F1 Winter Break
Massa: “I have nothing against Hamilton”
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Oct 2011   |  1:48 pm GMT  |  269 comments

Felipe Massa spoke around 90 minutes after the Indian Grand Prix in which he was penalised with a drive through for colliding with Lewis Hamilton.

It was the sixth occasion the pair have collided in a bitter season.

Speaking after the race Massa said, “I don’t have anything against him. Zero. If I saw him I would tell him what I’m telling you now.

“I don’t understand why I have the penalty. I braked later than him, I was in front and on the grippier part of the circuit and I didn’t see him on the left. So he was behind and he touched my rear wheel. If it was Lewis or not I would do the same.

Asked how he did not know Hamilton was there when he turned in, given that he appeared to look several times in his mirrors as the McLaren closed up he said, “I knew he was on my side, but when I brake this is the important place and he was not on my side. I braked later than him. So am I supposed to back off and let him through? He was on the dirty side, I turned, he touched me at the back. If we were wheel to wheel I would not have turned.”

Asked if it had become a feud with the Englishman, Massa said, “Maybe for him. All the incidents are him touching my car. So I didn’t do anything wrong.

Hamilton said that he had stood next to the Brazilian on the grid at the minute’s silence and put his arm around him. Massa said he simply put his hand on his shoulder and said “Have a good race”.

Said Massa, “This is trying to do what? ‘Have a good race is not part of talking.’ ”

The pair have not spoken since Singapore where Massa challenged Hamilton in the pits and again in front of TV cameras.

The feud is real and neither driver seems to want to back down. F1 is in need of some eye catching story lines at the moment with the title settled and Sebastian Vettel continuing to win at will.

This spat will carry over, but it’s not enough to encourage many journalists to go to Abu Dhabi in two weeks. There was a decent media presence here in India, boosted by many Indian media. But with no storyline and no championship, the media turn out in Abu Dhabi is expected to be very small.

Meanwhile Hamilton fell further behind team mate Button in the drivers’ championship. He now trails Button by 38 points with a maximum 50 left to gain. Given the form of Sebastian Vettel, he will need to win at least one race to overhaul his team mate with Button not scoring in either race.

Hamilton has never been beaten in a championship season by a team mate before.

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Today was a strange one to make my mind up over. I don't really no what massa could of done to avoid it because he had to turn in there sooner or later. Racing incident just for me.


The incident looks a bit like the crash between the two of them at Monaco and a lot like the crash between Hamilton and Maldonado at Monaco. Yet that time, Hamilton got the penalty.

Overtaking in F1 can't come down to sticking your nose next to the other guys back wheel and use his car to slow down or hoping he moves over.


Totally agree with you! Hamilton expect everyone to let him through all the time.


If you turn in with a car alongside you, you're going to cause a collision because the car inside you has nowhere to go. The correct thing to do is leave enough room for the car on your inside. HAM was alongside MAS at one point and MAS knew he was there -- as he confirmed afterwards. I don't think MAS was caring if a collision occurred.

There is a question of whether MAS is acting as ALO's wing man, with a remit to block any cars that might pose a threat to ALO -- which this year tends to be HAM.

I suspect that the incidents started out as a coincidence, then once they have occurred a couple of times and everyone is watching for them, they increase in frequency because of the attention. I can't think that HAM is deliberately targeting MAS -- he just pushing on and MAS always seems to be the one that gets in the way.


The point is that Ham wasn't alonside Massa!!!


His front wheel was alongside MAS sidepod, which is very much 'alongside' - it amazes me how people see what they want to see. Take another look at the replay.


I don't think Massa's job is to keep Hamilton and H only out of Alonso's way. Doesn't make any sense.


So Quercus, if Massa was to leave 1 car width on his inside for Lewis, precisely where was Massa supposed to go? Once he edged to the outside of the turn to accomodate Lewis, he would have been on the dust and marbles and flown right off the road. Massa had no other option than to turn in. This was entirely a racing incident.


@ Quercus,

Sorry, I have to take issue with you on this one.

If you don't want the driver behind (who has more speed as a result of the slipstream) then don't defend the outside.

If you do defend the outside and therefore know that you are leaving space for the driver you have to break earlier (and hope that the other driver outbreaks himself), take an early apex and get the hammer down to re-overtake on the exit of the corner. If the other driver does not make the anticipated error then the position is given up.

The stewards have access to GPS tacking data of previous laps which I suspect shows that Massa did not take his 'normal' line through the corner and as a result treated it as a blocking move which is not acceptable as it resulted in the collision. A bit harsh on Massa perhaps but he has had the benefit of the doubt a number of times.

It appears to me that Massa is unable to maintain a demeanour when confronted by Hamilton that leaves HAM with no doubts about his intentions and is a poor defensive driver. The Q session at Singapore was a perfect example. HAM clearly wanted to get past and MAS dithered and left HAM unclear as to what he was going to do. Eventually HAM took a chance to clear MAS which nearly ended in a collision. I am not saying that HAM is blameless because he has made a number of stupid errors this year, but it take two to make an accident.


MISTER, it's hard to take your comments seriously when they are always exclusively and often rudely anti-Hamilton.


hey Quercus, what if it would be Lewis v Maldonado or Lewis v Kobayashi?

Ohh way, that already happen and both times Lewis screwd things up.


If there is a car down the inside into a corner, Massa could have backed off and slotted in behind lewis. He had a choice: turn in on Lewis or concede the place. Massa is so fixated on HAM this season he chose to turn in.

However, Racing incident was sufficient. Neither driver deserved a penalty in my opinion but then I cannot see what the Stewards see and the likes of Herbert's reputations are flawless.


So Liam, where was Hamilton supposed to go? Let's face it, if it had been Vettel v Button, Hamilton v Button, Webber v Hamilton or any other combination of the top five drivers, they would have driven cleanly and not risked an accident. OTOH both Massa and Schumacher would risk the accident. Last year Vettel and Webber would have probably have had a collision in the same circumstances.

These are professionals; they know how to avoid an accident in overtaking situations. Let's face it, Massa's role as Ferrari's second driver is to hold faster cars behind him when Alonso is ahead.


trent has a point, i agree the less intervention by the stewards the better, racing is racing there will sometimes be contact! when webber went around alonso through eau rouge webber didnt expect alsonso to no longer be there, they always race hard and give each other room! i feel that massa just turns in and expects hamilton to back fully out of a move so that he can stay on the racing line. massa has accept that he also has to give a little room. how many times have webber and alonso contacted each other this year??


I agree that maybe Massa should've given Lewis more room in India, but only if Lewis was alongside him or passed him already.

If the driver in front backs off and gives room to anyone who sticks the car nose on the inside, everybody would be trying to put his nose half way through.

Like I said before, Lewis was at some point side by side with Massa, but then he had to break early, either to slow to be able to take the turn or trying to get out of the pass.

If I put myself in Massa's car and I see Lewis alongside me and then he suddenly breaks and gets into my blind spot, I can very well believe he backed off completely.


May I quote the great man himself here. That man being mister A Senna. If u no longer go for a gap then u are no longer a racing driver. Massa had to turn in but I think it was just a racing incident. Not all contact has to end up in penalties.


Without sounding disrespectful, but everyone has seen the senna movie and all the hype to go with it, but the saying "if you no longer go for the gap, your no longer a racing driver" is getting as common a thing to say as "for sure" is for current F1 drivers! I wish people would leave it alone a bit instead of diluting the words and trying to make it fit every single situation where two drivers come together on the track!



I totally agree with the "not all contact has to end up in penalties" point.

Seems that of late any contact/crash is investigated and someone is blamed.

I thought Hamilton was a bit optimistic to be going for that particular gap and if you believe him he tried to back out.

Massa knew he was alongside? Does that matter? It was pretty obvious there's only room for one car through that particular section. Why is Massa obligated to make room when there is no room?

If both commit to the corner there is going to be an incident so both are to blame no?

In my mind it's up to the guy doing the overtaking to make a clean pass, as long as the other guy isnt weaving and going over the top with blocking then he can take whatever line he wants.

would be interested to know what the RULES are and what ACCEPTED PRACTICE is. I think the two may be different?


LH a threat to FA? When? LH has been outmatched by FA for the entire season.

Afaik, it was LH, until now, who crashed into FM, not the other way around.


But Hamilton himself said he tried to pull out of the move.

My thinking is that, if you're not confident the move is going to stick, it's your responsibility to pull out and avoid the collision.

Having said that, it was (as always) a decision to be made in a split second.

'Racing incident' would have been a satisfactory outcome in my opinion. The less intervention by the stewards, the better.


Brundle and Coulthard said Hamilton was in Massa's blind spot, which explains who he didn't see Hamilton. And for him to have had the penalty was outrageous. I was a huge Johnny Herbert fan when he was a driver, but there have been a couple of strange decisions when he has been in the Stewards Office.


Brundle and Coulthard are guessing, they are not in the car so they can only do their job and take an educated guess. If MAS said he saw HAM then he could not have been in his blind spot could he?


Lets face it, Massa still hasn't got over 2008 and at every opportunity he gets he trys to get back at Hamilton. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Hamilton fan, in fact I don't favor any particular driver over another. I just like to see good, fair, hard, wheel to wheel racing.

IMO, it was a racing incident and neither driver should have been penalised. As long as the stewards keep penalising either Massa or Hamilton the feud will continue. I say, let them duke it out on the track and we will soon see them put each other in their places.


MAS admitted afterwards that he knew HAM was there and his statements have been rather contradictory.

In any case, the stewards had the info and any driver -- like J Herbert -- looking at the replays and the telemetry would know exactly what happened. Hence they penalised MAS.


Massa should blame the MAYHEM dude from the Allstate commercials here in the states...



I honestly do not have a lost of respect left for MAS (apart from that which I have for every driver on the grid just for being there and entertaining me with their skill).

MAS is looking for something to fight for. He has given up (or has been forced to give up) on fighting his team mate so he is looking for another battle. So he has chosen HAM and he is focusing for to much of his attention to that battle. He surely knew HAM was there on the inside (HAM's front wheel was alongside MAS sidepod)and it is a testament to his mondset that he decided to turn in anyway. It's like he's thinking (If I turn in and we come together HAM will be blamed because that's what always happens and everyone will feel sorry for me because my race is over, or HAM will back out because he will have no choice).

Just look at how many mistakes MAS made dueing this GP. He nearly spun twice, ran very wide on a few occasions and eventually destroyed his suspension on the kerbs just as he did earlier in the week. MAS is sloppy, his will is gone and he is looking for someone or somethig to blame. Ferraari are just as responsible for this as MAS himself. There is no better team to be the defacto number one driver than Ferrari but no worse team to be the 'second' driver. Hamilton would absolutely thrive there if he had gone instead of Alonso. Ferrari would have surrounded him with all the love and absolute dedication and positive reinforcement that he craves. McLaren just won't do that, they havn;t donwe that since Hakinen - Dennis might have given Lewis what he craves but it's just not Whitmarsh's style.


Someone needs to get Hamilton and Massa, to sit down in the same room together and talk it out.

Both men seem dejected after a hard, bitter season for both of them, Hamilton more than Massa.

As Hamilton said, he needs to go home, and get his head together, he knows he is in a bad place, and as his Father, Anthony Hamilton, said, he would stake his house on Lewis being a different person, next season....I was in the same thought as Martin, and DC, thinking that Lewis would end up with a penalty, whereas Massa got the drive through instead, but again, it was a racing incident, to which in my eyes, no penalty should have been given...We have 2 races left this season, so things need to be built on, for next year, some of the Journalists need to help with that, instead of fanning the flames, and sensationalising, so feeding Massas sarcasm, and Hamiltons Dejection....


