Sauber's Felipe Massa has been given the first grid demotion penalty by the FIA as a result of his clash with Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa in today's Italian Grand Prix. The penalty was introduced this season and the stewards decided to employ it as...
Sauber's Felipe Massa has been given the first grid demotion penalty by the FIA as a result of his clash with Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa in today's Italian Grand Prix. The penalty was introduced this season and the stewards decided to employ it as it was too late to punish Massa during the race. The Brazilian will now start the Indianpolis race at the American GP on September 29th ten places back from whatever qualifying position he achieves.
The stewards decided Massa was responsible for the clash that sent both him and de la Rosa out of the race. It's unclear exactly what happened and both drivers are blaming each other.
De la Rosa described Massa's movements on track as 'inexplicable' and that the Brazilian had blocked him: "He kept moving all over the place and every time I made an effort to pass him, he blocked me. My patience was running out and I then made a move to pass him at the Ascari chicane when he moved over again and took my front wing off on lap 15."
Massa said de la Rosa had missed a chicane and was expecting him to let him past: "Then on lap 15 de la Rosa cut the first chicane, but instead of moving over to let me by he stayed ahead for a lap. He was so slow going down to Ascari that I put my car in the middle of the track and, as far as I was concerned, I was past him. Maybe he hit the throttle again. Whatever, we touched, and that damaged either my right rear suspension or the tyre, so a lap later I was out."
Massa had the right to appeal the stewards decision.