x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Massa's anger as Hamilton collision proves costly

Felipe Massa criticised Lewis Hamilton after the pair came together during yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix.

SINGAPORE // As if the 70 per cent humidity does not make the Singapore Grand Prix hot enough, tempers threatened to boil over last night as a fiery Felipe Massa angrily condemned Lewis Hamilton's driving once again.

The Brazilian had accused the McLaren-Mercedes driver of "not using his mind" following an incident in Saturday's qualifying session and, when the two collided under the floodlights of Marina Bay Street Circuit last night as Hamilton tried to pass, Massa appeared incensed.

Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty by race control but fought back impressively to finish fifth; Massa, who suffered a punctured wheel in the collision, finished ninth.

"I told you he cannot use his mind even in qualifying, so you can imagine in the race," Ferrari's Massa said post-race.

"In qualifying, he tried to do a Superman on the out-lap. [Then] he tries to do the same in the race. He could have caused a big accident.

"He touched my wheel on a straight at 300 kph, and he punctured my tyres, so he destroyed my race. [He paid] for that because he had the drive-through.

"That's the problem: he doesn't understand even paying for a problem."

The two drivers have a long history, with Hamilton pipping Massa to the 2008 world championship at the latter's home race by a single point after a fractious championship battle in which the pair had collided in the Japanese Grand Prix and blamed each other.

The two also collided earlier this year in Monaco, ending Massa's race as he crashed heavily as a consequence of the damage sustained from being hit by Hamilton, and this weekend's qualifying incident had already stoked the flames between the pair.

Massa acknowledged that poor strategic calls also played a part in his disappointing race finish, but he refused to ignore the impact Hamilton had on his performance.

"I was not very lucky with the strategy," he said. "And, again, something happened with a guy who [caused collisions] how many times with me this year? So many times."

The Brazilian also added he has tried to talk with Hamilton about the Briton's driving, but claimed his comments have fallen on deaf ears.

"He doesn't listen to me," he said. "He doesn't listen maybe to even his father, so you imagine myself."

Hamilton refused to comment to the media in the initial aftermath of the race, but was reportedly involved in a minor altercation with Massa in the paddock shortly after.

He did later say in a McLaren press release: "I had fun picking off cars after my penalty, but it was frustrating to once again be down the field when I felt we had a car that could have challenged up at the front."