F1 Winter Break
Ferrari reacts to media storm over Smedley’s call to “destroy” Hamilton’s race
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Oct 2011   |  2:44 pm GMT  |  169 comments

The aftermath of the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa at Singapore shows no signs of abating. Immediately after the race we had Massa attempting to confront the Englishman, who rebuffed him in front of the TV cameras at the track.

Then there came the suggestion that the F1 drivers want to meet with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting in Suzuka this weekend to discuss Hamilton’s overly aggressive driving. Then at the weekend F1.com ran a race edit featuring a radio clip of Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley urging his driver to,”Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can, c’mon boy!” The Daily Mail has worked that up into a story and many others have piled in behind them.

It was Smedley who delivered the infamous words to Massa last season in Germany, “Fernando is faster than you, do you understand?” – possibly the most demotivating words Massa has ever heard via radio during a race, as they were a code for him to move over.

What is most interesting about Smedley’s choice of words in the latest incident is that he feels that the best way to motivate Massa is to get him to see that “destroying” Hamilton’s race is a positive thing to do. It’s a very aggressive attitude, but it speaks to that part of Massa’s psyche which has not forgiven nor forgotten the loss of the 2008 world championship to Hamilton, largely due to the pit lane debacle during the safety car in Singapore, which was triggered by Nelson Piquet’s deliberate accident. Massa has called for that race result to be annulled and described that incident as a “robbery”.

Massa and Hamilton have tangled in the past and although there wasn’t anything in it championship-wise for either man in Singapore, Smedley is clearly trying hard to get an out of sorts Massa to rediscover his form by appealing to the part of Massa that really dislikes his rival.

The famous Horse Whisperer – Ferrari’s “bloggy” way of saying controversial things without them appearing as official Ferrari statements – described the Daily Mail’s story as “a polemical mountain made out of the molehill that was the phrase delivered by Rob Smedley during the Singapore Grand Prix.”

It goes on, “It’s true that Felipe Massa’s race engineer was caught up in the heat of the moment and chose to use the verb “destroy” at some point. It might not have been the most politically correct choice of word, but it definitely carried no malicious intent, especially when you take into account that Rob is a Middlesbrough lad, born and bred!

“It is also true that this exhortation to Felipe came at the exit to Turn 5 on lap 11 of the race, at the end of which both the Ferrari man and Hamilton were due to come in to the pits together. In other words, it had nothing to do with the collision between Felipe and Lewis that happened on the following lap.”

Massa himself has written today in his blog on the Ferrari website, “I don’t recall what Rob said. I don’t think there’s any value in stirring up trouble now and trying to link this with the subsequent contact with
Hamilton: they are two separate moments and they have nothing to do with each other. I’m sure that Lewis and I will find a way to clear this up and put a lid on this story, as is only correct between two drivers. What happens on the track should remain on the track.”

Ferrari clearly wants to cool things down a little and who can blame them? On the face of it Smedley’s words can be construed as unsporting and an extreme interpretation of the rules might see scope for some sanction against the team.

But this issue collides with the ongoing debate about Hamilton’s driving among his competitors. Let’s not forget Hamilton was the one penalised with a drive through in Singapore for tapping Massa’s wheel and puncturing his tyre, which actually did destroy Massa’s race.

Whiting meets the drivers at 5pm on Fridays at every race, so there will be a meeting. But whether any of the drivers will pipe up and say anything, time will tell. It’s never a good idea for drivers to be singled out by other drivers for discussion, as has been proposed with the drivers’ meeting about Hamilton in Suzuka. It sets a precedent which none of the drivers really needs and which could come back to haunt any of them.

This story redresses the balance a little by making Hamilton look like a victim and no doubt that was part of the motivation for this being blown up into something. That and the fact that the title race is pretty much over..

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Is there any truth, do you think, in the story about the drivers wanting to speak to Charlie about Hamilton?

I must admit I'd not heard this rumour until reading this article, so I wonder if this is some tabloid junk trying to make a story where there isn't one, or whether there really is some truth in it.

Interested to hear your thoughts, James.


Sounds like a lot to do about nothing.


Agreed ! Too much for nothing




I tend to agree with you but I hope that it doesn't speak to Massa's mentality at this point in time - i.e. he's running a race not to win but just to frustrate other drivers to order, on behalf of Alonso perhaps.

If that is the case he truly is a spare cog in the Ferrari machine, just seeing his time out.

Not very good for his self esteem whichever way you cut it.

I can understand his bitterness though - to be honest he's never going to be world champion going forward.


I dont get what the problem is as all smedley said was to destroy hamiltons race

it has nothing to do with Alonso so why bring it in to the convo

all i read into this is smedley telling Massa to keep Hamilton behind him and to finish in front

just what scumacher did in monza

I think you brit fans need to stop looking for issues where there aint any

Massa has not aided Alonso this year in fact he has been a thorn at times and correctly so

they have raced together and massa has pushed alonso wide at times

i would like to see a transcript of the pit to car radio message to glock as hami passing at the last corner really stinks to me


Agreed, didn't see the point of mentioning Alonso, but I feel for Massa as he is trying to hard and to be paired with Alonso has torn strips out of his esteem. Alonso in a different league and Massa should just bow his head and prepare to learn.

I think the issue of penalising risk takers will kill the sport, So much happens at the back of the pack to keep the pit lane busy with drive throughs. And yet it's as if we have blinkers on. I must agree the Mclaren sponsors are getting enough air time for their sponsors.

I have never seen so much action and controversy and some really awful decisions from race control.


I agree. It's a non-story and people are reading too much into a throwaway turn of phrase.


This has been blown well and truely out of proportion. I'm sure there are alot of comments by engineers/teams to the effect of holding up another driver if possible, if they are clearly in a faster car. This is just an unfortunate choice of words.

It's the british press trying to stir things up, and trying hard to justify Hamilton's aggresive driving style. Hamilton is currently a poor substitute to the driver that lit up F1 in 2007/2008.


Absolutely spot on. It's an attempt to spin Hamilton's poor driving into a conspiracy against him. He's been involved in too many questionable situations, including lying to the Stewards. If it had been any other driver, they would have had a race ban handed down. He's desperate to be seen as the next Senna, whereas the reality is that he is the next 1994-vintage Eddie Irvine.


It is so unfortunate that the PR machine has taken this over. I wish there was some real tensions and some serious driver-vs-driver rivalry. They don't have to exchange blows but some rush-of-blood-to-the-head moments could be welcome in this sport. Look at how fondly we look at Prost/Senna.

It can be done correctly. Not every top driver needs to be so "share your toys, play nice with others". I think you have to go back to 1997 to have a last no-holds-barred event, and try to remember how that made you feel - regardless if it was right or wrong. We still talk about it today and a year doesn't go by where I don't see a photo of Schumi bumping Jacques somewhere.

As for 2008 Singapore - as most know by now I'm 100% with Massa on that one. Regardless who it impacts in the 08 WDC, that event being allowed to stand is a huge discredit to F1's integrity.


How is it Hamiltons fault that somebody completely outside his control cheated. Its not Massas fault either, but he has to remember that he dragged the hose down the pit lane... And doesnt he remember that he was gifted a win in Spa when Lewis was robbed? He clearly gave the position back.

I think Felipe s misplaceing blame as far as 2008 is concerned. Also, whos fault is it that he finished in 13th place, down 2 laps in Silverston?


Misplaced blame, I think Massa hasn't woken up from missing out on the WDC. For him it was like Halley's comet moment( once in a lifetime). I don't think he will ever come close or win it. beside he was helped a lot and in the end the rightful owner to the trophy clinched it.


Im not sure it would even be fair to strip Alonso of the win, Afterall there's no evidence that he was aware of what Piquet was going to do.

Regardless of what members of his team or his team mate plotted to do he still drove a good race & made no mistakes.


F1 race is so intertwined between all teams that the actions of one produced a completely unnatural set of events which gave us an absolutely unnatural result. No one in that race would have finished where they did if Jr. does not crash and safety car doesn't come out.

This is why it is an overall unnatural result and irrelevant. As for the other comment of Alonso giving back the trophy - what a classy move that would have been. But it didn't happen, did it?


