Felipe Massa was aggrieved to be given a drive-through penalty in the Brazilian Grand Prix, for crossing the white line at the pit lane entry, when he was running in fourth place.
It meant that the Brazilian didn’t sign off as a Ferrari driver on the podium, as he and the team admitted after the race that there was an understanding between the drivers that if they found themselves in that position, Fernando Alonso would have let his team mate through to finish third.
“There wasn’t an agreement as such, but Fernando had said to me that if I was behind him, he would let me through,” said Massa after the race.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed this to the Italian media, ” It was planned that way,” he said.
Massa gained three places at the start, moving ahead of the two Toro Rosso drivers and Romain Grosjean. He got ahead of Rosberg before the first stops and then got Lewis Hamilton, stopping two laps earlier and taking fourth place when the Mercedes stopped.
He was running in fourth place, six seconds behind Alonso with half the race to go when he served the drive through penalty on lap 34 and it dropped him behind the Button, Rosberg, Perez group. The FIA had circulated a note on race morning saying that drivers would not be allowed to cut the white line with hatchings, which delineated the pit entry, with all four wheels. Massa received warnings, as did other drivers, but the stewards decided to penalise him.
“I was having a really great race up to that moment I was given a penalty for crossing the white line. I don’t think I deserved a drive-through and I believe it was very unfair,” he said. “Others did it too, but they penalised only me. It’s unacceptable; there was no advantage and no safety issue. They just thought up this rule now.”
Massa performed a series of donuts for his hime crowd after taking the chequered flag.
So Massa’s eight year Ferrari career comes to an end after 11 wins, 15 pole positions and 36 podium finishes. Next year he will race with Williams-Mercedes, the first time he has raced an F1 car which doesn’t have a Ferrari engine in it.
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