The chill between Formula 1 drivers Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez following their crash in Canada showed no signs of lifting on Thursday, with Massa saying that the Mexican “could not be trusted”.
“When somebody is paying so many penalties, is causing so many problems, you cannot believe him. I will not trust him anymore, definitely,” Williams driver Massa told journalists ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg.
“When I will be behind him, I will think three times where I need to go because I don’t know what he’s going to do. It’s not like I’ll be behind and won’t try [to pass]. I will try but I will think three times,” he warned.
The two drivers suffered a horrific crash on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve two weeks ago as Brazilian Massa tried to overtake his Force India rival. Massa has repeatedly insisted that the accident, at 300 km/h, was Perez’s fault.
“I will not change my opinion,” he maintained on Thursday, adding that he was ready to speak to his 24-year-old rival but would not make the first move. But I didn’t do anything wrong, he did and it was dangerous, for him as well.”
The two had not yet spoken since arriving in southern Austria “and I will not go to him,” Massa added.
Recalling his feelings as he lost control of his car and headed for the barriers in Montreal, he said: “It was a big one, the worst feeling is when you don’t have brakes, you cannot stop the car and you see that the wall is just coming in front of you. That’s really a very scary moment.”
“I’m happy that nothing happened, I’m happy that I’m fine and this is the most important thing,” he added.
But he made it clear he still thought Perez had not stuck by FIA rules and that this had caused the crash, “The rules say that when somebody moves the car behind, and puts the front wheel on the side of your rear tyres, you cannot turn the car anymore, you cannot move anymore, so he didn’t follow [the rules].”
Perez will now start Sunday’s race with a five-point grid penalty, a punishment Massa still considered too low, especially as the accident may have involved other drivers like Sebastian Vettel, who was close behind when the two collided.
“I hope that he learns. Otherwise he will pay more penalties in the future,” the Brazilian said.
Perez, for his part, was tight-lipped about the accident at a pre-race press conference at the Red Bull Ring and refused to comment on Massa’s latest comments.
“He has his opinion, I have my opinion. We just have to sit down,” the Mexican said, without elaborating on when this might happen.
The FIA is due to review the accident tomorrow following an appeal by Force India.
“We have enough evidence to prove that I did nothing wrong,” Perez insisted. (AFP)