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GP Week : Issue 103
Petrov penalised, Massa escapes Petrov, Hulkenberg, Massa and Liuzzi retire in first-lap shunts FOUR retirements on the opening lap was the highest rate of attrition on the first lap of the year, after Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa and Vitantonio Liuzzi all failed to get past the second corner following two separate collisions with seconds of the start. Petrov and Hulkenberg collided on the main straight, while Massa and Liuzzi came together at the first corner, with the clean- up resulting in a six-lap Safety Car period. A blistering start by Petrov meant he had catapulted himself alongside Hulkenberg within seconds of lights- out, but with Nick Heidfeld blocking the forward path for Petrov, the Russian swiped left into the path of Hulkenberg and both were out on the spot. An investigation by the stewards after the race deemed that Petrov had caused the collision, thereby penalising him five grid places for the Korean Grand Prix. “I made a good start and managed to overtake Massa,” Petrov began. “I was then going past Hulkenberg with Heidfeld on my right when he started to move left and so I also had to move left to avoid him. Unfortunately I hit the side of Hulkenberg's car and this is why I crashed.” Then on the run-down to Turn 1, after being pushed towards the grass on the inside of the corner by the slow- starting Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa speared across the grass and collected Force India’s Liuzzi in a violent impact, although both emerged unscathed from the crash. The stewards decided not to penalise Massa for causing the crash. “At the start, Rosberg, who was in front of me, got away poorly and at first I tried to move to the left, but Sutil was coming there. Then I moved to the right, but in so doing I found myself on the grass and the kerb,” said the Brazilian. “At that point the car took off on its own, I was unable to make it through the first corner and I ended up colliding with Liuzzi’s Force India.” 30