Massa: Brazilian GP exclusion “very, very strange”

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LONDON – Felipe Massa has expressed his faith in the Williams team following his exclusion from last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, calling the stewards’ decision “very, very strange.”

Massa was excluded from the final classification at Interlagos after the FIA deemed that his right-rear tire was 27ºC over the maximum permitted temperature on the grid ahead of the race. He had finished eighth on track.

Williams confirmed after Massa’s exclusion that it would be appealing the decision, claiming that its data showed all of the tires were within the required temperature range for the start.

When asked by MotorSportsTalk about the incident, Massa said: “I trust 100% in the team.

“When they told me that the tires were 27ºC higher, if this is true, I cannot do maybe one lap on the same pace, so I would be massively slower.

“But anyway, it’s impossible to understand anything. The team is working 100%. I trust 100% in the team and for sure this exclusion for me was very, very strange to be honest. But we will see.”

Williams had planned to appeal the FIA’s decision, but confirmed on Thursday that it had opted against it due to financial reasons.

“Following detailed consideration the team has concluded that despite not agreeing with the exclusion and believing it has sufficient evidence with which to successfully contest the ruling, it will not formally appeal the decision as a hearing date is unlikely to be available until after the end of the season impacting a time when the team wishes to turn its attention to its 2016 campaign,” a statement from Williams read.

Massa is taking part in this weekend’s Race of Champions at the former Olympic Stadium in London, and is relishing the opportunity to take part in a more social and relaxed racing event away from the stresses of the F1 paddock.

“It’s an event where we do what we like to do, which is racing in a battle, head-to-head, ” Massa said.

“But also a lot of fun outside, altogether which is something that you cannot see so much in Formula 1 in the paddock.

“It’s really nice to be here. The organization of this event is amazing, so I’m happy to be here.”