• Indian Grand Prix

'I don't understand the penalty ' - Massa

Laurence Edmondson at the Buddh International Circuit
October 30, 2011 « Hamilton apologises to McLaren | KERS strategy works for Schumacher »
Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton on lap 24 © Getty Images
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Felipe Massa cannot understand why he was penalised for his accident with Lewis Hamilton at the Indian Grand Prix and insists he does not hold a grudge against the McLaren driver.

The pair have collided six times this season, with tempers fraying at the Singapore Grand Prix following two incidents in one weekend. In India Hamilton found himself behind Massa after a grid penalty and a bad start and tried to make a move stick into turn five on lap 24. Massa saw Hamilton alongside him on the straight but turned across the McLaren's bows under braking and the pair made contact.

Hamilton came off worse with a broken front wing, while Massa was issued with a drive-through penalty before retiring with broken suspension in a separate incident.

"My view is that I braked later that him, I was in front and I was on the grippy area as well," Massa told the media after the race. "Then I started to turn and I hit him on the left, so he was behind and he touched my rear wheel. To be honest, I don't understand why I have the penalty. It's really not understandable."

Asked if the persistent on-track incidents had developed into a feud with Hamilton, Massa said: "Maybe for him, because in all the incidents he touched my car. I didn't do anything wrong. So when I saw that he put the car on my side, what was he doing? It's very dirty on his place, so I brake on the clean side, on the grippy side, I brake later than him and I start to turn and he is behind me. Whoever the driver was I would do the same. I am on the good, grippy [side of the track]. At another track and you try to overtake at that place, he will brake later than me and I would not be able to do anything. But in this case I braked and was in front of him and he touched me from behind. So it's nothing to do with it being him. He touched me."

After the one minute silence on the grid in memory of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, Hamilton was seen putting his arm around Massa in what some believed was an act of reconciliation. But Massa said that that was not how it felt to him.

"He didn't try," Massa added. "He didn't try to do anything. When I tried to speak to him he passed through. He didn't look to my face. And here after the one minute silence he was by my side and then he said 'have a good race'. So 'have a good race', I don't know, it's not part of talking or whatever."

But Massa insists that he does not hold a personal grudge against Hamilton.

"To be honest, it's nothing from me," he said. "When I felt already that it was too much, what he was doing, he didn't want to speak."

He added: "I don't have anything against him."

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