100% agree with the last paragraph.


Hard to see how that can work. Retrospectively remove an entire event from the standings because one entrant cheated?

I can see an argument for removing Alonso from the results if the rules allowed for it, but canning everyone's results is unfair to all the finishers, most of whom didn't benefit from Piquet's crash.


Yes, fair enough. What really irks me is that it is still on Alonso's record of victories. If I was him I would have asked to have it removed as soon as I found out how it was won. That's if I didn't already know beforehand 🙂


''Then there came the suggestion that the F1 drivers want to meet with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting to

discuss Hamilton’s overly aggressive



Oh dear! It's now a campaign.

Only wish I knew the names to these cowardly drivers, how dare they. For sure, a number of dark forces (including stewards) would love nothing more than see the back of our boy straight out of the sport.

Massa should let go of Singapore 2008 already for the title wasn't his to begin with. Has he forgotten Spa 2008 or how about Japan 2008 - first corner incident - when Hammy was bluntly robbed then later on, Bourdais was giving a penalty when it was obvious for all that Massa was to blame.

As for Singapore this year, Massa was being used as a roadblock AGAIN inorder to protect the SPECIAL ONE (Alonso) from the first charging Hamilton.

But no worries, we're no longer concerned with Alonso for Ferrari nowadays is the team where driver's careers go to die - From Kimi to Badoer to Fisichella to Massa & lastly Alonso himself (What goes around, comes around)


If my memory serves me correctly, Lewis' first corner problems at Japan in 2008 were entirely his own doing as he missed his braking point and forced Raikkonen and others off the road in the process. He was always going to get a drive through for that, just as Massa was for later spinning him at the chicane (so honours even really). Also, Massa could point to Hungary as a race he should have won by rights, before his engine decided to eat itself. Interestingly, Mark Hughes did an analysis of the season with all interventions of luck or fate removed, and concluded that Massa would have won the title with two races to spare in those circumstances. Still, "woulda, shoulda, coulda" counts for nothing I suppose.


How about Silverstone 2008? Massa finished in 13th 2 laps down, whos fault is that? Briatore? Renault?


No, and neither did I claim it was so I'm not sure why you've made such remarks. Silverstone was a combination of Massa off-form and a Ferrari which was inept in the extreme in wet weather. Raikkonen also spun off in that race, remember, and in Spa a sudden downpour saw him also go from having a dominant lead to being caught, passed and then crashing out. Given Raikkonen's ability in the wet (see Japan 2007), that probably says all you need to know. The F2008 was a good car aerodynamically but had poor mechanical grip, while the McLaren MP4-23 was the opposite. As an interesting contrast, Brazil 2008 saw similarly changeable conditions and yet Massa dominated from start to finish - the only thing that had changed was the number of upgrades on the F2008. Make of that what you will.


Can't compare a bad result or stewards judgement in Spa (fully justified in my view) to a fixed race which produced unnatural result across the grid.


some of the drivers nowadays are like today's f1. Just a show.


"Where driver's careers go to die" You're kidding right? Do the names lauda, Villeneuve, Raikkonen, and Schumacher escape your memory? In the history of F1, Ferrari has only had 15ish poor years and have one races in EVERY decade they have been in the sport. Schuey won, count them, 5 world championships with the prancing horse!


That was all garbage, it was just a figure of speech. Smedly was clearly just trying to gee Massa up as he does in most races. Anyone who follows F1 would know and understand this. Hamilton's my man, but this is just a bunch of rags trying to make a story over nothing. Besides, Hamilton still managed to finsih way behind Hamilton despite Hamilton's drive through and broken wing 🙂


Sorry, obviously I meant to say 'Massa Still managed to finish way behind Hamilton........"

It also speaks volumes that Smedly seemed to suggest that Massa's key target for the race was keeping Hamilton behind him rather than moving past the cars in front of him.

All's said and done, Smedly seems like a very loyal and passionate guy, I'd definitely want him on the end of a radio if I were driving an F1 car at 200mph!


This only colours Massa badly in my eyes. You cannot assert that a comment made over the radio has no bearing on the race (if that were the case there would be no point making the comment in the first place).

Massa's "what happens on track stays on track" clearly didn't apply to his outburst after the race. Nice double-standard there.

And what I fail to understand is how Massa's race was "destroyed" by the incident, but Hamilton's wasn't. After having served his drive-thru penalty, Hamilton emerged on the track behind Massa again (in something like 19th or 20th) and went on to finish 5th, with Massa barely scraping into the points at all. Even without the collision, Hamilton would have struggled to finish much higher than 5th.

Massa needs to go. I honestly don't understand what Ferrari see in him. He's nothing like the driver he was in 2007 or 2008 and I can't see him ever improving from where he is now.

There's a balance to be had with Hamilton; honestly he's one of the (if not the) most entertaining drivers in the field precisely because he's following Senna's vision of always going for a gap. If everyone only overtook when it was safe to do so and there were no collisions or incidents on the track it would no longer be a thrilling and exciting sport to watch. You have to put up with the likes of Hamilton to make it entertaining as watching a precession behind Vettel isn't my idea of enjoyable TV.



As far as final finishing positions are concerned, Massa lucked out badly with the safety car and the McLaren was the quicker car - they lost similar amounts of time but Hammy had every chance to progress easier.

Massa was slightly unlucky being caught by Vettel at the end, could've improved potentially by 2.

I have heard some people blaming Massa for being slow mid-corner, bull, even if he was it's a legitimate defensive tactic to be slow at the apex! The accident was Hammy being clumsy, end of.


Massa's recovery after the accident with Hamilton was ruined because of the safety car: Massa pitted just before the safety car came out, therefore lost a lot of racing positions and was not able to regain a lot of these position because most of the others were able to pit under the safety car...

Agree with your comment on Hamilton being one of the most entertaining drivers in the field, but just wanted to put things in the correct perspective as far as Massa's unability to finish in front of Hamilton despite the latters drive through penalty


I think you have to have very rose-tinted spectacles to believe this kind of message is out of the ordinary! Always has happened, always will. Part of the story.


Why has this become such a huge story? In China 06 Rubens was told to "Kill" Heidfeld by Jock Clear but no one really cared because everyone realised it at face value.

The power of Web 2.0 gone too far? Presumably it'll sort itself out in time by the web and its users evolving further...


The Daily Mail, nay, the entire English speaking media should write articles how Hamilton destroyed the races of many drivers, including his own the last few seasons with his bully-tactics and disrespectful ways, instead of whining how an engineer told his driver to maximize his position.

I mean, how dare drivers defend their position against English speaking drivers, it's an outrage.


Well Said, if this had been about any other driver than hamilton, it wouldn't have even have been noticed.

Hamilton has had 2 good seasons in F1, and since then hasn't done anything to enhance his reputation, he seems to have an arrogance that all other drivers should move out of his way. If he carries on this way, then he'll probably not win the drivers championship again.


Hamilton's problem to many F1 followers is similarly linked to why the Sphinx was defaced by Napoleonic forces my friends.Some folk just can't let it go."Cognitive dissonance to protect fragile ego's anyone"!


"unsporting"... James.. not you too?

On this one I really have to side with the (rare 🙂 clearheadedness (when comes to conspiracy theories) of your colleague Joe Saward.


You've not read my words correctly


You say "On the face of it Smedley’s words are unsporting and an extreme interpretation of the rules might see scope for some sanction against the team."

I find that a subjective interpretation of his words, and a bit pouring fuel on a fire that was started by fanatic fans on badly moderated bulletin boards.

Ferrari (not even officially) have come out to explain it was "in the heat of the moment" and maybe "not politically correct".

Massa said he doesn't even remember the words.

I think that is enough to put a lid on it.

I appreciated you providing more context in relation to this event, but the part of "...that he (Smedley) feels that the best way to motivate Massa is to get him to see that “destroying” Hamilton’s race is a positive thing to do.", makes me to wonder on what is that statement based?

Did Smedley state somewhere that he indeed feels this is the best way to motivate Massa? Or is this speculation?

I would think it is the latter.