Making up isn't going to help on the track. Hamilton is faster than Massa, but he keeps finding himself behind him. Massa is usually the first car Hamilton comes up against that he can't cruise by. Massa must be under pressure at Ferrari so won't yield to a major rival. Hamilton not having to recover from 7th to 8th place every race would help stop the situation.


I agree. If Hamilton puts himself in a position where he doesn't have to push hard or recover he won't find himself in these situations.


Like Vettel?

I would not like that. It would be like me going karting and be on the track by myself. Will be fun the first 2 laps, but then I would get bored.

A driver's skill is tested while being in the front, coming from the back or in the middle of the pack.

Yes, it would be easier for Lewis if he was not behind these 5-6 guys at the front, but that's just chosing the easy way out.

Lewis and Massa should and I believe they can race clean, but since they are both under immense pressure, they try more then they should in some cases.

I know Lewis is and will always try to go for that gap, but sometimes the gap is not big enough and a good driver will see that.


"Massa must be under pressure at Ferrari so won’t yield to a major rival."

Why would Massa yield to anyone? He's a racer, just as everyone else. You got it wrong my friend. He doesn't need to let anyone pass easy. You have to make it hard for the guy behind, no matter who he is.


but he knows enough to realise that turning in would cause a crash.


Yes and he chose to make it hard by causing an accident.


Eddie Jordan would be the best person for that. Let's all e-mail Eddie Jordan to do mediate this conflict.


EJ may be the very man, but there should be others in the sport that can sort it, before the pair bring the sport into disrepute, we know sometimes that no love is lost between drivers, harking back to Prost and Senna, but for the good of the sport they need to be seen to be getting on, as is seen with most of the drivers these days, as they are one part of a feuding family, a lot are friends off track, seemingly, and pure competitors on track....


From the hearing their post race interviews it would seem that any problem rests solely with Massa. Good at demanding apologies but not quite so good at recognising his own shortcomings.

One wonders if Massa had an instantaneous thought before chopping Lewis's car that it would be Hamilton that would cop for it with another penalty if they clashed.


“From the hearing their post race interviews it would seem that any problem rests solely with Massa.”

Not so long ago, somebody offered the following explanation for Lewis’s public behaviour.

“We all know that Lewis is under pressure to ‘suck it up’ and speak like a corporate robot because that is what FIA wants.”

Do you disagree with that explanation? 😉



I am not following your point. Massa criticized his penalty when he refused “to admit any culpability”. Alguersuari criticized his penalty in Singapore. Liuzzi criticized his penalty in Italy. How can Lewis be under pressure to suck it up “because of the inability of drivers to criticize FIA decisions” if many drivers have criticized FIA decisions?

One wonders if some people have an instantaneous thought before writing that other people will not be able to see the blatant inconsistency in their comments!


I am not not following your point. Not sure what this has to do with Massa's refusal to admit any culpability....unlike Lewis who has been man enough to apologize on occassions.

The reference to Hamilton and being under pressure to suck it up was because of the inability of drivers to criticize FIA decisions.


Are you kidding me Damian? Both of them need to be told in no uncertain terms that any more contact and they are both reprimanded.

I dont actually care whos fault the incident is (and I'm a McLaren fan). I dont want to see them continue crashing into each other, as soon or later someone is going to get hurt.

All of the other drivers manage to avoid each other in the main part, and these two need to be told any more incidents and they both get a two/three race ban.

People talk about going for gaps, and that being racing. I want to see safe racing and people respecting each other. Neither of those fit into what these two have been doing lately.


Excellent to see you posting on here, does this mean you've revised your opinion of the Hamilton vs Webber in Singapore in 2010?

At the time I called it Hamiltons fault, many disagreed. You included if my memory serves me correctly, so I find your blame of Massa er... puzzling.

For me it was more Massa's fault this time, Hamilton had the inside of the corner, he would have made the apex first. Massa simply needed to leave one car's width of room at the Apex, just as Hamilton failed to do in Singapore 2010.

I'm not surprised Massa is bitter with Lewis. Numerous times this season he's had Lewis hit his car, I think Massa is incredibly patient given the amount of contact Lewis has made with his car this season. This time (for once) it was primarily Massa's fault though.


Chopped? There was no sudden movement for it to be a chop!

Hamilton said it himself, he backed out of it because Massa wasn't giving him the corner but just as the overtake was half-hearted... so was his backing out. He just wasn't committed to either action and we all know how that plays out.

A racing incident with Hamilton to blame in my book though not deserving of a penalty which makes the decision to penalise Massa all the more curious.


Full alongside?


you need to get your eyes checked.


Reply to Cookie - Show me a screen grab where he's fully alongside (As Tiff Needle said!). I'll call you can't because he was never fully alongside. Lets keep replies accurate please.


Hamilton was fully alongside Massa when they entered the braking zone. I have seen hundreds of overtakes this year, and if the driver is alongside into the braking zone then the outside car has to give room. Otherwise you might as well say that unless a driver is fully past the car he is overtaking that he has to brake and slot in behind. Net result is that there will be no overtaking unless you can get fully past in the DRS zone.


This should be put to a poll James.

Not if we agree with panalty, but if it was Massa, Lewis or racing incident. I think we all would like to see the result.


If that is the case, I feel Massa is out of character, mind you, having said that, Lewis is out of character also. Lewis has had a lot of stuff on and off the track to deal with, but this year has been his biggest learning curve I think...I have said on these forums before, I am not his biggest fan, but He has had a raw deal this season, has had many critics.

Filipe is in the back foot, being that he has settled for being No.2 driver, and so all the attention goes to Alonso, this has probably left him with a bitter taste in his mouth, but that is the only way he can stay at Ferrari, and all the other top seats are taken....they are both to blame,(for the continuation of the feud), and it seems only mediation will sort it.....


Sad to see this sort of reaction from Massa. He and Hamilton need to man up and break the ice, rather than each others' cars.


Doesn't Massa organise a charity kart event in Brazil? If I was Lewis' PR I'd advise him to get involved. He could turn up and play the villain.

Massa would have to respect him for that, and it'd be a noble way to patch things up.


there's another theory:

Rerrari are simply using Massa to stop Hamilton scoring points where possible.



I know, I'm such a cynical so and so ...


nice joke, on a serious thought they both are losing many important points, that I'm surprised they aren't extra careful when they are near each other on the track.


Hamilton seems to be going thru a rough patch ... his breakup and this frequent get together with Massa ... of the many people in the grid ... I feel Massa is one of the nicer people .. something of the Barrichello mould ... it takes a lot to wind them up ... hence I think wise of Hamilton to talk to him and clear the air .. the longer he stays aloof ... the longer the feud ...


I would like to know what info the stewards used to hand a penalty to Massa. My thinking was that it was a racing incident, but was expecting the stewards to hand a penalty to Hamilton. I think a penalty on Massa is pretty harsh, unless it is clear he would've seen LH alongside and still turned in.

It will take an LH win and Button DNF for LH to have any shot at overhauling JB. Can't see it happening, and while it's a nice stat to have, it wasn't for top spot so doesn't mean much. I think it would be horrible for Button's confidence if LH did manage to overhaul him. Button's having a great year by his standards, while LH is having a nightmare year. If LH won on points in that scenario, then JB would have to consider his place.

But I think the chances of that happening are close to nil.


Like you I would have called it a racing incident but I think at the end of the day Massa's own words above "hang him". He knew Lewis was already braking on the inside, dirty side of the track yet somehow expected him to back off more.

As I see it Lewis and Massa were side by side. Then Lewis brakes at an appropriate point to make the corner. Massa attempts to out-brake him but doesn't do it by enough. To be able to turn in fully he needs to brake late enough to have cleared Lewis' car. He cannot expect Lewis to take additional action avoid a collision as Lewis is already braking hard on the inside, dirty side of the track.

If you are going to out brake someone on the outside then you have to do it fully before you turn in or leave enough room for the other driver. To get partially in front and then turn in simply leaves the other driver without anywhere to put their car.


Yes Paul, these guys were side by side - if the front wheel of the trailing car is alongside the side-pod of the leading car - that is classed as 'alongside' in racing terms, in nay series I have ever watched.


The collision may be Massa'a fault, but IMO Hamilton is simply out of place. He should not be sparring with Massa. He's doing that because 1) he had a bad start; and 2) has himself alone to blame for p5 instead of p2.

So instead of sparring with a more worthy opponent like Vettel he is 30 seconds down the road clashing with Massa instead.

LH should have been 2nd today at least. But once again it was JB who did a good job and LH who fluffed it. I'd say LH should be 2nd in the standings, but sadly is having his ass bitten by Massa instead.


Agree with you completely.


I would disagree, Massa was in control the whole way, didn't lock up and was clearly at least half a car length ahead approaching the apex of the corner. Hamilton didn't get the pass done and should have backed off sooner.


@Brisban, no, I can't say that I've raced a car. And I am sure you're right. My argument would be that it was Hamilton who put himself in the dirty line and tried to force himself into a space by your own admission he doesn't have control of. If Hamilton goes off line where he has less control and then jams himself into a space he knows can close on him, is it then Massa's job to now go off his racing line? He's then stuck coming out of a corner off the ideal line just because Hamilton feels he has the right to jam himself inside. Hamilton pushed a little too hard. I'd give him the line if they had hit wheel to wheel, but the fact he hit the back half of Massa's side-pod shows me that he wasn't in the position to make a safe pass. I like Hamilton, I think he's got a long career ahead of him, he just needs to mature a little more.


I think not. MAS was hardly in control at all dureing the whole race, he made so many mistakes including wild lock-ups, running very wide and eventually breaking his suspension on the kerbs for the second time that weekend. MAS is sloppy.

HAM front wheel was alongside MAS sidepod whihc is very much 'alongside' in racing terms.

Also preventing an overtake by causing an accident is not 'in control' it is desperate. MAS's whole focus this year seems to be Hamuilton, it's getting boring listening to him moaning - he needs to focus on his team mate.


Bill - have you ever raced a car? I am an ex-racer and agree fully with Paul. Webber has shown us plenty of examples of collisions by not allowing for the fact that when a driver is committed to a move off-line they have less braking force available to them and fewer options to avoid an impact. The driver on the racing line with full grip has the control and opportunity to give room to avoid the accident and still keep the lead. I think that if it had been another driver then Massa may not have turned in so aggressively.


I agree with you Bill.

I just watched the reply on the incident, and at some point it looks almost like Lewis is alongside Massa, but then he backs up a bit but not enough to get out of the pass completely.


It is not the first time this season when Massa simply moves inside knowing that there is another driver: Monaco with Ham, Monza with Webber, India with Ham, something else?

I think that the most important driving rule is that you must leave space on track for competitor, you cannot push people off road. And drivers should not back off if they did not manage to be absolutely alongside. Putting your nose through is enough if you manage to stay on the inside kerb and do not force other driver to change direction.

Massa seems to be sure that he can do moves as there is nobody alongside, it is frustrating and not a top-driver behavior


The examples you give are all cases where the following driver has gone for a gap that doesn't exist. In Monaco Lewis wasn't even remotely alongside and by all accounts just drove into him, in Monza Mark was half over the kerb and locked up, and today spoke for itself. In all three cases, the outcome was inevitable irrespective of the drivers involved. I have seen those kinds of crashes at all levels, and by and large it is the responsibility of the following driver to pass cleanly. That doesn't mean the leading driver can do whatever they like, and Felipe should have been a bit more circumspect today perhaps, but to claim that the following driver should just push on regardless even if they're not in a position to get past is just dangerous frankly. It's inviting people to have massive accidents, and we can do without them after the last few weeks.


If Mark was half over the curb, doesn't it mean that there is no space on track? Same thing with Monaco hairpin: Massa missed the momentum and let Hamilton put his nose near his wheels. If he allowed to do so - please make sure you leave space. If you don't wanna let him past - do not allow your competitor to put nose, it is not that difficult. I partly agree that my examples are not 100% percent obvious, but they are 2011.

