Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was”

2011 Indian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Massa was blamed for his latest collision with Hamilton

Johnny Herbert, the drivers’ advisor to the stewards at the Indian Grand Prix, has explained why Felipe Massa was penalised for his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

Writing in his column for The National, Herbert said: “After looking at it from different camera angles and studying all the data available to us, it was clear that Massa knew where Hamilton was before he chose to turn across him.”

Herbert said Massa’s decision to ‘open the door’ for Hamilton, before taking his normal racing line for the corner, also influenced their decision:

“Massa knew where Hamilton was, he opened the door for him by moving wide, and after doing that he still swept across and did not give Hamilton room.

“That’s why the decision was made to punish him with a drive-through penalty.”

Massa disputed his penalty, saying: “I simply stayed on the ideal line, braking on the limit and staying on the part of the track that was rubbered-in. What else could I do?”

Hertbert, who made the decision with FIA stewards Gert Ennser and Vincenzo Spanno, said: “I know Massa was upset by our decision, but I believe we made the right call.”

He added Hamilton had not disputed his grid penalty for going too quickly under yellow flags during Friday’s first practice session: “He held his hands up and admitted that he had made a mistake.”

2011 Indian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Indian Grand Prix articles

    Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

    Author information

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    158 comments on “Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was””

    1. I think I agree with Herbert in this instance. However, I say this alot, but the phrase ‘racing incident’ seems to have lost it’s meaning. By which I mean that if an incident’s blame is apportioned 55:45 to Driver A, Driver A will now get a penalty, but not so many years ago it wouldn’t have been given a second mention.

      I don’t have exact stats but it seems to me that nowadays we have less collisions and yet more penalties than years gone by. That doesn’t sit right with me.

      1. I agree with Herbert too. But when you talk about racing incidents, are you saying you thought this was a racing incident? That, to me, is where two drivers make honest mistakes or misjudgements that result in a collision. In this instance it was one driver deliberately choosing to cause a collision, in the belief that he could get away with it, and not caring about potential injury or disruption to the race.

        But perhaps it would help if the meaning of ‘racing incident’ was clarified, because I’m not sure that I do understand what it means.

        1. @f1antics Generally people say “racing incident” when they feel neither driver was to blame, or perhaps both equally to blame.

          Which I don’t think was the case here, for pretty much the same reasons Herbert gave, as I’ve commented on earlier articles.

          1. Keith – I beg to disagree. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that Herbert, being a driver himself came up to this conclusion. Maybe, his time away from F1 and into gentleman sport car racing has drawn a different picture. I’m NOT a Massa fan – I’m a Lewis fan, but this incident was due to Lewis being a bit too hopeful.
            As a driver, when your in front you HAVE to take the racing line in. Even though Massa saw Hamilton, he has to assume that Lewis will back out because there is NO way Lewis can go through the corner as quick as Massa (given the tighter line and less grip). He has to back out, no choice. I think Lewis over committed and wasn’t able to back out.
            I wouldn’t penalize anybody for this. Its racing :) 55-45 blame, NOT a penalty.

            Just one drivers opinion…

            1. I think this is just a completely erroneous concept of ‘being in front’. Massa wasn’t in front because when he turned into the corner, there was a car there. The facts are uncontested even by Massa.

              1. He moved to the right, allowing space (something he hadn’t done the previous lap).
              2. He knew Hamilton was there and when the latter came alongside, almost level, he saw him again.
              3. He drove into the McLaren despite the fact there was track there for him to use that would have meant avoiding the collision.

              It’s irrelevant why Massa chose to crash, the fact is he did choose to do so. That’s all obvious, admitted by himself, hence the penalty fo causing an avoidable collision. And as numerous people have pointed out, we have seen plenty of examples recently (previous race) and in the past of drivers going through a series of corners side-by-side. That’s the real beauty of the sport. Not someone like Massa deciding to crash because he can’t accept being passed (by Hamilton). Massa’s decision was anti-racing, not pro-racing.

            2. But if you want a guess as to why Massa chose to crash, I think he risked any damage to his own car, which was indeed less, in the belief that Hamilton would almost certainly pick up the penalty. I actually find it fairly staggering that he can basically admit to causing a crash because he felt he had the right to the ‘ideal racing line’ and disagree with the penalty. Is there any other example of a driver admitting to causing a crash, being penalized, and continuing to argue he was right? Isn’t this contempt? Given the potential seriousness of this friction between the two drivers, my own view is that FIA should take this up with Massa before he does something even more reckless because clearly he’s neither learned nor apparently willing to cede minimally to Hamilton in the future.

            3. Lewis will back out

              Especially as Lewis did back off, just not enough.

          2. I politely disagree.
            Why would Massa ruin his race intentionally by turning into Hamilton, knowing where he was, if Herbert is right?
            What are the rules in the civil world, on the road? If you hit someone from behind, who gets the ticket?

            Remember Hamilton and Webber in Singapore last year? Similar incident, no drive-trough.

            The real problem is with inconsistent decisions – every time there are different people judging, hence a different decisions.

            1. It’s difficult to compare the outcome of Hamilton/Massa with Webber/Hamilton as Hamilton was forced to retire in Singapore and so no drive through could be applied.

              It is important to note that Webber did not get a drive through, and was in the same position as Hamilton in India.

            2. Why would Massa ruin his race intentionally by turning into Hamilton, knowing where he was, if Herbert is right?

              Senna used to. Not saying it’s right or wrong by that, but that’s the way he was.

            3. @Chalky, you can’t relate Senna to Massa’s behaviour here.

              Senna was more cunning than that – he used to position his car in such a way that he gave his opponent a choice, crash into him or yield. He knew that if they chose to crash, then next time the guy would think twice.

              Massa wouldn’t use the same method with Hamilton, firstly because they have a history of crashing already, and secondly because it was a sudden chop rather than clever positioning.

            4. What are the rules in the civil world, on the road? If you hit someone from behind, who gets the ticket?

              If you hit someone by turning into them, you are to blame. Especially when you admit you knew he was there and knew you would collide.

          3. keith,

            take a long look at the corner. and the 2nd part of the corner after it.

            now tell me how on earth where lewis was, was he hoping to make the 2nd part of the sequence of bends….? he wasnt, he was on the wrong line to have a chance of getting round.

            Therefore it was a bundled, misjudged attempt to pass. Admitted by lewis himself by saying he backed out of it. my understanding of backing out of something generally means they got it wrong.

            like i said earlier if someone tried that move into 130R you would be saying ‘thats madness’ and this is no different.

            Im afraid to many people are acting like the corner is a hairpin, its not it was a fast 4th or 5th gear bend that had one racing line. One driver was on that racing line and sadly for lewis it certainly wasnt him.

            i think there is a fair few short sighted views on this incident and they actually not looking at the track. and also not looking at other attempts to pass in that bend(all by lewis and all failed due the other driver taking the only line possible…which says it all).

            its not anti lewis. it just wasnt massa error, this time. in the pass massa has got it wrong, well wrong. but not here.

            1. how on earth where lewis was, was he hoping to make the 2nd part of the sequence of bends

              Looked fine to me, I think you’re exaggerating how quickly Hamilton was going into the corner. It’s not as if Hamilton ran wide and into the side of Massa – Hamilton was right over on the left when Massa hit him.

              if someone tried that move into 130R you would be saying ‘thats madness’

              No I wouldn’t. As I said in reply to a comment on a different article I don’t agree with all this ‘that’s a single-file corner, you can’t overtake there’ tosh. Anyone can pass into any corner given the right circumstances.

