Felipe Massa does not believe that Romain Grosjean should have been penalized for his bold passing move at Turn 4 during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Lotus driver made a brave move on Massa on the outside of the fast left-hander, but was ultimately given a drive-through penalty when stewards deemed he had all four wheels on the outside of the white line that defines the track limits.
After the race, Massa came to Grosjean’s defense, claiming that the incident did not deserve a penalty.
“If he took the penalty because of what he did with me, that’s completely wrong,” said the Ferrari driver. “He didn’t go four wheels outside, he went with two wheels. Two wheels is possible.”
Lotus’s trackside operations director Alan Permane echoed Massa’s views on the subject.
“The one on Massa at Turn 4 is very harsh,” he said. “If Massa said so, then it really must be.
“To the letter of the law, they say he left the track and gained an advantage. We dispute that because he was in front of Massa before he left the track. He could have easily stayed on the track but to avoid a contact with Massa he ran wide.
“Their [the stewards’] hands are tied a bit but I think it’s harsh. To the letter of the law, the stewards have had to do that but I did ask them what he should do – stay on the track and hit Massa or run wide and avoid the collision? It’s a very close one and maybe it just came down on the wrong side for us”
Grosjean said he had not properly reviewed the footage to know if the decision was right or wrong.
“On the drive-through, I thought I had two wheels on the white line when I went on the outside of Massa,” he said. “To be honest, I haven’t seen the footage.”