Ferrari says there was no malicious intent in Rob Smedley's comments to Felipe Massa at the Singapore Grand Prix, where the race engineer told the Brazilian to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's race.
The two drivers made contact at the Marina Bay race, and the controversy was fueled further when the official highlights video posted on Formula 1.com included Smedley's radio message to Massa.
"Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can. Come on, boy," Smedley told Massa.
But Ferrari claimed on Tuesday that Smedley's message had been simply blown out of proportion. The Italian squad says they had absolutely nothing to do with the collision that took place between the drivers moments later.
"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," Ferrari posted in its "Horse Whisperer" column on its corporate website. "It might not have been the most politically correct choice of word, but it definitely carried no malicious intent.
"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."