            2. yes they can pass on any corner, if they get it 100% right or head into the corner in the lead.

              and you cant say he did. cos he clearly didnt, he failed on all basis for that. Unless im watching a different race

              and again your not looking at the corner at all, and that is vital. otherwise anyone could just blindly throw their car up the inside anywhere. To say its not important about the corner is very short sighted. If michael had kept his toe in when fernando was just ahead but on the racing line into 130R in 2005 he would of rightly been penalised.

              without stating the obvious but the pass wasnt on. the only way it was ever likely to happen was if massa got fully out the way and left the circuit doing so. and as he was leading and on the racing line, and the only sensible line for a fast corner such as that so why would he jump out the way?

              off course massa was to the left, he was taking the left hand bend…. lewis had failed the move. infact was pulling out cos he had got it wrong. It was misfortunate but it was poorly judged pass that made the incident happen. Massa didnt weave and didnt force anyone off the circuit. he went into the bend CLEARLY ahead and on his racing line. its pretty basic stuff.

              cos on this basis are we saying michael was at fault 1995 at silverstone???

              Prost at suzuka 90?

              Clearly they were not.

              Tho its getting pretty old to waste so much time on a racing incident of two drivers hell bent on getting in each others way. and frankly both driving very averagely.

            3. ever heard the phrase block passing? you should watch more motorcycle racing, its common place there.

              You arrive into a corner fast up the inside, basically stop on the line, making the other person have to break, turn, and squirt.

            4. I agree with everything you’ve said @Q85. Very well put. This was an eccentric decision by the stewards.

            5. @keith

              There is no way Lewis could have entered that corner at the same speed as Massa. Hence, it was inevitable that Massa would be ahead of at entry.

              Thats the point of the racing line right: Longest curve and hence highest speed. Lewis knew this, and started backing out.

              In my mind, 100% no way Lewis could have reasonably thought that he could have overtaken Massa before the corner. Literally, the only way he could have pulled a move like this off is is he managed to get ahead of Massa, turn in earlier and park his car on the racing line. Given that its a 4th/5th gear corner thats not possible. At a hairpin it is, because you have lots to gain in the braking zone.

              To make this work, he would have had to get ahead of Massa before the corner turn in point. Massa presumed Lewis would back off, in part- that presumption was right, but Lewis messed up and didn’t pull out completely.

              For all the people who are saying that Massa knew Lewis was there and choose to turn into him. ABSOLUTELY, every race car driver will turn in at that point with the presumption that the driver on the inside, who isnt past them, will back out. Its just physics. Better line, faster speed.

        2. As you say, to clarify, my understanding of ‘racing incident’ is a case in which an accident occurs but it’s just one of those things, it wasn’t because Driver A deliberately took out Driver B or vice versa. It is just a happening that occurs because two (or more) drivers are racing hard and make contact without intent.

          In this instance I do think Massa was due a penalty, but only because of the precedent that has been set with over-zealous stewarding. I’m just saying that in general, it’s a shame that everything is penalised as it is.

          1. I think in this instance it was Lewis who was doing the Ayrton impersonation. He placed his car in such a way that Felipe could cede the position or crash.
            We all saw Felipe’s decision.
            A game of chicken that went wrong, so for me a racing incident.
            I am not a fan of either driver.

            1. I don’t agree, for me it’s like Kamui and Lewis at Spa.

              One one driver occupies a space, another driver can’t also occupy it. Massa tried it, and we all saw the consequences.

              I think Massa did deserve a penalty.

              There’s racing incident. And then there’s just plain stupid.

            2. “One one driver occupies a space, another driver can’t also occupy it.”

              Can’t that be said for any crash?

        3. I dont know what u guys opinion. But what i can see is.. Massa looks like purposely cause collision. I watch f1 every race, so many times i saw this kind of overtaking style (massa n hamilton), i can say its a simple but very good overtaking if hamilton can get through. For my opinion here, massa very unprofessional in this situation. He can see hamilton front wheel n front wing clearly beside him, he should try to avoid collision while try his best to defence his position from hamilton. Look at button overtook webber situation, both of them very near to each other, n looks like almost collide but they did not, bcoz they drive in very professional way. 2008 massa is very good driver but now i have to admit his performance very poor and unprofessional. So massa “I know u dislike hamilton, but dont show ur mad situation in the race!!!!” That cause yourself a trouble and ferrari team will think twice to sign ur next contract or not. Ferrari is well known to be very professional team, but u spoilt their name because u r “too following ur heart feeling when u mad!!”.

        4. Hey what i see, at the corner where massa n hamilton collided, the track is wide enough to avoid collision. When u r racing alone yes 100% u will simply follow the racing line to cut a corner. But when in overtaking situation it would be different. Massa cearly know hamilton alongside him. A good driver will not necessarily follow the racing line at corner when he know there’s another driver beside him. He should try his best to avoid collision n defences his position in professional way. Massa style is very unprofessional. Its happen a lot to other f1 driver where overtaking happened at corner, they try to avoid collision, racing line is not a reason to blame hamilton here. To me massa is on fault. He should grow up in mind. Hamilton now have change a lot, he grow up, unlike b4 where he always criticise by many. But now he change.

        5. Drivers look at these things 100% differently than commentators who havent race..

          David Coulthard’s comments:

          “This won’t be a fashionable view for British fans but, for me, their collision on lap 24 was a racing incident at best,” he said. “At worst I felt Lewis was more to blame. I simply can’t understand how Felipe could have been deemed the guilty party. As drivers we are always taught that the car behind is responsible so to my mind the stewards misinterpreted what happened.

          “I don’t want to beat up on Lewis. Far from it. I supported him in similar circumstances after Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi clipped the back of him at Spa. And after everything that has gone on over the past weeks and months he deserves a break. But in this instance I feel he was definitely the guiltier party. “

      2. I 100% agree.. there’s a Penalty for everything these days.. and F1 is the only Motorsport in the world that abuses them to this extent

        They need to return the penalty to where it’s only necessary.. It’s got to the point where everytime someone crashes, someone gets a penalty. I hate it

        1. The saddest thing about it is @aus_steve, that the drivers themselves are the ones asking for more punishments to correct behaviour!

        2. I used to think that too.

          But I’m slowly starting to take the side of types like Jackie Stewart who are pushing to make any kind of contact, deliberate or mistaken, totally unacceptable. Therefore there should be a penalty for all contact resulting from overtaking or blocking.

          There is always the choice to back off or open the door. Drivers ignore that choice nowadays and attach more importance to “Who has the right” than safety and common sense. They willingly put themselves in situations where they 100% know they are going to crash and that’s just nonsense.

          There is no such thing as a “blameless” racing incident. If 2 drivers colide, they are at necessarily at fault (either one or both of them) because their job is to drive the car on the track and they failed to do that..

          1. I don’t think you have ever raced. It doesn’t work like that..

            You would never be able to pull off an overtake move if you don’t risk something. Racing wouldn’t be racing at all.

            1. I’m advocating 0 risk. I’m talking about situations where you know 100% that it’s gonna go wrong. Like Massa did when he turned in on Hamilton in India.

              Felipe was thinking Hamilton was not far enough alongside, probably justifiably, so he thought he had “the right” to turn in. …BUT why turn in when you know you’re gonna crash? It’s nonsense.

              My issue is with incidents like this one where it is 100% garanteed they will crash. No other outcome was possible with the cars in those positions.

