Felipe Massa is adamant that he did nothing wrong in tipping Formula 1 World Championship rival Lewis Hamilton into a spin in the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji today – despite coming under fire from many in the sport for his rash move.
Massa was one of those to lose out in the first corner chaos created by Hamilton's ultra-late braking, and the pair of them were lying in sixth and seventh positions respectively on lap two when the Brazilian ran wide into turn ten, opening the door briefly to his British adversary –who didn't need asking twice.
As Massa recovered, though, he cut across the grass and tagged the rear of the McLaren-Mercedes, knocking Hamilton into a spin and down to the back of the field, for which he would receive a drive-through penalty. An unjust one, he protests.
“It was a racing incident,” the 27-year-old is quoted by Planet-F1
as having insisted. “I was a little bit wide at the corner and he put the car inside while I was outside.
“Then he pushed me a little bit close to the gravel, I put two wheels on the gravel and he closed in. I couldn't do anything and we touched.”
Clearly blaming Hamilton for the collision – one that, allied to a similar drive-through penalty for his first corner indiscretion, torpedoed the Stevenage-born ace's hopes of scoring any points – Massa also suggested that whilst that punishment had been fair, the one he received for having been deemed to have caused the second lap incident was not.
“For him yes, for me I am not sure,” the São Paulista replied when asked if the penalties were justified. “I had two wheels on the gravel. I could not stop the car and I was on the gravel because he pushed me into the gravel.”