Just when you think Formula One couldn't do any more damage to itself, here is today's Belgian Grand Prix.
At the infamous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which really separates the men from the goats, they had what has to be one of the greatest finishes in Grand Prix history.
Stunning, incredible racing. Skill and bravery at their finest.
There were even cars passing other cars! At a car race! Imagine.
Then the ignorant officials who rule this sport tossed it all away.
Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren-Mercedes had been victim - once again - of poor pit strategy, his first stop putting him back on the track right behind his erratic teammate, Heikki Kovalainen. Only half a second behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen when he began his pit stop, he ended up almost six seconds adrift afterwards.
Turn out the lights, the party's over.
But Hamilton being Hamilton, he kept at it. All of a sudden there's fourteen laps to go, he is about three seconds behind, and he's picking up several tenths a lap. Rain was starting to fall. Hamilton is a rain-master. It might just happen.
Now, catching someone in F1 and passing him are two different things, due to the disturbed airflow coming off the leading car destroying the overtaking car's front end downforce. Hard to get the front tires to grip so you can steer.
But Hamilton tried an audacious outside pass. He almost got it done, but Raikkonen shut the door, forcing Hamilton onto the escape road.
Hamilton actually returned to the pavement ahead of the Ferrari, but knowing he could not gain an advantage by going off-course, he allowed Raikkonen to pass him again.
As they approached the start-finish line, Raikkonen was weaving all over the place trying to keep Hamilton at bay. According to the rules, he is allowed ONE move; then he has to maintain his positioning on the track. Kimi did at least three.
Never mind; Hamilton made a brilliant zig right, this time to the inside, and made as clean a pass as you will ever see.
Raikkonen didn't like it, and rammed right into the back of Hamilton's car on the exit from the corner. But Hamilton is not one to be intimidated - he stood his ground.
I was watching all this on Italian television, so I am not entirely sure what happened next. But all of a sudden, there was a melee of spinning cars, Hamilton was back on the grass, and Raikkonen had resumed the lead for the third time in the afternoon.
For about three seconds, because he then spun again. Hamilton got by again, then Raikkonen spun a third time and crashed out.
Victory to the young Briton!
Champagne everywhere. God Save the Queen. Jubilation reigns.
At last, a Grand Prix where there had not only been a pass for position, but SEVERAL passes, for the LEAD, in the last three laps of the race!
Keep this up, and it'd be - well, NASCAR.
Even Ferrari fans among the hundred thousand-plus crowd went home knowing they had been witnesses to history, a Grand Prix race for the ages.
But when they switched on their radios, they found out Felipe Massa had won.
FELIPE MASSA?? Was he even IN this race??
The clearly brain-dead stewards of the event had decided that Hamilton had gained a "sporting advantage" by cutting the corner on the escape road move three laps from the end, and handed him a 25 second penalty. This shoved him back to third, promoted Massa's Ferrari which had finished second on the track a distant 14.4 seconds behind to the win, and the Sauber-BMW of Nick Heidfeld, the only driver clever enough to come in for intermediate (rain) tires when it started to pour, to second.
"Sporting advantage"? Hamilton didn't gain any "sporting advantage". When he made that first pass attempt and got by Raikkonen on the escape road, he knew that would not stand, so he gave the position back immediately.
As you must.
He then passed Raikkonen a second time, clean as a whistle, despite Raikkonen's illegal attempts to block him, and getting a NASCAR nudge up the backside on the way out of the corner for his trouble.
If anyone deserved a penalty, it was Raikkonen.
But the deal wasn't done yet. After that, Hamilton went off again, returning the lead to Raikkonen yet again. But the Finn couldn't stand the embarrassment of riches, so he spun again, surrendering the lead to Hamilton, then spun a third time and crashed out.
By this time, the escape road incident was totally removed from having any influence whatsoever on the outcome of the race. How could any sane person with any eyesight whatsoever make such a call?
The question answers itself.
Already, people are calling this another Ferrari-influenced slap against McLaren over last year's spying incident. For sure, Ferrari, and Massa, benefited the most from this incredibly stupid decision.
Hamilton still leads the championship, but the points he lost here could have an outcome on the final standings.
I can only assume this asinine ending will be appealed. It is a complete travesty.
And the real losers aren't Lewis Hamilton and McLaren. They are the throngs of fans who paid big money, stood out in the rain to watch the race - and didn't find out who won until they got home.
The other loser, of course, is the sport.
Somebody has to do something, or Formula One will lose whatever relevance it still clings to.