            2. Sorry I meant I’m NOT advocating…

            3. @piffles You don’t necessarily know you’re going to crash. This is why it’s racing is still a sport of guts to a large degree. Massa was banking on Hamilton backing out, but Hamilton didn’t. You asses that risk with racing another driver side by side and entering a corner. Though I agree with Herbert that Massa was to blame for the accident, I also grant Massa the fact that he was in a high pressure situation to make a judgement call and he made the wrong call. If you know 100% things will go wrong, then there IS 0 risk. In this and many other passing situations, a driver will almost never 100% know because of the human and random element of racing.

            4. @piffles. I partly agree with Joey-Poey. A driver never knows 100% whether a move will come off. That was meant to be my point. Almost every move (other than down a straight) has risk involved, to varying degrees. MOST of the time a good move is one where you put your car in a position where your letting the other driver know, ‘Hey, I’m going for this, if you want to stop it we’ll both be in the barrier’. 9 times out of 10 the other guy will back off and you’ll make the move.
              NO driver wants to end up picking up parts of his/her car. Unless your after something sinister, which is very rare and very obvious.
              Trust me, when your in a race car, 150+mph, with all the vibrations, sounds, smell, helmet, low visibility, adrenaline –your not going to calculate risk. If its an opening, you go for it. The second you stop going for it, your not a race driver anymore. Anyone who’s sat behind a wheel will agree with that last sentence of mine. You don’t think, you just go.
              According to me, Hamilton went when he was not supposed to. Massa assumed Hamilton will back off (given that he had the racing line) but Hamilton was too committed. Thats it, racing incident.
              Danger is part of the sport. You can’t be doing 200mph AND be competitive without the danger aspect. If you remove the danger, hence the risk, it isn’t a sport anymore.

            5. @Joey-Poey
              I really don’t think Massa calculates there won’t be a collision in such cases. He just slams the door and hopes for the best (for himself). It’s a career trait.

            6. I don’t get the automatic association people always do between risk / sport / danger.

              Risk is the basis of all sport: being on the absolute limit while risking going over it and losing everything (spinning, running off the track, wearing your tyres etc.)
              Danger is an unfortunate consequence of going over the limit that exists particularly in motorsport. If we could eliminate danger and the possibility of people getting hurt, which we’ve been striving to achieve forever, motor racing would be much better off.
              Because of this danger we have in motorsports, there is debate on whether it’s necessary to make some compromises on the sporting aspect in certain situations, and overtaking is one of them, to ensure some kind of reasonable safety.

              Side A)
              Older drivers (like Jackie) keep droning on about the fact that, when they raced, because of the danger of serious injury with car to car contact, they would leave a little extra space, back off a little sooner if they weren’t sure the other driver had seen them, even though, in pure competitive terms, they would have gone for the gap or shut the door.

              Side B)
              Don’t consider the danger element and just run balls out in all situations as competition dictates (Senna’s famous “go for a gap” interview with Jackie)

              I think, the numerous penalties are the FIA trying to make the drivers more aware of side A. The mentality is, the drivers should race but, when it comes to it, should always find a way of avoiding contact, even if it means going against competitive instincts. An accident cannot be left just as a “racing incident”. The drivers have to be made to think about how it could have been avoided.

              That’s the debate. As I said, I used to be firmly on side B but am, with recent events, starting to better understand Side A.

            7. @Piffles

              Most of the high risk incidents seen recently in F1 seem to have been due to mechanical failure in high speed corners, broken car parts striking other cars/drivers, high-speed braking misjudgments (e.g. Schumacher, Webber) that have resulted in cars going airborne, or multiple crashes that have also led to the same. None of these as far as I can remember involved ‘car-to-car’ contact of the kind involving Ham and Massa, for example, and implied by Stewart as I understand it. Some of Schumacher’s moves – e.g. on Barrichello last year, maybe on Ham this year at Monza – have looked dangerous but again they don’t seem to be covered by the FIA crack downs, and indeed seem to have met with a good deal of lenience from FIA.

              So either the stricter rules are failing to address the real risk situations and are largely ineffective/irrelevant, or they are actually intended to curb something else. My own theory is that they stem from 2007 and especially 2008 and FIA’s Moseley-Donnelly inspired ‘constraints’ on McLaren/Hamilton. These set an almost vindictive precedent from FIA, curbing precisely the kind of driving popular among fans globally. Many of the later rule clarifications/modifications since 2009 onwards have been related to incidents involving the latter driver too. In some ways the new structure is clearly intended to be ‘fairer’ due to the perception among many that one driver/team was being persecuted. But it remains far from ideal and has included some bad decisions I think.

              My own view is that some of the changes are good, for example the intention of penalizing a driver for an avoidable ‘minor’ collision that harms the other driver’s race. But over all many of the decisions and mandates strike me as lame, discouraging racing and favouring drivers with poor/aggressive defensive skills. The decisions at India seemed better, though – especially the Massa decision, which basically told him either to defend better (not leave a gap) or race better (drive side-by-side and look ton regain the advantage).

            8. I’m talking about situations where you know 100% that it’s gonna go wrong. Like Massa did when he turned in on Hamilton in India.

              He probably expected Hamilton to back out…

      3. Just to elaborate further on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p9rBiUhOEg
        Did HAM get a penalty? Similar situation? I’m sure you will say no. The fact is that HAM retired, WEB continued, so no actions taken based on output, not the intent. In this case, there was no intent – just like as in India.

        But at least someone dares to tell why. That doesn’t mean that I will agree, but it’s something …
        BTW, what happened to “Whoever wants to overtake, he has to make it clean” – or just presume you’re faster?

        1. Looking at that Singapore 2010 incident: look how much room Hamilton leaves on the inside of that turn: there was space for a car to straddle the kerb and get up the inside.

          1. It was still close, and without onboard of Webber it is hard to judge, but at least he left some space.

        2. webber didn’t back out.. he squeezed hamilton

      4. I agree that comings together which I think would have been classed as a racing incident are now more likely to result in a penalty.

        Before hearing what Herbert had to say I thought one of the main reasons for the penalty would have been the fact Hamilton’s car was damaged and he had to pit which dropped him down the field.

        This was also why I think Hamilton was penalised for his coming together with Massa in Singapore, because he gave Massa a puncture which ruined his race.

        If in either case, no damage had been done to the other drivers race then I think it would have been more likely for them to classed as racing incidents and no penalty issued.

        1. I see what you’re saying, but regarding your final paragraph, I feel that ‘racing incident’ is a term assigned to the cause rather than the outcome, and so whether either car is damaged should be irrelevant.

          As I say, I understand where you are coming from though, and the impact on another drivers race should have a bearing on any penalty applied.

      5. This is the worst reasoning to make that kind of decision ever. It is simply speculation and without any facts. Here’s a great picture that shows who was a head and in my opinion who had the “right of way”.

          1. You do realise he’d already started backing out by that point as a result of Massa moving across regardless?

            1. If hamilton’s “move” had stuck he wouldn’t be rubbing Massa’s rear tire. Massa expected hamilton to “yield” because he has no grip on that side of the track. That’s why the “door was left open” according to some. He went to were the grip is, which is the racing line when hamilton crashed into him.

            2. He wouldn’t have been rubbing his back tyre had Massa left him room then not moved across on him, forcing Hamilton to get out as best he could. Hamilton went to the inside, Massa let him there, so he has to deal with the non-ideal less grippy line- that’s what happens in an overtake, you are forced into a situation that is not ideal and you cope with it rather than crash into the other driver.

