Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Massa disagrees with penalty for Hamilton collision

2011 Indian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Massa retired after colliding with Hamilton

Felipe Massa said he shouldn’t have had a drive-through penalty following his collision with Lewis Hamilton in the Indian Grand Prix.

Massa said after the race: “I can only say I do not share the opinion of the stewards who inflicted the punishment.

“I simply stayed on the ideal line, braking on the limit and staying on the part of the track that was rubbered in. What else could I do?

“It?s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it?s some sort of fatal attraction. In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to be interested in doing so.”

Ferrari believe the collision with Hamilton contributed to the suspension failure that put Massa out of the race.

Hamilton said: “I tried to overtake and I tried to come out of it because it didn’t look like he was going to give me any space, and we collided.”

The McLaren driver said he’d tried to talk to Massa before the race: “We had the one-minute silence before the start of the race and me and Felipe were standing next to each other. He hasn’t spoken to me since… a long, long time. So I made an effort, I put my arm around him and said ‘good luck for the race’.”

He added: “It’s a disappointing day I’m very, very sorry for my team. They worked hard all weekend as they always do a deserved a result.”

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333 comments on “Massa disagrees with penalty for Hamilton collision”

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  1. I thought it was a racing incident and that Massa probably wouldn’t have received a penalty if Hamilton’s car hadn’t been damaged.

    This was my view of their coming together during the Singapore Grand Prix, that if Massa hadn’t suffered a puncture and so his race wasn’t damaged so much Hamilton probably wouldn’t have received a drive through.

    The collision also reminded me of the one at the Japanese Grand Prix except it was Hamilton trying to overtake and he tried to do it down the inside which is the normal way instead down the outside into a chicane which Massa tried in Japan and was never going to work, yet Massa blamed Hamilton in both cases.

    I would have been more likely to believe Ferrari’s claim the collision contributed to Massa’s suspension failure if Massa hadn’t done the same thing but to the other side of his car in qualifying, I thought he would have learned from that to avoid the orange kerbs but it seems not.

  2. @infy How many championships has Massa won? Let me see… Hmmm… Just trying to count them all up… How many podiums or poles has Massa had this season… Ouch, I’m struggling here…

    Here’s one for you… How many cars did Massa destroy by himself this weekend? Ferrari FAIL.

    1. +1 Shocking weekend by Massa.

      Now that Mclaren have secured 2nd place, If I was in charge I’d start giving Bianchi some time in Massa’s car, at least for free practice 1.

  3. I don’t agree with the penalty either. Just because Massa knew Hamilton was there doesn’t automatically mean he should jump out of the way, especially when he was half a car length ahead. It’s such a fast corner and in no way a passing place unless completely alongside, especially with the amount of dust off line.

    Maybe Massa could have given a bit more room, but you don’t expect a driver to be there when he doesn’t have the corner. I think the incident was possibly worthy of a reprimand for both drivers, but to give just Massa a penalty suggests that he was entirely at fault – which he wasn’t.

    Either way, I think these two need to be forced to sit in a room together and not come out until they’ve fleshed out their issues and made up. I can’t remember two drivers coming together so often in such a short space of time. Webber and Alonso often find themselves together on track, yet manage to fight tough but fair with each other. It’s all about respect, and Lewis and Felipe don’t seem to have any for each other at the moment. At this rate it’s only a matter of time before these two connect in a really bad way, and no-one wants to see that.

    1. Agree completely. Fantastic comment @Dan-Thorn!

      to give just Massa a penalty suggests that he was entirely at fault – which he wasn’t.

      Could not agree more.

      I also think Hamilton wasn’t fully committed to the move. He was very half-hearted about it and didn’t brake late enough to let Felipe know he was going to go through with it.

    2. @dan-thorn

      to give just Massa a penalty suggests that he was entirely at fault – which he wasn’t.

      Yes he was. He knew Hamilton had a run on him, he knew where the McLaren was, and he chose to turn in anyway.

      It was cynical and he deserved a penalty.

      1. But Lewis put his car in a wedge that was always going to disappear, especially as he was in a blind spot and couldn’t be entirely sure Massa had seem him. Unless there’s an interview I’ve not seen yet, I don’t know if you can say for certain that Massa knew where Hamilton was – the number of times he checked his mirror would suggest to me that he didn’t.

