Wednesday 25 April 2018

Formula One: Furious Massa tells ‘mindlesss’ Hamilton: ‘You’ll never win another F1’

FELIPE Massa has issued a stark warning to Lewis Hamilton that he will never win another Formula One world title if he continues to drive in a 'mindless' manner.

Massa was enraged following his latest collision with Hamilton in yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix that resulted in a showdown in the drivers' pen where post-race TV and radio interviews are conducted.

Hamilton, involved in so many incidents this season, was given his fifth drive-through penalty of the campaign for running into Massa, damaging the front wing of his McLaren and puncturing the right rear tyre on the Ferrari.

Seething that Hamilton ignored him as they began to speak to the TV crews, Massa approached Hamilton from behind, slapping him on the back and pulling him by the upper right arm to grab his attention.

When Hamilton turned, Massa twice slapped him on the right shoulder in a sarcastic congratulatory manner, giving him a thumbs-up sign before snapping: "Good job huh. Very good job."

In response, Hamilton shouted after a departing Massa, "Don't touch me man. Don't touch me."

After answering one more question from his interviewer, Hamilton opted to depart the pen to avoid any further acrimony or grilling on the matter.

In contrast, Massa was unequivocal, expressing his disappointment and anger in the wake of the fourth incident between the duo this year, the most relevant being a collision in Monaco where Hamilton again served a drive-through.

A fuming Massa said: "How many races this year has he gone in the wrong direction and he's paid?

"The FIA is looking at that, for sure, because when he is doing it so many times then you have somebody over you. He's not learning."

Asked as to whether the FIA should clamp down on Hamilton, Massa added: "It is up to the them.

"You can't say they made a mistake (here) because they penalised him, but as I say, he is paying so much for his driving."

Hamilton later departed the Marina Bay Street Circuit without a word to the media, and with no mention of the incident either in McLaren's press release.

Although it was commendable he turned the other cheek to Massa, offering no defence of his actions merely paved the way for the criticism, and accusations, which followed.

That was a shame considering he produced a sterling drive from 19th, in the wake of serving his penalty and also pitting for a new front wing, to claim fifth behind the imperious Sebastian Vettel - who is now a point away from claiming back-to-back world titles.

Not for the first time McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was the man left to pick up the pieces scattered by his driver.

"Felipe approached Lewis in the post-race TV interview enclosure and grabbed him slightly aggressively," said Whitmarsh.

"That riled Lewis, understandably so, but he acted with commendable restraint and walked away from any potential confrontation.

"Later, he decided to walk away from talking about the incident too because he didn't want to escalate the situation.

"He did absolutely nothing wrong."

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