          2. That picture is not relivent , hamilton was well alongside befor the corner and at the braking point just he had the brains of if two cars need to go round this corner side by side we will have to go a little slower, massa obviously was the one that just expected hamilton to yeild which tbh massa left the door open up to the corner so should never of slammed it shut. that pic just shows hamilton like most of us that are saine new what massa was about to do so tried to avoid him.

            1. i bet you a million to 1 that if you had the telematery for this pic ham is on the brakes and massa is not, there is only one person in this pic that had knowere to go and no way of avoiding the accident and thats massa

          3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6RS5lchZXo

            Look at the video as it moves from 2 to 3 seconds Hamilton is more than 50% up the side of Massa. If the overtaker is more than half way up the inside then the driver being passed should yield not try to chop the front off the other car unless he can get around the corner leaving room for the other car. As at 2-3 seconds Massa starts to move across – Hamilton starts to brake seeing a collision about to happen. Meaning Massa caused a avoidable accident.

            In Singapore Hamilton locked up his left front & slide into the rear Tyre of Massa causing the puncture. A avoidable accident & ever so more of a “racing incident” than this one.

            1. Good analysis. I think regardless of how avoidable it is, if there is a clear culprit and the collision actually damages the other driver then a penalty is fair, if only to appease the damaged, innocent driver.

    2. If it wasn’t Hamilton, Massa wouldn’t have turned in imo.

      I liked Justin Wilson’s view on the incident.
      He shouldn’t have turned in so fast!

      1. @solidg I also thought Wilson’s view (quoted here) was very perceptive.

      2. Turning in earlier would’ve been even more dangerous, you can’t just close someone off on a straight when you’re alongside!

        He knew he had the advantage of braking later with the clean line, so had to brake as late as he could whilst still being able to make the next sequence of corners, as it’s all one steering movement.

        1. “earlier and gradually”, that is no exactly the same as close some one off…

          1. @De Regardless, if you start turning towards another car on a straight (as it would have been if he turned any earlier), it would not be a good look.

            The fact that he turned in as late as he did indicated that he wanted to give as much room to Hamilton as he thought he needed, considering Massa could brake much later.

    3. From The National article:

      If Massa had not gone wide – that would have been a different scenario altogether. If there had been contact then, the blame would have been Hamilton’s.

      So the primary reason for the penalty was that Felipe went wide – not because he saw Hamilton in his mirrors?

      P.S. Props to Herbert for explaining this (I really wish all stewards would do this!)

      1. P.S. Props to Herbert for explaining this (I really wish all stewards would do this!)

        Hear, hear!

      2. I think that reasoning is quite ridiculous, as of course Massa would want to get the clean line. Hamilton also follows him towards the right hand side of the track.

        1. @ed24f1

          of course Massa would want to get the clean line

          He didn’t on the previous lap (as I mentioned here). He stayed left to keep Hamilton getting a run down the inside.

          1. @KeithCollantine Yes, but once Hamilton was on his left, of course he was going to move for the racing line rather than just being in no man’s land in the middle of the track.

            1. What are you talking about? Massa moved for the racing line way before the corner/braking zone, that is why Hamilton was able to get on his side. Just watch the video, as Wilson said, Masse left the door open…

              Massa then turned in as if nobody was there, in fact what is indeed ridiculous is Massa’s move, pretty much remind me of any first time Gokart driver.

          2. My God, so many people arguing with the umpire, if Massa wanted to defend he should have taken a look at how MSC did it a couple of races ago, Hamilton never got alongside the slower Merc, when eventually he did MSC had to concede.Massa thinks that being Brazillian he can be Ayrton but he is not, he should have been penalised much earlier in the season, after all to collide once is an accident, to collide twice is careless to collide thrice is something else.

        2. But the point here is @ed24f1, that Massa did not move to the clean line or racing line.
          The point where Massa notices Hamilton is getting next to him, moves to the right to defend his place and then moves into the corner where he knew Hamilton was there as well, is what got him a penalty.

          1. I’m becoming an advocate of playing the advantage rule like in football. If there is contact and it doesn’t affect either driver then play on. If a driver is penalised (takes a reasonable amount of damage) then it is reasonable that the instigator is punished, otherwise they’ve gained an advantage themselves.

            1. @matt90 i totally agree. Outcome has to be more important than intent. Unless of course someone looses his mind – then hè should be punished regardless outcome.

    4. Nice that we get an explanation as to why this conclusion was reached, it should be done by the FIA stewards ofcourse and not the ex-driver who was there for that race, but bravo to Herbert to actually wanting to explain it.

    5. It is interesting that the entire F1 following seems to suffer selective amnesia when it involves a certain driver.

      1. I don’t see the connection here – no-one’s accusing Massa or Hamilton of making two moves.

        1. Agreed – I don’t see what point @Bono is trying to make. Did you feel Massa was weaving? I certainly didn’t.

        2. That is true but the article isn’t only about that.

          1. So @bono, you admit the main point of that article (about weaving) was not what you had in mind with posting that link, please tell us what part of the article you were referring to then.

            1. My view is pretty simple, there should be respect, always and everywhere.
              Cars do not disappear in thin air, ever, he had him by his side for half of the straight, almost Fwheel to Fwheel.
              There was a fantastic duel in Korea between LH and MW that showed us that with the necessary respect we can have very good racing.

              BTW, the autosport article starts with article 16.1. of the SCode which is very informative.

            2. entire F1 following

              Dunno bout you but I see a very multi sided argument.

              I’m confused

              suffer selective amnesia when it involves a certain driver.

              I could have sworn that’s referring to Hamilton. But then

              Cars do not disappear in thin air, ever, he had him by his side for half of the straight,

              You’re criticizing Massa.

              My view is pretty simple, there should be respect, always and everywhere.

              I agree, but you did start this thread by accusing me, (being a follower) of having a selective memory………

    6. Good to see Herbert gives at least a bit more information to inform us on why it was a penalty. He is right off course, and Brundle should realise that as well, not to mention Massa himself should.

      1. It’s not just Brundle who thought the penalty was incorrect, as per his column.

        I wrote this column on the plane back from Delhi and around me were drivers and team principals, along with other people I respect, and nobody can understand the Massa drive-through penalty.

        1. That is what Brundle writes, yes. But until these other people (For all we know he might have been in a plane full of Ferrari team members!) tell the world they do not agree, I will not say they should change their mind about it @ed24f1

          On the other hand, I also saw many people including drivers, saying how they did agree with it, and that was even before Herbert gave us a bit more information on the reasoning.

          1. Well of course they aren’t going to make a public comment about it. I think Brundle’s about as trustworthy as journalists get, so I think we can take his word for it. Furthermore, he’s not stupid, he wouldn’t say that if he was sitting next to Domenicali and Fry.

            Of course everyone has different views, but I don’t think you should impose your view on others like that, in that saying what others should think.

            1. “I think Brundle’s about as trustworthy as journalists get, so I think we can take his word for it.”

              I like Brundle, but himself and Coulthard are always very quick to blame Hamilton for things. Like telling the public that Massa’s DNF was due to Hamilton, before seeing the footage of Massa ploughing over the kerb, again.

            2. @ed24f1, I think you are going quite a bit over the top there when you say

              Of course everyone has different views, but I don’t think you should impose your view on others like that, in that saying what others should think.

              I did not impose my view on anyone there, unless you mean I want people to respect what the stewards decide and why they decide to do so, if sufficiently explained.

              Herbert has now explained that reasoning, I think Brundle should change his mind. I will not start to discuss other people Brundle is reffering to.
              I did not say he was in the plane with anyone from Ferrari, just that we cannot know who he drew in for his support. And I countered that claim with pointing out there are other respected people who disagree with Brundle’s view to show its not as clear cut as Brundle or you in your post present.

