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Ferrari welcomes Massa back: “We’re not in a hurry”
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Ferrari welcomes Massa back: “We’re not in a hurry”
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Oct 2009   |  6:38 am GMT  |  46 comments

Felipe Massa arrived back at Maranello yesterday, some two months after the accident which threatened his career. The Brazilian is anxious to get back into a car and race again as soon as possible, but team boss Stefano Domenicali, who managed to beat most of the F1 paddock back to Europe by at least half a day, said again that the team is “not in a hurry”

Picture 44
Massa understandably wants to re-establish himself solidly at the team before Fernando Alonso arrives. The date of Alonso’s release from Renault has not yet been decided, but Ferrari would like it to be as soon after the final race as possible so he can begin work on the 2010 car. Under the new testing rules, Alonso will not be able to drive a Ferrari F1 car until February.

“Felipe has to get back on top,” said Domenicali “He has a demanding period ahead of him with constant activities, but he knows that we’re not in a hurry”.

In prospect for Massa these next two weeks, a lot of physical training, medical tests, meetings with the engineers with regard to next year’s car and a test at Fiorano in the F2007 F1 car. Ferrari confirmed yesterday that the test will not happen this week.

“I’m finally back home,” Massa told Ferrari’s official website. “This is my second family and I couldn’t wait to see them again, all the people I’ve been working with for many years and who have been close to me these days. Now I can really say that I start working again. There’s lots to do, but I’m happy. I like the way in Maranello.”

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46 Comments
  1. Erin Conway says:

    Wow ..That’s a very good news, I hope they will win in future races.

    He is one of the idolized racers in this age.

    Good luck. . . .

  2. ramesh Sathiah says:

    I guess that photos is an old one.. that eye does not look too good!

  3. CarlitosF1 says:

    So is this test delay really happening for all the drivers that switch teams or are new in F1? No testing at all until February? Considering that we have some utterly new teams and probably some more rookies? On we go with the non-sense…

  4. ponser says:

    Nice to see Massa welcomed home by the team boss especially as he came back from Japan,shows what genuine regard they have for Massa.Very different to how Lauda was treated in 1976 after his accident !
    Lets hope he can get back up to speed as soon as possible.

    1. GP says:

      In Lauda’s time Enzo was still around. Not exactly a soft touch…

  5. Soroush says:

    Is it me or is Massa’s eye still… swollen? Or is that permanent? I recall he had some very recent plastic surgery done in that area so maybe it’s the temporary result of that?

  6. Welcome back Felipe!

    I wonder if his “head/skull” could survive just the g-forces of say an impact with a tyre barrier?

    Either way its nice to see him back in the red shirt and I for one really hope he dominates in that team next year!

  7. Renn Sport says:

    I hope you make it back Felipe.
    Good Luck.

  8. Alastair says:

    I still think Ferrari are just being nice to the guy, and have no intention of him racing in Ferrari again. I just can’t see how he’ll be signed off to race, I mean just look at the guys face. I’m convinced we’ll see Shumi step in for the whole of the 2010 season alongside Alonso.

    1. CptZorg says:

      Alastair, referring to James’s previous post, Santander are big in Brazil and a quick wikicheck informs us that 20% of the Santander group’s total profits come from the Brazilian operation.

      There obviously is a huge PR effort on behalf of Ferrari to be seen to pamper Massa, but keeping a Brazilian driver would be very much in line with the acquisition of Alonso to Santander interests.

      I hope Massa is as good as new but in case he can’t keep up, expect his replacement to be Brazilian as well. Bruno Senna?

    2. jose says:

      in 1976 it was the way ferrari acted with lauda, but i think now it is not the case. Even though montezemolo wouldn’t mind to have schumacher and alonso driving for the team, now that the driver’s salaries are down.

  9. onyx says:

    James-please could you elaborate on your comment regarding Alonso not being able to drive a Ferrari until february 2010 but wanting to start work as soon as the season ends.What are the rules?Assumed he would test all winter!?

    1. Robert says:

      Hi Onyx,

      Due to his the end of his current contract and the limits in testing, February is the first time Alonso will be allowed to drive in a Ferrari.

