SUZUKA, Japan, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Ferrari’s Felipe Massa made clear on Thursday that Formula One rival Lewis Hamilton would have to make the first move if fences were to be mended following their Singapore Grand Prix spat.
Massa angrily confronted Hamilton in Singapore 10 days ago after the McLaren driver was handed a drive-through penalty for causing a collision that punctured the Brazilian’s rear tyre and wrecked his race.
“I didn’t speak to him. I tried to speak to him, but he didn’t want to speak to me,” Massa told reporters at the Japanese Grand Prix when asked whether there had been any further contact between the two.
”That’s why I was even more disappointed because if I was in his position, I would come to say sorry.
”I was disappointed and I tried to speak to him (in Singapore) without the media. Then when I saw him there (in the paddock doing a post-race TV interview) I did what I did.
“I will not go to him to speak to him,” added Massa. “I didn’t do anything, to be honest, I just had a tyre punctured in my race so I have (no reason) to go and try to speak to him. If he comes to speak to me, it’s fine.”
Hamilton, whose driving has caused much controversy this season, said that as far as he was concerned the matter was closed, he had served his penalty and had moved on.
“I don’t think we have anything to say,” he added. “I‘m sure I’ll see him through the weekend and hopefully speak of normal things.”
An encrypted radio exchange between Massa and engineer Rob Smedley, who had urged the driver before the collision to try and ‘destroy’ Hamilton’s race as the Briton closed on him, revived the spat when it came to light this week.
The Brazilian laughingly brushed that off, however.
“For sure we are in competition and this happens in every sport,” he said of a message that was more motivational than menacing.
“It was even a little bit funny when I saw that (the news reports),” he laughed. “Rob was saying (it) just to push me, and not to destroy the race of anybody. Also because I will not do it if he asks.”
Hamilton said he had heard about the radio comment but had nothing to say about it.
“It’s a shame they are still talking about the previous race but that’s the way it goes,” he said.
Massa said he had no plan to raise the issue of Hamilton’s driving in the pre-race briefing and doubted it would be discussed by anyone.
"I think I have nothing to say," he declared. "Because everything he is doing, he is paying for that. The FIA is doing what is inside the regulations. If you cause an accident...you are going to have a drive-through." (editing by Ed Osmond; For Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport)