Massa calls for kerb change after crash

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Felipe Massa says the kerb he hit when he crashed in qualifying should be changed for next year.

Massa said: “What happened on my last timed lap was a real shame.

“Today, we had the potential to secure a good placing, as Fernando [Alonso] demonstrated and as can also be seen from the fact my sixth best time was set with a rather slow third sector.

“I came into turn eight and went over the kerb and the front right suspension gave way in the impact with the raised orange part, which in my opinion is too high at this point. It’s a very fast corner, taken at around 215kph and it could be arranged differently.

“These are details that need improving for next year.”

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    82 comments on “Massa calls for kerb change after crash”

    1. I still reckon cutting through Turn 7 once too often did his front suspension no favours. It no doubt weakened the front-right to the point where the impact with the kerb was enough to break the suspension loose.

      1. SennaNmbr1 (@)
        29th October 2011, 13:33

        Definitely looked like it was weakened by the first kerb.

      2. It wouldnt matter right and left corner of the front suspension are independent I reckon that his failure was due to continuos cuttin at turn 8 from FP1 to Q3

      3. Agreed, but the orange kerb is quite vicious

    2. I don’t think they should change it, it’s refreshing to have a new track that actually punishes drivers without harm.

      1. But Massa could have been harmed, even if it was unlikely.

        1. He shouldn’t have cut the corner so much then. Sounds callous (probably is) but it’s refreshing that he was punished. Even if the curb wasn’t like that I imagine taking the corner that way would have compromised that sector. I think he’s probably just embarrassed that he was put out of qualifying by his own error in a fairly minor crash.

          1. Sounds callous (probably is) but it’s refreshing that he was punished

            Punishment should come from his time being deleted not by his car dangerously falling apart. The Sing sling is at least slower so the chances of a big accident are a little lower but iirc that’s a fairly fast bit of track.

            1. I think his crash proved that a big crash is very unlikely to happen there.

          2. This is not a street circuit so shouldn’t be treated like one.

          3. @matt90 I wasn’t backing Massa’s opinion, I don’t really have an opinion on whether the kerbs need to be changes. I was just pointing that even though it was indeed unlikely Massa could have been hurt, the fact is that there was always a chance of him getting hurt.

      2. I agree, take the appropriate line and you won’t get punished, much like the “Singapore Sling”.

      3. I agree. Actually massa went beyond normal (red & white) kerb & then put his wheel on orange part which should not be used as normal kerb. So for me i think kerbs are good enough & moreover he didn’t complain about them until met with suspension broke. We haven’t heard any complaints from any other drivers reg kerbs.

      4. Punish shouldnt equal potential hospital trip in that corner things could be really dangerous

        1. They would only be dangerous if you don’t drive them properly.

          Take too much kerb, and you will break your car.

        2. Punish shouldnt equal potential hospital trip

          Agreed. It can cause nasty consequences during the race.

        3. It would only be dangerous if there was a good chance a car could be launchec off it. It is not placed in a position where that is likely to happen. Massa is just trying to divert away from his poor driving. The bump is there to deter drivers from cutting the corner and it worked.

    3. I guess it’s like that little off track bump in Australia. It brings character to à circuit.

    4. He completely missed the apex. Massa’s mistake, but maybe the suspension was already damaged by all his front wing oscillations and his previous hard run over kerbs. It is a bit silly he always find something to blame but himself :(
      Are the suspensions also a 2012 spec?

      1. he got the habbit from lewis. looks to be contagious

        1. are u talking about the character from LOTR?

        2. What on earth has hamilton got to do with this story?

      2. I guessed Massa just got too overexcited after topping the time sheets in fp2 and being overshadowed by alonso all season,he just pushed the car way too hard.I bet if he would have finished that lap without the accident he would have never complained about the kerb.Btw thats the quote from lewis hamilton ”
        The track is fantastic – the organisers here in India have done a great job. It’s very fast and flowing, the grip-level is fantastic, the run-off areas seem to be good, and the kerbs are probably the best of any circuit we visit: nice rumble-strips that you can drive on.”

    5. Change your driving instead.

      This is no different to Singapore apart from that you have a much bigger run off.

    6. His views are entirely understandable but had his suspension not failed I suspect we wouldn’t have heard anything about them. If he wanted to attack the kerbs like that maybe he should have gone for a more compliant suspension set up.