I think you are being too generous to Rob Smedley. By choosing to "destroy" another driver's race rather focus on your own performance is incredibly unsporting. In other sports they are known as "professional fouls" where you deliberately hamper an opponent instead of playing the ball. So I don't believe James has implied anything that a right thinking person wouldn't have concluded from the facts of the case.

It also marks the end of Massa's career, I believe. If he now has to be motivated from the outside by prompts of malice towards another driver rather than being able to find his own speed and motivation from within then he will no longer be a consistent front runner and his seat will go to a younger, more hungry charger - and there are plenty of them eager to take his seat.


Very much agree with the general thrust of James' article to the effect that this particular incident is being scrutinised disproportionately.

The incident itself was the sort of misjudgment that any driver might make in isolation and it is only because it seems to be part of a repeated pattern on Hamilton's part that it has received such attention. However, the repeated pattern is, in my view, a genuine phenomenon (whatever the explanation) and that, by contrast, is something which does deserve scrutiny.

In the context, 'destroying' Hamilton's race simply meant keeping Hamilton behind him for as long as possible: it is no evidence at all that Massa bore any responsibility for the contact (which of course he didn't given the nature of the contact).

The whole 'Hamilton drivers' meeting' is, to be sure, a little bizarre, but it does seem to reveal that Hamilton's driving etiquette does not, perhaps, command an enormous amount of respect among a significant number of current (as well as former) drivers and also that he cuts a somewhat isolated figure in the paddock. One contrasts, for example, Alonso, Webber and Button whom the drivers seem to recognise among themselves as opponents whom you can trust to go wheel-to-wheel with.

(NB the jury is still out on Vettel... and will remain out for as long as he is in the habit of disappearing into the distance...!).


Webber? Really?


One more thing! Webber as someone you trust to go wheel to wheel with? Didn't he hit Massa at Monza!

Really just goes to show how biased opinion is against Hamilton.

BTW I am a fan on exciting racing, not one driver in particular. I would be very happy to see Massa, Webber or Hamilton win several of the next races, although I think Massa would be very unlikely...



Only thing I would say is both Kobayshi and Petrov both said (recently) the driver they would pick if they were a Team owner would be Hamilton.



Do you know whether there is any telemetry data showing what Massa did in that corner, I.e. did he brake more than previous laps, or fail to accelerate when he should?

It could be argued that if he failed to take the corner 'normally' then Hamilton may not be fully at fault for trying to tuck in behind him.

Generally I think there are far too many penalties for this sort of incident, the odd damaged wing/tyre when people are racing at speeds is surely to be expected?


It doesn't really matter what Massa did, he had the line so it was up to Hamilton to concede.

[mod] It's all a bit meh... Hamilton misjudged it, crime of the century for sure. He's just having a bad season, he's hit a few too many people, this is motor racing. When you make so many split second decisions at those speeds you are bound to get a string of them wrong at some point. This is just basic probability.

The only reason we don't see a lot of other drivers having a similar run from time to time is none of the other drivers are quite so keen to overtake so quickly... You can't have it all - You're quick and keen to overtake, have a bad run and everyone thinks you're a pillock have a good run and you're the best driver the world has ever seen.

Take the rough with the smooth, over time I think Hamilton will show that he's as good as the hype suggests.


Interesting Massa thinks Singapore '08 was "robbery" but what does he say about Spa that year...?


do you still listen to what massa has to say? He is not world champion, because hamilton is better. As simple as that.

Could have been champion? sure. Other drivers with his talent have been. But they needed a set of circumstances that he didn't get.

Like champion's luck. An asset any champion has in truck loads.


Spa 08, Hamilton received penalty for not giving the place back to Raikkonen properly, this has nothing to do with Massa or Ferrari fixing something. Very different to Singapore 08.


Lewis gave back the position to Kimi......What was Lewis supposed to do, count to 10 before he got back on tne throttle!


Not gain an advantage.

If Lewis had tried to take the corner, or had taken the corner, he would have less momentum than Kimi, and less speed. He would in other words had much less chance to overtake. The way it was done, it can be argued that he did gain an advantage by cutting the corner, because that sat him up for a better chance for an overtake into T1 than he would've had if he hadn't cut the corner.

The rule doesn't say "don't gain a position" but "don't gain an advantage".


This whole drivers meeting about Hamilton is going to be embarrassing for those involved, especially in light of Smedley's comments and Ferrari's recent statement (they really should have just kept quiet.. now it looks like they have something to hide even when in all probability they didn't).

Ferrari should perhaps be writing a statement about why they think it's ok to use Massa as a backing up device and not let him race for his own points. Sad for Massa but I really have no sympathy.


Perhaps Massa's ire should be directed towards Alonso rather than Hamilton, since it was Alonso who was intended to benefit from Picquet's crime, not Hamilton.


Alonso was outside it, it was Briatore and Symonds. Piquet was only a muppet.


How do you know Kristiane? None of us knows the whole truth. What we can say with near certainty is that we don't know all the facts, and likely never will.

This needs to be reduced to the simplest truth we know. The result was fixed. I can't believe it's listed as part of the championship result in 08. Go ahead and try to grasp the fact that the team who fixed the race in most dangerous way got to keep both trophies and is listed as winning driver/constructor!!!

I love F1, but everytime I think about this I need to go get a breath of fresh air and bring down my heart rate. This is is, I'm never talking about 08 again, I swear. It's bad for my health.


Yes, I wasn't suggesting that Alonso was behind it, but neither was Hamilton deliberately frustrating Massa in 2008 - he was just trying to win races. However, as James' article suggests, you could say, rather than the Brazilian GP, which was a straight, fair race with no controversy, it was the Singaporean GP which scuppered Massa's chances, and that therefore his ire, reasonable or not, might well be directed against members of the then Renault team including, by association, Alonso. Therefore the notion that he harbours resentment against Hamilton from three years ago may not be true. All Hamilton was doing in 2008 was racing.


Do you really believe Alonso was out of it ? C´mon....


I know I deviate from the subject, but because it was mentioned, do we know whether this drivers' meeting with Charlie Whiting is going to take place for sure? Or was it just part of rumour-mill of Italian media?


The drivers meet Whiting at 5pm on Fridays of every race. The question is, will anyone bring the subject up?


Are TV camera's ever present in drivers meetings? If Hamilton's driving is discussed it would make fantastic viewing.

I seem to recall a drivers briefing in the Senna movie.


I hope you will be able to tell us which, if any, pusillanimous, so-called racing driver does bring up this subject, James. We really need to know who these pseudo drivers are.

Anybody like to take a bet on whether Vettel, Alonso, Button, Webber, Rubens or Jarno (we already have Heikki's negative) will speak up? I'll bet no genuine racer will have anything to do with this.


My money would be on maldonardo to bring it up and then other drivers with a grudge to join in. If it does happen...


Would be incredible if Hamilton gets singled out. Have his couple of mistakes been more inappropriately agressive than Schmacher's drive since he came back?

Has what Hamilton has done this year been worse than Vettel's moves at Turkey (on Webber) and Spa (on Button) last year. Those essentially ruined other peoples' races without them being to blame. It happens... it's just been that kind of year.

Why we are still listening to what Massa has to say, I don't know. He simply isn't relevant in F1 anymore. When was the last time Domenicali said anything positive about him? As good a season as he had in 2008, he's fast becoming more famous for the driver abused by Alonso than he is for the guy who once contended for the championship.


Crashkid Hamilton needs to be told crashing into people left and right is not racing, it's dumb.

Since when is that considered racing, except in Demolition Derby? Genuine racers crash into people every 2 races?


Naaahhh...keep it a surprise. I want to see it in the documentary a few dacades from now. Like Senna's driver meeting footage - that stuff was worth the price of the movie ticket itself. "The best decision is my decision." That quote is as good to an F1 fan as "Luke, I am your father" is to a SW fan.


it will be a disgrace if it does happen


The Overtaking Working Group, The Technical Working Groups,not to mention the FIA's infernal meddling gave us Grooved tyres, slick tyres,a ban on tyre changes, tyre changes, a ban on re-fueling, 17 qualifying formats in 5 years, DRS, KERS...confusion! Sanitized Racing.

