Ferrari drivers defend actions

F1 ace Felipe Massa has denied the fallout from Sunday's controversial race will tarnish his reputation among the Brazilian public.

Massa along with his fellow Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso both claimed to be team players after the furore of their contrived one-two finish in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

The Italian racing team was hit with a 100,000 US dollar (£64,800) fine by race stewards for seemingly ordering race leader Massa to allow Alonso, who is further up the overall drivers' championship table, to pass him.

It all smacked of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix when Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to let Michael Schumacher pass for him to claim the win.

It is a decision Barrichello regrets to this day as it tarnished his reputation among the Brazilian public, but Massa refuted suggestions the same could happen to him.

"Absolutely not. I'm very professional and I've showed throughout my career how professional I am," said Massa.

Events surrounding the race on Sunday have been referred to the World Motor Sport Council and may yet result in further sanctions being imposed.

Prior to the stewards' decision, the duo had faced a grilling from the media in the post-race press conference.

Massa claimed the decision to allow Alonso by was made of his own volition, and nothing to do with a seemingly coded radio message from his race engineer Rob Smedley.

"Okay, so, Fernando is faster than you," Smedley said on lap 47, which led to Massa opening the door for Alonso to pass two laps later when he slowed out of the hairpin.

Smedley then told Massa: "Good lad. Just stick with it now. Sorry."

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