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Massa: Safety Car rules are wrong.


Ferrari's Felipe Massa has added his voice to the call for revisions to the current Formula One safety car rules, after believing that he was denied the chance to keep in touch with Lewis Hamilton at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Although Hamilton was also denied a possible shot at victory in Formula One's inaugural night race, he at least finished a secure third, increasing his championship lead to seven points after Massa ran into problems at his first pit-stop which eventually left him down in 13th place.

While Massa admits that mistakes were made during the pit-stop, however, he also accused the safety car rules - which insist that the pits remain out of bounds to cars until the entire field is bunched up - of artificially determining the outcome of the race, which was won by Fernando Alonso and Renault, who had pitted before the full course caution.

"The whole night racing experience was a nice idea - interesting and very different - but this specific race did highlight the fact that the safety car rules still need to be looked at very carefully, because the idea of F1 is that the race should be won by the best driver and car combination on the day," Massa insisted.

"I know we made mistakes, but the current system, as you can see from the result, means that the safety car can promote someone from the middle of the grid to the lead, not because of a clever strategy, but simply by luck. I think the system needs to be changed."

Massa had led comfortably from pole until Nelson Piquet Jr crashed on lap 14, bringing out the safety car and allowing those who had pitted early - including Alonso and both Red Bull drivers - to gain an advantage. Even Nico Rosberg, who was forced to pit before pit-lane was open or face running out of fuel, was able to overcome the subsequent penalty and beat Hamilton to the line....

The Ferrari driver is not the only one unhappy with the current safety car rules, with a general clamour to return to regulations that would allow teams to pit their cars at any point during its deployment.

Massa, however, admits that human error - perhaps brought on by the pressure of pitting at the same time as title rival, and chief race opposition, Hamilton because of the safety car - then put him onto the back foot in both the race and the championship battle.

"As I pulled away from the pit-stop after getting the green light on our traffic light system, I didn't feel anything strange at all and there was no sensation that I was pulling something behind me," he revealed, "Then Rob [Smedley], my engineer, came on the radio and told me to stop because the fuel line was still attached to the car. Only then did I look in my mirror and see it but, by then, it was much too late of course."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Safety Car, Singapore F1 Grand Prix, 26th-28th, September 2008
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Al - Unregistered

October 06, 2008 2:24 PM

Why wait till now to complain.... Australia, Spain, Turkey, Monaco, Canada, Germany, Italy.... all had SC periods, some of which badly disadvantaged drivers (Canada being possibly the worst example), yet Massa didn't complain about it then.

swb6699 - Unregistered

October 06, 2008 12:54 PM

The safety car rules are the same for everyone. I bet if the rolls had been reversed and Massa had finished third he wouldn''t be asking for changes. The rules are in place for the right reasons. That''s why it''s call a SAFETY car!!! The reason he lost out was due to his pit crews incompetance on the day, yet he won''t blame them!!!! What a surprise :-o :-o



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