Ferrari deny Massa told to cause Hamilton crash

2011 Singapore Grand Prix

Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Singapore, 2011

Massa and Hamilton clashed in Singapore

Ferrari have denied Felipe Massa was encouraged to provoke the collision with Lewis Hamilton in Singapore.

Massa’s engineer Rob Smedley urged him to “hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can.”

Ferrari’s latest anonymous ‘Horse Whisperer’ column states: “It might not have been the most politically correct choice of word, but it definitely carried no malicious intent.”

It adds: “This exhortation to Felipe came at the exit to turn five on lap 11 of the race, at the end of which both the Ferrari man and Hamilton were due to come in to the pits together.

“In other words, it had nothing to do with the collision between Felipe and Lewis that happened on the following lap.”

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108 comments on Ferrari deny Massa told to cause Hamilton crash

  1. tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 4th October 2011, 12:47

    Smedley and Massa were too late, Webber had destroyed Hamilton’s race at the start. Getting within one car length or width of Mark at the start has been trouble for everyone who was not on pole this year.

  2. BTW, are people from Middlesbrough all like Rob? I say this because the “whispering Pony” used it as an excuse for Mr. Smedley. I quote: “being a Middlesbrough lad(!), born and bred….” does this give Mr. Smedley the licence to lash-out as he wants?

    Massa is a Latin guy and English not being his mother tongue could lead him to understanding his Engineer “literally”. This calls to mind the way he gave the last instruction to Massa in Germany with the question: “can you confirm you understood this message?” Or with the phrase: “You have been magnanimous, I know you don’t understand the word but I will explain to you later, good job boy!”

    I don’t really belong to the set of people who take this message too lightly as everything concerning Hamilton is always swept under the carpet when he is not at fault (see Monza) and whenever he makes a mistake all is blown out proportion with the likes of Niki Lauda calling him names … too bad!

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th October 2011, 1:44

      “You have been magnanimous, I know you don’t understand the word but I will explain to you later, good job boy!”

      Maybe he was talking bout the english word and how you translate that to portuguese… If Massa weren´t smart I don´t think he will still be on F1… Pluss you are talking about a guy that speak english, portuguese and italian he has to be smart!

  3. Hairs (@hairs) said on 4th October 2011, 13:02

    There are several parts to all of this story.

    There it’s the incident itself, which is a simple racing incident where hamilton got frustrated and made an error getting past a slower driver. The only person in the world who hasn’t seen it as such is massa.

    There are massa’s comments and behaviour after the race and quali, which were sad, unprofessional, unjustified, and a clear case of him finally venting out all his frustration – he’s being treated like a doormat by ferrari, but he’s not allowed to say anything about them, so he’s jumped at an available target.

    Then there is the history between the two. Lewis has commented before about massa blocking him, slowing him down, and feels he’s been treated unfairly by the stewards, while Massa is getting away with this behaviour. Massa feels he’s been crashed into a lot. Both have evidence to support
    their feelings. (Monaco).

    Than there is this radio transmission, which proves that Massa wasn’t driving to win, or get up the field, he was driving to frustrate, annoy, and spoil Lewis’s race. Lewis was faster on all tyres all weekend. Keeping him behind was only going to last so long.

    On the one hand, Massa wants us to believe Lewis is a dangerous, impetuous maniac who needs to be taken in hand. On the other, he wants us to believe that driving like an old lady in a shopping trolly isn’t likely to inspire this dangerous maniac into an impetuous lunge where there isn’t a gap.

    I blame lewis 100% for the contact. I blame Massa 100% for behaving like a disingenuous,weaselly prat who on reflection deserved what he got.

    Both of them had most of the race to recover. Lewis got up to 5th with speed and determination. Massa dawdled along and looked for a scapegoat.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th October 2011, 13:05

    This really didn’t warrant a statement from Ferrari, at all. That’s not a dig at Ferrari, more a dig at the people who let their imagination run away with them.

  5. paolo (@paolo) said on 4th October 2011, 13:19

    Martin Brundle said on twitter:

    “Real story is Smedley must constantly direct + motivate his driver, has done for some time. Felipe hasn’t been so strong since Hungary smash”.

    Would have to agree with that. It’s a shame that Massa’s racing recently has been either damage limitation or assisting Alonso’s challenge instead of actually racing himself. Seems like a nice guy so I hope he can rediscover some of his previous form although my feeling is that it would have to be outside of Ferrari.

  6. JUGNU (@jugnu) said on 4th October 2011, 13:29

    Hamilton made a mistake no doubt about it, but i don’t agree that Massa was totally faultless or fair. He could have avoided it or made it little easy which also would have been good for him at the end aka Positive defense. Hamilton passed so many drivers during the race(tough ones like MSC too) and some he passed twice but why contact happened ONLY with Massa?

    Let’s read the Radio transcript of Smedley and Massa again:

    Smedley: Hamilton got a bad start, you are racing him. Felipe baby remember 2008 and beat him. Also remember why you are here(To Help Alonso)

    Massa: Yeahhh i can’t remember too much, only remember what he did to me yesterday in qualifying.

    Smedlley: Lewis is passing all cars ahead very quickly, he is catching you. push push

    Smedley: hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can

    Massa: Mention Not, let him try passing


  7. I don’t think it is being taken out of proportion. I also don’t believe it was Massa’s intention to make contact or ‘to be hit’ by Hamilton, but I think the direction of the aggression is what should be acknowledged, that and the fact that not only are team orders allowed along the lines of “Move over for your faster team mate” but now we are seeing a deliberate sabotage of another driver’s race. It is a completely different scenario and is well outside the spirit of racing.

    It’s akin to the whacky races.

