Date: 2nd November 2011 at 10:31am
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Former Formula One racer Johny Herbert has defended the Indian stewards decision to penalise Felipe Massa for the collision with Lewis Hamilton.

The two drivers once again collided and became the major talking point from the Indian Grand Prix weekend.

Hamilton had tried to overtake the Ferrari of Massa, but as has been the case on numerous occasions this season, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to the see the two cars coming together.

What was a surprise on this occasion however was to see the penalty for once handed to Massa following a string of penalties handed to the McLaren driver.

On this occasion the Indian race stewards, helped by former Formula One driver Johny Herbert decided to give a drive-thru penalty to Massa for causing a collision.

The Brazilian could quite clearly be seen on the replays looking into his mirrors and knowing exactly where Hamilton was at all times before opting to turn in on the McLaren driver.

Hamilton had got virtually side by side on the inside of Massa, before pulling out of the move and breaking earlier, but the Ferrari decided to brake late and cut across the McLaren giving him no room before the inevitable contact.

‘The decision to penalise Felipe Massa for his contact with Lewis Hamilton came down to one simple fact – it could have been avoided,’ Johny Herbert wrote in his column for The National newspaper as quoted by Autosport Magazine.

‘I know Massa was upset by our decision, but I believe we made the right call. After looking at it from different camera angles and studying all the data available to us, it was clear that Massa knew where Hamilton was before he chose to turn across him.

‘There was nothing Hamilton could have done to avoid it. He did try to get out of the move, but it was too late and the contact was made.’


Our current Vital F1 poll asks: Who was at fault in India?

Currently 80% believe the collision was Felipe Massa’s fault and agree that the drive thru penalty was fair.

Whilst 20% believe it was simply a racing incident, at time of writing, currently no votes have put the fault with Lewis Hamilton.