Felipe Massa, Williams, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

Massa: Vettel was too hesitant on final lap

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa dismissed Sebastian Vettel’s complaint about his driving on the final lap of the Russian Grand Prix.

Vettel was hunting down race leader Valtteri Bottas on the final lap when the pair caught Massa’s Williams. Bottas was able to get by quickly but Vettel took slightly longer to clear the Williams.

Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Sochi Autodrom, 2017
Russian GP in pictures
Vettel exclaimed “what was that?” on his radio in frustration, which prompted an amused response from Massa: “He was on his radio? He’s never on his radio complaining, no? Are you sure?”

Massa said he gave Vettel room to pass his but the Ferrari driver hesitated to overtake him.

“I left completely the inside part for him,” Massa told reporters in Sochi. “I backed off before in corner four, he didn’t want to go. I saw he was afraid to dive on the inside, I was completely on the left.”

“And then I let him by straight away afterwards. So anyway I am also sure that he was not going to pass Valtteri in the last lap of the race, I’m pretty much sure.”

The stewards have not indicated they are considering an investigation.

Massa praised his former team mate Bottas for his maiden victory in the race. “I’m so happy for him,” he said. “I think he deserves the position he had today.”

I think maybe people was not talking about him on the right level he is in terms of drivers. I said straight away when he signed with Mercedes that he will do a good job, and he is doing. It shows the fourth race he has his first victory.”

“Now he’s a different driver because he achieved a victory. I’m so happy for him. He will achieve a lot more than what he has today.”

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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  • 43 comments on “Massa: Vettel was too hesitant on final lap”

    1. Felipe Massa, the driver never able to admit to anything. Ever.

      1. Vettel..the only driver who always complains of lapped cars and blue flags..last year he cried like crazy..this year is just a start.. remember lapped car will only slow to allow but there is no rule to completely stop..cry baby back again..

        1. Did I say anything about Vettel? All the leading drivers complain about being held up, or running into dirty air. Vettel is no exception.

          Massa annoys me. He cannot ever admit to being at fault. It’s some stubbern arrogance of him, or he’s just being naive. Verstappen expressed it poorly last time at Bahrain, but his point stands.

        2. “the only driver” LMAO, what have you been watching all these years ?

        3. @AbhiPeri

          Please go watch some other sport

        4. @AbhiPeri

          Vettel is 4 times WC…… and massa ?

          1. Miss Begotten
            1st May 2017, 8:13

            0.99

        5. @AbhiPeri

          Vettel is 4 times WC…… and massa ?

    2. Massa should have made an very obvious move like Button did in Barcelona last year.

      but maybe he just did his old mate a favor

      1. … or a favor to Mercedes! Williams is not using Ferrari engine… right!?

      2. That’s the way I’m seeing it. It wasn’t serious blocking like Gut was occasionally guilty of, but to me he pretty clearly let Bottas by faster. Can’t really fault him for that though.

    3. The general feeling in the paddock was that he was helping out a former teammate but THB, even if he had not done so, I think Bottas would have just about managed to hold off Vettel.

    4. Felipe wasnt good in handling blue flags today,he seemed to be mostly focused on chasing down Hulk.Perhaps suffering 2 punchures disracted Felipe :/I dont think he did “favor” to Bottas,just Sebastian caught him at Turn 3 & Felipe didnt want to go to the marbles.Some say that this cost us a chance to see battle between the 2 guys,but other benchmarks(Magnussen,Stroll,STR twice all of them) did far worse today…

    5. Let’s face it, he wanted Bottas to win.

    6. Massa ol Fox. It is a nice courtesy to help his teammate to an easier win. He was well within reasonable driving.

      As for Vettel complaining, he should.

      1. How could massa knem that Vettel cannot pass bottas?

        He is in his car one lap down , so all in all he didnt saw vettel during the race.
        How can he knows at which pace vettel was catching bottas?

        And since when lapped cars can judge if the chasing car to decide to leave space or not?
        Blue flags is blue flags just let the leader battle without interfering that’s all

        1. He didn’t need to know. He could see both cars in his mirror, and the team surely told him which drivers were coming up behind him. I bet if it were Hamilton leading, the situation would have been reversed and he would have hesitated on letting HAM by. Just the way it works. He wasn’t blocking. He just didn’t jump out of the way like he did for his former teammate.

    7. There’s no better way of accusing yourself of fault than to diminish the criticism of others. Good job, as always, Felipe.

      Imagine how close Williams would be to Red Bull had they had Bottas or someone like Hulkenberg/Perez/Grosjean.

    8. The was nothing either Massa or Vettel could do. The only solution to such is to have back markers exit the track limits because with a second gap between 1st. and 2nd position, that is a lot of car lenghts for the lapped car to managr especially with such race tracks, 90° corners and all.
      Massa could only have stepped on the brakes and let both through.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        30th April 2017, 17:06

        Quite agree. I don’t see why lapped drivers should have to cost themselves so much time to let the leaders through. I think Bottas may have done some smart thinking and tried to get past Massa at a point where Massa would get in the way of Vettel. I think Bottas could have got past Massa a bit sooner and so did the commentators on Channel 4. So he could well have done this to try and cost Vettel time. I don’t think there was anything wrong with what Massa did anyway. He was racing and he didn’t want to cost himself any time. He was closer to the driver infront of him than Vettel was to Bottas so why should he give up his race?

    9. I wonder what people wanted Massa to do in that situation at that place. Bottas just managed to overtake him before turn 2, and then it’s a loooong corner until turn 4, which is incredibly dirty on the outside. Going there would be suicidal, regardless of the situation, so all Felipe could do was stick to the inside and wait until turn 4. He did exactly that, and stayed out of the way on braking and corner entry. Vettel was either too far back or didn’t want to risk it too much on the inside.