    If I were Massa or Smedley I’d be ashamed to be in F1 right now.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 4th October 2011, 14:11

      I don’t think this kind of “sabotage of another driver’s race” is anything new to Formula 1. I’ve followed the sport since 1998 and for as long as I can remember, having one of your drivers hold up an opponent to give your other driver an advantage and improve his chances of winning has been part of the game and part of team work.
      In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 4th October 2011, 14:22

      Putting white powder in rival teams fuel tank – Sabotage. This is NOT. Neither Massa nor Smedley need to feel ashamed.

    • Keith has said something ot the effect that he once doubted crashgate based on the initial information. I don’t really endorse a conspiracy theory here, not that Keith quite pulled the trigger on that one.

      But the situation is interesting. Having just arrived on Massa’s tail, Hamilton did not apprehend just how slow the Ferrari was on entry. Or he just made a mistake. Hamilton makes mistakes, but he also makes passes. He passed, what, 15 other guys that day for position.

      But it just happens that the one guy he hit is the one who was fuming at him after qualifying.

      In qualifying, though being blocked by Massa on the out lap, Hamilton got by anyway. Massa’s sole and proper job on the out lap was to ensure Alonso could back up into a nice gap (and to screw up Hamilton’s timing). I’m sure the team were not amused. On top of it all, Alonso buries him in Q3 by a second. Certainly he does not get a hearty pat on the back from Stefano.

      Back to the scene. Smedley, with the Ferrari malocchio burning his back on the pit wall, commands Massa, in effect, not to lose face again with Hamilton. A couple laps later, bang.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 4th October 2011, 20:31

      Ashamed is a bit too much maybe, but it sounds incredibly unsportshmanshiplike.

  8. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 4th October 2011, 14:17

    What would be the state of mind of the affected two drivers while arriving at Suzuka espcially Lewis.

    I hope he doesn’t get demotivated coz he is in the news ever since the season started and adding to the insult – “a special meeting” this weekend to condemn his driving. I like both Felipe and Lewis & I would prefer for them to reset their rivalry; friendship and move on rather than lingering on something which is not going to make much difference. Championship battle is long over… they can focus on their individual racing for the rest of the year.

  9. fcofdz (@fcofdz) said on 4th October 2011, 14:20

    Wasn’t Massa’s fault, I want to bealieve that Ferrari didn’t want him to cause the accident… but Karma is really a bitch ain’t it?

    • SupaSix-1 said on 4th October 2011, 19:16

      wasnt massa’s fault?

      -Well if you are going to play with fire then you WILL get burnt – hasnt he learned his lesson enough?!

      Lewis is a very tough driver – as well as all the acollades, he is also known as one of the toughest guys to overtake.
      So really smedley and massa shouldve known that if you are going to poke Lewis with a stick and toy with him he WILL bite you.

      Massa shouldve done what hes suppose to be doing right now: To makesure he gets a great result and impresses his team and the watching world who are all not impressed with him.
      He shouldve focussed on getting a great result in order to save his career and reputation – BUT NO…..he and smedley decided to act like a pair of clowns who cant punch above their own weight.

      massa, smedley and ferrari now quite rightly look very silly and it serves them right!

  10. Dev (@dev) said on 4th October 2011, 14:50

    only if Massa had hit Hamiton from behind or had he slowed significantly more than the previous lap we could have said it was Massa’s fault. but Hamilton destroyed his own race… people are reading too much into this. he has crashed so many times this season, let’s not assume that all other driver / engineer radio said the word destroy. The crash kid needs calm down & Hamilton fans need to understand that even a champion driver can have a bad run of form. He needs to sort this & figure how to drive a car which is not always on the front row & not always will be fighting for the wins. Can’t believe this the same person who made the debut in 2006 & had a faultless season except a couple of races in his rookie season.

  11. This may not explain anything about what happened in the collision, but it does explain Massa going bezerk after the race. Here he is being told in the most undiplomatic terms to finish ahead of Hamilton, and more, to ensure that Hamilton had “destroyed” race(which would be the same thing, of course). Neither happened. Even after their respective repairs, Massa could not get Hamilton in sight again. Massa’s only brief now is to thwart Hamilton; and Hamilton, by hook or crook, or often just plain speed, just won’t let him. *Sad trombone*

  12. SupaSix-1 said on 4th October 2011, 15:54

    Sorry but it makes NO sense for massa to hold back Lewis.

    Alonso as hes touched on before said that…. he needs Lewis to help take off points from vettel. So alonso will also need Lewis to help take points away from button and webber too.

    This whole assumption about massa doing it to help out alonso is totally baseless and is yet again typical of those who dislike Lewis to try and think of any excuse even if invalid just to paint massa in a better light. With team orders now legal…ferrari havnt even come out and officially confirmed.

    Infact they actually were unhappy with smedley’s choice of words and can see how they were provokative.

  13. Jason6 said on 4th October 2011, 16:33

    It seems everyone now feels they can do whatever they want to Lewis and get away with it…
    Thanks a million to the STEWARDS!!!

  14. Massa’s time in F1 as a poswsible champion is over. Why driving a Ferrari if the team drags him back? Obviously going to another team would probably mean no more finishing points, a Barrichello-like switch. We saw good ones on Barrichello like that clash with MSC in Hungary, but that was just a spark from the past. He is not matching Maldonado and he’s a rookie. More points than MAL? Yes but 4 points by a race winner is almost nothing. Massa’s fate looks alike.

  15. UKfanatic (@) said on 4th October 2011, 22:47

    Hahah thats funny Felipe provocked the accident, Im getting home sick I got this strange rush to read the The Sun. No comments

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