        Ambitious moves in unusual places, especially at fast corners, require full commitment from the attacking driver. Lewis was half hearted in his attempt. It also requires the cooperation of both drivers. In this case neither driver was willing to give and if you ask me, it was a racing incident for whom both are to blame.

        1. @dan-thorn

          Lewis put his car in a wedge that was always going to disappear,

          But that’s always a case when someone tries to pass down the inside of another car – what makes the difference is whether the other driver realises there’s a car on the inside.

          In this case Massa obviously knew Hamilton was there because he began moving his car to the inside of the corner, then stopped and moved back towards the racing line as Hamilton drew alongside him.

          1. Plus, he didn’t even put it in a wedge, he put it in a block almost entirely alongside Massa, before Massa’s futile attempt to take the corner as if there was no-one there and Hamilton’s attempt to take avoiding action reduced it to a wedge. Before braking Hamilton had the inside line. Whatever happens in the braking zone he cannot erase himself, and why would he want to? Having his car in that position means the other driver has to run wide- not to avoid a collision, that should be obvious anyway, but because by losing the inside line they have forfeited their right to the apex. Either they try and hang on around the outside or they drop behind the overtaker.

            I am frankly amazed that so many people here can’t see that, and I seriously wonder how they expect any overtakes to happen from anything other than slipstreaming long before a corner.

    3. It was a rubbish move by Ham but he still had the right to make it. I still think it was a racing incident though and a penalty was harsh. I don’t know if Massa did see him as I’ve only checked this website and the article doesn’t say that he did though so I go with innocent until proven/or admitted guilty.

      1. @Steph, for all intents and purposes, unlike during the Mosley era with some very odd penalties, for the last two years the stewards appear to try to always reach a conclusion based on on track events, using their data and camera views.

        We might not always agree with the outcome, but we have to assume it is their best effort to “prove” guilt before giving a penalty for a racing incident.

        If they published their deliberations and fully motivated decision, we might be able to better judge that, but by and large I think we should accept that they do the best job they can, so that means we have to consider Massa guilty.

        Even Hamilton in the end accepted that he had to take blame for Monaco and other incidents; Massa got a penalty from the stewards, so they clearly thought there was sufficient reason, and Massa and fans need to accept that, take it in, and move on.

        Even if he sees it different, he needs to understand that, and why, the stewards thought he was wrong here, and do something different next time – preferably something not leading to a collision and allowing him to continue his race.

    4. Do you not remember the overtake Hamilton made on Button at Silverstone? Button saw Hamilton coming and had to move off the racing line, not because it was his team mate but because he didn’t want to crash his car. So Everyone at the time said what a great overtake it was and how vigilant Button was to see the move coming in an unsual place. Had it been Massa in Button’s place ther would have been a crash, now would Hamiltons great overtake suddenly become a mistake and a penalty for Hamilton?

      1. Pretty much like Hamilton’s “amazing overtake” on Schumacher in Sainte Devote which turned into a drive-through penalty when he made exactly the same move on Maldonado a few laps later.

    5. massa was not expected to jump out of the way, just to not jump in the way lol

  4. Finally Massa get penalized for cutting other drivers off – this is not the first time he has shut the door on overtaking drivers and afterwards whined and complaint acting as the victim.

    In Monza he shut the door on Webber – so far this year the only driver he gave space to was Massa.

    On Saturday everyone praised the orange curbs for raising the skill needed to race the track – only 1 driver hit them and complaint about it. Moreover in the race he hit several again resulting in a DNF yet again – Ferrari blaming the collission with Hamilton is nonsense as footage clearly showed Massa hitting them multiple times. In Dutch there is a saying “een ezel stoot zich geen tweemaal aan dezelfde steen” translated is says “A donkeyl does not hit the same stone twice” – think that is very applicable to Massa.

    For the rest Massa has not contributed anything to this F1 season – not a single brilliant overtake or qualifying, all I have seen from him is boring races, mistakes, misconduct and clearly being unworthy of the Ferrari he drives.

    Think it is time for Massa to leave F1 as it is very unlikely that he has any future value in terms of a racer or personality in F1.

