Hamilton apologises after Massa clash

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Lewis Hamilton rued his contact with Felipe Massa on the first lap of the Italian Grand Prix.

He apologised to his team after crashing out of the race on the first lap:

I made a good start, gained a position, got up to fourth, and, at that moment, perhaps I should have just stayed there for a while. But I put my car up the inside of Felipe into Turn Four, trying to get third, and that was probably a little bit too much.

I was trying to position the car in a certain way, I was too close to Felipe, and his left rear clipped my right front. The car was damaged after that, and there was nothing I could do; you try your best, but some things just don’t go your way.

Today was a shame, and I want to say sorry to the team. But the championship certainly isn’t over – although I have to admit that days like today don’t help. The good thing is that Jenson scored a nice lot of points for us.
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s failure to finish means he lost the lead of the championship to Mark Webber. The Red Bull driver has a five-point advantage over the McLaren pilot.

2010 Italian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    50 comments on “Hamilton apologises after Massa clash”

    1. Championship gets interesting. I somehow feel that if the old points system was followed this year it would look even more closer and more thrilling. The whole bunch would be up there.

      1. Actually, while the physical differences in points would be smaller, the actual differences in the points – based on how many remain on offer – would be roughly the same. They would only be closer in the sense that the numbers would be closer together.

    2. THE question: is Lewis genuine when he says he’s delighted that Jenson brings home 17 pts ?
      If this is really the case, then hat off, that’s the spirit you wanna see in a team.
      Of course he still has a comfortable cushion on his team-mate, so it helps !
      It would be time for Lewis to be more reasonnable in his choices of overtaking attempts. His setup was meant to help him be Mr top-speed today, so he would probably have been able to have a go at Felipe later in the race I suppose…

      1. I think so, remember when Heikki would occasionally outqualify him an Lewis would praise him to the skies for it.

        1. And Button was genuinly happy Hamilton won in Spa as well.

          I think they are just a very good team at the moment.

          1. Well that is really good then, and i wish it could stay that way: they are 2 of my favourite drivers, and I’m not even british.
            Carry on !

        2. @Scribe. Yeah I remember the 2008 British GP qualifying where Heikki took pole position. Lewis was really proud of his teammate on that day. He was so happy for him, that he didn’t even bother congratulating his teammate after quali or make any verbal or visual gestures to show his appreciation.

          1. lol, but I bet if he could pick one race where he didn’t want to be outqualified, it would be Silverstone.

      2. they are still fighting the constructor’s champ…

        so why can’t that be genuine?

        tho i have to agree on his overtaking manouvre… he could’ve overtaken Massa anyway, so why risk it all there? the room wasn’t enough anyway

    3. Whats the strongest material on earth? A diamond?, judging by Spa and now Monza, the back end of a Ferrari.

      1. Amazing strength in the rear suspension. Ferrari is chunky in the butt.

        1. But this was absolutely nothing compared to the Alonso-Barrichello incident at spa! This was just a touch, but that was a real crash!

      2. I think all Ferraris are indestructible. Alonso hit Button, hardly any damage and he went on to win. Incredible stuff.

        1. You clearly haven’t seen the pictures of the 458 road cars which have a tendancy to set themselves on fire

      3. Didn’t Ferrari say that they’re used to building stout cars from years of Schumi plowing into people? I remember hearing that somewhere recently. Maybe on SPEED.

        1. I heard that too.. it was something along the lines of – If its the last couple of races and our drivers ‘unintentionally’ take another driver out, we should make sure our car atleast finish the race.

          God forbid another Jerez 1997 should occur.

    4. yeah, I am beginning to wonder what kind of material the F10 has …… Alonso could continue after that impact with Rubens and now Massa continued after hitting a McLaren….. hmmm, they are being magical these days :-(

    5. TMAX, under the old points system, the result would still be the same!

      I wonder if Hamilton apologised to Massa, as he could easily have put him out as well!

      1. @Wolfgang maybe i did not put it properly. I understand the result would be same. What i meant was that if the last years points system were to be followed the perception of a very tight and closer championship would be very high…

    6. Does it seem that Hamilton suffers from brain fade towards the end of each season ? Todays performance was very disappointing – he must think thru the plot. He doesn’t need to win every battle in order to win the war- look at Webber.

    7. TMAX. under the old points system, the result would still be the same!

      I wonder if Hamilton apologised to Massa, as he could easily have taken him out as well!

    8. If he’d only backed off just a little bit he could have carried on with the race. :( I hope the car comes good at Singapore.

      1. It will really be interesting to see what kind of improvement VMM has made to their EBD in Singapore, as well as what difference (if any) the new floor tests have made for all the teams. It certainly didn’t seem it made any difference in Monza, but then it’s a very unique circuit.

