Blame for the Indian GP incident

Here’s an impromptu ‘Scrutineering Bay’ debate, following yet another incident between Massa and Hamilton – where in India, Hamilton had a run on Massa, elected to go up the inside of Massa.

It’s common thought that Massa knew Hamilton was there, but still turned in and the pair collided.

For a change, Massa got a penalty and Hamilton didn’t, but many believe it was just a racing incident.

During the race, we posted a poll to see what the general thinking was, here’s the result – seems the majority agreed with the stewards.

What are your thoughts on the Massa/Hamilton saga of the 2011?

Post your thoughts below and we’ll pick our favourite ‘star’ contribution, who’ll receive some Badger stickers and badges!

Adam Mills

Founder and Team Principal at Badger GP
Been a fan of F1 since the days of 'our Nige'. Enjoys the soap opera as much as the racing. A creative geek, with entrepreneurial tendencies who loves coffee, cycling, mod culture and music. Founded of Badger GP in 2008 to give informative, interesting yet entertaining content about Formula 1.

Latest posts by Adam Mills (see all)

  1. Clearly the Nicole thing was only half the story with Lewis’ woes recently. As proven from his post-race interview, Hamilton is obviously still hurting from his break-up with Felipe baby, hence the sparks flying on track.

  2. Racing incident and penalty was overly harsh and inconsistent. If I had to give blame then it goes to Massa even though I love him) because you can’t just barge someone off the track regardless who is in front or who has the racing line just like Ham shouldn’t have done it to him at Suzuka and Vettel shouldn’t have done it to Webber at Turkey last year. The Ham/Massacre needs to end and the pair both need to grow up.

    The biggest problem I have is with the stewarding. I have no idea if it’s consistent or not because they don’t release any decisions. They just give their verdict and the drivers either do the punishment or receive a DSQ which would be very Max Mosleyish if he was actually still around the F1 world.

  3. The car in front with the racing line is entitled to stay on the racing line the car behinds job to not crash into them.

    The penalty sets a bad precedent. So now every time a faster car throws a nose up the inside the car in front has to let them pass?

    More cars should turn in on the car behind. No need for a penalty every time their is contact. Eventually they will learn not to stick a nose up the inside unless they can get along side and make a move stick.

    • Agree with Paul,I think the decision is wrong and inconsistent, Massa was in front so has the right to take the line he wanted, as needless as the accident was.

    • Since when? The car in front has to give racing room to the car behind *if* it is alongside, and not force it off the road (this is written in the rules).

      The grey area is when that car is lunging e.g. won’t make the corner anyway, or just overtaking.

  4. How to produce problems between drivers:
    1. Bring up a driver from a very young age to believe that he is unbeatable.
    2. Make him believe that everyone else will automatically get out of the way.
    3. Take a different driver and place him under immense pressure to perform following a near fatal crash
    4. Tell this driver that he will always be beaten by his teammate by order.
    5. Put the two of them in near identical speed cars.
    6. Make them believe that failing to overtake would be a negative for their careers,
    7. Sit back and look surprised when fireworks occur.
    8. Blame everyone else for the personalities that have been manufactured by 1 – 4

  5. - This is an easy one and I found the answer in a publication called “Overtaking to win”, which was written by Roberto Giordanelli for the MSA “motorsports now!” in winter 2001, which says: “Make sure you are fully alongside before apex for succesful overtaking”. To put it b/w, if this story continues, then, within a few years, you already have to surrender when you have got someone on your tail?

  6. In the real world, I’d bring them together with a mediator and insist that they discussed their problems. But in the rarified world of F1, sadly it probably won’t happen. But it really should because unless someone, somewhere intervenes, it could end in tragedy and we really don’t need vendettas being fought out on the circuits. I would call today’s clash a ‘racing incident’ but I suspect it was exacerbated by the bad blood between them. Felipe looks broken and post-Alonso’s arrival, will always be a ‘journeyman driver’ now rather than a winner. Lewis is in a bad place too…although he will win again. I wonder whether Felipe has fully recovered – or maybe will ever recover – from his life-threatening injuries in Hungary. He’s certainly not the driver he was a couple of seasons ago. Lewis has been damaged by Jenson’s speed and consistency and also by his turbulent personal life. I sincerely hope that sometime before Abu Dhabi and Brazil (particularly Brazil for obvious reasons) the two of them manage to bury the hatchet before someone gets hurt…or worse.

