Hamilton says Massa crash ‘deliberate’

Mon, 13 October 2008, 09:02

Oct.13 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has accused his championship challenger Felipe Massa of deliberately colliding with him during Sunday’s Japanese grand prix

Ferrari’s Massa, now lagging 5 points instead of 7 behind the McLaren driver, was penalised for tipping Briton Hamilton into a spin that dropped him to the rear of the field at Fuji Speedway

“I did the corner normally and he came back very aggressively and hit me. I think that was pretty much as deliberate as can be,” Hamilton, 23, told reporters in a briefing some time after the end of the race

McLaren boss Ron Dennis’ reproaches against Brazilian Massa were more subtle, but the Mercedes chief Norbert Haug left the press in little doubt as to his suspicions

Comparing Massa’s penalty with that of Hamilton’s botched first corner, the German said: “Lewis harmed nobody, but Felipe spun his direct championship rival and I doubt that is what the spectators want to see.”nn27-year-old Massa strongly denied that his move could be compared to the controversial title tactics of his mentor Michael Schumacher

But he said even Hamilton’s finger pointing will not hurt their amiable relationship

“I will not do something to destroy something on purpose,” Massa said

In fact, Massa predicted that a few days of calm will alter his rival’s perception of the incident. It was obvious after the race that Hamilton was furious with the events

Referring to the stewards’ controversial decision to penalise his attack at the first corner, Hamilton admitted: “My personal disappointment will be with the start and the second will be with the way I’m treated

“Everyone braked late and I just went a bit wider than everyone else and, for some reason, I got a penalty for that. I can’t honestly understand that.”nnDennis adds: “The thing that really got to him was the penalty — it really did. He was bitterly complaining about it in the car.”n

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