Massa disagrees with penalty for Hamilton collision

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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.”

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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333 comments on Massa disagrees with penalty for Hamilton collision

  1. Oliver said on 30th October 2011, 14:57

    Brundle and Coulthard with all their experience keep getting things wrong and misleading viewers who are watching live, and giving them the wrong views of incidents.
    They are now commentators and need experts to interprete the race action. They are sounding more like dumb and dumber every passing day for trying to be both race stewards and “impatial” analysts.
    Even watching live you can see Massa see Hamilton along side, then Massa lifted from braking to inch ahead then turn into Hamilton.
    No way Hamilton can be wrong about that one becuase Massa new he was there and cut across him.
    And it also shows why, apart from Japan and maybe Singapore, Massa is actually the one provoking the accidents like in Monaco where he did something similar but Hamilton got the penalty.

    • I found it funny Brundle was quick to put Massa’s DNF down to Hamilton, before seeing the video of Massa smashing it on the kerb.

    • dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 30th October 2011, 22:53

      Luckily, though, everyone watching is an expert with eidetic memory and F1 driver reaction times, and can therefore see past their ineptitudes.

      I’d 1,000,000 times rather Brundle + Coulthard than Legard + Brundle.

  2. Mads (@mads) said on 30th October 2011, 14:59

    I don’t know what to think about the incident.
    It is clear that Massa turned into Hamilton, but it was a very fast piece of track with a lot of dirt off line, where would Massa have ended up had he not tried to make the corner? I have some suspicion that he would have made a nosedive into the gravel trap.
    As Brundle rightly said, that piece of track is one at a time.
    I think it is quite clear from the look and speed of that corner, coupled with the line to the next corner that, that gap was ALWAYS going to disappear and I don’t think Hamilton was far enough alongside to claim the line into that corner.
    That said, it was Massa who turned into him in the end, and it did seem like Massa did know where Hamilton was as he had quite a few looks in his mirror before he turned in, but of cause you can look as much as you like into the mirror, but if the car is in the blind-spot you are never going to see it.
    I think this incident was a racing incident, as I would blame Massa for the collision, and Hamilton for making an overtake where both weren’t going to get through without contact so they both pretty much had it coming.

    • infy (@infy) said on 30th October 2011, 15:19

      Yup. For anyone to claim the line during an overtake, they need to have their nose ahead. Lewis’s was almost completely behind by the time Massa turned in.

      • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 16:52

        lol where did you get that idea?

        Yes Hamilton should have known by now that Massa would not yeald and not to take that risk. But that doesn’t mean what Massa did was ok. F1 is a non contact sport, you can’t crash into someone just because their car was in the way of your racing line. Normanly this would be just a racing incident without a penalty, but Massa just keeps doing the same thing and thinks he is right (the monaco stewards didn’t help here), he needed to be shown that it is not aceptable in F1.

  3. SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 30th October 2011, 15:06

    I wish Felipe would come to terms with the fact that Hamilton beat him to the 2008 world championship.

  4. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 30th October 2011, 15:11

    Now, I’ve been completely sick of everyone saying Hamilton is faultless and makes no mistakes, after watching this incident a few times and talking with others, I reckon if it was anyone’s ‘fault’, it was Hamilton’s..

    Brundle had repeatedly gone on and on about how that section is a ‘one at a time’ section, much like the middle part of the lap in Korea (where Webber couldn’t overtake Hamilton, despite some extraordinary efforts). Massa did leave a gap big enough for Hamilton to get inside, but Hamilton should have understood that Massa would HAVE to turn in on him.

    In Hamilton’s defence, he shouldn’t have got a drive-thru as he had to pit for a new front wing, losing time then. I think Massa was a bit unlucky for his penalty though, I can’t see what more could’ve been done to avoid a collision, Massa isn’t just gonna let someone through (unless it’s Alonso, but that’s a different argument :P )

    As a footnote to everyone. I am British, and I happen to dislike Massa. However, I believe that racing drivers can make mistakes (unlike some Hamilton fans) and those mistakes should be punished if (and when) appropriate..

    • brxtr (@broxter) said on 30th October 2011, 15:14


      I’ve been completely sick of everyone saying Hamilton is faultless and makes no mistakes

      I’ve been completely sick of the opposite.

      • “Brundle had repeatedly gone on and on about how that section is a ‘one at a time’ section”

        Brundle speaks absolute trash now n again.