  7. The problem is more complex and starts with blocking that 40 years ago was rare and greatly discouraged. Read Jackie Stewarts’s thoughts in this month’s Motorsport about the greatest drivers and how they rarely – if ever – collided with other cars – in any circumstances. In those days racing was dangerous and sex was safe; now it is the opposite and many drivers feel that they can get away with nudging the oppostition or putting themselves in a position that is potentially dangerous to the other man either – in a Schumacheresque weave or swerve to try to run the other driver into the wall or moving their car into a dangeros postion to the overtaking man. The last two weeks have shown that motor-sport is not as safe as we would like and all drivers should do more to respect the others in the race and make sure that all are able to finish the race. I am not suggesting for a moment that we have a health and safety campaign, only a system of marshalling that penalises dangerous tactics, including any form of blocking, and encourages more gentlemanly behavoir. As far as this incident is concerned I think the blame lies with Massa, in the replays we can see that he is aware because we can see his head moving to check his left-hand mirror. OK, he was slightly in front at the point of impact, but that was because he applied the brakes a fraction of a second later than Hamilton, but there was not enough space for them both to go through. Hamilton was sufficiently alongside to claim right to the place and for once the stewards didn’t penalise him.

  8. This incident reminded me a little of the Webber-Hamilton crash at Singapore in 2010. What happened was just a 50/50 racing incident (as far as I could see) but I was expecting to see Hamilton get a penalty as he has not exactly had the rub of the green with the stewards and was shoving his car into a place where overtaking seemed unlikely but a collision very likely. The problem is previous 50/50s between the two of them have yielded a penalty when they should have been dismissed as racing incidents so this just continues the pattern. I thought it was harsh on Massa but if he says the stewards were wrong on him then he would have to concede that some decisions that have gone against Hamilton were also unwarranted (and he isn’t saying that). The real issue is that the stewards have more footage & data so must have penalised him for a reason but their investigation & evidence should be made public via the F1 websites so we can see this extra info for ourselves and so that justice is seen to be done and moronic feuds are shown up for what they are. Instead the whole pointless slanging match will now doubtless continue until the end of the season (yawn!) when both will retire to their luxury abodes…

  9. I think its just all blown out of proportion. Massa needs to grow up, i feel. He is acting like a little kid. I feel that Massa and Hamilton need to sit down, somewhere out of view and no media involved, and trash it out. In my mind, i feel that, Massa is still hurting from loosing the championship back in 2008 from Hamllton.
    Hamilton is no angel either, he needs to grow up too and ditch his so called managerment, get Ron Dennis to be his new manager and then we will see the Lewis we all love to see.

  10. Ralph or something (@itsmewizzard) says:

    In My view the incident was a racing incident. If I had to ‘blame’ someone then it would be Massa (I’m not a Hamilton fan never have been) but in this case if Massa had left a bit of room then Hamilton may of got through and Massa would of been well placed to take the place back.

    While there is no love loss between them both, I think that both are drivers that would not intentionally push the other off the track. There is no point in doing so time and time again.
    I think pop them both into the same team for a Season (HRT would be good) and let them race with less pressure. You never know they may end up getting on well on and off the track and both come out the other side as better personalities.

  11. Well, I think Felipe Massa was to blame today, but then I think Lewis Hamilton was at fault in Singapore, but who is more to blame? Theres only one way to ind out…FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Daniel Therrien says:

    Andy Howlett
    How to produce problems between drivers:
    1. Bring up a driver from a very young age to believe that he is unbeatable.
    2. Make him believe that everyone else will automatically get out of the way.
    3. Take a different driver and place him under immense pressure to perform following a near fatal crash
    4. Tell this driver that he will always be beaten by his teammate by order.
    5. Put the two of them in near identical speed cars.
    6. Make them believe that failing to overtake would be a negative for their careers,
    7. Sit back and look surprised when fireworks occur.
    8. Blame everyone else for the personalities that have been manufactured by 1 – 4

    Exactly how everyone should see it. I believe it was a racing incident, if Massa didn’t turn in and keep his line he would of went straight off into the dust and lost traction. Hamilton should have backed off.

  13. To bad many when talk about who’s wrong and right,choose the one they hate to be the bad guy.
    It was clear Hamilton was side by side with Massa turning on him as if he isn’t there.it was a clear mistake from massa side.

  14. Massa was ahead and on the racing line, which he is entitled to keep. That should be the end of the story.
    If the positions where reversed I guarantee all the LH fans would be up in arms because their driver had been barged off the track. I love close racing but this has to stop or someone will get hurt or worse.
    How about incidents like this attracting a drive through for both drivers this may discourage the have a go and hope attitude?

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  16. Jamie Duckett says:

    I think Lewis is to blame. Massa was the leading car into the corner. And you can clearly see Lewis backs out just before turning in. I’m not complaining, at least incidents like this are talking points in boring GPs, I haven’t any more to say about how good Vettel is.

