Ferrari told Massa to 'destroy Hamilton's race' UPDATE #2 (GMM) Ferrari insists Felipe Massa's engineer Rob Smedley was not "malicious" when he ordered the Brazilian to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's race recently in Singapore.
A trio of paddock regulars this week have already played down the content of the radio call that preceded Massa colliding with McLaren's Hamilton during the night race just over a week ago.
But some publications, notably "English daily papers" according to Ferrari's online columnist The Horse Whisperer, suspected a sinister motive.
"It's true that (Smedley) was caught up in the heat of the moment and chose to use the verb 'destroy' at some point," said the anonymous Ferrari columnist.
"It might not have been the most politically correct choice of word, but it definitely carried no malicious intent, especially when you take into account that Rob is a Middlesbrough lad, born and bred!" the writer added. 10/03/11 The media of Brazil and the United Kingdom in particular have reacted to a pit-to-car radio message revealed to have been broadcast during the Singapore Grand Prix, with Felipe Massa told to ‘destroy’ the race of Lewis Hamilton.
A post-race spat between the 2008 championship rivals saw Massa sarcastically state, "Well done" to Hamilton during interview sessions, with the Englishman clearly annoyed by the Brazilian’s action. This followed an on-track incident at Memorial corner which punctured Massa’s right-rear tire and left Hamilton with a broken front wing plus a drive-through penalty for the contact.
Since the race, the official F1 website has released its usual video highlights clip of the event, which features footage and radio content not previously witnessed by television viewers via FOM’s world feed. In the video, Race Engineer Rob Smedley can be heard telling Massa:
“Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can, come on boy.”
Sound bites from Hamilton’s radio hear the McLaren driver exclaiming, “I can’t believe it” while recovering to the pits and, later, “Of course I have a drive-through (penalty).” 10/02/11 The Singapore Grand Prix race edit video from FOM reveals some interesting comments at Ferrari.
It appears that before the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, Rob Smedley was goading his driver to “hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can.”
After the contact Hamilton lamented to his team “of course I have a drive-through”. Watch the video via the link below. One wonders what sanctions this might lead to.
Singapore Grand Prix race edit