But if you slept the moment and allowed the attacker to take inside - you cannot just move on him, even if you have to lift up. And that is the safe way to race.

P.S. Guys, sometimes it is funny to read comments about cars fully alongside and the ability of defender to take ideal line. It is Formula 1, if you are a pilot who is looking for safe overtakes on the straits you should retire from F1. I would like to see wheel to wheel battles on track with drivers taking all the opportunities. And most drivers can deliver such show without the risk of death.


David, I don't think that it is a question of "not braking", it is a question of braking later but managing to stay on the inside. To tell the long story short if you are attacking on the inside in left-hander and drive close to the left, the driver who drove into you is guilty. If you misjudged you braking point and had to move further outside (e.g. leaving even 0.5 meters or 10 centimeters or more on the left) - that is your fault.

I respect your point of view and it is true what you're saying but the cases described are not about missing the braking point, they are about simply blocking an attacker I'm sure.


Just realised I mixed up my terms there - on the sticking the car up the inside point, it should have read "expect the LEAD driver to do about it", not "expect the other driver to do about it". Apologies.


No, it means Mark misjudged his line, tried to avoid it and failed. Had there been enough room to pass properly, he would have gone for it. As for Monaco, it's hardly within Felipe's control if Lewis forgets to brake properly, is it? I'm not sure how much racing experience you have, but believe me when I say you have very little control over what another driver tries to do to get past you. If they decide to stick their car up the inside by not braking, what exactly do you expect the other driver to do about it? It's not a question of "sleeping", it's a question of expecting the other driver to use their brain and exercise good judgement. I fail to see why the lead driver, in a battle for position, should yield simply because the other driver has a lapse of concentration, which appears to be what you advocate. I'm all for wheel-to-wheel racing and battles, but even I know some moves simply will not work and if I can figure that out then an F1 driver should be able to as well. Firing cars off the circuit or locking wheels should not be treated lightly, and nor should inattentive or bad driving. F1 drivers are meant to be the pinnacle of single-seater racing, so they really don't have an excuse.


this is racing. You cannot expect a driver infront to step aside in a gentlemanly manner and leave room at all times.

If 2 drivers are side by side, then sure, of course both drivers can't barge each other off.

If they're not, especially into a corner where its fast entry, gradual braking, and not a normal overtaking spot, then the offensive driver has to be 100% committed, fully side by side, going into that corner.


I completely disagree. I expect drivers to have enough respect for each other that they can concede once in a while (see Alonso on Button, Button on Vettel etc) if the other option is crashing.

There is no bravery in creating a crash just to prove the conceding point. Senna did that, and it is the part of his character that I never liked (despite being a huge Ayrton fan).

This isnt gladatorial rome, and sooner or later someone will get hurt if they keep coming together.


Monza with Webber? Are you serious? Webber admited after the race that his front wheels bounced from the kerb and could not stop the car from hitting the Ferrari.


Jonnyd, remember Hamilton/Webber battle in Korea - almost half a lap after the pit stop they were fighting side by side. In fast corners. In aggressive manner. But they left room for each other and it was spectacular to see.

Yes, it is "a corner where its fast entry, gradual braking, and not a normal overtaking spot" but it doesn't mean that 2 cars can't possibly enter it alongside. It is hard but possible. I'm racing karting and if I had locked somebody like Massa did, I would apologize and get the penalty. But I had some moments like this (both on inside and outside) and it is fantastic feelings when you manage to make clear move (defensive or offensive). I'm sure, guys from F1 have enough talent to do it.


If Felipe believes he has no responsibility at all to avoid contact because he's on the line, then the FIA may as well remove the requirement for mirrors on the cars and move the onus entirely to the overtaking driver.


That's exactly what they should do, as in bike racing.

What these guys seemingly fail to comprehend is that the best defense is a good offense, which means the racing line is the fastest way around the track so stay on it in an effort to keep momentum up.


Totally agree. If you have any racing experience you know that defending is in some sense more difficult than attacking because you need to monitor the attacker all the time and always make sure you leave space. When you are attacking you see everything much better and you have to believe that defender will leave space for you. Not much, but a width of your car.


You are wrong. The guy in the front doesn't have to give you room. You have to make sure you get alongside him or ahead of him before the point where he could "close the door on you".

By leaving room, the driver in front will have to move from the racing line. Why would I move from the racing line if you are not fully commited, alongside me or already in front of me?



Dmitry, you missed my point.

I said "Why would I move from the racing line if you are not fully commited, alongside me or already in front of me?"

Please read carefully what I said after "if".

Ofc the lead driver will have to alter his line if the attacked is alongside him or even in front of him. The lead driver usually even alters his line if there's another carhalf way alongside him, but that doesn't always happen.

When you overtake, you have to think and make split second decissions if a move is possible. Is there enough room? Will I make the corner? Is there plenty of space to brake?

I consider that attacking drivers should not go into a move thinking that the other driver will give them room. You have to assume the worst scenario and be prepared for it.


Yes, exactly - he has to move from the racing line, it's true! =) Do you really think that the guy in front can keep "ideal" line not looking at mirrors? And the attacker should somehow drive around not making the defender to change his "ideal" line? Or should he apologize for overtake and make sure he did not affected the "ideal" line of the rival?

Sorry for sarcastic tone, but overtaking is really a battle for space on track, not driving around ideal-line-rival. And nobody in F1 from top-teams does not have an advantage to do so - overtaking is taking the tiniest chances and looking for minor rival mistakes and it is great! =)


Good point...and Massa knew exactly where Hamilton was after using them just before the bend yet he seems unwiling to ever accept any culpability. Now if Lewis Hamilton had that same attitude, we would never hear the end of it from some on this website.


They are both at fault. Lets just move on Damian.


It appears to be that Massa is the one with the problem. He is the one who challenged Hamilton in front of TV camera's in Singapore. After nothing more than a slight misjudgement by Hamilton. Massa is the one that took offence to Hamilton's "have a good race" comment before the race.

Unless Hamilton's tone was sarcastic, Massa does seem to be reading into things too much and is most definitley rattled.

Massa should maybe concentrate on avoiding orange curbs. It seems all the other drivers managed to do that over the race weekend. Though it is good to see drivers punished for trying to cut corners.

Hamilton needs to get some new management and both Massa and Hamilton need to see a sports psychologist to get their respective heads straight for next season.


I suspect Massa's bitterness stems from Lewis picking up the WDC that he believes was rightfully his. Singapore Crashgate and the subsequent botched fuel stop cost him dearly. In those circumstances I think it's only natural that he resents Lewis for picking up the spoils. I think I would too.

Factor in the fact that he's now a clear number two to Alonso, and he must know deep down that he's blown his only chance. Lewis has become the focus of Felipe's angst IMO.


This assertion is quite far fetched. Massa is bitter because Hamilton has run into Massa no less than 5 times this year. But Hamilton hasn't been man enough to apologise personally. If he did in fact speak to Massa in Singapore, things might'n be so bad.

Hamilton might be going through a personal rough patch, but that is no excuse for bad manners.


If Massa has anyone to resent regarding Singapore crashgate it is his fellow Brazilian Piquet Jr and the Renault team. I cannot understand how Massa can blame Hamilton for Singapore crashgate and consequently the outcome of the 2008 title. Hamilton scored more points and also had points taken away from him controversially at Spa.

The fact that he is clear number two at Ferrari is his own fault for thinking that a team which has so clearly been a one man team for over decade was going to change when they hired a two time world champion.

If Massa needs to be motivated to drive by a feeling of hatred/anger towards a fellow driver it will only end in disaster through clouded judgement in heat of the moment situations (such as today).

Rob Smedley clearly used this anger Massa has towards Hamilton by insisting on destroying Hamilton's race at Singapore this year. He could have motivated him another way by suggesting he should now go on and beat Hamilton, but Smedley obviously feels Massa couldn't do this so set another aim of destroying Hamiltons race. In my opinion this suggests that Ferrari don't have much confidence in Massa.

It is such as shame because I was a fan of Massa. He used to always came across well during interviews and seemed quite cheery.


I wasn't suggesting that Felipe blames Lewis for Crashgate. I was only only putting forward the notion that there might be an intense jealousy there.

Massa could have been a hero in Brazil, instead by the slimmest of margins Lewis became a champion. Felipe has subsequently stepped into a role in which he's perceived as little more than Fernando's patsy. Is it no wonder he's angry?

I feel sorry for him. I think he is a nice guy, and I liked him too. I think he's been broken mentally though by the pressures he's endured. People forget that on his day he occasionally had the measure of Schumi in his prime. You can't say that quite so readily about Irv and Johnnie Herbert.


He needs to sort his head out. Yes crash gate the the botched fuel stop cost him some points, but then again he was controversially gifted the win in Spa that year which more than cancelled this out.

Originally I thought Massa took his loss in 2008 with dignity, but over the last 12 months he has managed to undo much of that good will for me.


Without the FIA fiasco at Spa, Massa would never have won the WDC in 2008. Massa never looked like winning that day. while Hamilton was was having a stunning drive. Those points were at Lewis Hamilton's expense especially as Raikonnen crashed shortly afterwards.


People forever say Massa was robbed of the WDC in 2008 and it's true he did suffer in Singapore. However, it would appear that memories are short. There were some very dubious stewarding decisions to say the least in 2008.

What has become even clearer to me over the last couple of years based on what we have seen since is that on balance Massa had a car advantage in 2008 and did not utilise it.


I don't understand the stewards decision here. In this case they are saying the guy in front should yield for the guy behind!?!

Consistency please.


Lewis and Massa were side by side. Massa tried to outbrake Lewis on the outside but didn't do it by enough, he either needs to get entirely in front of the other car before turning in or leave room for it in the corner.

Getting a little bit in front and turning in is not enough as it leaves the other driver (on the inside, dirty part of the track) nowhere to go. They can't back off more as they are presumably already on what they consider the limits of braking and they have no road to move on to.

If Lewis had been the late braker and banzai'd up the inside he would have been at fault but that wasn't the case, they were side by side and Lewis braked first.


I agree with this.

Massa left Lewis with nowhere to go. Immediately after it happened I thought it would be either a racing incident or a penalty for Massa. Lewis may have been at fault in quite a few incidents between them before, but not in this case imho.


While Massa was ahead, Hamilton had the track position and the onus was on Massa to allow him space.

My guess would be that the stewards saw the footage of Massa looking to his left several times as they approached the corner and they felt he knew that Hamilton was partially alongside. Massa then turned in on Hamilton and "caused an unavoidable accident."

Personally, I was surprised to see the penalty go the way it did and thought Hamilton would suffer another penalty, although in this case undeserved.


Massa would rather wreck than be beaten by Hamilton. That's why he keeps baiting Hamilton in and then closing the door. We've seen it over and over. It was obvious Hamilton was faster, and if he had successfully gone past Massa, he would have gotten past Alonso too. We know Hamilton can race side by side with any driver without crashing. Check youtube if you don't believe me. Can you we say the same about Massa? Part of the problem is the media, including James Allen have framed Hamilton in such a way that he will always look suspect in any incident. And that's why some viewers are having a hard time understanding why Massa was penalized.


You should check Hamilon's crash record before you speak. One youtube clip is hardly evidence. Check the 5+ youtube clips of crashes caused by Hamilton this year.

Hamilton has speed, but in his desperation, he is becoming too reckless - trying to find the glory days back.

I am not a fanboy of either drivers. Just want consistency.

If Charlie and his crew are constant in every race, so why can't there be a set stewards panel (set for the year)? No guest stewards please! It's like changing a judge (in a trial case) every 10 minutes. Every person has differing personalities and will be affected by their own bias. Given the fact that F1 is a global sport, the stewards panel should consist of one representative from each nation (of course limited in numbers).