    I hate Alonso for his character/whining but atleast I respect him as one of the very best drivers in F1. Massa very quickly becomes the next has been like Jacques Villeneuve only difference is that Villeneuve atleast achieved something.

    1. @Jelle van der Meer

      That was Brilliant, thank you! :-)

    2. Very harsh. Especially considering what he’s been through. He is getting better, and I’d rather see him passionate about his racing than submissive.

      1. F1 is a very harsh place.

        Come on Ferrari, give Bianchi a try now that 2nd place in the constructor’s is gone

      2. @damonsmedley Massa has been truly awful this year (and you know it Smedley). Passionate doesn’t equal just turning into other drivers. I’ll be glad to see the back of Massa – you’ll have to find some other mediocre driver to support after that!!!

        1. @davidwhite I suppose I could support Lewis… ;)

    3. @Jelle van der Meer It seems harsh on Massa, but, ultimately, utterly correct.

  5. This was in my view a racing incident. That said, how dumb is Hamilton to keep sticking his nose into decreasing wedges of space? This is something he has being doing all year and paying a heavy price.

    The stewards got this one badly wrong, the only reasonable decision was racing incident. Massa was not trying to defend but take his normal line into a sweeping fast corner. Those saying he saw Hamilton in his mirror are either clairvoyant or have access to a secret MassaCam. He may been looking in his mirror but may not have been able to see him regardless.

    The fact remains that is not a clear overtaking spot unless you manage to get FULLY alongside, or ahead of the car you are going to overtake. Hamilton tapped Massa’s rear wheel, how that can be construed as Massa’s fault is beyond me.

    After all that, please Ferrari drop Massa and offer Kimi a drive again? Please?

  6. Pity the stewards couldn’t have given a more detailed explanation, as they have done on some other occasions this year, including in Japan. The verdict only says:

    “Fact: Causing a collision with Car No.3 Lewis Hamilton at Turn 5
    Offence: Involved in an incident as defined by Article 16.1 of the 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations”

    1. That is really another really big chance missed. And it might help Massa understand as well, its not “just for the media and fans” to talk about.

      How can a judgement ever be fair, without prejudice and consistent when they are not published including full reasoning and stating the facts taken into consideration.

      I am sure, that in a real court anyone would protest such a desicion by a judge if it was only with such little detail.

    2. @Keith Collntine Do you think that more is to come, given the fallout, and the involvement of Ferrari? I hope so. it’s be good to put at least some of the debate to rest :-)

    3. Interesting to note that at the end of 16.1 it states;
      “Unless in the opinion of the race director it was completely clear that a driver was in breach of any of the above, any incidents involving more than one car will normally be investigated after the race.”

      Therefore they Stewards thought it was so clear that Massa was in the wrong, that they gave an immediate penalty.

  7. In my opinion Hamilton should have given up. Massa is ahead and can decide the line. I agree in this case Massa missed to leave enough space to Lewis, and he was stupid there, because knowing Lewis he probably should have imagined that he would have tried. But if I should say who caused the collision it is Ham. That is a fast corner, it is hard to overtake there.
    Keith, I understand he was “alongside”, but he wasnt’ enough ahead, he was at half the Ferrari.
    Said that I would not have given a penalty to anybody, like always. But I don’t believe the rupture ot the sospension of Massa was initiated by the clash with Hamilton (c’mon!). Massa made there the same exact mistake he made during quali. Incredible!
    Then we could speak all the night long about the orange kerb, but…not the time.

    1. “If you see a gap and you no longer go for it, you are no longer a racing driver”

      1. Sure, because Senna said that, it must fact. But really, if you go for the tightest of gaps and crash, you’re a fool if anything.

        1. Not if the other driver sees you in that tight gap and decides to drive into your car. Then you are the victim.

        2. I didn’t say it was fact because Senna said it.

          I’m saying that that racing drivers should race and as soon as drivers like Hamilton start “giving up” in such circumstances the more boring races are going to become. If Massa had put it up the inside of Hamilton and Hamilton had turned in on him, I’d feel exactly the same.

          In my opinion no penalty for either driver was applicable.

          It was racing and long may it continue even in the DRS days in which we live.

