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Hamilton and Massa reconciled
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Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Nov 2011   |  10:58 pm GMT  |  72 comments

The feud which has simmered between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa this season, often flaring into an on track clash, has been put to an end by Hamilton visiting Massa after the race to make up.

The Brazilian was finishing off his press briefing at the front of the Ferrari hospitality area when Hamilton approached him and gave him a hug and said a few words.

It is not clear whether Hamilton felt moved to make some kind of apology or just a gesture to say that he wanted to put the events behind them. But either way, Massa, who earlier in the race had had another battle with the McLaren driver, this time without incident, accepted the gesture and said he appreciated Hamilton doing it.

“It was good to have a nice chat with Felipe after the race, ” said Hamilton. “I have great respect for him and I’m already looking forward to racing him again next year.”

For his part, Massa, who had always maintained that Hamilton was at fault in all six of their collisions, said, “I want to say I was pleased Lewis came round to see me while I was talking to the journalists. It was a very nice gesture on his part.”

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said, “I was very pleased to see today Lewis Hamilton come in here and hugging Felipe. At the end of the day that is what it is all about. It was a good gesture and I am very happy that today this was pretty clear.”

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72 Comments
  1. KRB says:

    Just get a room already!

    The real test will come next time they’re wheel-to-wheel next year.

    1. wayne says:

      Yes, and that is what worries me. A timid Hamilton will not win WDCs any more than an overly agressive Hamilton will. Hamilton regularly used to make up places off the start and now he regularly looses places, I am amazed at how early he breaked for turn 1 on Sunday. I think the world at large (press and ‘fans’) has neutered Hamilton, and if that’s the case all of F1 has lost out on something special.

      Brilliant season James, thanks for all the coverage. P.S I just watched the Senna movie on BluRay release and would highly recommend it to anyone, it was far better than I was expected. It was breathtaking.

      I missed the names of the two main guys commenting throughout the movie, the American gent and the British Gent. Who was the British Gent? I could listen to him for hours talking about F1, his delivery was facinating, cultured, incisive and his comments were always measured and felt ‘pure’. The film was all the better for his paricipation. Well done that man.

      1. James Allen says:

        British gent was Richard Williams, chief sports writer for Guardian newspaper

        US gent was John BIsignano, who did ESPN pit lane until end of 1991. (I then did that job from 1993 onwards until I joined ITV)

  2. formulasfera says:

    Massa did not realise that holding Hamilton, he propelled Button instead…

    McLaren wins over Ferrari and that is what really matters here.

  3. Joe S says:

    I don’t want to sound cynical, because I wasn’t there and didn’t see it, but why did Hamilton do it in front of journalists during a press briefing?

    And was Massa playing the game by mentioning in his quote where the hug took place? “I want to say I was pleased Lewis came round to see me while I was talking to the journalists.”

    1. Craig @ Manila says:

      Yep, I dont want to sound cynical either but I agree in full on both points. Certainly appears that
      (1) LH was making sure that journos saw it happen
      (2) FM was making sure that everyone noticed that !

      1. breda says:

        we can be cynical…
        but…
        it would have been easier to do it away from the journo’s.. this way hamilton is showing that he had to apologise to him in front of the media,almost admitting he was wrong and no, i’m no fan!
        bit too lovey though, what happened to when F1 had actual characters :(

      2. herowassenna says:

        The Fia, the race stewards and the corporate influence neutered them all.
        I like the fact that Hamilton and Alonso show their emotions. Always amazed that Mclaren allows their drivers to have facial hair. Just shows how pathetic Ron Dennis was..

        Wasn’t it amazing to hear after the race that Brundle and DC both thought Massa may get penalised for doing donuts!!

        I think you have to go back to the 80′s and early 90′ when you had real characters. Although MotoGP has a few who aren’t handcuffed by the rule-makers.

