Feuding foes Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa were poles apart at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday despite their magnetic attraction on the racetrack pulling stronger than ever.

Stewards ruled that the Ferrari driver was in the wrong this time, imposing a drive-through penalty for causing their collision, but Massa rejected that and his team produced pictures to support his argument.

I braked later than him, I was in front...to be honest I don't understand why I have the penalty. It is really not understandable, Brazilian Massa told reporters.

McLaren's Hamilton, who is having a nightmare Formula One season and had to pit for a new front wing after the incident, told another set of reporters that Massa just turned in on me, he didn't give me any space.

Asked whether there was now a full feud between them, Massa replied: Maybe for him. He touched my car. So I didn't do anything wrong.

The pair, who have clashed six times on the racetrack in 17 grands prix this season, could not even agree on whether they had attempted to mend fences before the race after weeks of simmering silence.

With their cars lined up together on the third row of the grid, they had stood together during a minute's silence for double Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, both killed in crashes in the last two weeks.

He (Massa) hasn't spoken to me since a long, long time, so I made an effort and put my arm round him and said good luck for the race, Briton Hamilton told the BBC.

Massa, beaten by Hamilton to the 2008 championship by a single point, denied that version.

He was on my side. And then he just said have a good race. This is trying to do what? 'Have a good race' is not part of talking or whatever, he said dismissively.

ENORMOUS PRESSURE

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said his team would not intervene although he had discussed the situation with Ferrari.

They are men, they've got to figure it out for themselves, he told reporters.

It would be nice if we just get a situation where they are not drawn magnetically together on the circuit and we don't have those incidents.

It's one of those years where they've been coming together too frequently, he added.

I think Felipe is under enormous pressure within that team and that causes him to react. Lewis will be feeling under pressure because of the great performance of Jenson (Button) at the moment.

Button, second Sunday, is also second in the championship already won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton has never before ended a season behind a team mate in the standings.

Massa has had his place at Ferrari alongside Spain's double champion Fernando Alonso increasingly questioned in the media.

Hamilton had been trying to pass Massa on the inside at turn five of the Buddh International Circuit when the fifth-placed Ferrari cut across and they collided.

The Brazilian later retired with a broken front left suspension after running heavily over a raised orange kerb for the second day in a row.

Massa had blasted Hamilton after their Singapore Grand Prix coming together, accusing him of not using his mind and slapping his rival on the shoulder while the Briton gave a television interview.

The pair also collided in Monaco and Britain.

Hamilton had already started Sunday's race with a three-place grid penalty as a punishment for ignoring double-waved yellow warning flags in practice.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by John O'Brien/Mark Meadows; For Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: http://blogs.reuters.com/sport)