100% spot on. Agree with every word.


i dont think the media or Ja have framed hamilton in any way in fact i think Ja has been pretty neutral ....On the other hand i think the brit commentary brigade today went on and on about how massa should have let hamilton through and how he couldnt perform under pressure and how he was underperforming at ferrri ....as if hamilton had a god given right to be let through ....pretty biased inmho


Really? How do you think Button got away with squeezing Hamilton to the wall in Canada? He received virtually no criticism for it because the media have protrayed him as the "gentlemen" who races with his head, but Hamilton is the "aggressive hot head." The fact that he won the race also helped too. The journalist(media) may not be doing it because of ill will, but it does get people talking and generates revenue.


What commentary were you listening to??

Martin Brundle & DC originally called it as a racing incident and expected, if anything, Lewis to get a drive through.

Not sure how you've arrived at your opinion.

I'm a Ferrari fan and I think it was more Massa's fault.


I think the action was a "race incident". Massa dind't deserved DT.


In most cases, the driver behind backs off.

Both were at fault. Massa could have given Hamilton more room and Hamilton should have not expected Massa to give him the position.



Going into the corner both drivers clearly knew that they would collide if neither one backed off. The stewards got it wrong.


I think that Massa needs to learn that sometimes it is better to concede a place than take a line and risk breaking the car. Webber and Alonso have been great examples of this this year. The most obvious being Webber at eau rouge, Alonso could have run him off, but it would have damaged his car and could have hurt both of them. Take Hamilton Massa in Monaco at Lowes, if Massa had conceded as Schumacher did he probably would have avoided contact and perhaps later stayed in the race. With regard to the kerbs, the fat kerbs are dangerous, if a driver makes a genuine mistake he could be launched and hurt… however Massa needs to stop making these mistakes. I thought his penalty was harsh today but no harsher than the vast majority of penalties dished out to Lewis.


The difference with the Eau Rouge move is twofold; one, it's a flat-out corner so it would have been a plane crash if Alonso hadn't conceded and two, Webber was actually alongside him so Alonso's choice was pretty much made for him. Lewis was not alongside when Felipe turned in, so the comparison is not quite right.


Lewis was slightly ahead of Massa before they started braking for the corner... Look at the footage.


Firstly, the onboard footage would appear to disagree with you. Secondly, where he was before the braking point is pretty irrelevant if he doesn't maintain position before turning in - had he done so, Felipe would not have been able to turn in as he did.

@Chapor: Aside from the fact that there was only one line through the corner, so I'm not sure where this alternative line you suggest is to come from, calling someone a "petulant idiot" for making a misjudgement is not very impressive.


I am sorry, Hamilton signaled his intent by pulling alongside him, therefore Massa would have known that there was a move imminent. But he closed the door on Hamilton who was braking on the dirty side of the track and therefore braked earlier. If Massa held his line, not the recing line, but an accommodating line next to Lewis, he could have had track position in the following corner. They could have had an awesome wheel to wheel battle, but no, Massa had to go an mess it all up by being the petulant idiot he is. I am so glad that the stewards finally wised up to Massa's antics.


True, but being on the outside (Massa's case) you can carry more speed into the corner and brake later. This is exactly what happened.

Lewis had to brake earlier and I think he had hoped and assumed that Massa will give him more room. This didn't happen and boom.

I see it as a racing incident with both drivers at fault. Massa for no giving Lewis more room and Lewis for not being fully commited or trying a move that was not gonna work knowing that the he would have to brake earlier then the driver on the outside.

This move would've worked if Lewis was ahead of Massa before the breaking point.

Aproaching the turn and seeing you don't carry enough speed to be ahead of the other driver also knowing that you have to brake earlier..was a big mistake from Lewis.


But Hamilton had backed out of the move and was on maximum braking on the dirty part of the track. Massa had all the options and Hamilton had pretty much been boxed into a corner with nothing more he could do except drive off the track to the inside - result would have been an even bigger crash mid-corner as Hamilton would have lost all braking force on the infield. Sorry, but I feel Massa is more at fault. The penalty was maybe a bit harsh but the stewards had to be seen to be fair given the amount of penalties handed out to Hamilton this year for "racing incidents".


Without seeing the telemetry trace I can't comment on the "maximum braking" claim (although my gut feeling is that's not quite right - he would probably have locked up were that the case). However, while I appreciate what you are saying, you do seem to overlook that Lewis was the one who boxed himself in so to speak - as I said in reply to another post, he should either have committed fully to the move or backed out much earlier (as he did on subsequent laps). Going for the middle ground was never going to work, and that is why I would judge it a racing incident. Felipe could and should have left more room than he did, but equally Lewis should have been more decisive as to what he was going to do. It was clumsiness as much as anything.


Massa was turning his head to the left and he saw Hamilton, sorry, Hamilton did no wrong on this at all.

But why both of them so often this year. The word 'fated' comes to mind. Let's hope 2012 won't be for them.


With 2nd in the consructors championship sewn up and Button all but out of sight I wonder if McLaren maybe tempted to tell Lewis to go on holiday and get himself together for next year.

Another two races like today and his confidence will be shot.


This discussion will always pop up with no answer. Inside you have shorter way and brake earlier.

But if the point of decision is which driver was in front when turning:

Hamilton was when he turned

Massa was when he turned a moment later

So i see no reason to do a punishment to anyone. How are the rules? You have to be in front when turning?

So what if there are 2 different times for turning? I think there should be more precise rules or some driver conference clearing this up.


I, like many others, couldn't see the logic in the steward's decision to penalise Massa. If each and every 'racing incident' does indeed merit blame and a penalty, then Massa had the line and Lewis was the instigator of an unsuccessful overtaking move.


Yes Massa and Hamilton need to meet and sort this out rather than let it fester. As to the collision, I think it just a racing incident, but I've noticed the stewards tend to hand the penalty to the one that is least affected (damaged)by it. Incidently I think Hamilton was already backing out of it by the time they collided. I think penalties are too readily handed out these days, and serve to constrain the sport.


You have to say Stewards are incredibly inconsistent. Massa did in India what he did in Monaco, but there Hamilton got the Penalty and in India Massa did.

HAM got a Penalty for blocking, but Schumacher didn't. I think HAM also got a drive through for mis-judging his braking and hitting MAS in singapore, but when it was Alonso putting a Ferrari in the back Hamilton in Malaysia (I think) no Penalty.

I've also noticed Hamilton has appolgised on two occasions. Once for Spa (when he was in front) and once when he shut the door on Massa (Japan). He seems to think the guy in front has a duty to know what the guy behind is doing. At Monaco he was able to let a faster Schumacher by at the hairpin, but when he tried the same move on Massa, there was contact. He got by Schumacher at St Devote, but when he tried the same move on Maldando again, contact, and he got Penalties for both. I'd be as cross as he wsa.

Current spec mirrors don't seem to provide that. On TV Eddie Jordan seemed sure that Massa had looked and seen Hamilton this time ... I'm not so sure he could - it seemed like balanacing the Singapore incident, where HAM seemed to get a Penalty not for the driving so much as to balanace Massa having to Pit - if HAM hadn't needed a new wing would Massa have got a Penalty? Come to that Massa had taken the damage would the Pentalty have gone the other way ?


From what I recall, both Hamilton and Alonso got penalties for Malaysia. Alonso for causing an avoidable collision and Hamilton for weaving. They both got +20 seconds to their times after the race was over. Only that Alonso's advantage was so big that he didn't lose his 6th place, while Hamilton lost 1 place after the penalty.


It's easy to sit here and write after the race upon reflection, but had I been in Massa's position with Hamilton behind me in a faster car, knowing the previous incidents this season, I'd probably have given Hamilton a bit more room and consideration. He was going to get by sooner or later, why screw up my race?

If I was in Hamilton's position knowing the same, I'd have made sure I passed only using the DRS places seeing as it was quite affective at India, making it as clean as possible.

Maybe the stewards need to go further and get them both together to sort it out. I'm not sure there's any provision for that, but how long before they have a serious incident?


Sad to see Lewis throwing it all away at the moment.

If he continues down this line I hope the whole LA, rap 'star' thing was worth it.

He's said many times he wants to be the driver of his time in F1, I can't see this happening currently. Schumacher and now Vettel have shown the total commitment it takes to achieve this status and Lewis seems a long way off. If Ron Dennis was running Mclaren I highly doubt Lewis would be on the tract he's on.

I hope you get it back together next season Lewis.


Leaving enough space and yielding are not the same thing.


This comment was meant as a reply to comment 9 by David Taylor but is showing up as an individual comment.


Just shows how dull the race was that this is the only topic of conversation! It is clear Red Bull are still clear ahead in performance terms and what worries me with the only major change next year being the removal of blown diffusers is that their dominance will continue!!

Let's hope one of the other teams pulls a rabbit from the hat next season.


That's pretty much how I feel.

Part of me also wishes Adrian Newey would change teams...


Having seen the incident several times, my first feeling of Racing Incident seemed incorrect, Massa definately looked in his mirror several times before and as, he turned in. Most other drivers in his position would have given some room. The drive through was absolutely the correct penalty. Both drivers need to grow up and act their ages!!


We're setting a precedent here for the minimum required effort to be seen as owning the racing line into a corner. His angles were wrong and he was on the dirt.

You've got to leave it in the hands of the Stewards, they have more to look at than we have. However what is it that took it from a 'racing incident' to an 'avoidable incident'. I'm at a loss.


I side with Eddy Jordan's view here. Massa did notice Hamilton as he watched several times to the left.


I think this one was a tough call.

The way I saw it, Massa compromised his position by letting Lewis up the inside. He was outfoxed and Lewis was close enough to claim the line, so I think the smart thing would have been to leave room.

The penalty could've gone either way because there is an argument for Lewis only having his front wheels by Felipe's rear wheels and Massa made the corner, so MUST he leave room?

It's a difficult one but I think the accident should've been avoided by Massa leaving room.

Felipe has said previously that Lewis thinks people will just leave the door open and maybe they used to... but nit any more. I think he's reaffirming the fact that he's a tough cookie and you can't just expect him to yield.

All fun and games but in reality, once Lewis starts getting the job done he won't be sharing tarmac with Felipe so it will work itself out.

I thought Alonso drove a brilliantly to keep Webber at bay... roll on 2012 and a better Ferrari, one that will let Fernando give Seb something to think about.


Rubbish decision to penalize Massa, but as soon as I saw Herbert on the grid and found out he was the driver stewards for the day, I had a strong suspicion that a biased decision would be coming from the stewards room. Massa had no fault in the accident, he is not supposed to lift and move over for your British boy Hamilton, Mr.Herbert. In this case, once again Hamilton should have been penalized, not Massa. Massa's only fault was not lifting and moving over for Hamilton, thats all.


I too have a feeling that there might be a biased opinion with herbert there ....against hamilton , given the chance


The driver is there to advise the local stewards, NOT give the verdict! YOUR Indian stewards, I think!!!


There were no Indian Stewards listed on the FIA Website. The Stewards were from the UK, Venezuela (National Motorsport) and Germany(DTM)


I may be wrong but wasn't Herbert one of the stewards when Hamilton got one of his (many) other penalties earlier in the season?


Nope. That was Mcnish. Herbert got it wrong in this case, I dont think Massa deserved a penalty either. If anyone deserves one it would be Hamilton, although to be fair, it should have been classified as a racing incident.


It is absolutely crazy that Massa was given a penalty today.

1. Just because hamilton has had multiple penalties being handed to him around the year, it's not the stewards jobs to 'redress the balance' and be kind to a driver, and give a penalty to massa.

2. Lets assume that that wasn't the case, and the stewards based their decision on factual data (assuming Jonny Herbert had no biased views.......)

Objective facts:

1. Hamilton was about 80% side by side with Massa. He was very clearly inside, and Massa almost certainly knew this and saw him.

