Herbert: Massa decision correct

By on Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Picture credit: FOM

Johnny Herbert believes that the decision to penalise Felipe Massa in last weekend's Indian Grand Prix was the correct one.

Herbert was part of the stewards panel in India and writing in his column for The National, Herbert explained his decision.

“When Massa’s Ferrari came together with Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren-Mercedes on lap 23 of the race, we looked at replays to see if a punishment should be given for the incident. 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.”

“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,” said the veteran of 161 grand prix starts.

“If Massa had not gone wide – that would have been a different scenario altogether. If there had been contact then, the blame would have been Hamilton’s. But as it happened, the incident could have been avoided. 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,” concluded Herbert.

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