        Some years ago, Bernie gave Valentino Rossi an award for sporting endeavour. He asked Rossi to come to F1, “because we need you” i.e need your charisma. Could you imagine how F1 would have changed him??

      3. Alex O says:

        Kimi’s back!

      4. gareth says:

        Cynical? Maybe.

        If we assume that Hamilton’s intention was for the media to witness the ‘kiss & make-up’ then I would argue that it was a wise move from Hamilton/his PR people.

        The outcome from Hamilton’s point of view will be to use the media to possitive effect. With so much negative press around and the media’s bais toward the negative, visiting Massa with media present was a clever and prudent desicion.

        This demonstrates the importance of the media within F1 and is an excellent example of its influence.

        I would argue that media reporting of this is a positive for both drivers and should not be seen as a underhanded or cynacal move on the part of Hamilton. Massa is intelligent enough to realise the benefit of this story for his own PR: his comment drawing attention to the timing of Hamilton’s visit was purley the manner in which he expressed the situation.

        Massa’s words should be taken in the spirit of the gesture; they mark the end of one of the many stories in the 2011 Formula One season.

    2. Mike84 says:

      Agree. Just PR. These are competitive proud guys who have been absolutely fed up with each other for so long, and it’s all fixed in a few words in a moment before the cameras? They will probably each have the other’s picture on their dartboard for a while yet.

    3. K says:

      Er… why not?
      1. it’s a good gesture to do it.
      2. make it known if it’s a good thing, nothing to be ashamed of.
      3. no need to make conspiracy theories out of everything you see on screen.

    4. wayne says:

      Because that is the way the world of F1 works, that is the way they are ‘brought up’ in F1. All that matters is that the gesture was made and accepted.

    5. vitaly says:

      i don’t know if we should be cynical in hamiltons case. he always gave me the impression of being the total opposite of cunning. everytime he is criticised, he seems to come to the conclusion that if there is flack he must have done something wrong, and than he appologises. i don’t think there was ever an f1 driver who said sorry as often as hamilton has done in the last couple of years.
      on the other hand, if it was a pr move, massa is an idot for not playing along. instead he points out again that he never did anything wrong, which, over the course of a season, and with six collisions in total, is ridiculous. what you say in this kind of situations is that in the heat of battle and over the course of a season, everybody makes mistakes, and that both of you are to blame for part of the things that happened. instead, he victimises himself again, and comes across as whiney and immature.

      1. herowassenna says:

        To be fair to Massa, he took defeat in 2008 amazingly well, for 20 odd seconds he believed he was WDC. Everyone said how magnanimous he was.

        I think his whinny behaviour has more to do with his present problems re Ferrari team-mate.

    6. Jason C says:

      Is a public apology not more effective than a private one?

  4. Don Farrell says:

    Good to see Hamilton closing the door on ‘bad karma’ before the end of the 2011 season. Looks like he plans on starting 2012 full of positivity…. although I’m still inclined to thing Hamilton suffers from some sort of Depression. His moods seem to swing from all positivity to been all down in the dumps a few weeks later. Let’s just hope he gets his wish and has a more consistence race performance in 2012.

    Oh and James – thanks for giving us the best source of F1 info and gossip all season – I’ve been an avid visitor since 2009. Roll on the new season.. and let’s hope Ferrari recapture the vision to give a Championship winning car! cheers Don

    1. georgelotze says:

      I agree, that’s what i’m thinking also.
      If mclaren come up with a decent car from the get go next year, i think he’s going to be very hard to beat.

    2. Grabyrdy says:

      Agree with all of that Don – especially the Bad Karma bit. Lewis has decided to move on, so this had to be done.

      Still not quite convinced, like you, about his overall mental balance, but I wish him luck with it. As we see from the football news this weekend, these things are not simple.

  5. Chris says:

    A fitting end for the 2011 season, and also for the end of my 25 year obsession with Formula 1.

    I didn’t watch the race – I went fossil hunting instead (another passion).