  17. I thought it was Hamilton’s fault tbh. But the stewards have more info and it seems Massa might have moved across. So I suppose it’s 51% Massa and 49% Hamilton. Which makes it just a eacing incident doesn’t it?

  18. Avatar of Rob Morgan

    I agree with everyone who says it was hamilton’s fault. Which it is, hamilton was not along side and was never going to make it stick, massa was always going to take that line unless hamilton was along side and he just clearly wasn’t, just look at the racing line and the corner itself, massa is totally right. He should never have put him self in that position, just like senna he doesn’t bloody think about the move he just chucks it down the inside and to hell with the safety of other drivers. Massa was in front and he decides what line to take, it is up to hamilton to get by cleanly but once again we all see hamilton having another incident. If hamilton wants to finish first, first he has to finish. But really how good is hamilton, he won his championship in 2008 when there was no Schumacher, Button was in a crap honda, Alonso was in a slower Renault (scored more points than any other driver in 2nd half of that year, class), Raikonen was eating ice lollys, and his only rival was massa. In the German GP 2008 Mclaren like Ferrari used team orders, heikki pulled over and let hamilton through at the hairpin, anyone can see that and you don’t need a radio message to tell you that, its quiet obvious when you watch it. So is hamilton really a world champ? He needs a kick up the arse from Whitmarsh, and hopefully one day he’ll become a great driver, but i don’t see it yet.

  19. Talking with a colleague at work about this yesterday. If I was Lewis, I’d have gone for the gap. If I was Massa, I’d have shut the door. Surprise surprise, what happened? Racing incident. FM is probably right to feel a little narked off tbh, but shiz happens.

  20. I don’t care who’s at fault. I just want it to stop. Hamilton has to be more careful when he overtakes drivers who clearly will not move an inch for him.

    As far as this incident goes, when you hear why Johnny Herbert gave the penalty it’s hard to argue. But then there have been many, many worse incidents between other drivers which have been left without action. So in that sense, it was a harsh penalty.

  21. Avatar of Gavin

    Massa didn’t deserve a penalty and Hamilton didn’t need to make that move where he did. Roll on 2012… trust the Germans to kill the excitement. We have to rely on this drama to make racing interesting. It was a boring GP and Abu Dhabi will be another borefest with it lack of over taking.
    Massa penalty to me was a biased call by a fellow English man who feels sorry for one of his own.

  22. Avatar of Dave Highkinen

    I’m in agreement with a comment James Allen made on his site on this issue:
    “Compare this to the various battles Alonso and Webber have had lately…. Alonso and Webber respect each other and therefore do not collide. You can fill in the gaps for yourself.”

    Most of the year’s incidents between Massa and Hamilton have been racing incidents, with no penalties required. But all of them have occurred due to a lack of respect between the drivers.
    Lewis is unable to be decisive with his manouevers on Massa, and Felipe is unable to give Hamilton racing room. Until BOTH of them change their attitudes they’re going to continue bumping into each other.
    They manage alright in battling with other drivers.

    As for this particular incident, it was no different to Monaco. Lewis spotted a gap and went for it, then suddenly changed his mind when it was too late (very un-Hamilton). And Massa preferred a crash over letting Lewis overtake so made sure it happened.
    The only difference between the two incidents is who got the penalty.

    • I am bias towards neither driver as both are talented individuals who have given us fans wonderful racing moments. Who can ever forget the final lap of the 2008 season in Brazil? As much as I respect the stewards who have a tough job, I feel they unfortunately got this one wrong and frankly very surprised given such clear evidence.

      Hamilton’s onboard view clearly shows him attempting a difficult maneuver described by Martin Brundle as ‘interesting’. Pulling off such a trick at a tight, fast and dusty corner is nothing short of the bravery that we have come to expect from Hamilton but alas it simply didn’t go according to plan. Hamilton’s front wheel was not even in line with Massa’s helmet and by the time he realize he was not in a position to overtake, he had positioned his car on the dirty side of the track into what was already a rapidly closing gap.

      Massa who was on the racing line and committed to the corner continued in a very normal manner and given the position of Hamilton’s car had no chance to avoid and the pair collided giving birth to a racing incident. Hamilton’s radio explained Massa ‘turned into me” and “he didn’t give me any space” but was simply down to Massa taking the normal racing line and the corner as he had to. Massa didn’t do anything different to what every other driver would have done at that corner and should not have been penalized. It was not his fault that Hamilton attempted an ambitious move that resulted in failure. Ultimately for Massa it did not matter as for the second time his front wheel became a magnet hitting an orange ‘baguette’ to end his race.

      Rather than focusing on each other like two kids in playground perhaps they should save their energy for the next season but at least for the remaining few races it give us something to get excited about and please can we see more of Mr. Bean at the races.

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