2. Hamilton backed out of it upon entry. He acknowledged this in the press conference afterwards, that he had tried to back out of it when he realised massa wasn't going to give room.

5. Massa was ahead going into the apex by at least 50% of car length

Now lets look at the subjective points:

1. That corner is not a usual overtaking spot (though any corner is an overtaking spot if both cars are definitively side by side or the overtaker is infront)

2. It's a fast entry with 1 line.

3. If hamilton hadn't backed out, it would have been a straightforward racing incident.

Looking at this evidence, how on earth was Massa given a penalty? At the very least it was a racing incident, at the very most, Hamilton thought massa would give him room. Massa was perfectly entitled to not give him room and take the racing line, as he was infront. At the very most it should have been a drive through for Hamilton.

the lack of consistency in stewards decisions this year has been appalling.


"Massa was perfectly entitled to not give him room and take the racing line, as he was infront."

And where is that in the rule book?

The racing line rule simply does not exist and the rules in Appendix L make it clear that there is no right for a car that is not entirely ahead of another car to move across on another.


well given that hamilton wasn't equally alongside to massa going into the corner, i dont see why massa would need to give him room?

massa held his racing line, hamilton, by his own admission, backed out of it, realising it was never going to happen, and hit massas rear.


erm, because if he didn't he was bound to collide?

I blame Brundle for all this "He has the right to the racing line" which he repeats every race. In 2011, that is not the rule. Similarly there is no rule that says that there is a particular relationship that gives someone the right.

The trouble is, if you follow the line that the leading car has absolute right of way, then there can never be an attempt at overtaking where the overtaking driver is not certain he can make the pass because as soon as he has not got his nose in front, the other guy can claim he has the right to force the overtaker to concede and if he does not, the crash is his fault. That is explicitly not what the rules now say.

In this case, the point where a concession became necessary was when Hamilton got alongside. At that point, the Sporting Regulations say that Massa does not have to concede but he does have to allow Hamilton room on the track (and likewise Hamilton should not force Massa off the outside).

Interesting point that actually, I think Button's move on Webber was penalisable because he did not allow Webber a car's width on the track which was a clarification issued recently.


"Massa was perfectly entitled to not give him room"

This is simply wrong : Recent incidents have resulted in penalties and reprimands for failing to give other drivers room.

It is no longer acceptable for a driver to force another off the track.


I still fail to see how it is Hamiltons fault, at all, though the penalty was harsh. Massa turned into Hamilton, again, just as Schumi used to do to everyone. As Hamilton had tried to back out of the move, knowing that Massa would simply turn into him, and so was not fully alongside, I dont belive the penalty was justified. Had Hamilton commited fully to the move, Massa would still have turned into him.

How is this Hamiltons fault...?


The attacking driver, in this case Hamilton, has to make an overtaking 100% stick, wheels side by side so the guy next to him can't turn in from the outside. He was almost there but then realised he was on the dirty side, not the racing line, so couldn't make it and backed off. Only a few hundred seconds too late.


I think there were two or three key points:

Hamilton did get along side, at one point briefly just about wheel to wheel. Without telemetry it is hard to know why Massa then went ahead - Hamilton said he tried to back out, Massa said he was late braking.

Massa is entirely implausible in suggesting that he didn't know where Hamilton was, and I don't think the stewards would accept that a racing driver who must have been well aware he had another crawling all over the back of him can then decide not to look because he has better things to do (especially as Hamilton had tried the move the lap before).

Hamilton was alongside before the braking zone, it wasn't a late lunge.

I think the point is made worse as Brundle always goes on about the right to take the racing line. That simply is not in the rules. What has been clarified in the rules is that the leading car has no right to impede an overtaking car, so defending is supposed to be skilful placement, not blocking. One car cannot force another off the track, and in the end, that is what Massa was doing, only Hamilton had no way of responding by leaving the track on that corner.

It really depends if you think overtaking is an intrinsic part of the sport. Hamilton made a legitimate attempt at an overtake - it was planned, and he nearly got his nose ahead - there should be no criticism of that attempt, it was as good shot, Hamilton was clearly quicker and had used that speed to get alongside Massa. Massa responded by trying to outbrake, and failed to do so, he did not clearly get back in front so he did not have the right to the track, and he should therefore have conceded the line and looked to use his position on the track to regain the advantage as the track then turned right.

F1 drivers perhaps need to adapt their attitudes to fall in line with the implications of the regulations - what the "always leave space" rule means that if you can get alongside, you can compromise the driver in front's ability to take the corner, for example, Massa should have been stuck on the dirty outside and then both drivers would have hindered each other badly trying to get through a section where there was not room. This would then have the potential for other drivers following to take advantage.


You've always been able to compromise a cars ability to take the racing line (see Alonso v Schumacher @130R and others). What the issue is here is that he's done neither - as raised by DR.

For me, part of this is unfamiliarity with the track. At some tracks every corner possesses an opportunity to make a pass. Interlagos for instance. You have lovely wide fast corners or slow corners with plenty of opportunity to slam on the brakes going in. We lack any real overtaking path at this corner. It's more like the first Degner corner at Suzuka. Fast entry and exit, narrow with room at the apex for only one car at any reasonable speed. If we'd have had this attempt there we'd be panning Lewis for his naivety.

Situation here is that Lewis tried to muscle his way past a man who was closed the door. It's a misjudgement on both sides. I have to also agree with DR, the penalty was so that both Hamilton and Massa both were forced to make a visit to the pits. I can't see any other explanation.


It's not a question of whether overtaking is an intrinsic part of the sport, but a question of racecraft. Lewis should either have stuck to his guns and held position alongside, which would have been a harsh but ultimately fair move, or backed out completely. He didn't do either. Felipe as far as I can tell took the normal racing line, which as the leading car he was entitled to do, and while he should have left more room with the benefit of hindsight suggesting he should have jumped off line simply because Lewis tried a Desperate Dan move on him is bordering on absurd. It was a misjudgement by both drivers, and the only rationale I can see for the penalty based on my own racing experience is because Lewis had to pit and was therefore disadvantaged. Otherwise, it makes very little sense.


exactly. as ive stated, if hamilton had not backed out and was fully commited to it, he would have been alongside massa, and massa wouldnt have been able to turn in and get tagged on the rear.

it would have been more a wheel to wheel barge.


If Hamilton had braked later than he did, he could not have made the corner. Massa should have left more room and get ahead in the next right hander again.


This has to be the most baffling decisions have made in a while.

I just cant see, from the TV pics, what Massa did to deserve the pen.

Surely it's time for the FIA to provide a far more in-depth analysis of the decision the stewards make.

If there is telemetry showing something not obvious on TV why not let us fans know?


Both drivers under pressure, difference is Massa is likely to get the sack regardless of the contract situation. He is simply not fast enough to be in a Ferrari any more.

Massa needs to FOCUS on his own performance, this stuff just shows his weaknesses. Get out now Felipe and enjoy your family and kids - every race reduces whatever legacy from 2008 you once had. I reckon 2008 brazil still affects him deeply.....

Hamilton just going through a rough patch - he needs to get back with girlfriend over Christmas, take another 2 titles then have kids....simple eh!!


I am not a Hamilton fan but what was Massa thinking??!! He deserves the penalty.


Since neither Massa or Hamilton can be safe around anyone except their teammate, maybe they need to be teammates.


I feel sorry for Hamilton. If any criticism heads his way for today's incident then all I can say is that he is being a victim of his reputation. Today he was completely faultless. Contrary to everyone's belief he is quite a nice chap after all and I was definitely proven wrong, he was one driver apart from Alonso who gained a lot of respect in India for the way they handled themselves out of the car and interacted with everyone.


Boring race. The circuit is probably not the worst, but on the day it didn't yield many opportunities for excitement. A lot of talk about the excitement of having a GP in India, and how huge cricket is [and presumably by implication F1 could be, despite no local jockeys, the cars made in the UK, and the track designed by Europeans] but in two years time when it is losing a fortune and less than half full will we miss it?


I agree. I have seen many street sweepers and washers - mopping the filth of the street. With F1's million dollar budgets, why can't they invest in some machine that will clean the dust off the track before a race weekend?

The track has potential but drivers can't make use of it because they can't go offline. India had an excuse because they finished the track on Wednesday.

Korea didn't have an excuse. Going to Korea was a total waste of money. We already have the Japanese GP. The Japanese are fanatical about racing. From what we saw in Korea, they shut the gates after last year's race and then opened the gates come race week. A pathetic effort.

Bernie needs to stop chasing the dollars and do some sustainability studies on future F1 tracks. With two US tracks on the board, surely only one will survive. South Africa? What is their fan base like? Just because it sounds romantic to have a race in a particular country, doesn't mean it is necessarily a good idea.


They had the track "washed" on friday, but off track the construction dust is everywhere, in the grass for example, and the wind will blow it just on the track. How often do you want to clean it and let it dry? It just needs some months time for everything to blow around and settle until the track is in a normal condition.


Track was also was washed on Saturday night


I think that Lewis had not needed to pit the stewards would have let it pass as a racing incident. Because Massa seemed to have benefited from the collision he got the penalty.

Massa's big problem today was he doesn't respect the kerbs enough. Nobody else had the problem he had, twice.


Yes it is a bit strange that he's the only one who had problems with the kerbs.

I'm somewhat relieved that it looked like that's what ultimately ended his race + not the shunt with Lewis (as that would have just made things worse between him + Lewis).


A few races ago, Hamilton said he didn't see Massa in his mirrors, will Massa say he didn't see Hamilton today...?


Unless Autosport is misquoting him, Massa that said in post race interview here


"I braked later than him and ... I didn't see him on the left as he was behind."

So he couldn't see Hamilton, but knew where he was and when he braked...

Also Hamilton applogised for not seeing Massa in Japan, and for not being aware of KOB in Spa.

His detractors will say he thinks he can pull Senna's "Let me through, or have an accident, your decision" moves, his fans will say there are drivers who will give others just enough room if they get any overlap (Button, Alonso) and some who aren't (Massa being the prime example, Maldandano being another).


So now we see what goes around, comes around.

Can we see Massa apologising?


i think Massa had to turn in at some point and take the corner ....hamilton was too far back and as usual he was trying to push his way through the only way this move could stick ws if massa went straight on or stopped his car and allowed hamilton through 🙂


I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that LH didn't a get penalty this time. I for one do believe tha FM was in the wrong but as he was in front, the stewards I feel will always take his side. This time they didn't.

I get the impression that FM is making this more personal. He should've given LH some room as he was clearly side by side approaching the corner. Some how I think if this was any other driver, FM would've been more fair and sensible.

Looking back at Spa when MW made a similar manoeuvre to FA approaching Eau Rouge, the outcome was very different - the more mature and sensible FA knew he was beaten and decided in a split second to let MW through who was clearly much faster. A true first rate driver knows when a fight is worth fighting, FM on the other hand, and LH to a certain extent, don't.

Lastly, I do think the stewards was particularly soft with LH this time - who knows, maybe they wanted to give him a break for once?


So Massa is saying that if you are on the racing line you have the right to just turn in and give no room to a car along side you ?? Mmmm, I think Massa needs to go back to racing school.

So what happened during the start then Massa ? Hamilton was on the racing line but gave you room to take the position. I guess he was wrong there as well then ?


Agree 100%


As I said above, in the Eau Rouge move Webber was actually alongside and not hanging around his rear wheel. Look at the replays. Had Lewis stayed alongside, that would actually have worked in his favour. It was a misjudgement by both, and again I feel the penalty was to balance out Lewis' extra pitstop.


Massa would have turned in regardless. Massa has shown his petulance over and over. I am glad that he finally got called out on it.


I'd appreciate it if you could provide some support for that claim - as it currently stands, that is bordering on defamation. For my part, I can see no evidence to suggest that Felipe would deliberately turn in on a rival, and the same goes for Lewis. Both, however, are capable of some quite substantial errors of judgement and I believe that has been the case here as well.


