2 SEPTEMBER 28 2011 motorsport-news.co.uk
IN THIS ISSUE
THE VOICE OF BRITISH MOTORSPORT ISSUE JA2789
“It’s probably my best race of the season”
P8 Paul di Resta on his sensational Singapore sixth
TRACKDAY STAR GETS OWN RACE SERIES
British manufacturer BAC to run one-make class
QUALIFYING PLAN FOR WRC
Shakedown times will decide gravel road position
Shakedown times will decide gravel road position
BOGIE CLINCHES BRITISH RALLY CROWN
Scotsman wins BRC with mature Yorkshire drive
Singapore Grand Prix report
SUBSCRIBETOMOTORSPORTNEWS 12 Historic race and rally action 15 Rally news 16 BRC RallyYorkshire report 24 IRC Rallye Sanremo report 27 Racing reports 28 Patriot Stages report/Rally reports 31 Sporting Scene round-up 32 Karting round-up 34 Letters/Comment 36 What’s on this weekend 37 Classifieds 38 Wanted:SebastianVettel to get stuck in Japanese customs for a couple of months (and ability to win five races).Apply:J.Button
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McLaren boss springs to defence of
By James Attwood McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has defended Lewis Hamilton after the British ace was involved in another mid-race collision – but has admitted Hamilton can be too impetuous at times. Hamilton was involved in a clash with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in the early stages of the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend. Hamilton was attempting to overtake Massa around the outside of Turn Seven on the Marina Bay street circuit, but his front wing clipped Massa’s rear wheel when he turned into the bend. Hamilton was forced to stop for a newwing and later had to serve a drive-through penalty for the incident. Massa’s tyre was punctured in the incident and he could only finish ninth. The duo later had a run-in during post-race interviews.
The incident followed a near-miss between the two in qualifying, and the pair also clashed at the Monaco Grand Prix and at the end of the British Grand Prix earlier this year.
Massa enraged Massa first hit out at Hamilton after an on-track battle with the Brit in the final part of qualifying on Saturday. Massa was driving slowly on his out-lap in order to create space ahead of himwhenHamilton came up behind him. Hamilton tried to pass Massa, which resulted in the duo nearly colliding at Turn 19. Afterwards Massa said: “I don’t understand what he wanted to do. Three cars were going slow to prepare the lap. Hewas in condition to touch with somebody on his out lap. I think he didn’t use his mind again.” Hamilton countered: “The guys try to back you up and I was ready to get going. I was trying to get past but he kept blocking and blocking.”
The bad blood spilled over after their clash in Sunday’s race. Massa confronted Hamilton in the postrace interview area while the Briton was doing a TV interview. The Brazilian walked up to his rival, patted his shoulder and said “good job, bro.” Hamilton responded by saying “don’t touch me, man. Don’t touch me.” He then left the interview area without any further comment. Asked for his view on the pair’s on-track clash, Massa: “My thoughts are that,
Massa:furious at Hamilton
Sunday’s Singapore GP wasn’t the first time that Hamilton has been in hot water with the stewards this season:
Malaysia Gets 20-second time penalty after the race, as stewards judge that he weaved to try and prevent Fernando Alonso from overtaking him
Monaco Given drive-through penalty for collision with Felipe Massa at the hairpin, and extra post-race time penalty for hitting Williams driver Pastor Maldonado
Hungary Given drive-through penalty after he spins while leading the race, and does a ‘doughnut’ to rejoin the track right in the path of Paul di Resta, who has to take evasive action
Singapore Lewis is given a drive-through penalty for colliding with Felipe Massa while trying to overtake the Ferrari again, I told you yesterday that he cannot use his mind, even in qualifying – so you can imagine in the race.
“He has done it so many times this year. He could have caused a big accident. He’s paying for that, that’s the problem. He doesn’t understand even paying for a problem. The problem was that I was in the middle so I had a puncture and I pay a lot.
“It is important the FIA is looking and penalising him all the time he is going in the car because he cannot think about it. I think he is not learning. I tried to speak to him afterwards, but he didn’t listen to me. I called him twice, but he didn’t listen. He didn’t even look at me.
“I called him to speak, but when I show him I said ‘very good job, well done’. Like that you will winmany championships.”
Lewis backed Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, has been involved in a series of incidents this year (see sidebar), many of which resulted in sanctions from race stewards. Hamilton has taken two wins this year, but has just two other podiums to his name. He has also dropped to fifth in the points race,17 adrift of team-mate Jenson Button, who has scored four podiums in a row. However, team boss Whitmarsh has backed his driver to rebound stronger in the future. Whenasked about Massa’s view that Hamilton won’t win another title unless he adjusts his driving style, Whitmarsh told the BBC: “I think he’s wrong. Lewis is still a young guy, he’s learning all the time. He’ll win races and I’m sure he’ll win more world championships. He’s an aggressive and assertive driver but I’m sure he’ll win titles. Lewis didn’t deserve a drive-through penalty. It’s a racing incident as far as I’m concerned.
“Maybe he could have waited another few corners but in sport and in life things go well and badly. It went badly. Is Lewis occasionally over-impetuous? Undoubtedly yes, but he’s a great driver.”
Growing frustrations The recent incidents Hamilton has been involved in seem to reflect a growing frustration at his inability to match the pace of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who is one point away from a second straight title. Hamilton is under contract to McLaren until the end of 2012, and before last weekend’s race dropped another hint that hemight look elsewhere if he didn’t believe the team could give him awinning car.
The 26-year-old said: “In terms of mycareer I’ve got at least another five to ten years. But if it continues the way this is going then my patience will be seriously tested.
“There are drivers content with being in F1 and just existing. Look at Rubens Barrichello and he seems content with where he is. Then there are people like me who only exist to be the best. If you aren’t busy trying to be the best then you’re not busy doing anything.”