Getting rid of all the Bullsh*t is all they have to do! Forget all this "PC" [mod], when will they wake up!!!!??????? its not what we want!!!!!

do the current breed even know what a rival is?


What a storm in a teacup !!

What is wrong with massa trying to destroy Hamilton strategy?? I am assuming smedley & massa understood that a strong defence at that time would disadvantage Hamilton against them later.

Its a strong word, but not inappropriate. Other words maybe..ruin, mess up, scupper... But there's nothing wrong with the intent i think.


One of the very few reasonable comments so far, just a classic case of reading too far into things. Who knows how many times an engineer has said the exact same words to their driver. The fact that we only hear the few choice comments aired live or in the highlights doesn't make Massa the only driver ever told to bottle up the guy behind him. I bet it happens more frequently than Angie here might guess.

Furthermore, I believe I heard somewhere that the teams can hear the other teams radios? Is that true James? I thought I heard that once or twice by commentators. If so, how do we know beyond a doubt that Hamilton's engineer didn't come on and say " alright Lewis word is Felipe is trying to hold you up, why don't you try the ole poke with the wing to the rear tire, make sure it looks like he turned into you."

Regardless of what was said or what the intent of those words was, Lewis was clearly at fault, he was outside an he tried to sweep across to the inside line and didn't have enough room to go behind Felipe, he broke his wing but while Felipe had to cautiously limp for nearly an entire lap after he had just pitted Hamilton was able to overtake him

And cotine pushing more or less just as hard until he came in for his new nose. So an unplanned pitstop and a drivethrough, probably 50 seconds max whereas Felipe couldnhbe easily wasted that and lots more limping around with a shredded tire.


Yes, the other teams listen in, as does FOM TV


James I think you may be incorrect(re: teams listening in) because earlier this year Helmut Marco accused Ferrari of listening in on RBR radio(accusing them of cheating), and Ferrari denied listening in. RBR eventually summised that Ferrari were watching the pitcrew for telltales of pitstop timing etc... Teams only hear it if FOM broadcast it. FOM hears everything unless teams scramble it, RBR did this once earlier this year, and got reprimanded for it.


As always, please forgive the automatic typos added by my "smart" phone which clearly thinks it knows better how to type than I do... Cheers


There's everything wrong with the intent. How about try and get around the circuit as fast as possible, overtaking as many cars as possible and not go about 'detroying' the race of others?

Massa's career is finished.


He didn't say destroy his strategy. He didn't say keep ahead now, it will pay later.

He called on his driver to ruin another driver's race.

Of course we expect Ferrari to act in an unsporting way, it just comes as a surprise when they are so blatant about it.


You stay ahead of a quicker car for 10 laps, you can destroy his race. It's pretty clear this is what Smedley meant. He was just geeing Felipe up, who's having a tough time. I can't for the life of me see anything exceptional about any of this.

PS There's a glitch in the posting system. The first time I post on any subject I get a message telling me I'm posting too quickly and to slow down. The next time it's OK. Odd.

Brazilian SpeedRacer

I totally agree.

Had Massa any hope of being again a F1 driver, should quit ferrari and drive for even the worst team, but this is quite improbable


it shows what ferrari think of Massa's weakened talent.

Message should have been positive...

'come on boy lets go for it, 3rd place in your sights maybe 2nd'

instead... Massa your a poor second behind alonso so instead of trying to get a better result lets ruin someone elses.


Two non-stories. In summary Massa has motivation issues and Hamilton has made some mistakes.


Agreed. Any driver that needs 'motivation' from his team should get out F1!!! The fact that Smeds had to say that to his driver should tell you all you need to know about Massa.

James, please change the narrative - I'm not saying it's your fault, but the Hamilton bashing thing is getting very boring. The guy isn't Jesus Christ. I wonder how we would all be if we had to do our growing up in the full glare of the world's media - every mistake magnified. I'm only interested in his racing...everything else is his private life.


hehe... to add a third one.

The championship is over so we need to find "stories" to keep us going


I didn't see that particular incident as aggressive as he had been trying for an overtake and couldn't make it stick so was backing out of it. Unfortunately he messed up - and clearly not a move anyone would have made deliberately. Sometimes these are adjudged racing incidents, this one perhaps could not be ignored, but it would be rather unfair to claim that it was a result of overly aggressive, unsporting driving.

Rather than bemoaning Hamilton, perhaps some other drivers should be considering why they are in F1 if they are not prepared to drive to get the best possible result.


Something ironic in all this fuss, is that we should blame FOM, hence Bernie, for misleading everybody with their very... 'cinematographic' race edit.

And another point: I think McLaren and Lewis's manager, should hire Smedley. This guy is an awesome coach, who is responsible for compose this Massa we see today. Before Rob, Felipe was too much error prone, result of his impulsiveness and emotional approach inside the cockpit (something we still can see at the outside!).

Rob recalibrated Felipe, gave him some sense of perspective and, most important, discipline — something Lewis needs right now.

With Smedley along his side I bet Lewis could regain his form and destroy the field... and I mean in a positive way.


Yeah, Rob is doing a great job with Felipe. That's why he's challenging for runner-up in the championship with Alonso, Webber, Button and Lewis...... oh, wait!.....:-)


Love the final sentence James!


now is rob telling him to destroy his race to help alonso ? or just to get back at hamilton ?

this again must be bitter pill for massa to swallow being no2 again



James the main issue with Hamilton is his race craft. He badly positions his car sometimes such as Spa (koby), Canada (button) and now Singapore with Massa. He leaves himself open to scuffles.

I dont think he is overly agressive i just think he is too eager to pass. He showed this behind Schumacher in Monza as well whereas button had the craft and patience to overtake Schumacher properly.

I just think he is over compensating too much. Regarding Massa im afraid if he needs that kind of motivational speech midrace then the boy is done. Ferrari are better off going for Perez or Button at this stage.

Michael Prestia

What a joke this story has become. I don't even think the word "Destroy" is unsporting in this instance. Everyone knew the McLaren was the way faster than Ferrari and should have been fighting with Vettel for the win... and so being behind was a disadvantage and keeping the McLaren behind was essentially destroying the expected result. IF Massa plows into Hamilton after receiving that message then its a different story but the way it was used was to keep Hamilton behind. End of Story... move on.


It's all a bit sad isn't it? Rather than run his own race, Massa is relegated to spoiling others for Alonso's benefit.


This entire story is so silly it would be hard to believe if it didn't fit into a pattern.

First, let's remove all gravel traps and that dangerous grass. Make wide spaces of asphalt where you can drive around at your leisure like Rosberg did.

Second, if somebody tries to overtake on the actual track - it's dangerous, let's punish them! Only overtakes down the long straight assisted by DRS should be allowed.

So now we got the track and the drivers sanitized. But what about those out-of-control race engineers? They are too aggressive! Something must be done! Think of the children!

Look, I think safety is important. I also appreciate that F1 cares about presenting itself as a gentleman's sport. But enough is enough now.


Well Said!! I think a lot of people ought to man up a bit!! Id be far more worried about crashing at 50mph in my road car than at 150mph in a Formula 1 car. Motorsport is dangerous. Get used to it!!!


This is is a non-story from the British perspective - that bump was somewhere between a racing incident and Lewis's fault.

I really don't see why Massa is still bitter about 2008 though. He had plenty of tight decisions go his way that season, and still lost the title. Sure, his pitstop disaster was triggered by Piquet's crash, but the situation was the same for everyone, and Ferrari made the error.


Fate and F1 usually has a habit of ensuring that only the most worthy rise to the top :

Had Massa won the championship in 2008, he would probably have been regarded as a lucky but probably rather undeserving winner.

This is also the way that Eddie Irvine would have been regarded had he picked up the title for Ferrari in 1999 after Schumacher was sidelined by his broken leg. Everyone at the time knew that Hakkinen was the more deserving Champion.

- and the same could be said of Jenson Button before his recent performance at McLaren demonstrated that he was a worthy champion.

Tragic though it was for Filipe, and an unimaginably bitter-sweet experience for his father watching the TV in the Ferrari pit, I have no doubt that the outcome in 2008 was the right one.

