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Hamilton and Massa feud flares again

Last updated on: October 30, 2011 21:32 IST

Hamilton and Massa feud flares again

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Feuding foes Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa were poles apart at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday despite their magnetic attraction on the racetrack pulling stronger than ever.

Stewards ruled that the Ferrari driver was in the wrong this time, imposing a drive-through penalty for causing their collision, but Massa rejected that and his team produced pictures to support his argument.

"I braked later than him, I was in front...to be honest I don't understand why I have the penalty. It is really not understandable," Brazilian Massa said.

McLaren's Hamilton, who is having a nightmare Formula One season and had to pit for a new front wing after the incident, said that Massa "just turned in on me, he didn't give me any space".

Asked whether there was now a full feud between them, Massa replied: "Maybe for him. He touched my car. So I didn't do anything wrong."


Image: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren and Felipe Massa of Brazil
Photographs: Getty Images
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Frail attempts to mend fences

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The pair, who have clashed six times on the racetrack in 17 grands prix this season, could not even agree on whether they had attempted to mend fences before the race after weeks of simmering silence.

With their cars lined up together on the third row of the grid, they had stood together during a minute's silence for double Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, both killed in crashes in the last two weeks.

"He (Massa) 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 for the race," Briton Hamilton said.

Massa, beaten by Hamilton to the 2008 championship by a single point, denied that version.

"He was on my side. And then he just said have a good race. This is trying to do what? 'Have a good race' is not part of talking or whatever," he said dismissively.


Image: Felipe Massa (left) of Brazil and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme with Lewis Hamilton
Photographs: Getty Images
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Hamilton, Massa under tremendous pressure

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McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said his team would not intervene although he had discussed the situation with Ferrari.

"They are men, 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 (Button) at the moment."

Button, second on Sunday, is also second in the championship already won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton has never before ended a season behind a team-mate in the standings.

Massa has had his place at Ferrari alongside Spain's double champion Fernando Alonso increasingly questioned in the media.


Photographs: Getty Images
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Not so hunky-dory past incidents

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Hamilton had been trying to pass Massa on the inside at turn five of the Buddh International Circuit when the fifth-placed Ferrari cut across and they collided.

The Brazilian later retired with a broken front left suspension after running heavily over a raised orange kerb for the second day in a row.

Massa had blasted Hamilton after their Singapore Grand Prix coming together, accusing him of "not using his mind" and slapping his rival on the shoulder while the Briton gave a television interview.

The pair also collided in Monaco and Britain.

Hamilton had already started Sunday's race with a three-place grid penalty as a punishment for ignoring double-waved yellow warning flags in practice.


Image: Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari goes past Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain
Photographs: Getty Images
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