      Fact is he hit them once too many and the suspension cried enough. There are plenty of other tracks on the calendar with those inside kerbs which are just as high as, if not higher than these ones and everyone else managed them ok.

      1. The fact is that he did not hit the kerb. The bump is beyond the already generous kerbing. He was off the track and payed the price.

    7. Rather than alter the kerb, Felipe should take the kerb properly like everyone else did.

      1. +1 – The track is the grey stuff. He’ll be moaning about the walls in Monaco & Montreal next. Muppet.

    8. I heard that massa wants the kerbs to be renamed hamiltons so he can can continue that whinge instead of starting another

      come to think of it , there will always be something with him

      1. ha ha ha …COTD!

      2. Grow up. Massa doesn’t whinge nearly as much as Lewis. Whenever Massa whinges, it’s been completely justified. Hamilton, however, crashes into people and then moans about getting penalties. I’m not against Hamilton, but I’m against people that are against Massa.

    9. All I’m saying is that the other drivers coped with the kerbs and didn’t crash

    10. Massa is obviously a suporter of Bernie’s ‘Short cuts’ idea. Next thing he’ll want to drive through the barriers of monaco, through the front door of a hotel, out the back door, through another barrier and back onto the track without damaging his car.

    11. ” raised orange part,” they should be remove for the race.

    12. It’s an anti-cut device. Isn’t it just fulfilling the duty that kerbs used to serve in the 70s/80s/90s before they were flattened in the 2000s, i.e. as a place the driver shouldn’t put his car?

      I like Felipe, but it’s his own fault for driving where he shouldn’t.

    13. The rules say the track is between the white lines, Massa was at least a metre beyond the lines, so what does he expect.

      In fact the orange lumps should be made bigger, better and meaner.

      Getting to be quite the little whinger, ain’t ‘e.

    14. For once I agree with Massa. That orange kerb is TOO high and therefore dangerous, leave alone getting off the racing line!!

      1. The solution is simple: don’t drive over the curb.

      2. It was not the kerb that did the damage it was the bump placed beyond the kerb to stop drivers cutting the corner that broke his car. Drivers take a risk by using kerbs as it is so they should expect to come off bad if they go beyond them.

    15. It wasn’t a problem until he made it one. He took an odd line through the corner and that hindered him. He has a point saying it needs to be changed but its similar to the bump off the track at Sepang that broke Petrov’s steering column, it shouldn’t be there as it could cause an accident but it’s once in a blue moon accident.

    16. ha ha. Maybe all the other drivers should also be removed from the circuit so Massa can win the championship. 23 drivers went by the same place with no incident, but his majesty Massa cannot, so it needs to change. Excuse me while I laugh, now, will you?

    17. The kerb says Felipe Massa, who hit it when he crashed in qualifying, should be changed for next year.

      The curb said “He came into turn eight and went over me straight at my stationery raised orange part, which in my opinion is too too far of the race track for him to be at this point.

      “It’s a very fast corner, taken at around 215kph and is not arranged differently for a reason.

      “These are drivers that need replacing for next year.”

      1. COTD! Nice one indeed..

      2. I heard that the kerb (a.k.a ‘the curb’) was dating Nicole Scherzinger now. Fair play to him.

      3. Easy nomination for COTD!

    18. you’ve got to love the way worded it

      ‘Turn 8 anti-cut kerbing too high, claims Massa’

      man up massa

    19. I do agree with Felipe but i wouldnt be too critical on the track,The Designers or the people who actually layed out the circuit,Bare in mind this is India’s first GP so under-estimation is highly likely,We’ve seen that in Abu Dhabi in 2009 & Korea in 2010 there’s going to be almost certainly flaws at every new Grand Prix track.

      Its just something to learn from * im pretty sure that adjustments & other things that went wrong would be made right for next year.

      1. Nothing has gone wrong. One driver chose to leave the track by putting a wheel on the curb. The curb did its job, actually, so this is exactly what should have happened.

    20. I honestly can’t agree with anyone saying that these kers are right and that they should be maintained. I think their purpose is to slow down the car sufficiently so that riding them is a disadvantage, and not to break the suspension of car that happens to ride them.

      Let’s take for example the kerbs on that awful chicane at Catalunya. They have the same raised concrete stuff on the outside. However, I’ve never seen a suspension breaking there, even though I’ve seen drivers riding them plently of times. However, when they do, they lose time.

