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Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa leaves the pits of the Istanbul Park circuit on May 29, 2010 (KERIM OKTEN/2010 AFP)
Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa leaves the pits of the Istanbul Park circuit on May 29, 2010 (KERIM OKTEN/2010 AFP)

FIA to investigate Massa false start at Spa Add to ...

Formula One's governing body is investigating how Ferrari's Felipe Massa was able to make a false start at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix without any race officials or rival teams noticing.

An International Automobile Federation (FIA) spokeswoman added, however, that there was no possibility of the Brazilian losing his fourth place finish from Spa.

Video footage taken from the crowd and posted on the internet after the race at Spa clearly showed the front of Massa's car was positioned well ahead of the line on the starting grid that it should have been behind.

Had it been noticed, the driver, who started sixth, would have collected a penalty.

"The problem was not brought to the attention of the FIA race director by either the marshals nor the automatic jump start system in time to be able to apply the appropriate penalty for jump starts," the spokeswoman said.

"As no further information or complaints were received before the publication of the official result on Sunday night, the classification of the Belgian Grand Prix will now remain unchanged.

"The FIA are investigating the causes of the apparent failures in communication with race control in order to ensure a repetition is not possible."

Normally a transponder on the car would send an automatic signal to race control to alert officials to the vehicle being out of position at the start.

A Ferrari spokesman, whose team will find out next week whether they are to be punished further by the FIA for a 'team orders' furore at the German Grand Prix in July, said he could only comment on the result, which was official.

Ferrari have already been fined $100,000 for illegally ordering Massa to let team mate Fernando Alonso pass at Hockenheim so that the Spaniard could win.

The Spa incident marks the second time this season that the governing body has reacted to film or photographic evidence.

Photographs that showed the front wings of the Red Bull and Ferrari apparently flexing under speed were published in a French newspaper in July and subsequently led to the FIA introducing more stringent stress tests.

 

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