Coulthard: Hamilton-Massa clash was racing incident
2 November 2011 – According to former Red Bull driver David Coulthard, the incident between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa on Lap 24 of Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix was a racing incident. “At worst, I felt Lewis was more to blame,” the Scotsman said.
Speaking about the moment in a column for The Telegraph, the BBC television pundit said:
“In many respects it is a shame that their ongoing feud became the chief talking point of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, but what can you do? I hope they can sort things out between themselves soon but in the meantime we can only analyse what happened on the track.
“This won't be a fashionable view for British fans but, for me, their collision on Lap 24 was a racing incident at best. At worst I felt Lewis was more to blame.
“I simply can't understand how Felipe could have been deemed the guilty party. As drivers we are always taught that the car behind is responsible, so to my mind the stewards misinterpreted what happened.
I don’t want to beat up on Lewis. Far from it. I supported him in similar circumstances after Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi clipped the back of him at Spa and, after everything that has gone on over the past weeks and months, he deserves a break. But in this instance I feel he was definitely the guiltier party. If Lewis had got that far up alongside Felipe into a tight hairpin, where the braking zone is maybe 100 metres and lasts for a few seconds, then I think Massa would have been right to give way. But heading into a fourth gear left-hander at maybe 150-160km/h? Where the braking zone lasts for one second? I don't think Massa can be held responsible.
“But this isn’t really about Lewis and Felipe. It could have been any two drivers. What concerns me more is the inconsistency of stewarding decisions. Making these types of calls is one of the real difficulties with a complex sport like Formula One, but it was almost as if they felt that - with Lewis receiving so many decisions against him this year - they were trying to redress the balance. A bit like in football when a referee sends someone off in controversial circumstances and the crowd is on his back, he is more disposed to send a player from the opposition off. “