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Felipe Massa criticises decision by FIA’s Race Control to keep racing in Japan

"There was too much water on the track," Brazilian maintains

Felipe Massa at Singapore GP
Image: Felipe Massa: Race ended 'too late'

Felipe Massa has criticised the decision of the FIA’s Race Control to keep racing when heavy rain returned during the closing stages of the Japanese GP before Jules Bianchi’s accident.

The race was red-flagged for the second time after 44 of the race’s scheduled 53 laps when Bianchi’s Marussia aquaplaned off the track at Turn 7 of the Suzuka circuit and hit a recovery vehicle.

Marshals were already attending to an accident at the same corner on the previous lap involving Adrian Sutil’s Sauber. He was uninjured but Bianchi is in a critical condition in hospital with what the FIA have described as a ‘severe head injury’.

F1 Midweek Report

Massa, who later headed to nearby Mie University Hospital in the company of Ferrari team boss Marco Mattiacci, was visibly angry when he spoke to Sky Sports F1 after the race.

"I am very concerned about Jules,” said the Williams driver, who finished seventh. “In my opinion, we started the race too early and we ended it too late.

“I was screaming on the radio five laps before the Safety Car that there was too much water on the track. It was dangerous."

Heavy rain had long been predicted for race day, with Typhoon Phanfone forecast to arrive in the area during the early hours of Monday morning.

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The race started behind the Safety Car but the conditions were so bad that it was red-flagged after just two laps.

It re-started a short while later and conditions gradually eased as the race, which was won by Lewis Hamilton, progressed.

However, rain started to fall again, with the light fading by the time the race was red-flagged for the second and final time.

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