  8. Brundle and Coulthard’s anti-Hamilton biases are beyond a joke now. Hamilton’s attempted pass was no different from Vettel’s pass on him in Korea. Hamilton was partially ahead there but as Vettel already had the preferred inside line and he chose to do his duty as a driver and not drive into him.

    1. They have become like that due to the previous stewards decisions always favouring the car ahead cutting up the driver behind. Hopefully they will look at this and change their view.

      Johnny Herbert for driver of the race! ;)

    2. @judo-chop Just because someone disagrees with you, doesn’t mean that they’re being bias. Hell, Coulthard supported Hamilton when he had his accident with Kobayashi in Spa, are you going to tell me now that Brundle and Coulthard are bias?

      1. Actually Coulthard has more sense than both Brundle and Humphrie’s but as Brundle’s sidekick he feels the need to play along as they keep the “Hamilton Controversy” bandwagon going. This bandwagon fuels the F1 media. Pompous pundits pretending to be authorative as they pontificate when in fact they’re just following the herd. Schumacher’s had just as many prangs as Hamilton this year but his “issues” don’t warrant their own bulletin. How pathetic is grown men gossiping about Hamilton’s love life? Compare these clowns to Murray Walker who was embarrassed whenever his pro-Mansell sympathies became apparent.

    3. @judo chop
      You can’t compare the two overtakes.
      When Vettel made the move on Hamilton, it was possible because it was into a slow corner where overtaking is actually possible.
      Hamilton tried the inside line from behind, into a super quick and pretty tight 5th gear corner.

      1. This is what matt90 wrote earlier regarding drivers being overtaken:

        “by losing the inside line they have forfeited their right to the apex. Either they try and hang on around the outside or they drop behind the overtaker”

        Massa, as Hamilton in Korea, has no right to any supposed “racing line”. If he wanted to be on his preferred racing line he shouldn’t have left it for Hamilton to drive on it. The speed of the upcoming corner is irrelevent (as it was in Monaco when Schumacher did Hamilton at the Loewes hairpin).

        1. The speed of the corner does matter. In slow corners there are usually several lines.
          In quite a lot of the high speed corners they either take the racing line, or drive straight off the road.
          If you look at the two overtakes the only similarity is that one driver go up the inside of the other. Like 99% of all other overtakes.

  9. Massa has been doing this ALL year, he thinks if he has the racing line and someone is beside him he can just turn in and they should back off.
    Hamilton could have easily done this during the start on the first corner but he gave Massa loads of room.
    Well done stewards for finally seeing what others should have seen in the past.

  10. For me the penalty was harsh, it was a racing incident but that’s just the way it is at the moment I guess.

    But for Massa to deny he did anything wrong is pathetic. Primary school stuff.

    In addition, for Ferrari to say the contact damaged the suspension is ridiculous, were they not there for free practice when the same suspension broke in the same way after not being rammed by a McLaren?

    Really, childish behaviour all round here.

  11. if what massa did is allowed then we will no longer have motor racing , we will have motor processioning

    I believe that if a driver allows another car to get it’s front wheels alongside his rear wheels he must give him room IF HE IS COMING UP THE INSIDE ; I believe that there is a big difference IF THE OVERTAKE IS ON THE OUTSIDE

    this is why I think that hamilton has been unfairly treated several times this season ; think back to Monaco for example

    MSC dives past hamilton at the hairpin ….hamilton gives him room as he should , no accident …I don’t think they even touched
    hamilton tries to do the same thing to massa …massa won’t give him room , then tries to push him into the barrier and they collide ..of course he then blames hamilton for the fact that he crashes trying to overtake him on the marbles , but that is another matter

    hamilton goes for an overtake on MSC at St Devote , MSC gives him enough room , no collision ; hamilton does the same thing to maldonardo [ in a slower car to MSC ] who promptly turns in to him and puts himself out
    Is there anyone here who thinks MSC doesn’t race hard ?

    it’s quite simple in my view , if you don’t want to have to give room to a driver coming up the inside , don’t let him get there

    on the other hand if someone is trying to get around the outside the driver in front is entitled to take the normal racing line …up to the overtaker to avoid an accident

    so , to summarise ,why not a simple rule ; if you get your front wheels up with the rear wheels of the car in front he must give you room on the inside ..if you try around the outside you must expect the car in front to take the normal line , no going wide to block though once the overtaking car is alongside

    1. I did think the Maldonado incident in Monaco seemed harsh, but then the views we saw weren’t very comprehensive, so I assumed the stewards found that Hamilton wasn’t going to make the corner rather than Maldonado running into him.

