• Singapore Grand Prix

Massa told to 'destroy' Hamilton's race

ESPNF1 Staff
October 3, 2011 « Japan title would be 'fitting' - Brawn | Mallya sets sights on Renault »
Lewis Hamilton collides with Felipe Massa in Singapore © Sutton Images

The simmering row between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa following the Singapore Grand Prix continues to rumble on with revelations in the weekend papers that shortly before the pair collided Massa was told by his team to "destroy" Hamilton's race.

The 12th-lap accident soon after, when Hamilton hit the back of the Ferrari, left Massa with a right-rear puncture and Hamilton with a broken front wing - he also was hit with a drive-through penalty.

Speaking over the radio, Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley told him: "Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can. Come on boy." This appeared to be an instruction to make it as hard as possible for Hamilton to pass.

The recording of the exchange casts a different light on events, especially Massa's post-race comments when he accused Hamilton of potentially causing "a big accident".

But the BBC's Martin Brundle wrote on Twitter that he was sure Smedley wanted Massa to "wreck Hamilton's strategy, not his car". He added: "Why would Massa damage his own car intentionally? [The] real story is Smedley must constantly direct and motivate his driver [and] has done for some time."