Scuderia Ferrari’s straight-talking blogger, The Horse Whisperer, has spoken up this morning on the media excitement generated by a misquoted radio transmission between Felipe Massa and his F1 engineer, Rob Smedley during the recent Singapore Grand Prix.
The Daily Mail Newspaper (the last bastion of truly fine reporting) claimed that “Felipe Massa was urged to ‘destroy’ Lewis Hamilton prior to their collision in last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix”, but then went on to clarify that Smedley told Massa, ‘Hold Hamilton as much as we can,’ and then added, ‘Destroy his race as much as we can. Come on, boy!’
So, Ferrari’s off-the-record spokesperson has sought to clarify the misunderstanding in a blog post on ferrari.com
The Horse Whisperer and Shakespeare
Words, words, words…Reading some of the English daily papers, it seems the Horse Whisperer is not alone in having his thoughts turn to William Shakespeare when he stumbled across the polemical mountain made out of the molehill that was the phrase delivered by Rob Smedley during the Singapore Grand Prix.
It’s true that Felipe Massa’s race engineer was caught up in the heat of the moment and chose to use the verb “destroy” at some point. It might not have been the most politically correct choice of word, but it definitely carried no malicious intent, especially when you take into account that Rob is a Middlesbrough lad, born and bred! It is also true that this exhortation to Felipe came at the exit to Turn 5 on lap 11 of the race, at the end of which both the Ferrari man and Hamilton were due to come in to the pits together. In other words, it had nothing to do with the collision between Felipe and Lewis that happened on the following lap.
It would not have taken much to avoid this misunderstanding, but that’s what happens in the frenetic world of Formula 1. When all is said done, as the Bard of Avon himself might have put it, it was all much ado about nothing.
So consider yourself verbally chastised for entertaining the thought of anything improper – it can be pretty grim up north in Middlesbrough and sometimes the vocabulary of the locals reflects this..