Maybe Massa just didn't see him because his mirrors were shaking from the speed.

I'd like to go back and watch all of the contact between these two and the penalties and see what the trend really is. Neither wanted to give way (and thought the other should/would)...sounds like a racing incident to me.


Does anyone else think that we've seen the best of Hamilton? I'm not sure if he'll bounce back after being beaten quite handsomely by his team mate...


Dear Hamilton, as you sow, so shall you reap.

These guys remind me of Senna and Prost. The difference being that those drivers has world championships at stake; for Massa it maybe a drive at Ferrari and for Lewis its his larger then life ego.


Massa was entirely at fault for this one just like Lewis was during the earlier races. I feel all the penalties given have been fair. I find it incredible that there are people arguing otherwise.


The general rule is that the driver who is ahead going into the corner has the line but in this case, the nose of the Ferrari was only just in front and it was Hamilton rather than Massa who was firmly on the racing line when approaching the apex of the corner.

Watching the TV replays you can clearly see Massa look to the left several times so throughout the incident he knew exactly where the Mclaren was situated. He also had to know that Hamilton was already on the limit of braking.

Massa therefore knew that Hamilton had nowhere else to go, yet he cynically chose to turn in, knowing that a collision was inevitable.

That's why the penalty was given.

Had Hamilton been further back and Massa not seen him it would obviously have been a racing incident, no penalty.

Why did it happen ?

Given the history and the slightly over-harsh way Hamilton has been treated by the stewards this year, and the fact that Massa drives for Ferrari, he must have thought that there was a good chance that Hamilton would attract further punishment.

In this case, I believe that justice was done.


Feuds are entertaining when the drivers concerned are at the front, battling for race wins. This, by contrast, must be the most embarrassing and pathetic feud in F1 history. It's two frustrated, embittered drivers, each vying to show that he is more immature and irresponsible than the other.


It was a misjudgement by both drivers in my view, and the only rationale for the penalty is to cancel the effect of Lewis having to pit. On the subject of Lewis and Felipe generally, I think that someone needs to get them together and leave them to have a clear-the-air session so they can get on with the standard of racing they're both capable of. Right now they're just making their own lives harder as much as anything.


James, why are ferrari keeping Massa for 2012?

If Ferrari had a better driver to pair with Alonso this season, the number 2 in constructors could have been theirs. In the driver pairing within the top three teams, Massa seems to be the weakest link.

I understand that Ferrari have groomed him all this way, but it is also the same team that ruthlessly discharged Kimi for Alonso when they desperately needed a leader.

Cant help but feel that Massa is costing them a lot, and there are practically better options in the drivers market that the prancing horse could chase at the moment.


I wonder who has got Massa so wound up against Hamilton? An ex team-mate of Hamilton’s perhaps?

It could be that Massa has been masterfully manipulated and goaded on behind the scenes.

His penalty today was warranted – it was quite a deliberate move he made on Hamilton. Extremely clumsy for a driver of his obvious calibre.


How about Lewis itself continously hitting Massa from behind?


I wondered when we'd get to the real villain of the piece. "An ex- team-mate of Hamilton's" Hmm... of course - Fernan...no...Heikki Kovalainen!! why has no-one thought of this before?

Give me a break!

Back in the real world, although I think this was a racing incident today, there have been one of two others this season who've preferred to take a swipe at LH rather than let him pass; Maldonado for one and even the sainted Jenson Button was felt by some commentators to have been fully aware of his team mate's presence coming alongside before moving across him saying "What's he doing?" to underline his case.

I wonder if there's been a sea change within the drivers' brotherhood when it comes to allowing LH to charge past and expect others to get out of his way. Or as others have put it, expecting a lot from his fellow drivers.


I think it's a racing incident, too.

Have to say part of me wondered about Button seemingly not seeing Hamilton in Canada. And I like both drivers. Guess we'll never know.


The events of last few weeks tell us that life can be cruel and unpredictable.

Lewis and Felipe: Man up! Life is too short.


Lewis is just too impatient.


As an aside, wouldn't Brundle be the perfect manager for Hamilton, rather than "celebrity" manager, Simon Fuller?


Mika Hakkinen would be far better suited IMHO.


Hi James, I am really keen to know what your opinion on this incident was, as I'm sure everyone else is. I would have concluded it as a racing incident, and if there was any penalty at all it would have been for Hamilton. In my opinion, Hamilton was stupid to have been in that position. There was no way he was taking the place off Massa at that corner, he was almost side by side at one point, but given their history and his attempts at being a new Hamilton, he should have just backed off. This isn't a biased opinion, its just common sense.

I'm not a fan of Massa, and in my opinion he and Mark Webber can be complete messes at times. They push the limits of defense, and sometimes force those attacking them to act with common sense to avoid a collision. A couple of races ago Massa closed the door on Alonso as well, but no one noticed, simply because Alonso was smart enough to brake and back off before the limit of the corner, and just take Massa later. I don't really know what to say about Lewis Hamilton...there is the widely held belief that Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton are the top 3 drivers above everyone else, and I feel that theory is outdated because it is just Alonso and Vettel that are on a different level. Though only one of them is on a different level is less than the fastest car.


It strikes me that Massa made up his mind that he wouldn't allow Hamilton past without a collision. In my opinion if a driver sees that someone behind him has gone to the inside - and Massa admitted that he had seen Hamilton - then he has an obligation, not to yield, but to leave enough space for another car on the inside. Charging for the apex of the corner knowing you have another car on your inside is irresponsible at best, and downright dangerous at worst. I assume this is why the the stewards gave Massa the penalty, regardless of which car was in front at any given point.

My interpretation of the racing line is that no-one has a "right" to be on it; everyone naturally wants to be on it to drive the quickest round the circuit, but once you have two cars side by side there are effectively two lines and each driver should oblige the other enough road to drive on. Race hard, yes, but race in the knowledge that no driver has the right to hit an apex if there is a car inside.


A clear racing incident...These things happen from time to time.

As for Massa and Hamilton coming together, time for the Team Principles to 'Knock a couple of heads together'


Both Massa and Hamilton are as bad as each other. Their off track behaviour towards one another is simply childish and they both need to sit down and sort things out. Neither driver is performing on track either, certainly not at a level worthy of a Ferrari or McLaren seat at the moment.

Given the recent incidents between the pair, I felt it was incredibly naive of Massa to completely close the door on Hamilton, especially with replays clearly showing Massa checking his mirrors when Hamilton was moving alongside him. It was poor racecraft from Massa, and further evidence of this came shortly afterwards when showed he hadn't learnt from his incident the day before by breaking his suspension riding the curbs too hard again - amateurish stuff, not the level you expect from a Ferrari driver.

The incident between the pair doesn't do Hamilton's reputation, or fragile confidence any good either. His poor mistake of incurring a penalty for ignoring yellow flags on Friday was evidence of a lack of focus, something that has been missing for a while with Hamilton on and off the track. A more confident Hamilton would have remained 100% committed to the pass on Massa, rather than half heartedly pulling out of the move at the last moment, which was a contributing factor to the incident as well. McLaren ought to consider dropping Hamilton for the last two races now that they have secured 2nd place in the Constructors Championship, and give Gary Paffett a deserved race opportunity, as Hamilton is doing no good to himself or McLaren at the moment. He needs to go away and get his head straight and come back more focused next season.


Dropping Hamilton would hardly help his confidence - the press would have a field day. Not that McLaren would do that anyway.


Both drivers were foolish. No need to risk a collision. Lewis was quick enough to pass later anyway.

Too often it seems the drivers are more worried about being right than crashing. For the result it doesn't matter if you pit for repairs or a penalty.


I've witnessed every collision between these two since their first major one at Fuji in 08 when they were fighting for the title.

It appears to me Massa has always taken the same stance: "Try and overtake without being completely clear in front and I will just take my normal line."

He doesn't seem to know how to give room to another driver.

Lewis is not completely innocent this year but in this instance he was entitled to hold his place on the track as he was alongside Massa. Massa was even looking left at this point and still turned in on Lewis.

Massa either couldn't see Lewis and turned in or assumed he would back out. Either way it's dangerous from Massa and he deserved his punishment.

After recent events I would have thought drivers would be more cautious about wheel to wheel contacts.


Exactly. When I saw where Hamilton had qualified + the grid penalty = he would be behind Massa I thought surely they would both be more careful.


From my point of view,i think what happened today was totally 100% MASA FAULT


James, any insight on Anthony Hamilton being so close to Lewis on the grid before the race?

I don't know if it's normal, but the TV cameras spotlighted it at least twice. If I recall Anthony is usually near di Resta.

Is there something going on with Lewis' management? Is this just personal concern? Seems a bit odd for the grid.



I do not think it is a coincidence that a certain American singer has left the scene, Lewis states he is going to exclude all distractions from now on and now his father is displaying a closer relationship again.

Having read Lewis' biography and learning of the determination and focus he and his father displayed when getting to F1 I can undertsnad how the pair fell out if Anthony thought Lewis' head was being turned by a beautiful woman and her celebrity.


I don't know about you Dave, but before getting married I very much enjoyed distractions like That. Young men are young men and need to enjoy life.


Suzuka - Massa is behind and goes for a NON EXISTENT gap, and it's Lewis's fault.

India - Hamilton is behind and goes for a REASONABLE gap and according to Massa it's still Lewis's fault?

Massa needs to wise up a little here, Lewis is off form yes, but Massa can't have his cake and eat it I'm afraid.

The majority of their collisions have occurred when Hamilton is faster than Massa, who clearly has an issue with Lewis mentally. Massa knew Lewis was there today, I feel that Massa is as much to blame for all their clashes. His words are of a man who realises he has lost his chance.

In the Lewis camp, I just hope we're not seeing a prodigious talent being destroyed by torment and doubt.


"Suzuka – Massa is behind and goes for a NON EXISTENT gap"

How was that a non existent gap if Massa was alongside Lewis and touched front tyres? At the time Massa was already alongside Lewis, Massa still had another 60-70cm to the edge of the track, but was pushed left by Lewis until his left wheels were on the white line.

See the clip below.



You maybe missing the point here - which is, the Suzuka and India overtakes were a little similar but with role reversal, yet Massa believes neither were his fault. If the shoe fits...


In that case, you did not express yourself properly. You state at suzuka there was no gap for Massa, but I just proved with my previous comment that the gap was there and Massa was already in the gap when Lewis started to push him out.


I believe Hamilton should be in Demolition Derby. He will do a fantastic job there. He needs his papa. Without him, he is nothing.

I don’t think there is any problem between Hamilton and Massa. If they have, then they are not kids and should be able to sort it out between themselves. The problem is with their driving style and qualifying positions. Currently both men are mentally not strong enough. Ferrari has destroyed Massa’s head and as for Hamilton, all that is self-inflicted.

From Hamilton’s part, he is not behaving like a champion. He has had more incidents this year than race wins. I don’t think he is going to be a better man next year as many people are expecting. Jenson will be the lead driver at McLaren’s next year with number 3 on his car and that will hurt Hamilton more.

When you want to watch some good F1 on a race weekend, most of the time is dedicated to discussing Hamilton’s accidents and his issues or how many times he has collided with Massa. Who cares? This is not what we want. I hope this is the last time we are talking about Hamilton and Massa incidents.


+1 McLaren are admitting Jensons form is hurting Lewis. I'm afraid that Lewis needs to sort things out else he will remain a 1 time WDC and remembered for scraping through at the last race rather than winning well.


Isn't it just an anecdote if it is Massa or Hamilton who carries the blame for today? Sixth collision between them two in one season....

Massa seems to be Hamilton-obsessed while Hamilton has proven this season that his agression is against whoever is in front.

