Q & A with Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the world championship to five points in Japan, but not in the style that he would have wished for. A controversial first corner, a collision with his McLaren rival and then a tangle with Sebastien Bourdais meant things were far from straightforward for the Brazilian

Q & A with Felipe Massa

Autosport.com was there when Massa spoke to the world's media after the race in the Fuji paddock.

Q. Have you had a more-incident filled race than that?

Felipe Massa: Yes, but not in Formula One. It was quite hard and a very difficult race. At the end of the day we managed to score points after a very difficult race, having driven through a lot of problems being pushed out, and then [an incident with Sebastien] Bourdais as well. We showed our incredible pace from the middle to the end of the race and we recovered some positions, some points, and that for sure was quite important.

Q. Can you explain more about the incident with Lewis Hamilton?

FM: I did the corner, Turn 10. 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 drivethrough and we paid, and it is a bit difficult to speak after the race when we have already had the drive through.

Q. Lewis says you hit him.

FM: That is what he thinks. But he also lost positions at the start and he tried to brake when everyone was turning for the corner.

Q. What about the Sebastien Bourdais incident?

FM: There is not really much to say about that. I was turning in the corner and then he hit me coming out of the pits. There is nothing to comment on. For me, he was a little bit too optimistic on the inside and to me it was completely wrong.

Q. Were the drive through penalties for you and Lewis fair?

FM: For him yes, for me I am not sure. For me it was just a racing incident, because we braked very late into Turn 10. He tried to pass me and then I was a little bit wide in Turn 10 and he put the car on the inside, and I was on the outside. Then he pushed me a little bit close to the gravel. I put two wheels on the gravel, he closed the door and then we touched. The next corner was already in my favour, but because I was on the gravel I could not do anything and we touched. That is it.

Q. Then it was your fightback through the field and the Bourdais incident. What about that?

FM: For me that was a little bit too optimistic. You cannot leave the pits like that. I am doing the corner. Anyway, he just braked too late and he pushed me out on the track.

For me there is not too much to comment to be honest.

Q. And what about Mark Webber?

FM: Webber to me was not such a big problem to be honest.

Q. You finished in the points today. What does that mean for your championship?

FM: It could have, for sure, been better. But it could also have been worse looking at where we started and where Lewis started. But we cannot leave here saying it was a disaster. It could have been better in terms of points but we at least finished in front, scored two points and that can be important going into the final two races.

Q. What will your approach to the next race be?

FM: Not so different. We race, we know we have a good car, we try to be at the front and we fight.

Q. Lewis has told us that he thinks you drove into him deliberately after realising you had lost the position to him. What do you say about that?

FM: For sure not. I had two wheels on the gravel. I could not stop the car and I was on the gravel because he pushed me into the gravel.

Q. Do you think that is the way he sees it?

FM: No. I don't believe that.

Q. Was it right for your teammates in the pit garage to be celebrating when you crashed into a rival?

FM: Are you English? Is that your point of view?

Q. Yes, but is it right that people celebrate when people crash?

FM: Any time you see a Ferrari ahead of a McLaren, it is a good thing for the team. I am not going to rise (to your attempt) to put fire on the gravel. I have a good relationship with Lewis, and I will not do something to destroy something by purpose. That is true.

Q. I am not stirring things up

FM: I know, and I answered already.

Q. Does what happened today change your relationship with Lewis?

FM: Definitely not.

Q. Mark Webber pushed you quite close to the wall. Was that okay?

FM: It was a little bit tight, but I managed to pass him. Sometimes you need to take risks. One point for me was very important at that moment.

Q. What about what happened at the first corner?

FM: On the start, he made a bad start and Kimi passed him. Then he tried to brake completely when everybody was in the corner. He pushed to a much wider line and Kovalainen was on a wider line as well, so it was a big casino over there. For me that was a little bit too optimistic especially if you are thinking about the championship.

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