            3. Brundle also implied that the corner was 180 mph, so I’m not as sure about his journalistic integrity as you.

    7. I agree with Herbert.

      I just want to ask fellow Fanatic,we see that each race he nearly have different driver’s representative,will it be a good idea that we only have 2-3 only who will run the whole season instead of different people in different time? So that the result can be consistent?

      1. In football, there are a number of referees that officiate different teams/games. This is, I believe, to average out any bias they may have towards any particular team from previous encounters or just in built allegiances – I guess its to give a consistency overall throughout an entire season – a kind of statistical long-term strategy.

        For the same reason while it initially seems completely sensible to have the same 2-3 guys every race, it also could lead to a individuals starting to let their bias (perhaps without even realising it) get in the way of their judgement for en entire season. Who would these three drivers be? If one of them is an ex-driver then they will not be completely impartial. At present this is also kind of ironed out over the season, although to look at some individual comparisons would suggest things are not working very well.

        In summary, there is no easy answer to this one. The current system is certainly better than a few years back, but some incidents will always defy objective assessment. Of course, another option is to have no stewards at all – that would definitely remove any bias but is obviously ridiculous!

        1. @john-h, I think the system there is now also has a sort of rotation schedule, we have seen several drivers return to the the role as steward. I recall Mansell saying that he learned a lot from the first time and was able to do a better job the 2nd time.

          1. @bosyber Indeed. Perhaps consistency in the steward choices by the FIA will in time lead to consistency in the stewarding itself.

            We change the rules themselves every year so perhaps we should stick with the current system for a bit! Would make a refreshing change.

            1. @john-h, I am a bit worried that it sounds too sensible for the FIA and F1. Then again, maybe that was in the past; while Todt has been a bit disappointing this year, lack of common sense hasn’t really been the problem with his tenure at FIA.

    8. Massa’s comments:

      “My view is that I braked later than him, I was in front, I was on the grippy area as well and then I started to turn. And I didn’t see him on the left. So he was behind.”

      I guess it boils down to whether Massa not seeing him before braking and Massa not seeing him after the two braked are the same thing (or whether Massa is lying but I’m willing to give him the benefit of doubt).

      I still believe Massa should have had more respect and left some room, but racing incident would have also been a fair reaction by the stewards perhaps. Tough one.

    9. I’m very surprised at Herebert’s explanation, maybe they rather over analysed this one. What surprises me the most is how Coulthard and Brundle both had the opposite view, how is it possible for such experienced drivers to give the total opposite opinion? This is why there will never be any consistency in the penalties.

      I thought we had got to the point now where we are saying if the car in front is ahead and on the racing line, the car from behind has to yield until at least being level or ahead. Surely if you are the car behind, it is your responsibility to make sure the move is acievable – not just have blind faith in hoping the guy in front will just give up and let you go?

      1. Hebert and other stewards clearly had more information and camera angles available to them as stated in his article unlike DC and MB, not too difficult to understand why…

      2. how is it possible for such experienced drivers to give the total opposite opinion?

        Because Herbert had more data available to come to a decision.Brundle / Coulthard had on the same view as the rest of the TV viewing public.

        At the time I had a quick glance from my cooking of a Sunday Roast. I did my very best Mr Bean impression with Rowan and assumed that Lewis was at fault. Only looking at it closer after the race could I see that maybe I jumped too soon with my blame.

        It might seem that the rules in F1 are flexible and are adjusted race by race. Just remember, you can always have one set of rules, but interpreting those rules will always be handled differently by different stewards.
        However, how a driver reacts to a decision against them should not alter. Even if they feel aggrieved they should be professional and accept the decision and move on. Maybe so should we.

        But then what else do we talk about after Vettel wins another race? :D

      3. I think it doesn’t matter if the cars are level or not, if you don’t defend your inside line you have to take the consequence, that is if you let something beside your wheels before going into a corner(front or left doesn’t matter), then clearly you can not turn in as normal anymore, or it will touch your wheels, you don’t want to bet that it will disappear quickly enough. Just leave it some space and see who come out of the corner first.

        Left the door wide open and still have the racing line all to yourself? Wouldn’t that sound great, you might as well get a fastest lap while defending your position.

        1. Ops I meant “front or rear”…

      4. I’m very surprised at Herebert’s explanation, maybe they rather over analysed this one. What surprises me the most is how Coulthard and Brundle both had the opposite view, how is it possible for such experienced drivers to give the total opposite opinion? This is why there will never be any consistency in the penalties.

        Certainly, the stewards, as mentioned, have more video footage, but DC has been in the same situation, hasn’t he?

        Glad that at least someone else has a different opinion. Not that it will resolve the issue with inconsistent penalties, though …
        The same thing is going to be repeated race after race.

        1. In past events they, and by they I mean DC has jumped to Lewis’ defense like a bull to a red rag. Forgive the backwards cliche.

          Maybe they were told off for it?

    10. Hopefully this will be the end of this article. It is clear as day that Massa knew where Hamilton but decided to close in on him and the inevitable happened. I’m glad that the stewards decided to give us an insight into their decision. It certianly helps us fans to understand the decisions they they take.

      This whole Massa/Hamilton saga has gone on for too long its becoming uncomfortable. The two should know that they are both driving fast and a potentially lethal car. I’m sure a lot of people will agree that if this same move involved two different drivers, Massa/button, button/hamilton, vettel/hamilton, etc.. it wouldn’t have ended up this way. clearly the two of them need to show each other respect both on and off track. This whole point of i tried talking to the other but won’t talk to me is very childish. maybe the drivers need to sit the two of them down and get them to sort this out once an for all.

      Massa trying to talk to Hamilton immediately after the race when the adrenaline was pumping was probably not the best move. “don’t confront someone when you are still angry” applies here.

      Overall i think the stewards made the right call and they’ve explained in detail the factors influenced that decision. Its time for everyone to take a piece of wisdom out of that and move on!

    11. I have to agree with Herbert too, for me the difference between this incident and others involving Hamilton this year is that he was already alongside and Massa knew so, he didn’t lunge to the inside he was already there, unlike Monaco where he lunged for the inside.

      Massa knew he there but chose to take the normal racing line without consideration of Hamilton being there, I see this no differently than Schumacher and Barrichello at Hungary, Schumacher new Barrichello was there but chose to drive him into the pitwall (nearly!).

      1. ” unlike Monaco where he lunged for the inside.

        Massa knew he there but chose to take the normal racing line without consideration of Hamilton being there”

        Monaco, Massa had 2 cars directly infront of him, so he wouldnt have been braking at the usual point, Hamilton saw an opportunity to dive in, as Schumacher did on Hamilton in the exact same place, Hamilton recognised the move and gave space, they both lived to fight another lap. Massa though, unlike India, dove into a very early apex (check his line vs previous laps and the cars infront), which is why the collision happend. I actually think Massa was more so in the wrong than India.

        1. Just watched the Monaco clash and I have to agree Massa turns in 3 or 4 trees earlier than normal, I was using the trees as reference for turn in point.

          1. Correct, when seen from the overhead view it was clearly Massas fault as David Hobbs said on Speedtv after seeing that view of Monaco.

    12. I was baffled by the decision at the time, it was pretty much the definition of a racing incident. Hamilton believed Massa was going to yield but Massa had no intention of doing so. Hamilton didn’t realise in time to back out and they collided. There was no need for the stewards to intervene.

