No punishment for Massa after 'jumped start'

03/09/2010
NEWS STORY

The FIA has revealed that it is powerless to punish Felipe Massa after the Brazilian clearly jumped the start at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Amateur video footage shot at last weekend's race clearly shows that the Ferrari driver stopped several feet ahead of his designated grid slot. Thereby, effectively giving him an advantage.

However, the fact that Massa was not in place was not picked up by grid sensors which are meant to detect when a driver is out of position or jumps the start.

Consequently, race director Charlie Whiting has launched an investigation into why the sensors failed and why he wasn't even notified by the grid marshals.

The FIA has poured cold water on speculation that Massa might be punished for the incident, issuing a statement which read: "The problem was not brought to the attention of the FIA race director by either the marshals nor the automatic jump start system in time to be able to apply the appropriate penalty," said the FIA, "and as no further information or complaints were received before the publication of the official result, the classification will remain unchanged.

"The FIA are investigating the causes of the apparent failures in communication with race control in order to ensure a repetition is not possible."

It is interesting to note that the incident is the latest to be brought to light courtesy of fans' amateur footage. In the wake of the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, amateur footage showed that Lewis Hamilton was in fact responsible for a collision behind the Safety Car which saw Sebastian Vettel run into the back of Mark Webber.

Earlier this week - much to Bernie Ecclestone's frustration - fans used Youtube to highlight the flexing of the wings on Vettel's Red Bull moments before his clash with Jenson Button.

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Published: 03/09/2010
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