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Hamilton blasts Massa Fuji move `deliberate`.

Lewis Hamilton has lashed out at Formula 1 World Championship title rival Felipe Massa for what he claims was a 'deliberate' effort to take him out of the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway when the Brazilian drove into him on Sunday.

The second lap incident occurred as both drivers were attempting to regain ground following Hamilton's calamitous first corner late-braking that had sent the field scattering, and it resulted after the Briton dived up the inside of the Ferrari, which had run wide into turn ten. As Massa rejoined the track, he did so by driving across the grass – and into the McLaren-Mercedes, which he sent spinning down to the bottom of the order.

“I took the corner normally and Felipe came back very aggressively and hit me,” Hamilton is quoted as having said by Pitpass. “I think that was pretty much as deliberate as can be.”

Unsurprisingly, such a suggestion received short shrift from Massa who – like Hamilton for his first corner indiscretion – would go on to receive a drive-through penalty for the incident, which the Brazilian contended 'really hurt my race', even though it was Hamilton who ultimately ended up leaving Fuji point-less.

“Definitely not!” the Ferrari ace retorted when asked if he had deliberately tried to end Hamilton's race. “I have a good relationship with Lewis and would not do anything to destroy it on purpose.

“After turn ten we both braked late and he pushed me a little. I had two wheels on the gravel because he pushed me. In my opinion it was just a racing accident; it was hard but fair.”

As to Hamilton's first corner error – which compromised both Ferrari drivers, as well as a number of other competitors – Massa was unequivocal, even if he did not go as far as to echo Robert Kubica's pre-race assertion that the Stevenage-born ace is sometimes 'too aggressive', 'too much' and 'dangerous' on-track [see separate story – click here].

“Lewis had a bad start and lost position,” the São Paulista contended, “and he tried to brake when everybody was already turning into the corner. It was not right.

“Kimi passed him and then he pushed Kimi too wide. It was too optimistic, especially if you are thinking about the championship.”

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Joe - Unregistered

October 13, 2008 12:30 PM

Um, is that similar to the 'deliberate' move Lewis pulled on Timo (or Alonso) at Monza? That kind of deliberate? :? Seems to me an attitude of 'I can be as aggressive as I like because I am Lewis Hamilton', but lawdy help anyone else who happens to show a little of the same 'spirit'. Massa would have risked his own race & title chase by deliberately punting Ham off, everything to lose. A driver misjudgement, nothing more.. kinda like folks said about LH at Spa. :p

Boo - Unregistered

October 13, 2008 12:30 PM

Massa claims Hamilton pushed him wide at the chicane, but all he did was out-brake himself as far as I can see. I didn''t see any contact and Hamilton wasn''t really that close to him as they came through the corner either. At least Hamilton admitted to his mistake. Massa maintains he was in the right even when he has 2 wheels off the track and is barging into his title rival. While I don''t think it was necessarily delibrate, it''s a bit much for Massa to be justifying it as anything other than a mistake. Also, why should they get the same penalty for different errors, one that is clearly more detrimental than the other?

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