Completely unacceptable. This 'just a racing incident'-attitude is nothing but shortsighted and negligent by those to take care about it (and fans, I dare to say.) No one listening to Sir Jackie Stewart lately?! Nothing is solved in what is going on between these two with penalties on a case by case basis. F1 is ill adviced if it is to regard as normal race incidents that cars/drivers regularly hit each other when trying to overtake. Risk is inherent to racing but (as F1 history shows) it is a big difference from there to believe that this means 'take or brake'!

Are drivers more competitive nowadays? Rubbish! These two are just an example of pure lack of mental skills and racing craftmanship.


Racing incident, I reckon. It's funny that it's the sixth time they've hit each other this year. Maybe they're just meant to be together.


Cannot get my head round today,s events.LH splits the Red Bulls in qually and where does he end up.....behind JB?? Then who does he have an incident with?! That poor bloke is having no luck whatsoever.Please let this season end for LH asap. I also think Whitmarsh has to go.His constant politically correct answers to everything are seriously annoying. He should stand up and be counted, that means telling Ferrari to sort out Massa or let him go!!


I think Whitmarsh should also stand up and go to RB telling them not to drive in front of Hamilton.


What seemed a wise decision by Jean Todt in bringing ex drivers last season is now starting to backfire in my opinion for the stewarding this year has been at best very, very poor.

I though Massa probably had more blame today but generally it was a racing incident, however the "racing incident" seems to be no more now.

We live in a culture and society of blame these days and it seems that this is also the case with the Fia stewards.

The commentators seem to be spend more time talking about possible investigations and penalties and whats more getting excited by them. Maybe its the lack of racing in the second half of this season but Im sure 10 years ago we didnt spend anywhere near this much debating who should get a penalty.

I just want to watch racing so let em' race!!!


James can you explain why Massa was given a penalty as he seemed to do exactly the same thing in Monaco when Lewis put his nose in.


Massa needs to blame his lack-lustre performance on something - and having clashes with Lewis seems to suit him as an cover for his own lack of performance in 2011.

I don't know why Ferrari have such loyalty to Massa. Personally I think Massa has peaked and is too comfortable as a Number 2 driver. Alonso has out driven Massa for 2010 & 2011. Even if Alonso has a quick car in 2012 he'll still need a quick team-mate; Ferrari need to two quick drivers to win the Constructors championship.

As for Lewis, well he seems to be going through a lack-lustre period as well... does anybody else think Louis may suffer from Depression - he always seems to be either full of positivity and the a few weeks later be full of negativity...



I agree 100% with your comment

re:Lewis's possible depression. I have seen depression at close quarters and see the symptons clearly. Hopefully he will get the help and support he needs otherwise he could soon be lost to the sport forever. He really needs his Dad at the moment and is moving in the right direction in focusing entirely on the racing. I think he may be finding out just how rare true friends really are.


Hakkinen will be the perfect man for lewis as a manager, a confident, and Mika was a great driver also, it's obvious, he is the man


+1000 Really, I fervently wish that Mika will take Lewis under his wing. Please Mika, if you are reading this, be Lewis's Manager... The racing world will love you even more for it. 🙂


The first point of contact is hamilton's right front tyre on massa's rear left wheel.

That tells you everything you need to know.


They were virtually side by side.

The contact ended up where you described because Hamilton could see Massa was about to turn into him and slowed down.

Arguably Hamilton avoided a much bigger contact and possibly a DNF by trying to pull out at the last minute.


Funny, it seems OK for Massa "not to see him" but when Lewis also "didn't see him" in Japan and in Belgium with Koba, Lewis is deemed dangerous and should be labeled as "dangerous"

Pot calling the kettle black Felipe???


At one point Hamilton was nearly alongside then drops back. Massa looks in mirror to make sure where he is and turns in like every other driver would have. Front wheel level with rear wheel means either back out or crash. With Massa braking later how then would he have managed to turn in earlier and as some have said chopped Hailton. If you brake late normally you have problems pulling the car up quick enough to make the corner and so allowing the car behind a chance to get up the inside. Hamiltons love life etc holds no interest to most F1 fans and I for one am sick of it being used as an excuse for his mistakes.


James, has there ever been a rivalry before that seemed to center around which driver would suck less during a Grand Prix?

A sabbatical would do wonders for Massa and Hamilton.


IMO both Hamilton and Massa should sit out the remainder of the season. I've been following F1 for 30-odd years now and i cannot recall when we had two drivers involved in more incidents with each other during one year.

This time i believe it was Massa's fault (he turned in as if Hamilton didn't exist but he knew he was there because he watched him in his mirrors all the time), on some previous occasions it was 50-50 or fully Hamilton's fault - it is irrelevant who is to blame for any individual incident, it is unacceptable to have two drivers who don't speak to each other off track and who behave like idiots on track and keep running into each other.

They both need to cool down for a while before someone gets seriously hurt!


I'm unfortunately unsurprised by the mix of interpretations here to a pretty straight-forward incident. definitely surprised the stewards got it right though...


Isn't it the convention in karting that if you are 80% up the inside of the car you are overtaking then you have the corner. If you are not, then you have to give way.

I have to say that after braking I don't think Hamilton was anywhere near that far up. Maybe for a fraction of a second, but at the point of turn in he was not there.

If it was anyone's fault it was Hamilton's, but probably a racing incident. I just don't see the logic of penalising Massa in this case.


You seem to have contradicted yourself a bit here.

Hamilton was 80% up the inside of Massa so by your logic Massa should have realised he'd lost the corner and backed off.

But he didn't hence the contact.

The fact that Lewis was further back after braking was only because he could see that Massa hadn't given what was a 'lost' corner and was turning in come what may.

Stewards called it correctly.


"I have to say that after braking I don’t think Hamilton was anywhere near that far up. Maybe for a fraction of a second, but at the point of turn in he was not there."

I don't feel I contradicted myself at all. I don't think he was far enough along side. I don't think he made the pass stick, and at the point of turn in he wasn't that close. He should have back out of it.

I know many people don't agree, but that is just how I saw it.


SOLUTION for all the above views.

Overtaking Rule reads:

Overtaking only allowed in DRS zone.

Enjoy your F1 next year as I for one will not be following it. All because of the BBC failing to abide by it's contract and Bernie letting them do so.


A go thru penalty was not good enough for such stupid behaviour.He should have been penalised with a Stop and Go. If all drivers behave like Massa, the races will end by lap 10.


"Baguettes", Ham and Red Mist are obviously a loosing combination for Massa!

This incident raises a bunch of questions-

1. If Massa knew Hamilton's position, and he clearly looked at both mirrors before turning in, he caused a preventable accident. Does this apply above the rules about holding the racing line if ahead? It should.

2. If Hamilton wasn't disadvantaged by the collision, would he have been penalized too?

3. There are more stewards than Herbert making the decisions. The rest must be wrestling with their ongoing Hamilton problem. How do they reign him in without damaging his obvious value to F1? Can they balance that fairly against Massa's reducing value?

4. Did the "destroy Hamilton's race" radio message really signal Massa's head space? Is that what Ferrari need to use to motivate him? Does he rate impeding Hamilton above a points finish behind Alonso?

5. Brundle's "Baggettes" were only struck twice to ill effect over the weekend. It was Massa both times. Pushing too hard? He also drove hard in practice to lead FP1. Is it Massa that is imploding - and using Hamilton as an automatic excuse with the stewards?

Can we have a bigger story JA?

Matt Cheshire.


Massa's defence would have more credibility if he hadn't broken his car twice in two days by driving over kerbs. It looks like Massa needs to work on his car placement.


Lewis could't put him to the blind spot of Felipe.

At the stage, Lewis is responsible for avoiding the accident,not Massa.


Can anyone recall two drivers colliding so many times in the one season before? I can't...


What really worring is that in future, a driver in Felipe's position will simply NOT looking at the mirror and turn in, because no footage showing him looking at mirror = he can claim he didn't expect the driver behind suddenly alonside him = no punishment, even if it end up loss out, the team and driver can pressure steward to give DT to the other driver to "level" the punishment!


Racing incident for mine, but I'm boggling at the number of people who want to blame Hamilton...

Pretty clear that the cars were side by side at the braking point. From then on there's nothing the inside driver can do - it's all on the outside driver to either leave room, or ensure he's completely clear when he turns in. Massa tried to brake later so he'd be clear and didn't make it. Because it's a one-line corner I'd give Massa the benefit of the doubt, but to try and put the blame on Hamilton is really stretching it.


Just re-watched the incident and the cars were never side by side...

I agree no penalty should be applied, but I disagree with Massa being at fault.

Hamilton was attempting to pass, therefore the onus is on Hamilton to avoid a collision. Inside, outside line doesn't matter. Felipe was first into the corner, Felipe was on the racing line, Felipe was doing the same thing every driver through that corner had done since they began working in the simulators for this circuit.

I particularly like Hamilton's comments "He didn't look like he was giving me any space". Seriously? Not everything in this world is given to you, some things need to be earned. Perhaps Hamilton hasn't learned this yet.


Went back for another look and you're right. In the outside view I was going on it looks like Hamilton gets the front wheels lined up, but on the in-car you can see he was about 80% there.

That's enough though - we're talking about the laws of physics more than anything else. If a car's that far alongside at the braking point the outside car has to give it room or there'll be contact. Massa still had the option to avoid contact, and he chose not to. I'd still give him the benefit of the doubt, because his other option was to go wide and probably over the kerb, but I can't see any reason to criticise Hamilton (and I'm usually his harshest critic).

The onus is on all drivers to avoid contact at all times, not just the guy overtaking.


Sad to say, but I think Massa is lacking a bit of judgement, and I think it is related to his bump on the head. Just that little bit of an impairment that has affected his personality.

Perhaps that is why they can't resolve the problem, and can't talk it out.


Hamilton just needs to do a better job of putting the car in the position it should be earlier in the race. These issues tend to come about as a result of him having a poor start to the race. The Montreal, Singapore and now India incidents have all come about as a result of him having a poor start and then trying too hard to make up the places later on in the race.

Without wishing to bash Massa, the two drivers aren't on the same level. Hamilton needs to get up to where he's fighting his team mate, Alonso and Webber... and not getting caught up battling with the top end of the middle pack (as he was in Monza as well).


So many experts on here who probably have never turned a wheel in anger! as one top driver once said 'If u no longer go for a gap then u are no longer a racing driver' amen to that! keep it up lewis ur a star! Massa has had a problem with lewis since he lost his only shot at a woirld title! even alonso is eclipsing massa!


The difference between Senna and Hamilton was: Senna could tell the difference between a gap and a hopeless chance.


How about another option?

They're both as bad as each other and need their heads knocking together?


I don't know why but I have this nudging feeling that won't go away. I don't know why but looking at replays and all, it just feels like Massa deliberately went in to the corner intending to cause a crash and get Hamilton in trouble. I don' know why but it looked like that....Somebody pliz get our pint sized Brazilian a Torro Rosso; maybe then we will appreciate him more being better than his teammate. His attitude and anger of late are eating him up....pliizzzzz....


I'm sorry but this time it was Massa's fault. Far too often you see Massa closing the door on people and not leaving room. The fact is, driver's have to at times be smart and acknowledge when a place is lost, something Felipe never seems to learn. Hopefully after this incident he will be more mindful that it isn't worth risking a DNF to defend a position so hard.

However, I don't think it deserved a penalty. The new regulations mean drivers are going to go wheel to wheel more and accidents are inevitable when cars are alongside each other at high speed. Sometimes accidents just occur and although blame could be determined you also have to accept that it is part of the nature of racing.

I say, keep the stewards out of incidents like this and let things settle themselves on the track. The only time they need to intervene is in incidents like Jerez 97 or when Irvine caused that crash at Brazil in 1994. The culture of giving penalties for every battle on track that ends in contact is really frustrating and to me just encourages a processional race with drivers waiting for pitstops to overtake.