      If Hamilton wanted to make a move cleanly into that corner he needed to be get past Massa under braking but instead he was reliant on Massa yielding the place despite having the racing line and being ahead going into the corner. Massa on the other hand could have defended the inside line much more effectively thus avoiding the move altogether, but instead thought Hamilton would back out after being outbraked by someone on the racing line. Both made calculated risks that turned out to be misguided so they crashed, that’s just the way racing is sometimes.

      1. Absolutely. Each driver thought that the other should (and would IMO) yield. It just comes down to which driver was correct in thinking so…

      2. Nonsense, if you are alongside the other car has to leave you room on the track, just ask Ross Brawn and Schui, or otherwise the only passing would be on the straights.

    13. I still think these interviews the stewards do after incidents for newspapers are not the way forward.

      I think the FIA should produce a clip of the incident, WITH the angles the stewards receive, with one of the stewards talking through their decision. This could then be uploaded to the official Formula One website, through the FIA, with no questions asked.

      It would prevent stewards giving off their individual opinions through newspapers and diluting decisions.

      People want clarity, that’s all.

    14. What a bunch of moaners, u guys are. Enough Said :P

    15. Ahhh, on the topic of trolling… :)

    16. we will never know if Massa turned in on Lewis intentionally, or because he didn’t see him. But either way it was his fault.

      I would compare this to to the overtaking move Webber did on Alonso into eau rouge this year. I think we all agree that that corner is even more challenging than the one in india and the commitment going into it is probably even higher. The driver is busy on his own let alone while being overtaken. Alonso could have easily closed the gap on webber who was creeping alongside as they were entering the corner, but he recognized that Webber was there and was smart enough to give him room and avoid a big accident. if they did crash, I can easily see Alonso claiming that he didnt see him and that he was taking his normal racing line. Many people would agree with him. My point is that if all the drivers closed the gap like massa did in india, we would never see wheel to wheel racing. The great drivers are able to judge these situations better and make compromises.

    17. If you reverse the drivers positions and put LH on the outside of the corner with Massa coming up the inside and the incident played out as it did….who do you think would have got the penalty then?

      I agree totally with Johnny – if Massa knew LH was there or there abouts, he should have left some space.

    18. Massa was ahead of Hamilton at the turn, so don’t expect Massa to yield. Lewis isn’t completely innocent in this scenario.
      Obviously Herbert being an Englishman he wouldn’t give an Englishman a penalty.

      1. I dont think thats fair to say but I think former drivers are afraid to lose some of Hamiltons spirit with so many penalties that were almost all consensual.

      2. @Faraz… this is the most ridiculous point i’ve ever seen on this forum. what has being English got to do with anything. When will people grow up and stop playing the race/favouritism card?

        PS Herbert wasn’t the only steward on that day. Get your facts right!

        1. @faraz

          Lewis was doing what is technically termed ‘raceing’

          more specifically when massa left a gaping hole on the inside between himself and the corner he positiond his car there to force Massa to run wide and thus take the place away from him

          this technical move called ‘passing’ has been known about and used as a raceing tactic for some time now, there are even rumours its been around since the very first race ever

          that is why the first thing raceing drivers are taught about defensive driving is defend the inside line and make your competitor go round the outside

    19. What I saw was Massa always looking at the wrong side of the mirrors. In my opinion its was a racing accident, because usually the faster driver is always expecting the slower driver to yield. It reminds me of the all time greats they were always expecting their opponents to yield. Hamilton had much better traction and was definitely entitled of taking that line despite the odd overtaking place Massa was obviously hoping for Hamilton to back out.

      1. But Hamilton wasn’t the slower driver. A slower driver wouldn’t be attempting to overtake now would he?

    20. with the exception of obvious foul play the way I see it…

      if you go up the ouside into a corner and touch its your own fault

      if you try on the inside and touch it’s probably the other guys fault…the only exception I see to this is if you can’t make the corner your self because its too tight or your going to fast OR there isn’t enough room for you to both make it round in the first place and you run the other guy off the track


      monaco, silvestone, japan, india…all massa’s fault

      spa…kobayashi’s fault

      malaysia…lewis’s fault

      …have I missed any

    21. I think the whole penalty system has just become too scientific. The are simply too many variables involved in determining how penalties are actually applied:

      – Did driver A see driver B in his mirrors?
      – Did driver A leave driver B enough room?
      – Did driver A suffer any damage as a result of contact with driver B?
      – Did driver A go on the record on team radio claiming foul play by driver B?
      -Was Driver A more than two thirds up the inside before driver B turned in?
      -Did driver A gain an unfair advantage through passing off track despite allowing driver B back through?

      I think you get the point that the list is endless. Furthermore, the inconsistencies are further compounded by the fact that stewards vary from race to race as many of you have already mentioned.

      Like many others here, it is my opinion that these penalties are getting unduly petty in their application which simply isn’t serving the racing. And I don’t but the safety argument regarding the application of penalties either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for safety, but the vast, vast majority penalties are handed out in situations where safety just isn’t an issue.

      Do we all remember when Fisi took out Ralf Schumacher in the Argentine grand prix in 1997? Or when Couthard touched Hakkinen into a spin at turn two of the 1999 A1 grand prix? Those are just two examples at the top of my head that would have almost certainly been met with penalties in today’s F1 climate. I would like to see these penalties scaled back and only used where one driver is clearly in the wrong or even driving dangerously. This latest Massa/Hamilton incident should have just gone down as a racing incident. If Massa was clearly in the wrong, then how on earth is it possible for us to have hundreds and hundreds of posts debating the collision.

      My 2 cents.

      1. We can look back as recently as last season: Hamilton left Webber a bit of room up the inside of a non-overtaking corner in Singapore and Webber stuck his nose in. That wouldn’t have escaped a penalty this season because it would have been called an avoidable accident. However, I think this incident deserved a penalty because the stewards seem convinced (and I agree) that Massa knew exactly where Hamilton was and still drove into him.

        I agree with you about the prissiness of the current rules, I think drivers should never be punished for making mistakes, only for deliberately misbehaving – there are far too many penalties in F1 nowadays and the strictness of enforcement varies from race to race, so the sport leaves itself wide open to accusations of bias.

        1. Thanks for the reply Jack.

          I literally just read the Mar Webber column on the bbc page and this is what he says:

          You could argue all day about the rights and wrongs of the latest crash involving Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa but it was a 50-50 incident in my opinion.

          The corner they collided at is quite a quick one – fifth gear at about 135mph – so the brakes don’t go on much.

          It’s very difficult to pass there but Lewis got a good run off Turn Four and got down the inside of Felipe.
          Continue reading the main story

          If someone’s had an absolute howler, then fine, give them a penalty but sometimes it might be better just to say it was one of those things

          It was the age-old thing. Lewis went for it, Felipe was still going to commit to the corner, then Lewis tried to back off and couldn’t.

          F1 is getting into a bit of a road-car culture with penalties. The attitude seems to be that someone must be to blame when there is an incident.

          In this case, the stewards thought Felipe could have given Lewis a bit more room and therefore handed him a drive-through penalty.

          Yes, Felipe could have made space for Lewis but, in my view, it wasn’t clear-cut.

          The drivers have always said that they want the stewards to be consistent – and, to be fair, that’s what they are trying to be.

          If someone’s had an absolute howler, then fine, give them a penalty but sometimes it might be better just to say it was one of those things – what we call in F1 “a racing incident” – and let it go.”

          That is almost exactly my point from the post above!
          I’m glad some of the drivers also agree with this take on things.