    9. “Never give up, there’s always a brighter day”
      He said it himself. ;)

    10. I am surprised by Hamilton’s error. For the 8 last races, I thought he was faultless. Well, a bad day at work, it happens. At least he didn’t bring anybody down with him : those ferraris are strong (unlike fiats)

      1. I guess you didn’t watch Valencia, Hockenheim and Spa?

        1. Valencia and hock were no faults of his

          1. In Valencia he made a mistake by overtaking SC when he wasn’t allowed to. It could’ve (and should’ve) cost him the race, but he luckily survived due to slow stewards.

            In Hockenheim he hit the tyre wall during free practice but McLaren was able to fix his car before the second session.

            Of course everyone makes mistakes (even though in my opinion Hamilton usually makes more mistakes than others), but calling Hamilton’s last eight races “faultless” is absurd.

    11. Unlucky. He touched vettel the same at Valencia to no effect. Massa once hiit a car 4x in one corner and raced on. Alonso nailed button in turn 1.

      But he was being too greedy. He would have got one or both ferraris into the lesmos, with a little patience.

    12. I think Lewis’s mistake could have cost McLaren a victory today.

      With the lower downforce setup, Hamilton would almost certainly have pitted first (his tyre wear would have been a lot greater than Jenson’s), and could have reported back the first-lap difficulties that the hard tyre eventually gave Jenson, costing him the lead.

    13. McLaren definitely have the best partnership in terms of friendly team mates, but I have to say Fernando and Felipe looked very happy with each other at the podium today.

      1. They certainly didn’t in the press conference. Whenever Massa talks Alonso stairs straight forward and looks like he’s daydreaming. He doesn’t do that when other drivers talk.

    14. Oh BTW what happened to Martin Whitmarsh who called Vettel the Crash Kid last week. Maybe it is time that his golden boy too gets a little tap on his wrist he he…..

      1. That was always going to come back and bite him, wasn’t it? Still at least Hamilton only took himself out.

        1. Commendable that Lewis comes out and puts his hands up, no blah blah blah as Rubens would say.

          After all the successful moves Lewis has made this season it comes as no surprise that he stretched one attempt a bit too far.
          He knows he should have held station and worked out a plan from there but the racer instinct took control at the wrong moment.

          Maybe I’m rose tinted here but I see this particular move as simple over exuberance. Vettel’s errors have appeared to be more on the incompetent side…

          1. I agree mate. Not all of his overtaking manoevres are going to work but the fact that he tries is testament to the fact that he’s a racer. From time to time, he may do something stupid but all the other times it’s magic!

          2. I should have added that I thought Vettel drove a great one today. Seemed a lot more composed, engine glitch aside.
            I hate to lend any kind of credence to conspiracy theorists but to suggest that was a covert team order is quite frankly bonkers tabloid rubbish.

            1. No to mention both Mark and Seb would rather – in the words of Brundle – ‘eat their own fingers’ rather than move aside for one another.

            2. Yeah, if that was a team order it would have had to have been worked out before the race, and Vettel would have been performing an Oscar worthy acting job on the radio, something I doubt from a driver that lets his emotions show as much as he does. Still, it is VERY strange that he had the problem he did when he did, and then magically fixed it.

        2. I agree Keith, what goes around comes around. Especially these young, energetic and talented drivers are hungry and always wanna win. Can’t blame them I personally like it that way rather than Safe Driving and Chauferring.

          The fact that Ferrari’s rear was stronger than Mclaren’s sidepod to absorb the Impact saved the day for Whitmarsh. Otherwise it is pretty foot in the mouth situation for him adding to the wound that they lost the driver championship lead. Again Hamilton being a better PR guy than Vettel improved the situation.

          1. It Lewis a good half an hour in the paddock to come up with that great piece of PR work. Additionally, would love to see Stefano take a jibe at Mclarens crash kid.

    15. Well, just hope he can bounce back

      1. This is a perfect discription of Lewis the man and lewis the driver…I must say am happy with it


    16. I think this might cost Lewis the WDC in the end. He had an easy 4th but gave it away. This was the one track McLaren needed to outscore RB by a big Margin. And he didnt. Sad day indeed

    17. From now on all the tracks will favour Red Bull so I think this was one of the best opportunity for him to put up a strong result. Hamilton should have been a little more careful, he should have waited for the time to get pass Massa & then I think he could have also pass Button.

    18. If you watch the accident Massa allowed Alonso to change his line into the corner, had that not happened Hamilton would have been able to follow Alons through.

      1. Absolute rubbish. Take a better look


        Alonso was ahead of Massa and had the inside line. There was no other way Massa could follow Alonso into that corner.

      2. Oliver, I absolutely think the sun shines out of Lewis’s rear but I’m not going to let that blind me to the fact that he simply made a mistake here.

        No one else to blame.

    19. If you watch the replay Hamilton loses it under braking, but still he could have cut the chicane to try and avoid massa. He was unlucky though because it was only a soft impact but at the wrong angle. Wheels bang together all the time

    20. They all make mistakes

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