Formula One: Massa calls for Kobayashi race ban after first-corner crash

Williams-Mercedes driver Felipe Massa of Spain is bumped from behind by the car of Caterham-Renault driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan during an accident at the start of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16, 2014. Massa sa
Williams-Mercedes driver Felipe Massa of Spain is bumped from behind by the car of Caterham-Renault driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan during an accident at the start of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16, 2014. Massa said officials should give Kobayashi a one-race ban after a mistake from the Japanese driver ended the Australian Grand Prix for both competitors just seconds into the race on Sunday, March 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Felipe Massa said officials should give Kamui Kobayashi a one-race ban after a mistake from the Japanese driver ended the Australian Grand Prix for both competitors just seconds into the race on Sunday.

Kobayashi, in his first grand prix with Caterham, ploughed into the back of Massa's Williams at the start, crumpling the front of his car and taking both machines off the track at the first corner.

Williams technical director Pat Symonds called Kobayashi's manoeuvre "sheer madness" and Massa compared it to a similar incident in Belgium in 2012 which earned Lotus' Romain Grosjean a race ban.

"It's not so different to what Romain Grosjean did at Spa and he took a race ban," Massa said. "It's very dangerous and you cannot do that."

As stewards looked into the incident, Kobayashi accepted blame for the crash and apologised to Massa.

"All my fans, I must apologise to you. And everyone in the team and Felipe. I am sorry," he tweeted.

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