      1. If what Maldonado did in Monaco was done in India instead, Maldonado would be getting a penalty for sure, especialy how he cut the curb tighter than normal to block Hamilton off. I don’t know what the stewards at monaco were doing that weekend.

      2. My thoughts on Monaco were similar to your own. I also think that in Monaco, the earlier collision with Massa influenced the decision with Maldonado, and maybe that’s the way it should be: being in a collision is often both drivers fault to some extent, if you do it twice, maybe you should be more careful on track.

        That’s the way it seems to have worked out for HAM during the rest of this season certainly in the view of most stewards, I think.

        And maybe here it also caught up with Massa, even if he didn’t carry much blame for most of those earlier collisions. I think there is something in that too.

    2. this is a brilliant comment :)

    3. +1, COTD.

    4. I can’t agree. Inside or outside, I think that if you know a car is there and avoiding them is possible, you have caused an avoidable accident.

      I think that there are times when both drivers should be punished. If neither car took any avoiding action, both knowing the other car was there and both having a reasonable knowledge that an accident was about to occur (as could probably be said of this incident, except Hamilton did appear to take avoiding action when he knew Massa was going to cut him up), then both should face a penalty. In many situations it is deamed as one driver’s fault or a racing incident, where many are actually both drivers’ fault and both should be punished.

  12. Feuds are entertaining when the drivers concerned are at the front, battling for race wins. This, by contrast, must be the most embarrassing feud in F1 history. It’s two frustrated, embittered drivers, each vying to show that he is more immature and irresponsible than the other.

    1. On the contrary
      30th October 2011, 16:43

      +1 both of them are sailing in same boat, falling lower in their teams pecking order, brilliant performances are things of past and they seem to be squabbling on stupid matters.

      Both are spending too much time with each other and that is affecting other aspects of their lives :D

  13. On the contrary
    30th October 2011, 16:40

    Hate to say this but its time Massa Sr. & Hamilton Sr. have to bring their toddlers together in the sandbox and ask them to “play nice”.

    Too much bad blood between the two kids results in mere racing incidents getting blown out of proportion….

    1. I say leave them to it. This is a sport after all.

  14. Obviously Massa collided intentionally.
    It is called revenge. Clearly as that.
    Eye for an eye.
    I like Felipe but Ferrari should fire him at the end of season.

    1. On the contrary
      30th October 2011, 16:44

      Similarly I like Lewis, but McLaren needs to ground him as well. Anthony Hamilton has a better driver to offer at the moment.

  15. Yet again, the stewards turn out to be reasonable and make the right decisions.

  16. It was Massa’s fault. If he did see Hamilton then he should have had a penalty but I like to think it was an innocent mistake and a racing incident like Suzuka and so the penalty was harsh in my mind.

    1. I also don’t think Massa intended to hit HAM, although I do think he was overestimating his changes, as DC likes to say, they all tend to do that at times. I also didn’t really need a penalty, although I think here it was probably consistent with earlier penalties this year where drivers were already harmed by the a collision.

    2. @Steph I’m sorry, but he looked over at Lewis 4 times. It certainly wasn’t innocent, at best it was mind bogglingly incompetent and stupid. In Japan, where he came up behind Lewis and parked his car behind, he screamed blue murder about dangerous driving. How does he explain his own actions here? I made the point a few articles ago that Massa has in the past turned in on people and then blamed them for hitting him. This is way over the line, when Schumacher walled Rubens last year, he apologised. If the master can do it, the stable boy can.

  17. I don’t know in what world Massa turning into the side of Hamilton’s car constitutes Hamilton hitting Massa. Hamilton has often been at fault in the past, but I’m getting bored by Massa’s whining in general- this weekend he broke his suspension twice and blamed the curbs that nobody else fell foul of, then crashed into Hamilton and blamed him. I’m glad he got a penalty then retirement to be honest- not very sportsmanly I know, but he is fast going from one of the drivers I care least about to one I actively dislike.