      You can’t move out of the way everywhere, even if you want to. And he’s not even obligated to do it. He delayed Vettel by 4 tenths? 6 tenths? a full second? Bottas had it worse during the race and we didn’t see him complain.

      I guess people are frustrated that a battle for the win was sort of spoiled by a backmaker. But that’s the nature of the game. We could also say that had Alonso not stopped on track, we’d have had a much better finish with or without Massa, because Seb was 8 tenths behind Bottas before the very end and he’d have had an extra lap to have a go.

      But it wasn’t the case.

    10. What a looser this Massa, holding up Vettel in the chase is disgusting, his TV post race interview shows it all, small man.

      1. Exactly. He’s not and never will be championship material. Stay retired.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        30th April 2017, 17:10

        That is very disrespectful to Massa. He was closer the the driver he was racing than Vettel was to Bottas. And why should Massa not have the right to race? Maybe he didn’t want to cost himself time, which he was clearly trying to avoid. Bottas just managed to time the place he got past perfectly. And Vettel was just unlucky that where he was was very tricky for Massa to let him by compared to where he let Bottas through.

        1. What, he was worried about the spread to the driver behind him in TENTH place? Don’t be so pigheaded as to get involved and be the deciding factor in a race. He doesn’t have a championship bone in his body.

          1. Luis de la garza
            1st May 2017, 5:46

            You’re complaining more on Massa than Vettel

    11. He declared he stayed on the left side into T4 so Vettel had to leave the racing line to pass a lapped car. After letting Bottas by there was no chance for Massa to catch Hulk so his race was over.

    12. That was quite a male appendage move from Felipe.

    13. So,Vettel showed his middle finger to Massa.Last year everyone criticized Hamilton for doing so,when Gutierrez hold him for a whole lap.Lets see what will be the reaction now…
      https://youtu.be/qCb1KGl8Shs

      1. Well deserved to Massa. That was stupid. He knew there was a battle for the lead and he still decided to be a complete slowpoke to Bottas and Vettel. Just get out of the way and let them pass for a second. How hard is that to do? With regards to Gutierrez last year, he as well deserved it, Hungary and Hockenheim were just idiotic and absurd.

        1. The whole “story” is that it was the last lap.Just look at Magnussen,STR & Stroll(ok rookie) & how much they slowed down Vettel & Bottas,especially Vettel before his pitstop.No middle fingers there…Massa got the blue flags at sector 3 of lap 51 & let them at sector 1,lap 52.He was slow on letting them go,but he slowed both(Botyas got the dirty air at the technical sector 3).His move wasnt even under investigation…Whether or not Vettel was right,he has to improve his manner to others,because after last year,he is totally disrespectful(blue flag stories,Whiting etc)…

    14. I really don’t think it matters either way, even if Vettel caught Bottas he wasn’t going to overtake him, they were both past turn 2 and I don’t recall seeing a single pass in that race.

    15. Lol all the salty Ferrari fans crying. Felipe did nothing wrong. Bottas was better.

      1. Well, Bottas was better but only marginally. He did very well and definitely deserved to win. I am a Vettel fan and do believe that Massa deliberately held him up for a fraction of a second in that last lap. Having said that and to be fair to Bottas, I think he would have just won even if Massa was not involved.

    16. It is all a matter of where the drivers caught Massa – BOS at the end of a DRS zone, VET in a corner.

      Massa could of pulled over and parked and it would not have made a difference between 1st & 2nd. Thus the reason the stewards didn’t even review if Massa held Vet up.

    17. massa lost a championship when someone let people by, he is doing exactly what he thinks should be done, no easy passes.

      however would have loved to see Vettel attempt a pass, solid weekend for Bottas

      hamilton is always happy with loosing pole or the race this days, he never will bit vettel in a descent car like that

      1. Massa lost a championship when someone let people by

        There’s obviously a vast difference between having to let someone past because you’re being lapped by them, and having to let someone past because you’re on the wrong tyres and they’re several seconds quicker than you.

    18. I rewatched this moment.When Bottas passed Massa he was 0.910 in front of Vettel.Vettel lost less than a tenth during the fast Turn 3(gap 0.980),but lost 4 tenths at Turn 4.Massa didnt block him at Turn 4,he moved a bit late out of line but moved & Vettel didnt risked “divebombing” at Turn 4,perhaps being afraid of Massa not seeing him & crashing.So his loss was about 0.450,a significant loss,but with ZERO on track overtakes & the mighty Mercedes engine,he wouldn’t be able to do a move.Not to mention that Vettel gained 1.500 seconds due to Bottas’s traffic at a crucial stage,when the pit window & undercut was possible…For a second race in a row,Massa has been involved in strange “incident”,while not breaking any rule & the “hate” on his side is ridiculus(check some comments on Instagram)…

    19. I don’t think Vettel would have had a chance to overtake Bottas even in the best of circumstances today. So it doesn’t matter. But Massa’s move at turn 4 was either very clumsy or trying to block Vettel on purpose.

    20. Bill Branch
      1st May 2017, 1:24

      Whether Massa thought Vettel could overtake Bottas or whether anyone here thinks he could have is irrelevant; the point is that it was not Massa’s place to try to determine the outcome of the race. Massa should have pulled over and slowed noticeably. He drove in a very ungentlemanly manner. I’ll always temper my thoughts towards Michael Schumacher with his antics at the hairpin in Monaco, and I’ll always remember Massa’s boorish attitude regarding sportsmanship with his driving today in mind.

    21. Alonso in Bahrain, Massa in Russia… Is this how they get their thrills now? I supposed that’s the only way they can be relevant to a race win nowadays.

    Comments are closed.