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'Lucky' Massa was too low in car to see grid slot at Spa

10 September 2010

Felipe Massa has confessed that the reason he overshot his grid slot before the start of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps a fortnight ago was because he was sitting too low inside the cockpit of his Ferrari F10 – and he acknowledged he was 'lucky' not to get a penalty for it.

The FIA has since launched an investigation into how race director Charlie Whiting, Belgian Grand Prix stewards, rival teams and drivers and even the electronic system on the grid appeared not to notice the significant error, yet BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle clearly did, remarking live on television that the Brazilian was at least 'two metres' further forward than where he should have been – arguably handing him a decent advantage over his competitors when the starting lights went out [see separate story – click here].

Amateur video footage subsequently posted on YouTube confirmed the mistake – and Massa has since revealed that his inadvertent 'jump-start' in the Ardennes was caused by a lack of visibility due to his low seating position inside his car.

“I think I am one of the drivers who sits lowest in the cockpit and the front of our car is quite high,” the 2008 world championship runner-up is quoted as having said by Reuters at Monza ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. “I definitely did not see the line on the grid very well, which is why I was a bit over it. To be honest, I was lucky that this was not noticed during the race!”


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