Eddie Irvine moved on from Ferrari in F1 and then continued to forge a brilliant business career : he was clearly able to rise above his experience.

Sadly, Filipe seems to be embittered by his experience and his subsequent accident and he does not appear to have been able to put it behind him.

Needing Rob Smedley constantly on the radio to urge him on is not the mark of a potential champion.


Chance here of another Oscar for Rob next weekend!

Drivers wishing to discuss any particular driver with the FIA (Charlie) could well be hoist with their own petard. This could be construed as not accepting the stewards' decisions and challenging the FIA's control of the race and the drivers. Quite apart from this, once a precedent is established any other driver could be pilloried by his peers and it could become a regular event.

If one compares today's Health and Safety style of racing with that of even 10 years ago, this lot wouldn't have lasted five minutes in that era. The rules of today have allowed much less aggressive drivers to progress, now this has become the norm.


I think Lewis should put out a statement sympathising with Massa and saying that he does not see why Phillipe should be Fernando's fall guy all the time and that he's a great racer in his own right. Then on his way out whisper " fernando is faster than you" in his ear. Massa is clearly unsettled at the moment and by his outbursts has indicated he's ripe for replacement at Ferrari.


Media rubbish regarding the message to Massa which was reported completely out of context. - Best ignored! That said I do think the stewards jump on Hamilton rather too much perhaps because they see "aggressive move" when he is involved. I think the contact between Hamilton and Massa was merely a racing incident for which he should not have been penalised. Massa of course knows his own form is likely to result in him losing his seat with Ferrari. Not really sure what to make of the rumour regarding Hamilton's driving style. I suspect there is little truth in it.


I agree with it being a racing incident however I also agree with the penalty. In my view if you collide with and compromise someone else's race(in this event the puncture given to Massa) then a I'd say a penalty is justified, racing incident or not..


Well key thing for me is that it was not deliberate. Hamilton did not set out to damage his own front wing and puncture Massa's tyre so in my view a penality was excessive. On the other hand Schumacher in the previous race deliberately blocked Lewis clearly contravening the rules and should have been given a penalty but he got away with it. It seems to me that stewards have a tendency to jump on Lewis because he is known to have an aggresive style. Lewis however is not a dirty driver at all, but others including Massa have deliberately done things to Lewis in the past and got away with it, and it's high time things were done more fairly and consistently.


Well of course everyone is entitled to their view, but my point really is that there needs to be a greater consistency in the way penalties are handed out. There's no doubt in mine and many other people's view that Hamilton is treated unfairly relatively. - Others seem to get away with incidents, but not him. As I've already pointed out some moves are quite deliberate, but of course I accept the majority aren't. Remember Vettels quite deliberate move on Webber, and how about Maldonado,s ramming of Hamilton during qualifying.


Well I would say that 99.99% of incidents aren't deliberate so your point is moot. I don't think Hamilton goes around deliberately crashing into people, wouldn't make sense. The point here is that he ruined soemone elses race in the process and that is why he was penalised. If the collision hadn't affected MassaI don't think he would have received a penalty as he would have only compromised his own race with the damage to his fromt wing. At least that's how I see it.


One thing that REALLY grinds my gears is the inconsistent, and sometimes unfair, treatment of Lewis.

Last year at THE VERY same corner, Webber collided with Lewis in what was described as a racing incident and no penalty given. I disagreed at the time but later changed my perception of a 'racing incident'.

This year at Spa, Kobayashi collided with the back of Lewis' car, sending Lewis out of the race. Vettel, Webber, Alonso and many others were in a similar position to Kobayashi but instead of colliding they chose to back off in that corner and try again later. Even though I was disappointed, I considered a 'racing incident'.

4 weeks later a similar incident takes place, this time Lewis is the victim and he receives a penalty. I believe the contact was no worse than instances in Singapore last year and at Spa.

James, or anyone else for that matter, do you see where I am coming from? or am I actually going insane/have a crush?


Lewis does appear to get more penalties than other drivers for similar incidents.


I totally agree with you, and I am extremely angry beyond the point of comprehension with the way virtually everyone in the Formula 1 paddock is treating Lewis. It is not just this year, it has been throughout his career.

You should have not changed your opinion on the Webber-Hamilton incident from the 2010 Singapore GP. It was not a racing incident and Webber should have received a penalty.

At Spa, the Maldonado-Hamilton incident should have resulted in all of Maldonado's qualifying and practice times being deleted, and he should have been not allowed to start the race as per the 107% rule, and should have been banned for a further two or three races.

Also at Spa, the Kobayashi-Hamilton incident was definitely not a racing incident. Kobayashi should have been instantly disqualified and banned for two or three races.

At Singapore, Felipe Massa for his antics which I feel has brought the sport into disrepute should have been forced to apologise to Lewis, McLaren, and the FIA in front of the media, as well as being fined heavily. Massa should have been punished back in 2008 at the Japan GP at Fuji for trying to take out his fellow title contender. Massa should have disqualified from the World Championship. If he had a problem with the events of Singapore 2008, he should try and 'destroy' the races of his current teammate, Alonso.

I have made comments a few times on this site about how this season for Lewis has been sabotaged by not only his own team, but also by others. If this story gains more momentum, people must start to think what I have been saying is plausible. I am concerned for Hamilton's safety and wellbeing, and quite worried these 'cry baby' drivers planning to do more of their 'mafia-like' work on him.

I see where your coming from Chris, and you are not going insane. I think you are more intelligent than the vast majority participating in this blog.


The lack of proportionality in your proposed penalties is frankly astonishing. A collision where one driver closes the door on the other (Webber-Hamilton) and another where one driver runs into the back of the other (Massa-Hamilton) are not comparable even with the most charitable reading. Short of dematerialising or otherwise bending the laws of physics, I fail to see what Webber could have done to avoid that crash, and if anyone warranted a penalty arguably it was Hamilton for closing the door in such a manner. Ant Davidson did a similar thing at Le Mans this year, nearly taking out the remaining Audi R18 in the process, and was villified for it so I don't see why the blame should swap around simply because it's F1. The collision with Maldonado was clearly more malicious and in my view inexcusable, but did not warrant exclusion from the race (they were on a cool-down lap and not exactly going quickly) and certainly does not warrant a two-race ban by any stretch of the imagination. As for Kobayashi, perhaps you would care to explain why taking the racing line and being crashed into by an inattentive rival warrants your disqualification from the race? I can't see any logic in that one, and the same applies to the proposed ban. Finally, if you are seriously suggesting that confronting Hamilton after being snubbed in the paddock is on the same level as rigging a race result, carrying out industrial espionage or blatantly breaking the rules (which is what Article 151c is intended to deal with), then frankly I don't know what to say. On a final note, Massa was punished for spinning Hamilton around by way of a drive-through penalty, and the claim that he should have been disqualified from the championship for that is without any logic. I am open to all opinions, but if you're going to start making claims as to what penalties should be applied you really should provide some justification for doing so.


There is a saying in F1, "You are either giving pain or taking it " and he's taking it at the moment. Meanwhile in Italy Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Smedley's involvement in another radio incident which embarrasses the team has "irritated" the senior management.


"Collided with the back of Lewis' car"? Excuse me? You must have watched a completely different version of the race to the rest of us, including the replay Lewis himself watched when he concluded it was "100% my fault". Kobayashi was on his line - and he was perfectly entitled to be there - and Lewis moved across in a braking zone much like Vettel did with Webber in Turkey last year. The incident is not remotely comparable with Singapore.


I don't think you're insane, but I do think Hamilton was at fault in both those incidents. He's a great racing driver, and they all make mistakes. His high profile probably makes his moments of this nature get more attention. He's got another ten years of winning races and titles ahead of him. As for you having a crush... Who knows? I'm straight, but I can still see he's an attractive guy. Regarding a meeting with Whiting to discuss his driving... Whoever suggested it IS insane.


"Massa’s psyche which has not forgiven nor forgotten the loss of the 2008 world championship to Hamilton, largely due to the pit lane debacle during the safety car in Singapore, which was triggered by Nelson Piquet’s deliberate accident..."

