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. lebesset said on 30th October 2011, 16:34

    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

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th October 2011, 17:19

      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.

      • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 17:39

        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.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th October 2011, 18:02

        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.

    • this is a brilliant comment :)

    • Err Bob said on 30th October 2011, 19:38

      +1, COTD.

    • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 31st October 2011, 16:48

      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.

  2. Jonathan189 (@jonathan189) said on 30th October 2011, 16:36

    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.

    • On the contrary said on 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

  3. On the contrary said on 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….

  4. lucho19 (@lucho19) said on 30th October 2011, 16:41

    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.

    • On the contrary said on 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.

  5. Alex (@smallvizier) said on 30th October 2011, 16:46

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

  6. 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.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th October 2011, 18:05

      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.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 30th October 2011, 19:29

      @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.

  7. matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th October 2011, 17:16

    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.

  8. Taypicala (@taypicala) said on 30th October 2011, 17:25

    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.

    • PJA (@pja) said on 30th October 2011, 18:18

      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.

      • 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?

        • JoMcl said on 30th October 2011, 20:05

          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…

  9. L_A_Munro said on 30th October 2011, 17:49

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


    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?

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th October 2011, 19:00

      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.

    • tvm (@) said on 30th October 2011, 20:56

      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.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th October 2011, 18:21

    Initially I thought that this was extremely marginal between the two of them. But upon seeing the footage back again I do agree with the stewards findings. Massa clearly had a look over his shoulder.

  12. Mick2750 (@mick2750) said on 30th October 2011, 18:49

    Massa knew that Hamilton was gaining and went to close the door, hoping Hamilton would slam on the brakes and lose position. I agree with the stewards, Hamilton had the inside line, Massa could have left room and counter-attacked at the next corner. He deserved the penalty, and it’s about time the FIA stop penalizing drivers for ‘going for it’ outside the DRS zone that result in some contact. Massa should have yielded – he just couldn’t stand the flashbacks of Interlagos 2008 and flinched.

  13. f1geordie (@f1geordie) said on 30th October 2011, 18:54

    Its about time somebody got the penalty and not Hamilton. I’m not saying he’s never to blame, but when you see people overtaking Hamilton he has always been 100% fair with them (eg Schumacher lap 1 Monaco, Vettel lap 1 Korea)

    • Nigelb said on 31st October 2011, 8:27

      >>when you see people overtaking Hamilton he has always been 100% fair with them (eg Schumacher lap 1 Monaco, Vettel lap 1 Korea)<<

      And indeed Massa lap 1, India.

  14. Windowlicker said on 30th October 2011, 19:24

    Massa never leaves space he just turns in regardless ! Think back to Monaco 1st lap at the chicane Schumacher seems one up the inside of Lewis , Lewis doesn’t want to let him by but rather than cause a crash he leaves space then attacks schumacher in the tunnel . Germany : Hamilton gets a bad run out of chicane and webber passes him Hamilton pulls in behind and then attacks down start Finnish straight and re-passes ! I think Hamilton is very poorly treated by massa and stewards ! Massa is an accident on wheels , he’d rather crash and moan than yield and try to re-pass ! Button , alonso , webber , vettel and Hamilton all give each other room !

    • Wooolfy said on 31st October 2011, 7:04

      That’s exactly how to distinguish the top drivers from the rest. It seems like Massa had been causing Lewis problems all year but finally the stewards have taken a proper look.

  15. JoMcl said on 30th October 2011, 19:57

    Massa, although he looked in his mirrors, and certainly saw Lewis, didn’t change a thing to his driving to adapt. He just went careless into the corner, disregarding the other cars around him … not first time for him. When a car is in your inside, you cannot reasonnably look for the apex. For me it is very similar to Monaco, where I do believe Lewis was not 100% at fault.

    The fact that he broke his suspension, again, on a kerbs, just show how little he is questioning his driving! It is always simpler to blame other, and even the kerbs have to be blamed, just for existing. He is the only driver who got a problem with them but requested changes for next year! He is not even at the level of an HRT driver … what a shame for a Ferrari driver!. I do understand that he is under some pressure for his future contract, but c’mon, he is of no use at Ferrari.

    And last but not least, his attitude toward Lewis is a bit childish. I don’t think the grudge between them will ever be solved. He is a spoiled kid, and having all the time his family around him on track might not have helped him grow up!

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