    The race was on as I came back home and felt no desire to see what was happening. My passion has been snuffed out in its entirety by Bernie and the BBC (whilst I dislike and disapprove of $ky and their parent company’s business practices, this debacle was not their fault).

    I’m now off to remove all my shortcuts to all my favourite F1 sites.

    I’m afraid that means yours too, James ;-)

    I’d like to say on a personal note, I thought your commentary throughout the ITV years was absolutely fantastic, and I missed your wit, camaraderie with Martin and your deep insight to the sport over the last 3 years.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    Best,

    Chris.

    “Enjoy it while you can.”

    Indeed I did. And now I’m off.

    Thanks for everything, James. You’re a top bloke.

    1. Marko says:

      Chris! I don’t know what the future holds for F1 coverage in Australia but I wouldn’t give up because some people are greedy for money. And why would you give up on such a great and interesting site as this one? James provides so much quality commentary and insight that you could cope without seeing every race even though that us dissapointing.

      I have to admit though, that last nights race was anti-climatic and I regret getting up at 2:00 am to watch it this morning – lol.

      Personaly, I am grateful for any coverage I can get regardless of my feelings for what has happened!

    2. Rob Newman says:

      Trust me Chris. You will be back. F1 is too good to give up that easily. It is an addiction.

    3. Tom in adelaide says:

      Chris, the wonders of the internet will allow you to watch every race next year, in HD, commercial free, only a few hours after air-time. Don’t give up so easily!

    4. Blade Runner says:

      Don’t know how you can give up F1, it is the best excuse I have ever found to get out of household “chores” on a Sunday that man has invented!

      Most of a Sunday sat on the settee watching your favorite sport and no one in the family dare disturb you – bliss.

      1. RobH says:

        “No one in the family dare disturb you”….
        OMG That’s me! And I’ve only just realised it! F1 has got me, as it has everyone who reads JAonF1, you’ll be back Chris. ;)

  6. Jason C says:

    Glad to hear some kind of maturity seems to have broken out between the two of them. The drivers have got to stick together: for them, there are very few others who have that shared experience.

  7. Cliff says:

    Pleased to see that common sense prevailed over egos.

    Let’s hope that LH and FM regain their form and start, or atleast challenge for wins on a regular basis. Massa has been given the “hurry-up” from LDM, so LH is one less distraction. In the case of LH, its going to be a case of rebuilding his stock inside and outside of VMM. Personally, as a McLaren fan, I want JB to contine where he left off in 2011 and LH to rise to the challenge in 2012.

  8. Sebee says:

    Good for overall goodness sake.

    Bad for our entertainment.

    It’s ok to not like some people you “work” with.

  9. SenseiGT says:

    Good you Lewis! Roll on 2012!

  10. Alex W says:

    Good mature move, let’s hope 2012 is better for both drivers!

  11. Ted the Mechanic says:

    That’s the spirit. Respect to Lewis.

  12. Adam Tate says:

    This is a welcome piece of news. You could sense a greater feeling of kindness and positive energy in the paddock this weekend. Everyone was so supportive to Rubens and seemed happy for Webber.

    Everyone, except for Vettel seem thrilled to see the end of a long hard season.

    Hamilton and Massa patching things up and Massa’s donuts for the crowd are just icing on the cake. :)

  13. Peter says:

    Hi James.

    Want to say another massive thank you for your unrivalled analysis of this year’s f1 season. You truly do have the best f1 site out there keeping us die hards informed with every story and every rumour going.

    Keep up the great work James!

  14. goferet says:

    This is a smart move by Hammy for it’s always better to have a friend on track that will make your life much easier (see Jens move on Massa in Brazil) than have an enemy who will make sure he destroys your race at every given opportunity (see Massa’s moves on Hamilton in Monaco, Singapore, India & Interlagos)

    But you know what, the fact that Hammy has been having a feud with poor old Massa is embarrassing as it is, Massa should pick on people his own size for Hammy is a busy man & has way bigger fish to fry in the form of Alonso + Vettel + Jenson.