Case of selective Memory. Why does the 2008 Championship hinge on that? In like manner Mr Hamilton Could Claim te championship hinged on the Race results in Spa Belgiium that year.. Funny how no one seems to mention the fact that a Race win was taken from Hamilton and gifted to Massa. Selective Memory Indeed. Annul the race results in Singapore and do the same for Spa.


One was a decision based on data and steward review. There is no way an advantage was not gained. Go on YouTube and watch it again, and again. It's a long track and had Hamilton been more patient he would have won Spa fair and square. There was time and he had the car and skill, but he didn't use his head. he cut. He got an advantage and didn't properly reset.

The other was a complete farce - a fixed event, tainted completely by an act of cheating. No way it should be allowed to stand and be counted. It should have been declared a non-championship event.

Oh boy...I have to stop this, my heart rate is as high as a sprinter's - this is what happens when someone messes with the sport you love. I have to stop reminding myself about Singapore 2008. Time to take some "Forget 2008 forever" vitamins.


You do realise that would result in Hamilton losing 12 points (two 3rd places under the old system) and Massa losing 10, thereby giving Massa the championship by 1 point...


Storm in a tea cup I would say. As you rightly pointed out, there is no malice and Smedley is simply trying to encourage his driver but chose the wrong words.

I was listening to you on Talksports Radio this afternoon. I can see where you are coming from as a journalist. You mentioned that drivers discuss ‘safety’ among other things with Charlie on Friday. The way Hamilton has been driving recently is a safety issue to everyone on the track. Hamilton is not learning from his mistakes. He even didn’t care about what Lauda or Mansell or anyone else said.

You also said on the radio that Hamilton has taken lot of pain. But equally he has given others enough pain. Maldonado was robbed of his first few points when Hamilton put him out of the race in Monaco. From a driver’s or team’s point of view, points equals money in millions. Therefore this reckless behaviour needs to be contained. I am not sure if they will really discuss this with Charlie but right now even some people in McLaren are also not happy with his behaviour.

The media can portray Hamilton as a victim but that is not going to change anything for the better. I hope this saga will not ruin Vettel’s championship this weekend.


Hamilton is more like a victim now, I feel that's rather unfair.

It was a racing incident, he misjudged and made a mistake. And to discuss Lewis's aggressive driving this weekend is a bit strange to me.

Destroy meant give Hamilton a hard time, wrong use of word that's all. Guess a two week break gets boring.

Look forward to a dramatic race in Japan.


I'm not so sure that this was just a poor choice of words - I think it speaks to a certain win-at-all-costs philsophy for which Ferrari has become notorious among many in the racing world.

I remember when Massa rammed Hamilton into a spin in Japan 2008 (for which he received a drive-through). The TV feed showed the Ferrari crew leaping to their feet, screaming with delight and pumping their fists in the air. On every other occasion when I can recall a driver hitting another car from behind and knocking it off track, the team always looked worried, not filled with agressive joy.

That image (which I have never forgotten), suggests to me that Smedley's commment is more indicative of an underlying, unsporting attitude at Ferrari which regards their competitors as enemies to be destroyed by any means available.


With that poor logic in mind, it will be correct to asses that whenever Ron Dennis shows up in the paddock is to give Hamilton some sort of "instruction" to knock out his rivals.

Let me remind you of Pastor Maldonado's intentional move on Lewis in Spa and nobody said a damned thing. That was dangerous, intentional and had a purpose. Of course the Williams driver was punished. That's INTENTIONAL. This radio message is a circus fueled by none others than unobjective and uninformed press members, mainly from Britain. Neeeext...


I think that a lot has been taken out of context. It was just before the pitstop and they opted for different strategies, Lewis was on options and Massa on primes. To hold Lewis up as much as possible whilst Massa was on primes and Lewis on options would benefit Massa as they were racing for position.

Yes it was worded strongly, but how often do we hear "it destroyed my race" when in fact they might have only cost one position had they have not been held up. It is a frequently used word in F1 and has a slightly different meaning than in the real world.

F1 is a show and it is very dramatic and exciting, so sometimes words that are more dramatic are used to enhance the show than what could be used.


"On the face of it Smedley’s words are unsporting and an extreme interpretation of the rules might see scope for some sanction against the team."

I disagree. It's just a figure of speech used to mean keep Hamilton behind him as long as possible. I'm sure someone said Schumacher destroyed Hamilton's race in Monza.

I'm sure these sort of figures of speech are used over team radio all the time.


If Smedley's comments were unsporting on the face of it, what are the Honda engineer's comments in that video? What sanctions should have been imposed there?

Both are just figures of speech. We can't take them literally. I can't believe this has blown up like it has to be honest. It's a non-story.


Tactics to make your driver race, as of the Latest Massa, he is not the same racer after Hungry disaster of 2009.However there was some sign of the Massa before Hungry 2009 in the German GP last year, Massa was leading only to be told to move over, this has made Massa mentally weak and now resides 2008 as a main reason for not winning. Rob did not meant to harm Lewis's race but to hold up Lewis (during the heat of the moment). I am sure Massa and Hamilton will make up and will be friends, its just a racing incident and we all need to move from this saga. I am a Mclaren fan and would like to see a 1st and 2nd places from now on.


This happens when you make public conversations that should rest in the private field. This is about context. It is not the same reading it now in our comfy chairs than in the middle of a GP. Imagine what we could hear from the sidelines in a footy game... This is all rubbish, promoted basically by the British press.



this is about who comes second in the constructors.Massa at last is useful for ferrari!

in the points total he is lagging so far behind the top group, the odd one out of the 3 top teams.

then someone has an idea, we'l send him out to be a niusance and get Hamil all riled up.

funny thing is Hamil falls for it. Windmast will have to wise him up soon cos there's races yet to come that have to be won


This story has given me a context to ask a question I've been storing up for a while now!

Watching the Senna film it struck me that some of the best footage wasn't from the track but from the televised driver meetings.

James, why/who/when were cameras stopped filming these and what's the chance of FOTA, FIA or FOM allowing it again? It would be must-see television for many fans and bring the character of drivers to the fore again.


As soon as this happens, drivers will be reverting to 'PR speak' mode due to the sponsors they represent.

There will be no added value in watching these in our era of polished media I am afraid.


Yes. Would be great. They were filmed for a show being produced by a Canadian guy working for Bernie, but I'm not sure if they were ever shown.


The Brit press needs to stop getting its 'Girl pants' in a twist everytime a briton/brit team is in trouble! Hamilton's behavior on and most importantly off the track has not exactly been exemplary in the last 2 seasons. For native English speakers, one should understand the difference between figure of speech and something that means quite literally, it was clearly the former in this case.

As for Hamilton, he clearly needs a fresh change and a new team - where he can be a teamleader. If i were him, i would clearly look for a 2013 deal with Williams or Renault ( the black Lotus cars and not the green ones).The more Button pushes him, the more mistakes Hamilton seems to be making, and what more, his strong persecution tendencies is harming his image out the track.


It's an attempt to shift some blame away from Hamilton. To me the whole thing is very simple. Hamilton has been great in overtaking but that is clearly why he made more mistakes. That's why other great drivers are more patient to wait the right moment to do that. It is debatable whether this strategy worked to Hamilton's advantage or not, it messed up other's race. Unfortunatly F1 cars are so fragile. I think Hamilton will be very exciting to watch in NASCAR race.


Hungaroring 2009 comes to mind. That was the race in which a spring departed from Raikkonnen's

car and hit Felipe's crash helmet. After all he almost lost his left eye.

I am wondering as to whether or not Felipe is in fact suffering from post traumatic stress.

Post traumatic stress is a weird thing - I still suffer from it 31 years on - so instead of attacking a

circuit and racing as he used to is he being more conservative in his driving?

Is Felipe spending more time watching the track and looking for something that might cause him

some danger? I know I would be if I were in his shoes.

I looked at Ron Smedley's alleged radio comments and, initially, it looked like he was

endeavouring to inspire Felipe to become a rolling roadblock.

However given my thoughts on this, was Ron actually trying to inspire his driver to forget about

the past and get on with attacking the circuit?

One other thought, is Felipe's sight in his left eye up to the job?

The collision in Singapore was on a left hand bend. Were all the others?

