Felipe Massa launched a scathing post-race attack on Lewis Hamilton following today's Singapore Grand Prix under the spotlights of the Marina Bay street circuit, accusing his rival of being 'unable to use his mind' and incapable of listening following their second coming-together of the F1 2011 campaign.
After losing out at the start when he was squeezed by Mark Webber, Hamilton initially dropped right the way down to eighth before setting about working his way back up the order. He had recovered to sixth and had Massa firmly in his sights when – approaching Turn Seven, where he had collided with Webber in Singapore last year – the McLaren-Mercedes star clipped the right-rear tyre of the Ferrari ahead of him, leaving Massa with a puncture and himself with a broken front wing. The Brazilian pulled no punches in a subsequent BBC
“Again, as I said yesterday, he cannot use his mind, even in qualifying, so can you imagine in the race..?” railed the 2008 F1 World Championship runner-up, alluding to the Q3 incident when Hamilton had distracted him and caused him to abort his first run by attempting to aggressively muscle his way past on the 'out' lap. “Again, what he did could have caused a big accident, and he is paying for that. That's the problem – he doesn't understand, even when he's paying for it. I had a puncture in my tyre, and I paid a lot for that.
“So many times this year, he has had something with me. It's important that the FIA looks at him and penalises him, because when he gets in the car, he doesn't think. I talked to him, but he doesn't listen.”
Massa certainly had some choice words to say to his nemesis in the immediate aftermath of the grand prix, interrupting a television interview Hamilton was giving to confront the Briton and accost him by the shoulder with a sarcastic 'well done'. The Paulista has already criticised of Hamilton's driving this season, after the pair similarly came to grief in Monaco back in May.
“There's no point in me hiding the disappointment and anger I feel at the end of a race that could have delivered a very different result,” he added after ultimately taking the chequered flag just ninth. “The damage following the contact with Hamilton penalised me a lot, because I lost so much time in the early stages when the traffic was still very heavy. After the race, I tried to talk to him to clear the air but he walked away without even answering – so I told him what I thought when we found ourselves in the interview area.
“On top of that, the safety car added to my troubles; I had changed tyres a few laps earlier and fitted the super-softs, which definitely would not have got me to the end of the race, while other drivers were able to make the most of the race being neutralised to make their stop without losing too much time – so I wasn't very lucky with the strategy, either!
“I lost some time behind [Rubens] Barrichello and then I had to let [Sebastian] Vettel by, which meant I was a lap down on him and had lost any chance of finishing seventh, given that [Adrian] Sutil and [Nico] Rosberg in front of me were struggling with their tyres. I would really like to have a trouble-free race at some point, something that I have not experienced recently, if you look at Monza for example. Today, a top six finish was definitely within reach.”
“Felipe could have been up there, but his race was ruined by the puncture caused by Hamilton,” concurred Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. “He is definitely having an unlucky time of it at the moment and yet again, as in Monza, he had to fight his way back up the order through no fault of his own.”