Massa Denies Deliberate Move on Hamilton

It was a full weekend all the way for title contender Felipe Massa, who started the weekend at Mount Fuji with a rather disappointing qualifying performance and carried on with a couple of hit-and-runs during the race. The first incident occurred on Turn 10 of the race's very first lap and saw a determined Lewis Hamilton trying to overtake the Brazilian for 5th place. Massa then pulled a desperate move on Hamilton and forced his McLaren into a spin, being handed a drive-through penalty afterwards.

Following suggestions that the Ferrari driver deliberately closed the door on Hamilton  in the chicane, Massa explained himself at the post-race press conference admitting to his wrongdoings but dismissing all rumors regarding an intentional maneuver over his title rival.

“He braked very late and I braked very late, and then I was a little bit wide in the first part of the corner. Then he had my inside line and pushed me a little bit wide in the gravel, and then I went with the wheels on the gravel but the next corner was on the left”.

“Then we just touched each other, so in my opinion it was a racing incident. But we had a drive-through and we paid, and it is a bit difficult to speak after the race when we have already had the drive-through”, said Massa.

The Brazilian had a similar incident later on in the race – Lap 50 – when he attempted to close in on Sebastien Bourdais at Turn 1 but instead found himself spinning off after a slight contact with the Toro Rosso. Despite common belief that Massa should have been given the same penalty as 40 laps earlier, the Ferrari-an not only walked out clear of all charges but was also promoted to 7th place after Bourdais received a 25-second penalty at the end of the race.

However, the Brazilian did not admit to any wrongdoings in the Bourdais incident and stated that the race officials made the right choice. With the 2 points awarded for 7th place, Massa closed the gap on title rival Lewis Hamilton – only 5 points now separates the two – with two races to go in the season.

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