    P.s.

    Say, after the eye watering compliments between Alonso & Hammy in Abu-Dhabi & this now hug between Massa & Hammy right in the middle of the lions den (Ferrari hospitality suit)

    Could Hammy be paving the way for a Ferrari drive in 2013 & thus making it again the most successful team ever to lap around a track?

    Lets wait & see! For right now, anything is better than Whitmarsh & his skulduggery, I really hope Ron Dennis can let the long suffering lad go.

    1. BBob says:

      Hammy has bigger fish to fry? How so? He got beat soundly by Button this year. So, I’d say he and Massa are in the same place. Commiserating over having both been beaten by their teammates. Button is so much better than Hamilton.

    2. CraigD says:

      What’s this line meant to mean “it’s always better to have a friend on track that will make your life much easier (see Jens move on Massa in Brazil)”?

      Are you trying to suggest Massa allowed Button past so he could get down to ‘destroying’ Hamilton’s race? It appears that way. Your delusional fanboy-ism to Lewis is quite ridiculous (though admittely pretty amusing)!

      Most of Hamilton’s tangles this year were more his fault than the other involved. I’m a Hamilton fan (though after Button, admittedly) but I like to view things straight and logically. Attitudes like yours to other drivers give Hamilton fans a disservice. Thought I’ve come to expect it!

      1. Thompson says:

        Thats all Massa was focused on this season it appears. (note: collisions happened when Hamilton was over taking him….not him over taking Hamilton)

        its like those words…”Alonso is faster than you…” sent him into melt down, that and probably watching the video of the end of the 2008 championship.

        I have to admit I found it fustrating to watch because Hamilton was usually on a charge.
        Lets hope next year Hamilton will be allowed to race and not be hampered by team and drivers who are not in contention.

      2. CraigD says:

        But Lewis put himself in that position, behind Massa. They’ve been close on the track so many times due to their often weak performances this year (or all the time in the case of Massa)! Just like how Alonso and Webber have had many battles this year due to where they’ve been performance wise.

        Of course Massa was on a different strategy in Brazil so it was natural he would be ahead of the McLarens at some point. Massa made a mistake in turn 3, which allowed Button the run on him and easy overtake. Lewis didn’t have the same luxury and couldn’t get past.

        I don’t think it’s right to say Massa has simply focused on battling with Hamilton thsi year; Lewis (as he admittedly himself) should have always been further up the road and never around Massa.

      3. Sri says:

        I believe you’ll find Coulthard’s observations very terrible indeed then. Coulthard maintains that the “driver at the rear has the responsibility” in case of an incident, who happens to be… Yes, it is Lewis! Lewis who ran into Kimi very famously at Canada in a pit-lane. Don’t forget the one who couldn’t score 4 points in 3 races in what was the fastest car on the grid. Yes, the very same, the very best, Lewis Hamilton, who found himself in, what were but a lot of bad attempts at overtaking.

    3. Andy C says:

      Utter tripe that all of this is paving the way for a Ferrari drive in 2013. Thats the guy he’d be replacing isnt it ;-)

    4. herowassenna says:

      “Could Hammy be paving the way for a Ferrari drive in 2013 & thus making it again the most successful team ever to lap around a track?”

      Most constructor championships: 16
      Most driver championships: 15
      Most wins (all-time): 216
      Most podiums (all-time): 653
      Most one-two finishes (all-time): 81
      Most pole positions (all-time): 205
      Most WCC points (all-time): 4,864.5
      Most WDC points (all-time): 5,766.27
      Most fastest laps (all-time): 227

      Ferrari is also the most successful F1 engine manufacturer, with 217 wins.

      I’m assuming that you meant bring Ferrari back to the front, because as the stats above prove, they already are the most successful F1 team in history.