    22. I must admit that I changed my mind several times on this.

      Instant judgement – Why was Massa turning in?
      Second look – Hamilton was too far back
      Third and final opinion – Massa at fault he knew he was there and didn’t give enough space Hamilton was further back at the point of contact due to Massa’s movements (and natural angles) and the fact that he had tried to bail out of it

      If you watch Hamiltons usual response to someone overtaking on the inside (apart from Singapore 2010) you will see he sweeps very wide to get the switchback or a better run on the next corner – which often works. That’s smart racing. He has been known to misjudge the length of the car but it’s a risk with that maneuver if you are going to sweep as close as you can.

      Massa on the other hand is almost always over defensive. I never really like the way Massa drove. He’s not aggressive enough over the average of the race but he defends in a childish manner. He usually drives a very steady average race – which is why he almost won 2008 – everyone else was making mistakes and his standard plodding drives meant that he usually got out of it without incident. He is also fairly poor in the wet (contrary to some opinion on the BBC it seems). Needless to say I think the ‘drop in form’ was merely a small loss of form which actually showed around about where his talents lie in regards to the other drivers around him.

      He is a good shotgun driver and that is all.

    23. I think massa knew what he was doing cos he was told to give Hamilton very hard time we hard from team radio in prev races, if it was not that this incident would have been avoided.

    24. This is a couple of pics of T1 at turkey(which is a similar speed and radius to T4 india) from last year when Button and Hamilton where going for it.

      You can see Hamilton is in pretty much the exact same position to Button as he was to Massa, yet Button recognises it and gives Hamilton JUST enough room at the apex so that they can both live to fight another day. In India Massa just completly aimed for the apex, and took it at normal speed (hence Ham front wheel clipping his rear). If Button chose to take the normal apex/speeds in turkey, the accident between them 2 would have been identical. The difference is, Button dosnt see ‘red’ when Hamilton is in his mirrors and also keeps his mind on the long-game.


    25. Massa has done the same thing before many many times before during the years ie turning into a corner with a competitor at the inside.
      I think the problem Massa has is a lack of spatial awareness at least compared to what is required of a Grand Prix driver. He just does not know well enough where his own car is in relation to other cars around him which seems to be the common reason for his many crashes.

      1. interesting thought @sven

        however after reading massa’s own comments on this, I am beginning to believe the problem is he ACTUALLY BELIEVES if he is slightly ahead the other guy will just back out

        I am guessing he just assumes every1 else drives like he does

    26. I think something a lot of people are not factoring in is that perhaps the race stewards also took into account the fact that LH had to pit and replace his front wing as a result of this incident. Clearly they felt that FM was at fault and had two options at hand; drove through or just a warning for FM. Perhaps due to the fact that LH had to pit as a result of the contact the stewards were compelled to give FM a drive through. Had Lewis not required a new nose its likely that FM would have only been given a warning.

      1. but massa drove right across the front of lewis…how could lewis NOT have needed a new nose?

        had they just banged wheels and both carried on it would not have even been investigated

        1. Thats my point! I think FM penalty had EVERYTHING to do with the fact that the contact resulted in damage to LH that in turn required a pit stop. Had the contact been wheel to wheel with no resulting damage like you mentioned I doubt a penalty would have been issued at all.

          1. what has what damage occurred got to do with the penalty ?

            you might as well say there shouldn’t be a penalty for unsafe release because there wasn’t a collision!

    27. When you think about it, without this incident it would of been the most boring race in the history of F1, but with it, it was barely watchable.

      1. Totally agree. But then again, Lewis would have been further ahead and maybe offered more of a race for the top positions.

    28. FerrariFanatic
      1st November 2011, 22:53

      This situation at worst is a racing incident. I agree with Ads21’s take on the situation. IMO hamilton wasn’t even alongside, maybe his tire cleared the rear wing but thats not sufficient enough to risk a move at that part of the track. If he was THAT much faster than massa im sure he couldve overtaken him anywhere else on the track. I reckon massa to some degree agrees with me and he didnt expect hamilton to try to overtake at that point in the race and turned in and hit him. Im not a big fan of massa and i want him out of the scuderia but i dont believe this was him to blame. I think he didnt expect a hamilton move and hamilton didnt expect him to cut across either. Its a royal shame to see these two drivers ruin each others races with such consistency.

    29. Amazing. The previous article was overwhelmingly anti-Massa. Then brundle’s blog gets published and suddenly it’s all “racing incident”.


      1. @Hairs I don’t think you mean the article was, I think you mean the comments were.

        1. @Keith_Collantine Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Typing on a phone in bed when falling asleep. That’s how bad my f1 fanatic addiction is.

    30. With that corner Massa could have just stayed on the inside of the track relative to the apex, or certainly to the left. That would have certainly been a better defensive move at it would have allowed him to defend into the next corner too.

      Hamilton was going to have him at some point anyway.

    31. I think the lessons we can take from last weekend are this:

      1) Stewards explaining their decisions is a good thing
      2) Not every incident is blamed on the attacking driver, which is also good

      When we play Forza online, we have the benefit in the replays of so much more information than meets the eye, including telemetry. For example, in one race I was able to determine whether a driver had deliberately swung across the pit-lane exit as I was coming out or if the difference in speed exaggerated the severity of the move. The stewards at F1 races have access to stuff like that that we don’t and never will. We can go Trulli on the situation and bring all the pictures we want to the table, but there’s always stuff we won’t know.

      I think the punishments have been far too ready in coming. Often I agree with their assessment of whom was at 55% fault, it’s just the resultant penalty that usually ticks me off and incidents are too readily labelled as penalty-worthy. But when it comes to challenging who they think was more to blame in the first place, we can only make educated guesses and will often be missing something that sadly is not shared with us later.

    32. I have to agree with Herbert’s explanination based on this was an avoidable accident.

      Firstly, knowing that both drivers were aware of the other, what did Lewis do to avoid the collision? He backed out of it. We can argue that maybe he should have backed out enough.

      Secondly, what did Massa do to avoid the situation? NOTHING. He acted as if his was the only car at the corner and it was up to Lewis to totally back out of it or face the ‘consequences’. In my mind this was a very deliberate attempt to cause an accident, maybe to better Alonso’s finish.

    33. Reviewing this and all the other Massa incidents with three of the top five drivers this season, that excludes his team mate and SV, it could be argued that he has performed the rear gunners role, with his aggresive defences, quite well.

    34. If we allow drivers to get away with what Massa did on Sunday all the time, then we will no longer see overtakes in the braking zone. Do we only want to see DRS overtakes ? If that happened I would stop watching F1 and go back to bikes.
      What worries me more than anything is Massa and Ferrari’s attitude after the race, the fact is they still don’t see what Massa did wrong which means he will keep doing it.
      Massa has been doing this type of move all year and unless the stewards do what they did on Sunday, he will just keep on doing it.
      Well done Herbert.

    35. Glad to hear Herbert making the reasons for his decision public. If anyone has not listened to the Chequered Flag race review podcast yet it’s well worth it, Ant Davidson does not sit on the fence regarding this incident.

      I think that Massa has been on the receiving end of some poor driving from Hamilton this season, as a result he’s got it into his head that as the “aggrieved party” he no longer has to make any concessions to the McLaren driver; so when Hamilton challenges him for position he’s no longer thinking about defending his line or leaving some room, he’s just thinking: “I’m ahead, it’s my racing line and **** you!”. That’s not the kind of approach which allows drivers to race against one another, I suspect that there will be fireworks if they race one another in Brazil.

