place, with BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld promoted to second. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of winning the world championship were dented last night as race stewards stripped him of victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Briton looked to have stretched his championship lead to eight points after he had finished first at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, ahead of the Ferrari of chief title challenger Felipe Massa.

But Hamilton was punished for cutting the Bus Stop chicane three laps from the end of the race as he scrapped with the long-time race leader Kimi Raikkonen for the lead of the race.

He was penalised 25 seconds and dropped behind Massa and the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld to third.