  15. Paul KIrk says:

    Don’t forget, Don, that Hami is still a boy! Hopefully as he matures and experiences some of the highs and lows of life and love he will be more able to cope with things. Actually it has been said before that racing drivers slow down when they get married/hooked up with a female. When I was racing I always said women and racing don’t mix!
    PK.

    1. herowassenna says:

      They don’t, there’s not enough space in a single seater!!!

    2. Don Farrell says:

      Hi Paul, Ya you’re probably right – these guys are still very young… I’m just getting old I think! cheers

    3. markdartj says:

      “Women weaken knees!” . . . Micky Goldmill in Rocky.

  16. ed24f1 says:

    It’s like a movie, all loose ends tying up at the end of a season!

    Seriously, it’s good to see them make up.

  17. Will says:

    I’ll 2nd that… Many thanks again, keep up the good work (this blog and also the twitter feed), it’s hugely appreciated.

  18. Rob Newman says:

    Good. Hopefully we don’t have to talk about this or Hamilton’s personal woes anymore.

  19. Joanna says:

    I’m afraid that now it is clear that Hamilton is susseptible to the kind of off-track pressure (not to say playground bullying) that Massa used, it’s bound to happen again and again as and when necessary.

  20. JohnBt says:

    Now, that’s a nice close to the season. Let It Be.

  21. Buck61 says:

    We are all assuming that it was an apology that LH gave FM. Louis may have just gave him a hug and said we’ll take this up again next year. Being a FM fan I surely hope that’s not the case. Massa finished in the points 15/19 races and his job is on the line, Hamilton didn’t make it easy for him by crashing into him 6 times. But that’s racing and that is the aggressive spirit of the drivers and that is why I love it. I do hope that LH comes back next year with the same aggressiveness, just a little less Nascar. As for Massa, I think he had a good year when you consider the car that Ferrari gave Alonso and Massa to drive. There is no getting around it, Alonso is the better of the 2 drivers and Ferrari knew that when they hired him. Ferrari have always mad him feel like the #2 driver and he finished the season just as he should have.

    Thanks James for another great season. I hope you keep us informed as you have before during the off season. Its not easy to find good coverage down here in the Caribbean, but thanks to you James I feel I have a good handle on whats happening in the world of F1.

    Cheers

    1. Buck61 says:

      Ferrari have always made Massa feel like the #2 driver.

    2. James Allen says:

      Thanks to you and all the readers for the many kind words about JA on F1 this year.

      We’ll be going strong throughout the winter will insights, news and competitions and next year we’ve got some great plans for more and better..

      1. markdartj says:

        That’s good to know. I get more info from you than I do from our F-1 coverage in the States, and my F-1 Racing magazine subscription put together.

    3. herowassenna says:

      Something has been bothering me for years and it’s only really come to mind just now what it is.

      To quote: “Ferrari have always mad him feel like the #2 driver and he finished the season just as he should have.”

      I have heard the same argument when Alonso was thrashing Fisichella in 2005-6, when Schumacher was thrashing Irvine and Barrichello from 1999 to 2005. In fact any dominant driver beating his team-mate soundly.
      What about Mclaren always favouring Hakkinen over DC or Senna thrashing Berger during their seasons together.

      But the thing that annoys me most, is that the “number 2′s” are quite happy for the public to support their case.

      Except one I can think of, Mansell.
      Piquet signed thinking he’d be number 1, and for new parts and spare car, he was, but he wanted Mansell to defer to him.
      Yet Mansell qualified ahead of him, out-raced him and humbled him. For 2 years.

      Ultimately, if you’re a winner, you prove it by being quicker than your team-mate.
      I’m a Ferrari fan and I can’t stand Massa. He is not a racer, and that means more than racing your competition, its about your mindset.
      I agree with you buck61, he is the number 2, but if he was qualifying better than Alonso, racing further ahead than Alonso and finishing better than Alonso, do you think Ferrari wouldn’t support him? He’s a good supporting driver but thats it.

