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Massa/Hamilton 'feud' continues

NEWS STORY
30/10/2011

Buddh International Circuit is the scene in the latest round of the season long 'feud' between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.

First it was Monaco, then Silverstone, Singapore and now India, as the pair appear to be attracted to one another like magnets.

The latest incident saw the two collide on the twenty-fourth lap of the race. Hamilton, who had been shadowing the Brazilian for a couple of laps, finally made his move, the Ferrari driver, appearing to close the door, was hit sending him into a spin. Though Massa was able to continue, Hamilton had to return to the pits for a new nose.

The stewards subsequently confirmed that they were investigating the incident, later handing Massa a drive-through.

Repeated replays, as far as the average fan is concerned, were pretty inconclusive. Yes, Massa should have seen the Englishman but we all know how useless the mirrors on these cars are. On the other hand, some might argue that, given the history, Hamilton would have been best served by backing off and attacking again later.

On the thirty-second lap of the race Massa pulled off track after wrecking his suspension on the unforgiving kerbs, the second time in as many days. The TV cameras subsequently catching him arriving back at the pits, still wearing his helmet, clearly incandescent with rage.

Later, speaking to reporters, the Brazilian couldn't understand why he had been penalised. "My view is that I braked later than him, I was in front, I was on the grippy area and then I started to turn and I don't see him on my left," he said. "He is behind and then he touched my rear wheel. To be honest, I don't understand why I have the penalty."

However, he then appeared to contradict himself, when he adding: "I didn't do anything wrong. When I see he put the car on my side, I braked on the clean side and he was behind me. If he was wheel-to-wheel I would not try to close the door."

Speaking after a race in which he finished a disappointing seventh, a clearly emotional Hamilton said: "I tried to overtake, I tried to come out of it because he didn't look like he was going to give me any space, but we collided."

The Englishman said that at the one-minute silent tribute to Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli before the race he had stood beside Massa. Putting his arm around the Brazilian as he wished him a good race.

"He hasn't spoken to me since a long, long time, so I made an effort and put my arm round him and said good luck," said the McLaren driver.

However, Massa was clearly not in a forgiving mood. "He was on my side, and he said have a good race," he told reporters. "This is trying to do what? 'Have a good race' is not part of talking or whatever."

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted he was perplexed by the regularity with which the two are coming together.

"They are men, and they've got to figure it out for themselves," he said. "It would be nice if we just get a situation where they are not drawn magnetically together on the circuit and we don't have those incidents.

"It's one of those years where they've been coming together too frequently," he added. "I think Felipe is under enormous pressure within that team and that causes him to react. Lewis will be feeling under pressure because of the great performance of Jenson at the moment."

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