Massa and Hamilton’s Fuji crash – the penalty they got right (Video)

Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton clashed in the opening laps of the Japanese Grand Prix in highly controversial fashion.

Hamilton had dived down the inside of Massa at turn ten. But Massa cut across the inside of the following bend and tipped Hamilton into a spin which left him last.

The stewards hit Massa with a drive-through penalty which, based on recent incidents, it’s hard to argue against.

Heikki Kovalainen crashed into Mark Webber in similar fashion at the Belgian Grand Prix and received the same penalty for the same misdemeanour – causing an avoidable accident.

The stewards didn’t get everything right at Fuji – but I think Massa’s drive-through was the correct call. What do you think?

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34 comments on Massa and Hamilton’s Fuji crash – the penalty they got right (Video)

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  1. Alex Cooper said on 12th October 2008, 6:28

    I agree – clumsy driving from Massa.
    Correct penalty.

  2. Alex Cooper said on 12th October 2008, 6:30

    Actually further to my above point, ITV & BBC Radio 5 in the UK are talking a lot about Lewis not playing the percentage game.

    Fair points, but the same applies to Massa in this case too.

  3. Yup, he tried to race for a change. Happens. Good that he discovered some aggression, not good that he discovered some clumsiness. Hopefully he would get it in his control in the future. The aggression can never be a bad thing, like in the case of Hamilton.

  4. qazuhb said on 12th October 2008, 7:16

    Matt, as a Lewis supporter, I think aggresiveness went absolutely wrong this time, he never seems to learn…

  5. LameMassa said on 12th October 2008, 7:42

    Massa drove completely through the grass and intendedly hitted Hamilton. Even when he would have passed Hamilton, this would have been an illegal over-take because he was completely off the course and cut the corner.

  6. Jonesracing82 said on 12th October 2008, 7:44

    true alex cooper, but massa does have less to lose, hamo is certainly trying to lose it

  7. Smitty said on 12th October 2008, 7:46

    The penalty here was justified. Good job here stewards.

  8. I disagree here,

    At the exit of the left hander, Lewis is far too much on the inside and off the racing line.. why ? ? He wanted to close the door forcibly on Massa ( similar to Glock at Monza )

    Lewis only gave 2 options to Massa, stay behind me (on the grass) or bump into me. Any driver who was in massa’s position would have had to punt Lewis there..
    Glock would also have punted him at Monza or gone on to the grass.. He chose the latter

  9. Felipe left the door open on the right hander, and took out Hambone on the following left hander. Massa should have allowed the pass and attacked later.

    A loser of a move, almost as poor as Hambone’s over driving on turn one, lap one and catching an undeserved penalty that ruined his race, even though there was no contact with Kimi.

  10. I’m sick of this f***n stewards. One day they penalize sombody for some reason, the next race another driver gets it out without even the stewards investigating at him.

    Hamilton “pushed out of the road another driver”?

    Oh dear. Did someone even thought about investigating Alonso when he did the same thing in Spa07, or any driver that do the same thing at EVERY start?

    I’m pissed off. That’s racing, let them race. Someone should get FIA officials and their stewards in a sanitarium before they disqualify someone for “passing without warning the driver in front, hence hurting his sensibility”

    Concerning the Massa-Hamilton thing. Again, that’s racing. In my view the driver in front have all the right to close the door. Hamilton didn’t do anything stupid, he clealy passed Massa on the inside. So it was to penalize Massa, in my opinion.

    But again, races nowaday are just plain stupid. We shouldn’t ask ourselves “will it rain at the next gp”, rather “what kind of lunatics stewards will we find at the next gp”.

  11. Alianora La Canta said on 12th October 2008, 8:39

    I believe that the correct penalty for that specific incident was applied to Massa. However, I believe he was involved in three unconnected penalisable incidents during the race, resulting in at least four breaches of the regulations:

    – Cutting the chicane (contrary to Article 30.3) on lap 2. It’s not even as if he can claim he returned the advantage…

    – Causing an avoidable collision (Article 16.1). The accident with Lewis could have been avoided had Felipe stayed on the track. I understand the logic in the two regulation breaches being treated as one (the second having followed on from the first), but it is still a distinct regulation breach.

    – Causing a second avoidable collision. The accident with Bourdais was avoidable from Massa’s perspective because he could see Bourdais going down the pit exit (at least at some stage) and should have foreseen that SebastiĆ©n would require that piece of track.

    – Using a forbidden area of the track (Article 30.3). Massa put all four wheels onto the triangular area dividing the track from the pit lane. Cars are not permitted in that area unless there are exceptional circumstances such as a technical failure.

    Given that Massa breached four regulations, I would be tempted to exclude him for consistent ignorance of the regulations, the same as Sato was in Japan 2005.

  12. @Sumedh
    Your defence of Massa is commendable, but I feel very much misplaced. You missed a 3rd option: Cut the chicane and avoid an accident.

    Massa missed his braking and ran wide, Lewis had no option but to take the place. If video of Lewis’ onboard could be found it shows that he was totally past Massa, on the racing line and had the corner. Massa, through his fault only, was off the circuit instead of slotting back in behind and took Hamilton off. It was rash driving. Which we’re seeing a lot of from the title contenders.

    Although I’m not a fan of Alonso, he showed in the last 2 GPs what a class driver he is, clearly the most complete on the grid. Hopefully he’ll be up challenging for the title next year – can only be good for F1.

  13. @Owen
    That 3rd option would have been a viable option; had their been tarmac, It was grass; and no sane driver would go 5-10 metres on grass..

    I agree that Lewis was completely ahead of Massa after the right-hander; then why did he unnecessarily get off the racing-line at the exit of the left-hander? Massa was opportunistic ( or say rash or aggressive) trying to take the inside line..agreed

    But Hamilton had no business being there right in the path of Massa’s flight through the grass.
    About Alonso, I second you.. :)

  14. SoLiD said on 12th October 2008, 10:14

    I think he is lucky to not recieve harder punishment, because he clearly couldn’t do anything and really intended to drive hamilton off.
    But many ppl like to help Ferrari, so now bourdais gets a penalty massa deserves again, because he didn’t drive around the corner and just acted like bourdais wasn’t there, and now bourdais gets punished? weird judgement imo (maybe i need a few replays)

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