FUJI, Japan, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Formula One rookie Sebastien Bourdais accused Ferrari’s Felipe Massa of careless driving after colliding with the Brazilian at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The Toro Rosso driver was penalised after touching wheels with Massa, causing him to spin, and after the race was handed a 25-second penalty dropping the Frenchman from sixth to 10th.
Massa, who had himself been given a drive-through penalty during the race for shunting McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton on lap two, was promoted from eighth to seventh as a result.
“I did everything I could not to run into him,” complained Bourdais. “He just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn’t exist, like I wasn’t there. What am I supposed to do?”
Bourdais and Massa brushed each other as the Toro Rosso emerged from the pits on lap 51. The Brazilian tried to overtake on the outside only to spin after the cars made contact.
Bourdais was furious that race stewards blamed him instead of Massa, who is now just five points behind Hamilton in the world championship with two races left.
“For me it’s very clear. Yes, I exit the pits, yes I’m supposed to be careful and I was,” he said. “I stayed inside and I didn’t push him out, I didn’t overshoot the corner.
“It’s just a little bit of respect. You give each other room and then everything goes right but if you don’t, there’s going to be an incident.”
Bourdais, who has taken just four points this season, insisted Massa should have been more attentive given his position in the Formula One title race.
“Fighting for the championship you just don’t take unnecessary risks like this,” said Bourdais. “You’ve got everything to lose and nothing to gain.
“He was going to pit in three laps, I was ahead of him and he was going to finish behind us anyway. Why would you even think about doing something like that? I don’t understand.
“It ruins the weekend, takes away three points for the team and gives Felipe another point — I am really happy for him, obviously.”
He added: “I don’t know what I was supposed to do basically. I could have unrolled the red carpet and given him the corner. That is the only thing I could have done.”
Editing by Alan Baldwin