      Given that this is the same Massa who is not shy of squeezing drivers off track – or bumping them off by bashing tyre against tyre (most famously Kubica, but didn’t he do the same thing to Alonso during a wet Hungaroring?), it’s pretty pathetic to see him nursing a grudge against Hamilton this year. Perhaps it’s down in part to his very poor performance in comparison to his teammate, of the top 4 teams Ferrari is the only one without a balanced line-up: Massa isn’t pulling his weight.

    36. Why would Herbert say they had access to much more data, and camera angles than us then, if that wasn’t the case?

      1. meh. that above comment has ended up miles out of place. Sorry peeps. :(

    37. Anthony Davidson has a pretty decent analysis of the incident on the BBC podcast:

      1. Thanks for the link – I think his explanation is bang on, that’s pretty much exactly how I see it.

      2. Thanks nigelb,

        I’ve just listened to Anthony Davidson’s analisis and have to say it’s spot on. Perhaps Massa should be made to listen to it !


        1. Nail on the head, and whats with massas rant after? he seems like he has some issues or something, for an f1 driver that was in the car and driven many races he has a weird view on the crash “i braked later and he wasnt there” where did he think he had gone? ” when will massa relise that no matter what corner in the world if someone is one your inside you both have to brake sufficiantly to make the corned knowing you may well be side by side, the only reason he got a bit ahead at the end of the braking zone was due to the fact he was braking and turning as if noone was there, if he thinks he can do this thene thats the end of overtaking in corners because the guy on the outside can allways barke later if he is just going to take a normal line regardless of smashing the car on the inside>

    38. I just seen the replay again. People can say Massa did not see him all they want, but these guys know when another very loud engine is right next to them. In fact Lewis was so beside him when he ‘turned’, I’m sure he could even see Lewis’s front wheels. And I call it a ‘turned’ because is wasn’t. It was a lunge, and a huge one. He moved over 2 car widths knowing full well Lewis was there.

    39. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      2nd November 2011, 13:15

      Everybody knows I usually criticize Hamilton and mock on Massa, but this time I feel serious about how childish Massa was closing the corner and provoking an unnecessary crash. If he has personal problems with Lewis I think the best he can do is to talk to him .. or to punch him if he feels desperate… but we are talking about 300kph cars and that actions was totally wrong and silly. Incredible but this time Massa was guilty and Hamilton the good guy

      1. Hamilton may have been wrong some of the time but I have never seen him do something out of spite just because he has a problem with another driver. If he makes a mistake it tends to be either impatience or just a silly misjudgment.
        Armed now with the knowledge of what Massa is capable of some here should review their past collisions in a different light.

    40. kenneth Ntulume
      2nd November 2011, 13:33

      Massa is like a person who would shoot himself, just to frame a dude he dont like.

      1. Very intelligent and well constructed insight, thanks for sharing

    41. I think some of these explanations are crazy…for a start what a lot of people are choosing to forget is that that particular corner has to be taken one at a time, it is not the place to throw your car up the inside and hope the move sticks – for my money THAT is the avoidable part of the whole thing, that is why the commentators came to their conclusion.

      As for Massa clearly being aware, well maybe he was but who can say exactly what a driver sees in any given incident? Herbert may well have had all the info and angles etc but you can still see enough of what happened by the tv coverage.

      I think by saying it was Massa’s fault because he knew the other driver was there is a dangerous precident to set for other drivers to make doubtful moves. I expect Mclaren were fully expecting a penalty and were probably very surprised at the verdict.

    42. So another race and another incident. Once again i believe that no-one was in the right or the wrong. You could say Massa should have give Hamilton more room or that Hamilton should have backed out sooner. Either way what has happened to just calling these incidents just racing incidents. I don’t believe (albeit others might) Massa wanted to crash into Hamilton but once again I’m here ranting at why in-race penalties exist for these minor collisions.

      These incidents happen and I believe it should just be a racing incident and move on. Or if we have to have penalties can they not be in-race penalties, can the FIA not be more creative, like weight added to car for next race or just a minor 1 grid place penalty. I personally would love to see an end to in-race penalties as they take the enjoyment out the racing.

    43. Anyone who doesn’t agree with Herbert should take a look again at Monaco incident.
      It is obvious self/ car preservation, is the least thing on Massa’s mind.
      He uses his car like a mobile barrier.
      It is the fact that an experienced racer like Herbert, could analyse the incident from the perspective of the driver, and seperating facts from fiction, which exposed Massa.

      The fact Hamilton didn’t make a last minute dive, but was actually running abreast with Massa, makes any argument of racing line a very stupid proposition indeed.
      Would Massa had maintained his racing line if a car had broken down there? Why then will he or anyone else justify his absurd illusion that he had the racing line when another car was already in his path.

      In all honesty, Hamilton was too kind on Massa, he could have forced him Wide. But that is the difference. hamilton wasn’t trying to have an accident.

      On another note, the DRS and it’s application, is giving lots of folks a wrong impression of wat overtaking is. Most people don’t know anymore that racing involves denying your opposition the optimum path. having a car power past on the straights is just not an art.
      Likewise, the overtaken driver should kno when to concede, an art Massa has refused to learn.

    44. It’s good to see one of the stewards give us some justification.

      Pretty clear cut in my opinion too.

    45. I also politely disagree…is that when I put it so easy is that I can not avoid it,obviously if you get a impact from the rear of your car’s fault may be of another vehicle but this is a simplistic reductionism,in competition if you go ahead and prevents another participant can catch the slipstream doing a “brake test” it is evident that the fault is yours because competition is allowed to facilitate overtaking the rival who wants to advance can pounce on their part back, when using traps to avoid overtaking should has give an exemplary punishment for the driver to has clear that when be crosses the line of sportsmanship will be punished regardless of the team in that is working, by doing this will allow at drivers most talented that developed it on the track and treated to be athletes and gives a show.

      since that you put on the table the Traffic Regulations…

      -if you make an overtaking on a road must reserve a space with the car surpassed when you return back to your lane, if you return to the lane soon you provoke a collision, althought you receives the impact on the back of your car.

      -when you make an overtaking you should be looking first for the rear view mirrors because if another car has begun the maneuvering must give way to another vehicle which has a preference for pure common sense anyway if you start the maneuver provoke a collision and you will be the responsible,although you receive the product of the collision at the rear of your car.

      On the issue of why this move makes Massa…a judge does not asks questions about the meaning of life, simply collates evidence and makes a decision according to law.In a few words the opinion of Felipe Massa is unimportant, events are judged as so way cold and fair.

    46. P.S My comment above is replicating to this one posted on this page.

      “Kiril Varbanov said on 1st November 2011″

      “I politely disagree.Why would Massa ruin his race intentionally by turning into Hamilton, knowing where he was, if Herbert is right?
      What are the rules in the civil world, on the road? If you hit someone from behind, who gets the ticket?
      Remember Hamilton and Webber in Singapore last year? Similar incident, no drive-trough.
      The real problem is with inconsistent decisions – every time there are different people judging, hence a different decisions.”

    47. its pretty obvious from the onboard on hamiltons car who is at fault. dont look at any external cameras, they dont show the true story – the external cameras make it look like it is side by side through out and massa hits hamilton. the onboard says the opposite and true story – that hamilton was never close enough to make the pass, and had to brake earlier to make the turn because he came in at a more acute angle, hamilton put himself in a self destructive position and the inevitable contact occured, lets not hate massa, please watch the onboard replay from hamiltons car and you will realise massa turned in just like any other top driver would have as hamilton was not far enough up the inside for that type of turn.

    Comments are closed.