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Penalty costs Felipe Massa a podium, as Ferrari reveal special deal
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Nov 2013   |  10:37 am GMT  |  21 comments

Felipe Massa was aggrieved to be given a drive-through penalty in the Brazilian Grand Prix, for crossing the white line at the pit lane entry, when he was running in fourth place.

It meant that the Brazilian didn’t sign off as a Ferrari driver on the podium, as he and the team admitted after the race that there was an understanding between the drivers that if they found themselves in that position, Fernando Alonso would have let his team mate through to finish third.

“There wasn’t an agreement as such, but Fernando had said to me that if I was behind him, he would let me through,” said Massa after the race.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed this to the Italian media, ” It was planned that way,” he said.

Massa gained three places at the start, moving ahead of the two Toro Rosso drivers and Romain Grosjean. He got ahead of Rosberg before the first stops and then got Lewis Hamilton, stopping two laps earlier and taking fourth place when the Mercedes stopped.

He was running in fourth place, six seconds behind Alonso with half the race to go when he served the drive through penalty on lap 34 and it dropped him behind the Button, Rosberg, Perez group. The FIA had circulated a note on race morning saying that drivers would not be allowed to cut the white line with hatchings, which delineated the pit entry, with all four wheels. Massa received warnings, as did other drivers, but the stewards decided to penalise him.

“I was having a really great race up to that moment I was given a penalty for crossing the white line. I don’t think I deserved a drive-through and I believe it was very unfair,” he said. “Others did it too, but they penalised only me. It’s unacceptable; there was no advantage and no safety issue. They just thought up this rule now.”

Massa performed a series of donuts for his hime crowd after taking the chequered flag.

So Massa’s eight year Ferrari career comes to an end after 11 wins, 15 pole positions and 36 podium finishes. Next year he will race with Williams-Mercedes, the first time he has raced an F1 car which doesn’t have a Ferrari engine in it.

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21 Comments
  1. vuelvekowalsky says:

    maybe himself and race control ruined his last chance to be in the podium. Next year with a williams, the chances at this moment seem slim.

  2. Galapago555 says:

    Shame… would have loved to hear on the radio

    “So Fernando, Felipe is faster than you”

  3. Phil Glass says:

    Sorry, but this hows how right Ferrari were to wave bye bye to dear friend Massa. He was given more than one warning and still went over the white lines.
    Also the very fact that he was keen to receive a “gifted” podium speaks volumes. Arriverderci.

    1. Chromatic says:

      Massa should apologise to everyone at Ferrari imho.

      They needed that p4 finish. With a bit more awareness he could have delivered, but…
      I was really hoping Scuderia could take that second place so Kimi would have the No 4 car again, as in 2007!!

    2. Random 79 says:

      “Also the very fact that he was keen to receive a “gifted” podium speaks volumes”

      Yes, because neither Schumacher or Alonso ever had Massa give them one…

  4. James Bond says:

    10 million is worth that penalty!
    Very sad for Massa!

  5. alan brazil says:

    well done blundell . probably your last stewarding freebie

  6. qslikely says:

    Totally unreasonable moaning. How can he & the team say ‘they just dreamed up this rule’? BBC showed pre-race circulation from stewards, a photo showing line which, if crossed, will gain penalty. Massa crossed that line, np question.

  7. Random 79 says:

    Best of luck to Massa and Williams in 2014 :)

  8. AJ says:

    I agree with Massa, A very harsh and stupid call.
    He is right to be angry and disappointed.

  9. Søren Kühle says:

    Is it just me or did Vettel cross the pitlane entry with all 4 on the last lap?

    1. Matt Wills says:

      I’ve seen the same but nobody talks about. You are correct.

    2. Fireman says:

      Yes, it’s a conspiracy.

    3. Sebee says:

      He’s a 4 x WDC.

      He’s allowed to cross it 4 times.

      :-)

    4. Geoff says:

      he did, but heard that only his first time….

    5. Jimbo says:

      He did. But it was the first time he had done it all race. Opposed to Massa who has done it numerous times before his penalty.

  10. Agent Orange says:

    I could be being a tad harsh but the race sums up Massa’s time with Ferrari for me.

    Capable of more but ultimately unable to deliver.

  11. Elie says:

    People who criticise the fair rulings are “harsh and stupid” honestly.
    - Stewards issued a written directive prior the race
    - Felipe was warned more than a few times
    - he continued to cross the line!

    Other racers did it maybe once but once warned they ceased to do so!. Some people listen some don’t !

    I would have liked to see Felipe to stand on the podium one last time in front of his home crowd. But honestly he’s been on the better side of the stewards more than once in his career and I don’t forget the clashes with Hamilton in 2011- Lewis copped it severely but Felipe was not faultless and I count Monaco as one of them.As Phil above mentioned there is a reason that Ferrari let him go and in fact it should have happened after 2010.

  12. Oly says:

    As he said, there was no safety issue and no advantage gained.
    One of the stupidest and most unnecessary penalty calls I’ve seen in F1.

  13. jim bain says:

    why did massa get a drive through for having 4 wheels over the white lines and vettell does the same on the last lap and get away with it ??????

  14. Phil says:

    It disappointing for him but he was warned during the race (we all heard it). It’s not like he only did it once and got a drive thru without warning.

    I hope he finds good form with Williams next year. I have a soft spot for both and will be pleased to see them do well together.

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