Massa still stewing over Perez incident in Canada

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Felipe Massa has told Sergio Perez to accept the blame for their crash during the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The two drivers were battling over fourth position when they came together at the first corner on the final lap of the race. The stewards deemed Perez to have been at fault, and handed him a five place grid penalty for this weekend’s race in Austria.

However, the FIA is set to re-assess the evidence in a meeting with Force India tomorrow, but Massa is adamant that he is not at fault.

“It was a big one,” he explained on Thursday in Austria. “I think it’s always the worst feeling when you don’t have brakes, you can’t stop the car and the wall is just coming in front of you. I think that’s a very scary moment. I’m happy that I’m fine, and this is the most important thing.”

Massa feels that Perez did not race cleanly, and quite clearly broke the rules.

“The thing is that I was on his tow, and I was using the DRS, so he didn’t go to the left; he stays on the right, so the only possibility I had was to go left,” he said. “Like everybody that he was trying to save the position, they go to the left. I even passed Alonso on the other side because he went to the left, but he went at the right time to the left.

“When I moved to the left, he moved after, and then he hit my car, and I was still flat out when we touched. And this is the rules saying when somebody moves the car behind and puts their front wing inside of your rear tires, you cannot turn the car anymore. He didn’t follow.

“It will not change my opinion. If you know the rules, this is what I just said, these are the rules, and it’s coming from the FIA. If you know the history, most of the time it’s always the young drivers, especially him, cause these problems, cause these accidents, which is dangerous.”

The Brazilian inferred that Perez should be given a race ban to teach him a lesson.

“We saw that another driver had a lot of problems in the past, and he lost the race in Spa because of the accident he caused, and he learned. This is something that he [Perez] needs to learn.

“I hope he learns otherwise he’ll pay more penalties in the future.”

However, he is happy to sit down with Perez and talk about the incident, but doubts the Mexican will want to after ignoring him in the hospital in Canada after their clash.

“I’m totally ready,” Massa said. “I have no problem with him or to anybody, but I didn’t do anything wrong. He did. He was dangerous.

“I was very disappointed with him in the hospital, and then I said that it was dangerous and he needs to learn. He just turned and left.”

Perez has also maintained his innocence, meaning that the FIA will have to assess its telemetry and data once again to make an informed decision as to who was at fault in Montreal.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.