        People always said Eu Rouge was a single-file section of bends. Webber and Alonso proved you can literally race side by side through the toughest/scariest turns on the entire calander.

        • DASMAN (@dasman) said on 30th October 2011, 15:44

          Your example is poor as both drivers were alongside going thru eu rouge. In this case Hamilton was barely halfway alongside and hit Massa’s rear wheel.

          • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 16:58

            No, its because Alonso is a much better driver than Massa. Had Webber gone into eu rouge with Massa instead, there would have been a huge “aeroplane” crash.

        • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 31st October 2011, 8:18

          @N Yes, a 2011 Red Bull (with all it’s extra downforce) against a Ferrari going through Eau Rouge instantly proves that Eau Rouge is NOT a single line corner, and that everyone can overtake.

          A brilliant overtake, but it was done by Webber relying on the grip of his RB7. Plus, at least Webber got alongside Alonso, if Hamilton had got alongside Massa, then it might have been a different story..

      • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 31st October 2011, 8:20

        @Broxter I’m presuming you mean you’re sick of Hamilton making mistakes, so am I. He’s a brilliant driver, but he hasn’t shown it this year and as a result I’m starting to respect Button a LOT more…

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 30th October 2011, 17:59

      Brundle said that he assumed Hamilton would get a penalty, simply because it’s Hamilton. I found it rather telling that he would say that.

    • this is about THIS INCIDENT this is the most clear cut out of the lot by a mile, bottom line you defend the inside as its almost impossible to defend the outside but if you try you cut back on the exit to get a better drive not take the inside line through a car!!!! defend the inside on the way into the corner or its tough luck that a car is suddenly there.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st October 2011, 7:52

      I got pretty much stuffed up about the way Brundle talked about the incident as having been in a place where its impossible to pass.

      He said that of the place where Kobayashi pulled off multiple overtakes in Suzuka last year. It was exactly the fact that its a place were its harder, and drivers less expect it, that make for great passes.

  5. infy (@infy) said on 30th October 2011, 15:14

    I’m with the commentators on this one. The corner only has one line, and Massa was in it. Had he jumped out of the way, he would not have made the corner (lewis would have been penalised for pushing another car off the track in the progress)

    Lewis was not along side him either, he was behind him. If he were along side, he would have hit Massa’s front wheel, not rear wheel.

    It seemed to me, as though Lewis dedicated himself to a corner where you cant overtake, in the hopes that Massa would have crashed out in the process.

    • Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 30th October 2011, 15:19

      I suppose that’s why Hamilton got the penalty, right?

    • what do you mean by one-line? every section of the circuit is one-line. Massa should close his left side not to allow Hamilton dived in. But in this case, Hamilton got a big momentum speed difference to dive in where the space is open.

      Massa has to yield to nurse his car home, probably in better position though I doubt that.

  6. PJA (@pja) said on 30th October 2011, 15:17

    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.

  7. Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 30th October 2011, 15:33

    @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.

  8. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 30th October 2011, 15:40

    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.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 30th October 2011, 16:37

      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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th October 2011, 16:46


      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.

      • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 30th October 2011, 20:32

        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.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th October 2011, 20:49


          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.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th October 2011, 22:23

            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.

    • 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.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th October 2011, 20:39

        @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.

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 17:18

      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?

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

  9. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 30th October 2011, 15:40

    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.

  10. DASMAN (@dasman) said on 30th October 2011, 15:41

    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?

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th October 2011, 15:46

    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”

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th October 2011, 16:01

      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.

    • Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 30th October 2011, 16:02

      @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 :-)

    • W-K (@w-k) said on 30th October 2011, 16:48

      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.

  12. David B (@david-b) said on 30th October 2011, 16:05

    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.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 30th October 2011, 16:32

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

      • Slr (@slr) said on 30th October 2011, 17:44

        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.

        • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 18:46

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

        • John H (@john-h) said on 30th October 2011, 22:16

          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.

  13. judo chop (@judo-chop) said on 30th October 2011, 16:19

    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.

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 17:32

      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! ;)

    • Slr (@slr) said on 30th October 2011, 17:48

      @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?

      • judo chop (@judo-chop) said on 31st October 2011, 0:08

        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.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 30th October 2011, 18:37

      @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.

      • judo chop (@judo-chop) said on 30th October 2011, 23:30

        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).

        • Mads (@mads) said on 31st October 2011, 10:17

          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.

  14. 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.

  15. John H (@john-h) said on 30th October 2011, 16:31

    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.

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