I see it this way: Hamilton had once again chosen a gap that wasn't. A gap that had left him no chance to pull a successful move. Even if they both could have managed to fit through that corner side by side, which is next to impossbible, the next corner is a very narrow right hander with Massa in the advantage. What did Lewis think he was doing? Even then, Lewis wasn't far enough in front to have conquered the line at all. Massa was blamed by the stewards to have turned right, inviting Hamilton and then shutting the door again. What kind of a twisted logic is that? Massa has taken the racing line, which is perfectly okay and reasonable when you're expecting no opportunistic Kamikaze move from your opponent there. DC and Brundle, both usually on Lewis' side, both racing drivers, thought that is has been a mis-judgenment by the stewards, after seing the move from different camera angles and I tent to agree them.

What some of the comments here don't understand is: When you're on the brakes, you're committed. You can't just brake a little more and opening the steering in this corner would have taken Massa onto the grass in into big trouble. So the decision has been made at the braking point and from this point of view Hamilton has made, once again, a blatant misjudgement. So did the Stewards!


Hi James, in my opinion many of the collisions this year have been nothing more than racing accidents, incliding most of the Massa vs Hamilton incidents, do you know why the stewards are so keen to investigate every little incident and hand out penalties like sweets this year?


I think any collision needs looking into. If the collision damages someone's race and there is fault on the other side it's only fair to penalise the culprit. There have been 600 overtakes this year, more than any year since 1984 and that inevitably means more attempted overtakes too. Hence it must also mean more collisions.


It's been mentioned on the BBC Practice coverage a few times this year that the drivers have asked the FIA to investigate every incident regardless of how minor it may be & that the drivers have told the FIA to continue doing this.


I don't believe Massa was as much at fault as many here have been saying.

That particular corner only has room for 1 car, Its not a passing point which is why no other driver attempted a pass there.

Had Massa given Lewis more room he would have gone off the track because there is simply no room there for 2 cars.

Go back & watch practice, Every time a driver turned in a bit wide offline he went off track & ended up bouncing through the grass which not only caused issues for himself but also everyone else as it threw grass/dirt/dust all over the track.

While true that lewis was 75% alongside, In a single file corner such as that you really need to be 95-100% alongside or indeed ahead for the pass to work.


Agreed - Martin Brundle was saying it was a one-by-one corner for at least three laps before the crash, and even made a "told you so"-esque remark after the crash. If Lewis was going to make the move stick, he needed to maintain his position and not try and back out of it - it would have been touch and go, perhaps, but ultimately a fair move and certainly better than what happened.


I don't agree, please state where it says in the rules that a corner on any of the tracks is a 'single file corner'? All corners should be a possible overtaking place. It just needs the driver being overtaken to show a bit of respect for the other driver - something that is lacking here.

Hamilton gave Massa room during the start on the first corner, shame he didn't receive any from Massa.


As for Hamiltons fan it is incredibly frustrating.

We have seen some fantastic overtakes this season where there was 'just enough' room given. Webbers move on Alonso in Spa or Sebs move on fernando in Monza beeing just two examples.

On each ocasion driver making the move could be acused of lunacy, yet it was down to driver beeing overtekent to decide: Do I want run other guy off the road and ruin his race and most likely mine, or should I leave enough room and thry to fight back.

And this is a think I do not get about Felipe. Even if on occasions Lewis was taking it to far, Massa NEVER left enough room for Lewis. Every time he just turns in and blames the world. Imagine what would have happened if Rather then Mark and Fernando it was Lewis and Felipe at Spa. It would have been a massive crash and someone could have got hurt. After all you could argue that Mark shouldn't have done it there and... Massa would argue.

On that point alone I think it was good that Massa got penalty. It takes two to tango and he seems to have forgoten it.

It is sad in a way that from inconsistent but quick guy Massa has changed in to sorry picture of someone who is past they best and doesn't have a strenght for one mor fight. I think his days in red car are numbered.


Racing incident, no questions. Both were aggressive on their driving actions, but, well, they are all racing drivers.

Hamilton decided to a late break on the dirty side; Felipe has also decided for a even later break on the clean side of the track.

Hamilton's maneuver (breaking late on dust) was clearly avoided on early similar actions by Mark Webber - who in fact failed to accomplish any overtake.


Quoting from MW:

“I probably could have gone down the inside of Turn 4, but it was still very dusty. I thought I’d have a bit of a poke round the outside, but he fixed me up on the outside, which is fair enough, as I fixed him up in Korea. That’s the way it goes.”

Different approaches for a similar situation.


Wow, there are a lot of comments on this! To add my $0.02...

Massa was on the racing line and was clearly in front. Hamilton should have known that the move was doomed and by his own admission tried to pull out. If I were to apportion blame it would be mostly Hamilton's fault, but I don't think any penalty should have been applied.

Sticking your nose where it doesn't belong is a common incident in racing. Many drivers try it, some are successful, some are able to poke their nose in to see if the other driver will flinch while still retaining the ability to avoid a catastrophe.

I believe it is incumbent on the passer to ensure that a collision does not happen, just like the passee should not be overly aggressive in blocking.

That being said, it seems to me as if the stewards are being a tad punitive in their application of penalties between Massa and Hamilton. Perhaps they are trying to send a message that this sort of incident will not be tolerated at this level? Maybe they are right...


Absolutely agree with Matt W, post #88, a great one!!

The main problem is too many silly rules, so subjective, applied with no consistency. They should get rid of them and stick to a little set.

To me, Massa perfectly knew that Hamilton was at his side and Hamilton knew that Massa would surely shut the door. They both took a big risk and they lost... a normal incident race.


IMO all Felipe needed to do is to leave some more space as Lewis was already giving up on that corner. he would still have ade the corner and kept his car intact. i have two photos in my possession clearly showing the Red car veering left leaving space only for the two to collide!


I feel that some people are missing out some points.

1. Lewis only needed to pass Massa because he made a silly mistake in practice and then lost a position at the start.

2. Lewis did not have to make that move there and then, it wasn't like his race was going to be ruined if he was behind Massa for another half lap. If Lewis had some patience and engaged his brain he could have passed Massa on one of the two straights with DRS.


...or Hamilton had engaged his brain and realised he needed to pass somewhere other than the DRS zone because Massa was fast enough in a straight line to resist the overtake using KERS - he had already tried to pass on the previous couple of laps - that's 4 DRS zones worth.

Recall how Webber was held off at the last race? Over the lap, a faster car, but didn't have the speed in the right places.

Hamilton has always invented passing places in unusual places. He'd tried it out the lap before and worked out what he needed to do. It wasn't going to be pretty, because it was marginal, but that is the difference between those at the top of F1 - they can make a pass in unexpected places. Schumacher used to do the same thing - he used to explore the track, even going off line for a couple of laps to clean the track up. I think Hamilton had been exploring the grip the previous lap.

F1 cars are not identical and have different strengths on any particular track. This time McLaren went for grip over absolute speed, that means that they will be faster in different places.


When are the likes of Massa, Alonso and Vettel going to make some apologies? I have never heard of them doing that -- and Hamilton does it with some unnecessary exaggeration


a simple question, why does lewis feel the need to attempt a lo percentage pass like this one where he is relting on the nature of the driver in front. he was quicker than massa, and if he had waited another lap or so he would have nailed massa with a high percentage pass.

lewis is one of the sports naturally gifted, maybe the best, but racing is thinking and he's not so good at that.


On a separate but related note, Martin Brundle has said that he still does not agree with the penalty, and added that a number of drivers, team principals and other paddock figures cannot make sense of it. It's on the BBC's website now.


Can anyone explain to me how the Massa/Hamilton accident in India differs from the Webber/Hamilton incident at Singapore in 2010?

From memory, so it may not be totally 100% correct, Lewis was said to be in the wrong and was the cause of that incident in Singapore. However, in retrospect if you apply the logic of the Indian race stewards you could argue that Webber didn't give Hamilton enough room. Or am I missing something? Was Hamilton a further back at Singapore.

I would like to see the FIA explain some of these decisions, with maybe a video and or diagrams. Just to make it clearer. It will also satisfy the geek in me.


Absolutely agree! how there explain the case in Singapore last year? Hamilton close the door and didn't give Webber enough space? double standard from steward anyway.

see this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p9rBiUhOEg


My take on the incident was that Massa deliberately caused the accident because he could not accept Hamilton passing him. We’ve seen this many times in the past where Massa has always been more aggressive in defending his position against Hamilton than any other driver. Maybe it’s because of how he lost the title to Hamilton in 2008 [mod] Either way, I have no respect for Massa and the next time this happens Hamilton should just punt him off.


If a penalty is given it should be given in such a way that the affected party should regain the advantage. A pass thru penalty didnt give any advantage to Hamilton as he had suffered major damages to his car.

I agree to some of your thoughs that the onus is on the driver who is taking the risk to make it stick. But there is nothing Hamilton could do as he was on the inside and no where to go. If these accidents are considered lightly and written off as racing incidents, we donot need stewards anymore.

Imagine such incidents happening at 300 kmph could end in disaster.


Hi James,

It seems that this Massa vs Hamilton case has blown the fans. I saw it on TV like everyone else, from two different shots. The wide-angled normal footage suggests that Massa was in front and had the corner. The second footage from Hamilton's camera car suggests that Massa cut off Lewis' racing line. I think in case of doubt it has to be treated as a racing incident. The FIA needs to revise some rules and this is one of them.

A lot of people say that driving on the road is much more dangerous than on a racing track. Then why not introduce some traffic regulations in motorsport as well. For example: in an accident, the one behind is always to blame (whether it's Massa or Hamilton, or anyone else). Very simple!

Black White Grey & Brown

Massa seems bitter.

maybe- therein lies the problem.


I'm a Hamilton fan but think that Massa should not have got a penalty had not Lewis previously received several for similar racing incidents before.

We are now in the era of investigation if anyone sneezes. 10 years ago the stewards would have been laughed out of the track for what they are doing now. Very soon drivers will have to complete a risk assessment form before getting in the car.


exactly same situation happened with hamilton and kubica in japan 2007, kubica was on the inside and he got a drive through, watch!



you must have the wrong link because it's nothing like what happened on sunday....


Lewis always stick his nose at behind and try to push other away, this is his [mod] trick of all time. I think he is good to drive a bumper car instead of F1. Look and the link below you get what I mean.

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f02h87s5PRY
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TuaeGfUcko&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hoUwFPMpmk
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnCsG0DlXkU&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXDmqjnPG7k
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is543dNeLNw&feature=channel_video_title


I feel very strongly, since it is crystal clear that HAM is behind, that MAS has the right to take the racing line. Fullstop - its HAM's fault and he should have been penalised. He failed to get alongside and on the dirty line into the corner he had no chance to get around the inside. I don't care if the telemetry said that MAS braked later than usual - he still had the racing line and still got easily around the corner even after being banged up by HAM. In my view, not only should HAM have been penalised for that pathetic attempt at a pass, but he should have been hauled up in front of the stewards to be told he must desist these insane undertaking overtaking attempts at corners where he is behind. OK, if he gets alongside, let them fight for it, but behind is behind and you have no rights to bang wheels and bodywork with the other car. Get out of it, if you can't get alongside. HAM should be in trouble. I cannot for the life of me see why this is MAS fault. Particularly because if it is in any doubt, which this incident surely is, then the car behind must be at fault for the contact. I can only say, MAS keep fighting, and HAM - loser. Get real or get out of F1.


To me it all comes back to whom was doing fastest times on previous laps.I insist if Hamilton was quicker overall Massa should allow him to pass him , and the track stewards should have put a Blue flag on Massa. It should not be allowed to a driver with a car faster on straights but slower on the whole track to slow down a faster overall driver.


You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think

I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.

I am looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

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