Felipe-Lewis: Isn't it OBVIOUS?

2011-11-02 11:54

Felipe Massa was penalised for the collision with Lewis Hamilton in India because it "could have been avoided".

That, at least, is the claim of former GP winner Johnny Herbert who was serving as the fourth FIA steward at the inaugural 2011 Indian F1 GP on October 30.

McLaren's beleaguered Hamilton is usually the one receiving the penalties but Herbert said it was the embittered Massa who deserved the blame this time.


"It was clear that Massa knew where Hamilton was before he chose to turn across him," Herbert wrote in his column for The National newspaper, citing evidence that the Brazilian looked into his mirrors.

However another former racer, BBC commentator David Coulthard, doesn't agree. "I simply can't understand how Felipe could have been deemed the guilty party," he wrote in the Daily Telegraph. "As drivers we are always taught that the car behind is responsible so to my mind the stewards misinterpreted what happened."

Coulthard fears the stewards issued the penalty not objectively but in the context of Hamilton and Massa's increasingly poisoned feud.

"It was almost as if they felt that - with Lewis receiving so many decisions against him this year - they were trying to redress the balance," he wrote.

Also critical of the decision was another former F1 driver and German television RTL pundit, Christian Danner.

"It was Lewis' attack and it would have worked only if Massa had driven off the track," he said.


Even Hamilton's good friend Adrian Sutil agrees, telling Auto Motor und Sport that he thought it was a racing incident and therefore an "unnecessary" punishment.

"I cannot quite understand why Felipe got it," he added.

Do you have a view on the crash? Let's see it in the Readers' Comments box below...

  • Jono - 2011-11-02 12:04

    Lewis is picking up passengers as far as he drives!!! Wish Ferrari would give Massa’s car the same time and effort as what they put in Alonso’s car…

  • John - 2011-11-02 12:48

    We need to stop changing Stewards every race. A different Steward would've penalised Hamilton, another would've called it a racing incident and left it at that. There's no consistency because it's always a different group.

      Gregory - 2011-11-03 17:28

      There's an interesting article on Drive Magazine that is a similar idea to what you are saying http://drivemagazine.co.za/kyles-f1-penalty-consistency/

  • Werner - 2011-11-03 09:10

    Just ban Lewis from F1. He has constantly shown this season that he would rather race NASCAR. Give him the chance

  • Kwashic - 2011-11-04 16:00

    i thought there is also the rule that once the other car is half a car's length in you have to make enough space. after all you could fight back at the next corner! what do people want from racing? Follow the leader around the track? you just cant turn into another car like that and hope to get away with it!

      John - 2011-11-12 08:27

      It is a case of how far up the inside you are.

  • richard.vonschumann - 2011-11-07 12:53

    I thought it was great racing. We want to see guys launching themselves up the inside to try and take a position. It should have been left as a racing incident. They both lost positions and basically penalized each other. Massa should have left space and Hamilton should have got out of the move because he was never going to make it stick. If guys get penalized every time they touch (or try to make a move), they will stop overtaking. We don't want that!

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