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DATE News (chronologically)
09/03/10
f1
Massa cheated in Spa UPDATE #2 Ferrari driver Felipe Massa will not be sanctioned for his jumped start at the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix, but the ruling body, the FIA, said on Friday it will make sure such incidents won't go unnoticed in the future.

An FIA spokeswoman said that Massa's fourth-place finish from Sunday's race a Spa-Francorchamps will stand because the result was final.

Videos circulating on the internet (and now withdrawn for rights reasons) appeared to indicate that Massa was closer to the start line than his supposed place after the warm-up lap.

TV commentator Martin Brundle said at the time that Massa was "two meters in front of his start line".

Massa would have likely faced a drive-through penalty had the incident been detected immediately and would have lower than fourth, given the time differences in the final results.

"The problem was not brought to the attention of the FIA race director by either the marshals nor the automatic jump start system in time to be able to apply the appropriate penalty for jump starts," the spokeswoman said.

"As no further information or complaints were received before the publication of the official result on Sunday night, the classification of the Belgian Grand Prix will now remain unchanged. The FIA is investigating the causes of the apparent failures in communication with race control in order to ensure a repetition is not possible."

09/03/10 (GMM)  F1's governing body is investigating how Felipe Massa escaped penalty despite getting a head-start in last Sunday's Belgian grand prix.

As the cars lined up on the Spa-Francorchamps grid, BBC commentator Martin Brundle noticed that the Brazilian's Ferrari was about "two meters" ahead of its starting box.

And a spectator's amateur footage, posted on video sharing website Youtube, backs Brundle's observation, even though the race director, stewards and rival teams and drivers apparently did not notice or report Massa's head-start.

The Telegraph said the FIA has launched an investigation into how Massa escaped without a drive-through penalty.

The report said the transponder on the floor of Massa's F10 did not send a signal to the tarmac sensor because he was too far out of position, while the marshals did not alert the race director manually.

"As no further information or complaints were received before the publication of the official result on Sunday night, the classification of the Belgian grand prix will now remain unchanged," said an FIA spokeswoman.

"The FIA are investigating the causes of the apparent failures in communication with race control in order to ensure a repetition is not possible," she added.

09/03/10 (GMM)  Felipe Massa escaped penalty despite clearly getting a head-start in last Sunday's Belgian grand prix.

Before the five red lights went out at Spa-Francorchamps, BBC commentator Martin Brundle observed that the Ferrari was about "two meters" ahead of its starting area on the grid.

A spectator's amateur footage, posted on video sharing website Youtube, now supports Brundle's observation, but the Brazilian was not penalized by the stewards.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Massa, who finished the race in fourth place, was "at least 1 meter" ahead of his grid box.

Ferrari's post-race press release mentions neither Massa's grid error or the fact that he made up two early positions once the race had started.

The German report speculated that if FIA officials, or any of his competitors, had noticed the incident, Massa would probably have received a drive-through penalty.

Sensors in the grid boxes are supposed to ensure the cars' correct positioning as well as whether the competitor made a jump-start.

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