Massa’s loses 8th in Brazil due to hot tires

Local hero, Felipe Massa, has been excluded from the race classifications and lost his 8th place finish due to an infraction over the heat of one of his tires prior to the race start.

The FIA have begun a new regulatory measurement procedure in which they measure tire temperatures and inflation level just prior to the start of a race. It is in this tire check that the FIA found Massa’s tire to be 27c above the allowed temperature level and 0.1psi above the minimum allowable air pressure limit.

The FIA said:

“The temperature of the right-rear tyre was measured in compliance with the FIA technical directive TD/029-15 (that relates to minimum tyre starting pressures and maximum tyre temperatures in blankets).

“The team did not comply with the FIA Formula 1 technical and sporting regulations, FIA international sporting code and the instructions of the official tyre supplier in the event preview.”

For this infraction, Massa loses his 8th place finish moving Grosjean, Verstappen and Maldonado up into the points.

According to AUTOSPORT, Williams F1 has decided to appeal the decision.

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Paul KieferJr

Hold that thought: Maldonado was penalized 5 seconds for hitting Ericsson. That should also be in effect. My calculations put him at 13th.

Richard Bunce

Did he serve that 5 second penalty on a pit stop during the race?

Andreas Möller

I didn’t see him pit after being given the penalty, so the 5 seconds would have been added to his total time. He was about 1.5 seconds ahead of Ricciardo at the end, with Perez a further 7-8 seconds behind. Those gaps were fairly consistent in the last 10 or so laps (the last time I heard the commentators talking about him not yet having taken his penalty. So adding those 5 seconds would indeed push Maldonado to 11th (with Massa taken off the board). Interestingly enough, the results page at currently has Maldonado in 10th, so I don’t… Read more »


I’m pretty sure he served during his last pitstop. They said as much on the BBC broadcast.

Richard Bunce

“The Lotus driver came together with Ericsson’s Sauber at the Senna S as they fought for 14th approaching half-distance, sending the Swede spinning.

Maldonado was given a five-second time penalty at his next pitstop, but finished 10th after Felipe Massa’s exclusion, while Ericsson ended up back in 16th.”

Andreas Möller

Correct – I missed that one, but double-checking it, MAL was on the option tyre while he clashed with ERI, and finished on the primes. So there must have been a pit stop in there somewhere. I stand corrected :-)

Negative Camber

That’s strange…I wonder what’s causing all the accidents?

Andreas Möller

“It is in this tire check that the FIA found Massa’s tire to be 27c above the allowed temperature level and 0.1psi too high in air pressure.” The tyre was actually 0.1psi above the minimum starting pressure. With the direct correlation between temperature and air pressure, this means that had the tyre been at the (much lower) max allowed temp, the pressure would have been significantly lower than the minimum pressure allowed. I guess that’s why they DQ:d Massa – there’s nothing to be gained from just overheating a tyre, unless you do it to push the tyre pressure up… Read more »

Negative Camber

At 27c over, I would have expected the air pressure to be much higher than 0.1psi.

Andreas Möller

Yup, and I suppose the stewards expected the same, leading them to conclude that the tyre was purposely underinflated. However, I have now seen reports that Williams’ own measurements (allegedly from several different sensors) didn’t show any abnormal temperatures, and Rob Smedley claims the FIA temp was faulty. I guess we’ll see what’s what in due time.

Patrick Chapman

I am always dissapointed that the driver is held accountable for the teams indiscretions and in this case perhaps an incorrect reading by the FIA equipment. Surely the stewards were presented with the three correct readings by Williams and the one bad reading from the FIA which should have given them reason to doubt the validity of the complaint. This implies to me that the stewards should have held off from making a decision until such time that the situation was clarified. In the event that the FIA is correct, then wouldn’t it be fair to take the constructors points… Read more »

Andreas Möller

Well, if the FIA readings were correct, it would clearly point towards an attempt to run the tyres below the mandated pressure to gain traction. The driver would surely have benefited from that… Basically, I don’t think it’s possible to separate the team and driver – they succeed and fail together. In that sense (and setting aside the fact that the evidence is being questioned), I feel that excluding Massa was the right thing to do. However, I do find it interesting that the stewards didn’t react to the evidence presented by Williams. According to Rob Smedley, one of their… Read more »


Those sneaky Brazilians, always trying to shave of a few tenths to get a smoother ride.

Andreas Möller

And in an interesting turn of events, Williams has now decided to drop the appeal (hat tip to Autosport). Apparently, they feel that the hearing would probably have been scheduled at a time when they wanted to focus on 2016 instead, and since the appeal couldn’t impact the WCC standings anyway, they feel it wouldn’t be worth it financially. Williams also pointed out the fact that the tyre pressure was not in question, only the temperature (which is legalese for “we weren’t caught trying to gain an advantage by running the tyres under-inflated”). Which of course is technically correct, although… Read more »