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Suspension failure caused Massa accident
28 May 2013
Ferrari has confirmed that a breakage in the left front suspension was to blame for Felipe Massa's violent exit from Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
The Brazilian suffered two near-identical accidents on successive days in the Principality, his car appearing unable to turn away from the left-hand wall on the main straight before ploughing into the barriers at Ste Devote.
Television footage following Saturday morning's practice accident appeared to show components flexing on the front left corner, and the incident was partly ascribed to driver error. However, when the Massa suffered the same fate on raceday, ending his progress through the field from a back of the grid start, the finger of blame was swung towards a possible failure.
When the two Ferrari cars returned to Maranello in the early hours of Monday morning, the initial telemetry-based evaluation carried out in Monaco was followed up by engineers looked at all the components of Massa's car, especially those that sustained damage in the heavy impact on lap 29.
The findings validated first impressions, confirming that the accident was caused by an element of the front left suspension breaking, and will give the team a direction to follow before the series reconvenes in Montreal – a circuit with similarly heavy braking zones - next weekend.
The latest information accompanies the equally positive news that Massa was largely uninjured in the second accident, although the Brazilian will need a few days of rest before picking himself up for the Canadian Grand Prix.
“The best news to come out of the Monaco weekend is that Felipe is fine,” team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted, “Two big accidents, just over 24 hours apart, and all he has to show for it is a bit of muscle pain. Fortunately, there were no other injuries.”
Massa's DNF was his first retirement of the season, and only his second finish outside the top six, following the tyre-related nightmare he suffered in Bahrain. The Brazilian will head to Canada seventh in the standings, having been passed by Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, both of whom scored big with first and third respectively in Monaco.
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