Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was”

2011 Indian Grand Prix

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Massa was blamed for his latest collision with Hamilton

Johnny Herbert, the drivers’ advisor to the stewards at the Indian Grand Prix, has explained why Felipe Massa was penalised for his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

Writing in his column for The National, Herbert said: “After looking at it from different camera angles and studying all the data available to us, it was clear that Massa knew where Hamilton was before he chose to turn across him.”

Herbert said Massa’s decision to ‘open the door’ for Hamilton, before taking his normal racing line for the corner, also influenced their decision:

“Massa knew where Hamilton was, he opened the door for him by moving wide, and after doing that he still swept across and did not give Hamilton room.

“That’s why the decision was made to punish him with a drive-through penalty.”

Massa disputed his penalty, saying: “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?”

Hertbert, who made the decision with FIA stewards Gert Ennser and Vincenzo Spanno, said: “I know Massa was upset by our decision, but I believe we made the right call.”

He added Hamilton had not disputed his grid penalty for going too quickly under yellow flags during Friday’s first practice session: “He held his hands up and admitted that he had made a mistake.”

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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158 comments on “Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was””

  1. I think some of these explanations are crazy…for a start what a lot of people are choosing to forget is that that particular corner has to be taken one at a time, it is not the place to throw your car up the inside and hope the move sticks – for my money THAT is the avoidable part of the whole thing, that is why the commentators came to their conclusion.

    As for Massa clearly being aware, well maybe he was but who can say exactly what a driver sees in any given incident? Herbert may well have had all the info and angles etc but you can still see enough of what happened by the tv coverage.

    I think by saying it was Massa’s fault because he knew the other driver was there is a dangerous precident to set for other drivers to make doubtful moves. I expect Mclaren were fully expecting a penalty and were probably very surprised at the verdict.

  2. So another race and another incident. Once again i believe that no-one was in the right or the wrong. You could say Massa should have give Hamilton more room or that Hamilton should have backed out sooner. Either way what has happened to just calling these incidents just racing incidents. I don’t believe (albeit others might) Massa wanted to crash into Hamilton but once again I’m here ranting at why in-race penalties exist for these minor collisions.

    These incidents happen and I believe it should just be a racing incident and move on. Or if we have to have penalties can they not be in-race penalties, can the FIA not be more creative, like weight added to car for next race or just a minor 1 grid place penalty. I personally would love to see an end to in-race penalties as they take the enjoyment out the racing.

  3. Anyone who doesn’t agree with Herbert should take a look again at Monaco incident.
    It is obvious self/ car preservation, is the least thing on Massa’s mind.
    He uses his car like a mobile barrier.
    It is the fact that an experienced racer like Herbert, could analyse the incident from the perspective of the driver, and seperating facts from fiction, which exposed Massa.

    The fact Hamilton didn’t make a last minute dive, but was actually running abreast with Massa, makes any argument of racing line a very stupid proposition indeed.
    Would Massa had maintained his racing line if a car had broken down there? Why then will he or anyone else justify his absurd illusion that he had the racing line when another car was already in his path.

    In all honesty, Hamilton was too kind on Massa, he could have forced him Wide. But that is the difference. hamilton wasn’t trying to have an accident.

    On another note, the DRS and it’s application, is giving lots of folks a wrong impression of wat overtaking is. Most people don’t know anymore that racing involves denying your opposition the optimum path. having a car power past on the straights is just not an art.
    Likewise, the overtaken driver should kno when to concede, an art Massa has refused to learn.

  4. I also politely disagree…is that when I put it so easy is that I can not avoid it,obviously if you get a impact from the rear of your car’s fault may be of another vehicle but this is a simplistic reductionism,in competition if you go ahead and prevents another participant can catch the slipstream doing a “brake test” it is evident that the fault is yours because competition is allowed to facilitate overtaking the rival who wants to advance can pounce on their part back, when using traps to avoid overtaking should has give an exemplary punishment for the driver to has clear that when be crosses the line of sportsmanship will be punished regardless of the team in that is working, by doing this will allow at drivers most talented that developed it on the track and treated to be athletes and gives a show.

    since that you put on the table the Traffic Regulations…

    -if you make an overtaking on a road must reserve a space with the car surpassed when you return back to your lane, if you return to the lane soon you provoke a collision, althought you receives the impact on the back of your car.

    -when you make an overtaking you should be looking first for the rear view mirrors because if another car has begun the maneuvering must give way to another vehicle which has a preference for pure common sense anyway if you start the maneuver provoke a collision and you will be the responsible,although you receive the product of the collision at the rear of your car.

    On the issue of why this move makes Massa…a judge does not asks questions about the meaning of life, simply collates evidence and makes a decision according to law.In a few words the opinion of Felipe Massa is unimportant, events are judged as so way cold and fair.

  5. P.S My comment above is replicating to this one posted on this page.

    “Kiril Varbanov said on 1st November 2011″

    “I politely disagree.Why would Massa ruin his race intentionally by turning into Hamilton, knowing where he was, if Herbert is right?
    What are the rules in the civil world, on the road? If you hit someone from behind, who gets the ticket?
    Remember Hamilton and Webber in Singapore last year? Similar incident, no drive-trough.
    The real problem is with inconsistent decisions – every time there are different people judging, hence a different decisions.”

  6. its pretty obvious from the onboard on hamiltons car who is at fault. dont look at any external cameras, they dont show the true story – the external cameras make it look like it is side by side through out and massa hits hamilton. the onboard says the opposite and true story – that hamilton was never close enough to make the pass, and had to brake earlier to make the turn because he came in at a more acute angle, hamilton put himself in a self destructive position and the inevitable contact occured, lets not hate massa, please watch the onboard replay from hamiltons car and you will realise massa turned in just like any other top driver would have as hamilton was not far enough up the inside for that type of turn.

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