      And anyway, I don’t think it makes much sense to believe that having a single kerb that can retire a car is a good way to “punish drivers” while in some corners we have acres of tarmac run-off areas that doesn’t punish drivers at all.

      1. I see you point about a one off hit breaking the car despite my comment below, however, it wasn’t just the once he did it.

        The key is there needs to be a serious incentive to not try and take an advantage.

      2. How does anyone know what caused the suspension failure? How does any know that suspension wouldn’t have failed at the next corner?

      3. We saw many drivers run wide at Turn 8 all through FPs as well as quali. My theory is that the kerbs are good (Which I mean is proper height) but since so many cars went through that orange “lump” they kicked off dust and sort of dug a whole there which would have damaged Massa’s suspension. Of course he went too far there and is ready with his baby-like excuses. A case of sour grapes maybe?

      4. I don’t think it makes much sense to believe that having a single kerb that can retire a car is a good way to “punish drivers” while in some corners we have acres of tarmac run-off areas that doesn’t punish drivers at all

        What then do you suggest in place of the kerb?

        The idea is that they can’t cut the corner to gain an advantage, just like you can’t cut an armco to gain one.

        If the driver doesn’t seem to understand that then that’s their problem, not the circuit designer.

      5. Perhaps they should replace the bump with a wall like monaco?

      6. @Guilherme I agree completely. If you don’t want drivers to cut corners, don’t line them with tarmac. If there was some nice slippery grass on the inside of the kerb, no-one with half a brain would be cutting corners!

        1. As opposed to large suspension breaking bumps? Surely it is far more sensible to cut a grass corner than cutting a corner with a huge hump on it?

    21. Thankfully there is a big (enough) run off area so no harm done this time.

      Nothing wrong with the corner in my opinion, just don’t cut it so much while trying to gain an advantage.
      Hopefully we will now see drivers not trying to take advantage.

      Safety must come first but its good to see a penalty, car breaking, like in times gone by, as long as safety doesn’t become an issue.
      On the other hand, I suppose the worry is part of the suspension could easily hit the driver and we’ve had enough bad new in motor sport recently.

    22. Two men, a couple of shovels and ten bags of ready mix will solve the problem in about a half hour.

      1. Yeah, build a wall there.

    23. “These are details that need improving for next year.”

      Quite right. Build the curbs higher and thicker next year.

    24. We saw many drivers run wide at Turn 8 all through FPs as well as quali. My theory is that the kerbs are good (Which I mean is proper height) but since so many cars went through that orange “lump” they kicked off dust and sort of dug a whole there which would have damaged Massa’s suspension. Of course he went too far there and is ready with his baby-like excuses. A case of sour grapes maybe?

    25. I’m getting a bit bored of the way Massa is criticised. I don’t agree with a lot of what he says but to just call him names or label him “a moaner” isn’t even constructive. Drivers such as Ham complained about the Singapore sling and didn’t draw as much criticism. This looked like it was a fast bit of track and while I don’t mind barriers there to punish drivers the way the Ferrari fell apart and Felipe had no control was worrying. When it comes to safety I’m all for drivers having their say and I think they should contribute more to track design. I don’t mind drivers being punished by hitting the wall and that’s it but for a part of the car to almost break off and for the whole vehicle to fly across the track isn’t what I want to see.

      1. I know you like Massa Steph, to be honest I used to like him too but he’s moaning way to much now and making himself look a bit silly.

        The difference with Hamilton’s comments at Singapore is that he didn’t complain after he had just put it in the wall (something he never did do of course). The fact that Massa is calling for changes after not respecting the circuit like the other 23 drivers warrants some of the comments here I feel. The drivers all knew it was a large kerb that could potentially damage any part of their car, be it the floor, front wing, suspension, etc, and if they didn’t then well, they should understand the circuit better then.

        As for the last bit, that kerb really isn’t less safe than having a wall there. Massa’s car ended up going into a gravel trap and had a gentle brush with the barrier. A wall could have potentially rebounded the whole car back onto racing line.

        1. @JohnH I honestly don’t care about Massa right now. The championship is over and I’m a Ferrari fan first. I’ve also said on Twitter I’m sick of the stick Ham and Massa get. I’m just bored of the childish comments. I’d love to debate the content any time though.

          @Hairs I still don’t think a kerb should cause a violent accident even if he was going too deep.

