We’ve been discussing the incident between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa for the last few days with differing opinions on the collision. The FIA’s veteran driver program places former F1 drivers in the role of Steward for the race and the inaugural Indian Grand Prix had Johnny Herbert on duty at the Buddh Circuit last Sunday.
The stewards deemed Felipe Massa at fault in the incident and according to Herbert, there was justifiable reasons for doing so as he told The National:
“The decision to penalize Felipe Massa for his contact with Lewis Hamilton came down to one simple fact – it could have been avoided”.
Some of the discussion has been on the avoidable nature of the incident and the unyielding nature both drivers seem to have with each other given their history of six collisions so far this season. Herbert said the situation was avoidable and that Massa could have gone wide:
“You could see that Massa looked in his side mirror, so he knew Hamilton was on his left as they approached the left-hand turn. It appeared he was giving up the corner as he moved wide to the right, effectively opening the door for Hamilton to go down the inside on the left.
Only, Massa swept across in front of him, leading to contact.
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.
Massa knew where Hamilton was, he opened the door for him by moving wide, and after doing that he still swept across and did not give Hamilton room. That’s why the decision was made to punish him with a drive-through penalty.”
Does that change your opinion of the incident? Does it add clarity as to why Massa was penalized? Do you agree with the logic? Let us know your thoughts.