  18. Yes, Massa closed the door on Hamilton, but was his closing the door unreasonable? I doubt it.

    1) How often have we seen two cars going through turns 5-6-7? Not that I can recall. So, why would Massa think that Hamilton can just dive in with his nose as if it is a ‘traditional’ passing zone?

    2) How many reasonable racing lines are there through turns 5-6-7? I have only seen one. So again, why would Massa assume to take on the marbles to give Hamilton space because he puts his nose on the inside?

    3) History between Massa and Hamilton: they have had many collisions between them this year and accept for Japan, Hamilton came from behind and touched Massa’s rear (yes on Silverstone Massa was the person passing Hamilton, but he was already past and gave room to Hamilton). So why was Hamilton thinking that this time it is going to be different? This time Massa will give him all the space he needs in a corner where no passing for position has occurred?

    Comparing Webber’s pass on Alonso in Eau Rouge is different. Alonso was coming out of the pitt, whereas Webber was already racing. Webbers tyres were up to racing temp and he was up to racing rhythm. Alonso wasn’t. Also, both drivers are careful to nurse their cars home. Something neither Hamilton nor Massa are known for.

    I think this incident was a racing incident between two drivers that clearly have beef with each other (despite their own words). Massa has decided that he is going to make Hamilton’s life as difficult as possible and Hamilton still thinks that he has unique right when comes done to how much space other drivers should (or must?) give him. This can only result in more collisions in the future. With two races left, they can add two to their contact-tally.

    Why I think a penalty was given to Massa? Well, Hamilton got a lot of comments for his overly aggressive driving this season, but he is a poster driver for F1. He makes sure that people keep talking about a race. Why would someone think that in the collisions between the two it would always be Hamilton’s fault. Not and to make this point let’s give Massa a penalty this time. Politics as usual. It is F1 after all.

    1. 1) How often have we seen two cars going through turns 5-6-7? Not that I can recall. So, why would Massa think that Hamilton can just dive in with his nose as if it is a ‘traditional’ passing zone?

      This was the first Grand Prix at the circuit so I think it is to early to be saying where it is possible for two cars to go through together or where it is possible to overtake.

      I am sure many thought racing side by side through Eau Rouge was impossible before Webber and Alonso did it this year.

      1. on point 2 you could say this about any corner but for someone to overtake they need to take a diff line unless they drive through someone, at a slightly reduced speed they could have gone round side by side but massa hit ham on purpose but anyone says he diddnt then hes dangerous and should not be in f1, lewis braked earlier thinking massa will still be on the outside when we exit so i better go slower so i dont run out and hit him, massa just thought he could get ham a penalty, maybe he thinks the stewards will take hams title away and give it to massa?

        1. +1
          The racing line is not unique, otherwise overtaking would be impossible. you can brake and push early. Eventually, you don’t maximise your speed of the exit, but the trajectory into the corner allows higher speed for the overtake. As best exemple is Alonso and Webber at Eau Rouge…

  19. Well, he would though wouldn’t he? He and Alonso are perfect team mates, both just winch about Hamilton and nothing else.

  20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXR5tjODIM&feature=related

    In this scenario where the guy at the back could have had, and should have had backed off. Nowhere does Ham come any close to Massa’s front. Yet there are a lot of people who say it is Massa’s fault? Seriously? Where was Massa supposed to go? Leave the track? Or, leave room so Ham could overtake when he was clearly behind Massa? Without trying to be rude, who in their right mind would think that any self respecting racing driver will do such a thing?

    Stewards are entitled to make a decision, but i have my own opinion on this, and i side with Massa. Lewis should have had waited… to make another move. With this the stewards are setting a precedent, which doesn’t make much sense. Overtaking used to be about one man doing better than the other. Instead, what stewards are pushing is some unseen behaviour on track, where one behind could try and one in front doesn’t defend?

    1. No one said a driver can’t defend his position. The whole problem is Massa is past the point where a driver can legaly defend his position.

    2. Yeah he should leave the track.

      And go back to Brazil, sick of his re-enactment of “Convoy”, he is nothing but Alonso’s personal moving speed bump.

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