I'll leave that decision to the jury.




It was Barichelos car...


My apologies for the formatting of the post.

It was done in Wordpad.




Blown out of proportion completely. I think that this time James is voicing this out louder than any other media.

I wonder how many messages like this one from Smedley are flying over the radio of different teams during the race...I am sure it is just a figure of speech, nothing else.

We human can really write 10 books after hearing just one sentence...we thińk we know for sure what is hidden behind these words.

About Hamilton...regardless of what was said...he has to do something with his life as it is not going the right direction.

He is falling behind button and he has never been as good as vettel is this year...he can't live with this...


Lewis is definitely driving with frustration not due to Button but because of Vettels lead in the championship. If we look into it further Lewis has had two great seasons of 2007 and 2008, whereas in 2009 that season was a write off and 2010 so near and yet so close 16 points from the championship. If we now compare 2010 with 2011, Lewis is natural to be unhappy with the points gap which is huge but time will come back to him and I am sure he will be back stronger in 2012. Mistakes from his team and by himself is eating him up (lost opportunities at Spain, Monaco, Canada (DNF), Hungry (4th when he should have really won) and Belgium (DNF)) and he just needs to get on with winning now.


I´m brazilian (rio de janeiro), and, if initially i had doubts about the ferrai/massa "maneuver" (it is not clear in the replay), now this "reaction" by both ferrari (using literary figures where there should be indignation) and specially massa´s (“I don’t recall what Rob said...”) leaves NO MORE that something very bad occured. I they deserve full punishment, specially in that it´s being repetead. c´mon massa, you don´t recall what rob said, we were not told too ? very naive this guy, isn´t he, and also thinks we´re all fools, as he´s being to ferrari´s orders...


I would have thought being Brazilian and all you'd be behind Massa on this one...It's not always easy to remember what's been said to you in the din of the engine right behind you and while your traveling at 200+ while constantly having to make adjustments to your steering and taking corners and avoiding others on track and....you get the picture? It's VERY plausible that Massa does not remember or never heard what Rob said to him at that point.Always amazes me how compatriots can be so harsh on their own...or is it Ferrari you actually mad at because, presumably, according to all the conspiracy theorists, they using Massa as a roadblock for Fernando. The championship is done and dusted and it would be pointless and make no sense for hold Massa back, especially when there's still a chance of 2nd in WCC...my 2 cents worth 😉


That sounds like the kind of thing you expect competitive sportspeople to say to each other, particularly at the business end of the season. It's certainly not a patch on what drivers in the 1980s said (or indeed did) to each other, and certainly doesn't speak of conspiracy as some allude to. It's a poor choice of words given what happened afterwards, but I've yet to know of a driver who thinks making someone puncture their tyre is the way forward so I can't honestly draw a connection between the two. Ultimately, it was Lewis' error which ruined both their races.


What Rob said to Massa is irrelevant and yet another ploy by the tabloids to divert attention from the fact that Hamilton has been driving like a rookie all season. The amount of incidents he has been involved in makes Juan Montoya look like an angel in comparison. Massa has been a victim of Hamilton's brain-fade quite often now and if I were him I would make it a point to run Hamilton off the road if he tries something like that again with me on the track. The facts are clear - Hamilton was in the wrong yet again. What Rob said to Massa is irrelevant to the actual incident. Hamilton needs to sort out his head - perhaps a little less partying would also help his cause. Either way he is nowhere near the class of Alonso and Schumacher. He is too accident prone and still making silly mistakes. He can learn a lot from Jenson in the sister car.


Schumacher? Some people have very short memories.

As for Alonso, Great driver, but one who drove Vettel off the track at Monza. Does ANYONE seriously beleive that if that move was made by Hamilton he wouldn't have got a driver through?


Anyone questioning the greatness of Schumacher, really has little idea about F1. As for Alonso, he races fair and hard just like Schumacher. The trouble with most British fans is that as soon as Hamilton pulls a hard move on someone, they applaud his 'guts' yet when Schumacher/Alonso/Vettel or anyone else pulls the same move, the British fans pull our the rule book and begin moaning about it. Let's enjoy the racing as it is - and stop complaining about one driver or the other.


You just have to be a little more tactful when radio transmissions are open like this.

Work it out with the drivers ahead of time.

Brazilian SpeedRacer

Ferrari´s (literature, ha, ha, ha,...) and Massa´s ("I can´te remenber what Rob said...", ha, ha, ha, and no one told you,...) "reaction" tell no lies that it was planned, and in a very bad way.

BTW, i´m brazilian.


But when Martin Whitmarsh says he wants his team to be "feared" next year, that isn't considered a ghetto/non-F1 type of statement, and is swept aside. Smedley makes a fairly typical "coaching" type comment over the radio, and since he works for "that bloody red" team, it's a massive tempest in a teacup...


All that I can say is... F1 is turned into Yuck1... If Kimi doesn't come back in 2012 or if Mercedes doesn't give Schuey a competitive car... I really don't have time Yuck1 no more... Sorry, but this has become a sport of classless and the immature.

Oh and the constant unjust praising and justification of actions... All I can say is Hamilton is nothing but a Senna wannabe with a serious speed deficit compared to Ayrton... Unless a driver can beat on a regular basis his teammate by over 1.5 seconds in qualifying... Leave comparatives to Senna alone... its a dishonor to the great man.


Yeah, I'm not sure what to make of it, but the catcalls to me seem viscerally partisan and over-the-top. Smedley's call had an aggressive tone, but hardly unsporting.

I think a commonsense interpretation of Smedley's message would be just be something like "hold him off" - with motivation.

Likewise the scheduled meeting over Hamilton, if it is to take place. Granted Hamilton's been in accidents this year, but they were all very minor infractions so far as I could see. I actually think his driving in 2008 was more over-the-top - I'm thinking of pushing Timo Glock off the circuit at Monza - but it just happened so that there were fewer incidents for him that year (albeit he still racked up 5 penalties from the stewards for his behaviour).


Lewis is nowhere near as immoral behind the wheel as Ayrton Senna was at the height of his career - or Michael Schumacher throughout his.

Has anyone ever seen Lewis deliberately drive into another car to secure a win, let alone a World Championship - or even attempt to force another driver into the wall ?

Remember the infamous Schumacher / Barichello incident in Hungary last year ?

Can you imagine the outcry we would have heard had it been Lewis who almost drove Rubens into the wall ?

He's has never faked a loss of control and parked his car on the track either !

Yet Schumacher consistently gets off scott free and Lewis has criticism heaped on him from all sides.

Last week's incident was an unfortunate minor incident. The cars were so close, the smallest misjudgement on Hamilton's part or a miniscule lift by Massa would have been enough to cause the cars to touch. Yet Lewis gets a penalty for it.

It seems very clear that Lewis is consistently being judged by very different standards to every other F1 driver, past or present. One has to wonder why.

It's a fact that if you are faster than those around you and overtake more often than others you are bound to be involved in more incidents.

Unless, of course, your name is Jenson Button.


We could compare this to last year when Mark Webber accidentally hit Lewis's car. Lewis even claimed it to be a racing incident and not Webber's fault they just touched. That's maturity, but Massa may also feel what he did was over the top, but he was also frustrated with himself and with the incident.

At Singapore GP, Lewis was frustrated as he started up in 4th and ended up down 7th or 8th after the start, a good fight back apart from the unintentional hit on Massa. Lewis is in a phase at the moment and will come out of it sooner. I do feel he has come out of the phase as the second half of the GP Lewis did drive exceptionally well. He can overtake if he connects his mind, like Jackie Stewart observed.


Can you imagine if it was Lewis's race engineer telling him to "destroy" Massa's race. Ferrari would be up in arms about it and start throwing there toys out of the pram trying to get Lewis thrown out of the next race or get Mclaren detected some points.


This might enlighten you! Have a guess who said this.. "I wasn't at the top of my game in the last race, and I want to make sure I'm at my best and the team are working towards being at their best so we can destroy the field."

A driver who wants to destroy the field? how shocking, how dare a driver use such an emotive word as "destroy"

Anyway, here's a hint, it wasn't Felipe Massa, it was the guy who's only real chance of destroying a field would be if he went out of control (very likely) while ploughing or spraying crops while driving a Massey Ferguson/John Deere.



