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Ferrari dismisses radio message

ESPNF1 Staff
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The collision broke Lewis Hamilton's front wing and gave Felipe Massa a puncture © Sutton Images

Ferrari has dismissed Rob Smedley's radio message telling Felipe Massa to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's race as having been blown out of proportion.

Smedley's message was picked up on by newspapers after it was included in the Formula1.com race edit video, with Massa being told by his race engineer to "Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can. Come on boy." Following the message there was a collision between the pair, and Massa accused Hamilton of not using his mind after the race.

Now Ferrari, under its Horse Whisperer moniker on the official Ferrari website, has said that while "it might not have been the most politically correct choice of word … it definitely carried no malicious intent," and dismissed the comment:

"Words, words, words...Reading some of the English daily papers, it seems the Horse Whisperer is not alone in having his thoughts turn to William Shakespeare when he stumbled across the polemical mountain made out of the molehill that was the phrase delivered by Rob Smedley during the Singapore Grand Prix.

"It's true that Felipe Massa's race engineer was caught up in the heat of the moment and chose to use the verb "destroy" at some point. It might not have been the most politically correct choice of word, but it definitely carried no malicious intent, especially when you take into account that Rob is a Middlesbrough lad, born and bred! It is also true that this exhortation to Felipe came at the exit to Turn 5 on lap 11 of the race, at the end of which both the Ferrari man and Hamilton were due to come in to the pits together. In other words, it had nothing to do with the collision between Felipe and Lewis that happened on the following lap.

"It would not have taken much to avoid this misunderstanding, but that's what happens in the frenetic world of Formula 1. When all is said done, as the Bard of Avon himself might have put it, it was all much ado about nothing."