  22. Andy C says:

    Good to see the drivers have tried to put it behind them. It was a decent gesture after what has been a bad year for them both in this regard.

    It will hopefully mean they can move on and not let this situation snowball.

  23. Some of the tabloids are carrying photos of this, but did anyone catch it on video?

  24. Rainbow says:

    A hug with Massa?

    He’s obviously missing Nicole more than we thought!

    1. Craig in SG says:

      You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  25. Richard says:

    Avoiding being cynical, I suspect Hamilton really did want to clear the air with Massa so they could start with a clean slate for 2012. Of course that does not mean either will take prisoners on the track, but lets hope they genuinely have put the matter behind them. That said I hope Hamilton manages to stay out of trouble next year with a lot fewer incidents. There’s no doubt Hamilton has been frustrated, but in being so has let Button steal a march on him. He needs to properly get to grips with these tyres because like them or loathe them they are here at least for the interim. Personally I detest them as they do not have the latitude or bandwidth, call it what you like, to allow drivers to push really hard.

  26. mo kahn says:

    This is how Rivalries are ought to be. Have your differences, but at the end of the day kiss n’ make up.

    So bravo to Hamilton for making the effort genuinely and Massa for reciprocating genuinely.

  27. ilya says:

    James,
    just one question – is it only me who mentioned Hamilton racing Schumacher under yellow flag? It was even replied on tv but no action from stewards…

  28. Keith says:

    James,

    Sorry a little bit off subject, but I noticed that each time the Ferrari came in for a pit stop, that someone sprayed something on the front wing. First I thought they were adjusting the wing as per a wet to dry race setting for example, but I looked again at the tape I made of the race, and he was spraying something on the wing.

    In one of your early post, you mention about McLaren and bits of rubber been on Lewis front wing, and I mention why not put some sort of coating on the wing, like we have in non-stick pots and pans, after all the rubber coming off the tyres, one would presume that it is hot, and in theory could stick to the wing.

    Maybe a completely stupid question, but given the amount of down force both wings are under and the speed of the car, do these wings generate any heat?

    1. Craig in SG says:

      Not a stupid question at all, but I would think that at the speed they travel at the wind alone would remove any above ambient temperature.

      Thanks for bringing this up, though. I hadn’t noticed it at all, but it makes some sense if they are experiencing any aerodynamic issues due to bits of (destructo) tyre sticking to the wing. Maybe some kind of Teflon spray?

  29. ROBERTO MARQUEZ says:

    Hamilton is faster than Massa that is a fact. He should have blue flags on him every time Lewis comes near, otherwise Hamilton will always be the bad guy if he tries to pass and the other one gets in the way on purpose.If Lewis had not been hampered by all these problems he would have been runner up in the drivers championship.

    1. Dan says:

      Spot on lol.

      1. ROBERTO MARQUEZ says:

        I don t understand what do you mean? please explain

      2. Dan says:

        It means I agree with your post.

    2. Sri says:

      Just because someone with questionable judgment is following you, is not a good enough reason to yield a position in the race. To do so, will mean signing an instant death warrant of your career as a racing driver. Media, the fans, all will be baying for your blood and you don’t really want that. All i’ll say is, Lewis isn’t able to overtake anything that is not much slower.

  30. Dan says:

    James, we want you back commentating in Britain! Can’t you come and join the new Sky era?

  31. Paul Jones says:

    I really do hope this whole nonsense between Massa and Hamilton is at an end. They have lost out on many points and ultimately, this has reflected in their finishing positions by the end of the season. Massa still has the support of the team and next season he has a good chance to repay that with better performances on track-he’s got the talent for it. Ferrari must provide a better car, mind so that hopefully both ge and Fernando Alonso are winning again. I look forward to those Ferrari 1-2 finishes:-).

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