      2. Perhaps it is more of a ferrari problem than a track problem.

      3. You may be tired of the critics, but the fact remains Massa was driving off the track. Repeatedly. You might as well complain that driving over the gravel caused his radiators to fill up with gravel. His complaint about the kerb is absolute nonsense.

      4. @Steph Firstly, that’s not a rant. Secondly, I couldn’t agree more! I don’t like agreeing but on this occasion I have to. He’s moaned about Lewis before, but it’s always justified, isn’t it? I see it’s mostly Hamilton fans that are criticising him, and I think it’s just because they don’t like him. Or they’re creating a scapegoat to bash for Hamilton’s poor form. But Lewis is the biggest whinger on the grid in my opinion. He repeatedly takes people out and then complains as if he’s being targeted when he gets a penalty.

    26. Learn to drive Felipe. Nobody else broke their suspension there. If more than one car did it, it may be a problem. As that is not the case it is just you trying to steal some extra track because Fernando is faster than you. Stop whining!

    27. Ok, sure, nothing wrong with looking at improving that point for next year so it will be as safe as possibly while being enough of a disencouragement of driving like Massa did.

      But really, is there any chance the suspension would have broken had he not been next to the track as often as he did? Then Ferrari should have a look at the strength of their wishbones to make sure they can cope with driving like that or tell their drivers to keep more to the track.

    28. An entirely unnecessary situation for Massa to be in today. No track should ever put drivers in any sort of danger, regardless of whether or not you think they should be ‘punished’ for taking a corner incorrectly. The stewards are there to punish the drivers if they believe an unfair advantage is gained.

      However, that said, this is of course a learning curve for both drivers and track operators so I would expect that many bugs will be ironed out by next year.

    29. Sure he cut the corner too much, and hopefully he’s learnt his lesson.

      However, this mere kerb/bump did actually destroy part of his car, and indeed turn a driver into a passenger and lead to an accident which could have been worse. It’s another expense, too – pennies for Ferrari, of course, but unnecessary and a waste none the less.

      1. If he doesn’t have an issue with driving on street circuits with walls and armco for obstruction he shouldn’t have a problem with a bump off the curbs.

    30. Driver error.

    31. If other teams’ cars hit this or other similar kerbs, then I hope they’re all checking the suspension parts. I assume/hope such safety checks are allowed under parc fermé rules.

    32. In all fairness, the same curb has been in position since Thursday when he must have first seen it. ‘IF’ it was too big, why not object then and get the backing off the other drivers. To first crash and then complain is just being a bad sport.

      Sorry Massa, you just sound like a cry baby. I don’t want to be mean, but it sounds like a driver struggling with his F1 career. Kerb too high, car too red, Alonso too fast, grab your socks and drive!

      Can’t see Vettel, Hamilton, Weber or anyone else complain after making a mistake themselves.

      As per safety, I don’t see any problem with high ‘inside’ curbing. As a driver myself, I can assure you that hitting an inside curb is almost 100% your choice, sometimes, things happen in a corner and you run wide. High curbs on the outside are hence, dangerous. This isn’t bad at all, for pete’s sake, they race in Monaco and he doesn’t complain of the barrier’s being so close!

    33. Like the stupid chicane at Singapore, there are unintended consequences of a driver cutting the corner the wrong way. Sometimes it is not the intention of the driver, but simply the handling of the car.
      A driver could suddenly have over steer as he tries to negotiate the corner, or he may have tried to compensate for an under steering car, and missed his target.
      At the moment it is easy to blame Massa, but when we have some freak accident, the FIA will realise that there are some things you can’t attempt to do to a very fast moving car.

    34. lets change its name.. call it “Cheetos”?!

      orange, hard and big lump on the track

    35. Looked more like a “ditch” problem than a curb. Didn’t his tire drop into what I would call a ditch, the lowspot outside of the tracks edge from everybody cutting the corner. Was his suspension sliced off or did the wheel catch the ditch and then get ripped from the lower suspension arm?? This could have happened to any number of drivers so give Massa a break he was hanging it all out.

    36. I don’t understand, is Massa the only one cutting the corners? If so then I’m happy that he is aggressive, it’s a pity that when he is on form something happens to him.

    37. I have a very simple and cost effective solution for Massa’s problem: stop chopping the apex so far. If the curb is destroying your suspension, don’t hit the curb so heavily! Nobody else had this problem which to me is a sign this is more down to his driving style than to the curbs themselves.

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