Date: 7th November 2011 at 10:00am
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The results are in and the Vital F1 users acting as judge and jury over the latest incident involving Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa have found the Ferrari driver guilty of all charges.

In what many would think is a surprise result considering how critical some users have been of Hamilton this season, 78% thought that Massa was at fault in India and that the drive-thru penalty was the right decision.

11% believed it was simply a racing incident, whilst 11% blamed Hamilton for the latest collision.

Former Formula One racer Johny Herbert who was the race steward in India, believed that the Brazilian could have avoided the incident, with the Ferrari driver quite obviously 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.’


Following the incident on Sunday Massa had told the press: ‘My view is that I was in front, I braked later than him and I was in front, I was on the grippy area as well and then I started to turn and I didn’t see him on the left as he was behind, He touched my rear wheel. So, to be honest I don’t understand why I have the penalty. It is not really understandable.’

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali predictably defended his driver: ‘as usual Ferrari respects the decision of the Stewards, even if, in this case, we have a different view to theirs.’

Whilst McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh predictably defended his driver: ‘[Hamilton] and Felipe Massa are magnetic, they come together, but the stewards made a clear decision. It hurt Lewis – he had to come in and change tyres, his car was damaged but he had the discipline to bring it home for some points.

‘Massa turned in and Lewis didn’t have a chance.


Hamilton spoke very little about the latest talking point simply adding: I tried to overtake and I tried to come out of it because it didn’t look like he was going to give me any space, and we collided. I’m really, really sorry for my team.’

 

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