Must admit I didn't see that, but a driver (of any team) saying he wants to destroy the whole field means (to me at least) that he wants to win and have the best car to give him that chance of wining. Different situation of targeting one driver. I'm not really a Hamilton fan or a Ferrari one come to that but I do think Rob Smedley telling Massa this, was just wrong even if it was to try and motivate his driver.


Probably would have cost McLaren a $100m fine in the Mosley era !


Like I say, "extreme interpretation of the rules", as we used to see sometimes.


Hamilton has destroyed more people's races this year than any other driver in the last decade.

Antagonising him however... Not a good idea.


Isn't Smedley's choice of words more about the car than about Massa? Isn't it surely that Smedley knows that the car isn't the best perfoming car this year, and thus not really all about Massa's status at Ferrari, or Alonso profiting?

Unfortunate choice of words, yes, especially seeing the hullaballoo about them since, but more about the realities of the Ferrari rather than a deliberate ploy. ("Keep racing, but seeing as your car is slower than his car, you'll maybe gain something - some points! - at the end if you can keep him behind for as long as possible", rather than "Mess his race up".)

I'm far from a Ferrari fan, but I'm not convinced that Smedley is malicious. But then, maybe I'm being naive.

Grayzee (Australia)

Oh dear! This is exactly the sort of "politics" that Mark Webber wants nothing to do with after his F1 career(see other article)

Get over it and move on, please!

Adrian Newey Jnr

The problem is that the media has built up Hamilton to hyper status. He has used this to his advantage. However the downside is all the scruitiny when things are going badly. I can't help think if Hamilton had had a few tough years at the beginning, he may have matured a bit more and not said/done some of the regrettable things that are now distracting him. Perhaps for the sake of his career, this year is a learning exercise.


More interesting than this is the interview with Tombazis on 2012 Ferrari car....


Wow James, are you actually admitting that the British media makes mountains out of molehills when there is nothing much else going on 😉

Craig in Manila

I have no problem with either the words used or the intent of those words.

F1 is a team sport and Massa was being asked to act as a team member. Delaying a pursuing driver is a valid team-oriented move, what should he do ? Move over for Lewis ? Gimme a break.

As long as Massa drives legally, there can be no concerns. All Hamilton had to do was overtake him.

If Massa drove illegally and blocked outside of the rules, he should be penalised.

In regard to the words used : MORE PLEASE.

F1 is too "nice" and a bit of emotion is good to hear.

Or perhaps the Brit media would rather that Smedley said "Felipe, please go to Strategy 7. Confirm please" and this whole thing would never have been mentioned.


What happening to Formula 1. The Italian press is pushing for drivers to meet and discuss Lewis. If its true than the drivers who speak up should be kicked out of F1.Massa is just being used by Ferrari for Alonso's benefit.His days are numbered at Ferrari. Lewis is one of the best drivers currently, but he needs to calm down. When you try to hard mistakes are bound to happen. Hopes he does well in Japan.


Where does it say that the Italian media is pushing for this meeting? My understanding is that they merely reported that some of the drivers want to discuss Lewis's anticts at the drivers meeting which is held every race weekend. And as it turns out it wasnlt a made up story. This is how things get twisted and blown out of proprtin IMO, buy some who read somehing and add their spin to it or only hear what they wanna hear instead of checing the facts first.


In my opinion it was within the rules but unsporting and not really the sort of action you would expect from the Ferrari team. Ferrari used to have the mantra of trying their best to recieve the best possible team result at each race.

Ferrari seem to have developed a real Hamilton/Mclaren complex since 2007 that they need to get over.

I can't imagine Red Bull or Mclaren ordering their drivers to do the same.


... Just as, last year, no-one expected Red Bull to directly order their #2 driver not to overtake #1.

C'mon lads, a little less naiveness. This is a sport, a very competitive one and, over all, it involves huge amounts of money.


I don't see anything wrong with what Smedley said. I do hope though that Massa is a bigger man than to blame Hamilton for not winning the WDC. Championships are won and lost across an entire season not one race. Whilst I wanted Massa to win that year you have to accept that what is done is done and move on. Massa showed grace and sportsmanship above many of his peers at the time so I hope that is not spoiled now.

As for the drivers raising concerns about Hamilton's driving you'd hope they'd be man enough to raise them direct with Hamilton first and only go to Charlie Whiting if they felt they were getting nowhere and still needed some action. For all his mistakes, that is what they are and whilst he needs to learn a bit more self control it is not like he crashes on purpose. As much as I'm not a fan of Hamilton I do think F1 would be poorer if he wasn't there but he does need to find the right balance.


I don't read anything into this except it is clear that one of the best ways for massa to stay at Ferrari is to act as a good assistant to fernando.

This takes me back to Monaco and there collision there where massa clearly turned in early on Hamilton. What interests me most here is that massa I think was pitted early in Monaco to deliberately come out in front of Hamilton. James could you or anyone else confirm this or have I got it wrong?

I'm not saying that massa was at fault in either Monaco or Singapore it is more about Ferrari playing a team game. This is something that mclaren refuse to do and I think will mean that unless they build a stand out car they won't win a championship because there drivers take points off each other.


I think one of the reasons that Lewis gets so aggravated when other drivers blatantly block and shut the door on him, is that over the last couple of years since the Petrov incident (this year especially) he has been more than fair when other drivers make a move on him. I think he feels that he doesn't receive the same consideration in return.

As for Massa, since the accident and Alonso's arrival he's not the driver he was. Of all the drivers I can think of (Schumacher included) he has by far the widest car out there this year. Invariably his job seems to be to hold up the cars behind so that Alonso can maximise his own chances, such a waste of a talented driver in his own right.


I don't think it's a NON story.

Shouldn't Massa's motivation be something along the lines of "Let's see if we can win this one" or "We can beat Hamilton".

But to target another driver just for the sake of destroying him (his race) seems ridiculous and at the expense of your own performance for the sake of revenge.

Both Hamilton and Massa are suffering psychologically this season. Mass because of his team mate's ego and dominance and Hamilton because his dream career has faded somewhat and he is being matched (and occassionally beaten) by his (not rated by many) team mate, plus all the side line bling distractions.

As a fan of F1 I don't want to hear such motivational statements.

I have always been 'out' on Massa's ability and this year I am seeing nothing to convince me that he was ever going to win a title.


This is probably just me but i find it surprising no-one else has mentioned it: no problem with destroying anyones race, thats good competitive stuff and no less than expected in f1. What rankles with me about the transmission is the 'cmon boy' part.

Massa is not some puppy fetching a stick. The disrespect seems palpable.



If memory serves, wasn't this story broken by FOM on their website? If that's the case, had FOM not publised it then it would have gone unreported like the non-story it is.

It strikes me as something Bernie would do deliberately just to try and stir up trouble inside FOTA in the build up to the concorde negotiations..


I'd like to point out that, while those words...“Fernando is faster than you, do you understand?” may have been demotivating then, imagine how demotivated he must be now given that the same words could probably be said at every race to Felipe without any connotation - he is absolutely no match for his team mate. As for the story, its really just a sad state of affairs that this is just more fallout from what was poor judgement from Hamilton, something he has been guilty of multiple times. Felipe, guess what, you've been guilty of it many times too. Hug it out!


How about before Belgium when Hamilton said "I wasn't at the top of my game in the last race, and I want to make sure I'm at my best and the team are working towards being at their best so we can destroy the field."

As much of a non-issue as what Smedley said should be.


The is a world of difference between egging a driver on - to catch the car in front (positive), and telling him to wreck another (following) driver's race (negative).

It is to be expected of ferrari though, who respond with the usual puffed up crap from the donkey ditherer.


Bad news for Massa: if it comes to sorting out the troubles on the track rather than in the press, Hamilton will win the argument every day of the week.

Lord knows why Massa is driving a Ferrari. It must be something to do with loyalty or status quo or something. Or maybe its because Ferrari don't seem to like putting two quick drivers in the team at the same time. Where would this guy honestly rank in the field of drivers if he was driving an average car?

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