      Thanks

      Robert

  10. jose says:

    i hope he comes back 100% fit. He is the type of driver that doesn’t look for excuses. Always wants to race, rain or dry. He was real competition to schumacher in 2006, and he might push alonso, like hamilton did in 2007.
    A real racer, button has something to learn from this guy.

    1. Patrickl says:

      Massa doesn’t look for excuses? Have you forgotten his whine fest during 2007? Or how talking about 2008 he always emphasises that the team made mistakes, but doesn’t mention that he spun during the first 2 races?

      1. Pepe says:

        He never “made emphasises” on the teams mistakes, did you see the Final conference in Brazil

        what formula 1 were you watching.

      2. Patrickl says:

        Yeah, in press conference he’s all mushy over the team. That’s what they are told to do.

        Read an interview with Massa outside of those blah blah press conferences. Then he blames the team and never himself.

        He even went so far as to blame Renault for his lost championship. Not Ferrari who messed up his pitstop or himself who (at Valencia) caused the subsequent drive-through, but Renault.

  11. parrafone says:

    James, do you know anything about Kimi’s proposed move to McLaren? I’m a huge Raikkonen fan and I’m starting to get anxious… There are rumours he may end up at Red Bull, with Webber moving elsewhere despite supposedly signed up?

    Just wondered if you had some kind of update.

  12. Michael S says:

    I am glad he is doing well…. However, when I see those pictures of him and think of what he has been through it amazes me they dumped Kimi not knowing what they have with Massa. I can only imagine they want MS to drive if Massa can’t rather than Kimi which is also odd to me.

  13. het says:

    They welcome back an average driver who got lucky and let go a champion, a fighter.

    Ferrari is run by clowns who are way too emotional in their decisions.

    1. Raul says:

      The fighter who was behind in points of the lucky for 10 races or something

    2. Red Andy says:

      Kimi “Asleep-for-half-the-season” Raikkonen is a fighter?

      1. Fuchsia says:

        Kimi scored Ferrari’s first points and first podium of the season. I’d say that Kimi and Massa are evenly matched.

    3. Cabby says:

      If your assessment is right, then it makes sense for Ferrari to welcome an average driver back as they have Alonso next year, or is he average and got lucky, too?

    4. John says:

      Dude, you seriously haven’t been watching F1 the last couple of years. I believe Massa was ahead of Kimi the last couple of years up until the accident. Kimi was suppose to come in and dominate but that didn’t happen did it. So why keep an overpaid driver who was consistently outperformed by his teammate? Also, why keep Kimi when there is a chance of having Schumi in case Massa needs more time? I would take a retired Schumi over Kimi anyday. Kimi should go to McLaren so that we can get confirmation that his days in F1 are numbered when Hamilton beats him!!

    5. Steve says:

      Actually the Alonso move is a negative for both Kimi and Felipe. If Ferrari thought either one of them could have gotten the job done than getting Alonso would not be necessary.

      PS I think their all good.

  14. A. N. Other says:

    “Ferrari is run by clowns who are way too emotional in their decisions.”

    Agreed.

    The current powers at Ferrari are a laughing stock compared to those who held the reins in the past. Montezemolo and Domenicali, I’m looking at you. There will be plenty of time and plenty of reason to rue the dismissal of the Iceman,
    mark my words.

  15. Silverstoned says:

    Another bit of news that nearly slipped by unnoticed last week: our old friends Banco Santander announced plans for massive expansion in Brazil, adding that huge market to their presence in Spain and the UK.
    Surely another reason why it had to be Massa and Alonso at Ferrari. Imagine the marketing potential that Massa offers in Brazil especially if he [rather than Alonso] comes good next year. And now, if KR’s move to Mac comes off, they will have all four top drivers in F1 in their grasp.

    Do agree James that this backs up Kimi’s statement that the decision to move him was based on “commercial considerations and not on the racing”???

    1. James Allen says:

      You’ll find that I have posted on Santander and Brazil recently. It’s an aspect of it, but I genuinely think that the reason for the change is that the number one priorty is to get Ferrari back to the top and they feel they need a leader in the cockpit.

      1. Silverstoned says:

        apologies, must have missed that post.

        BTW James, if you’re back in blighty you must now be having your second dose of jet lag in a week.
        But you haven’t let that, or a cold, or even the local Japanese nightlife delay a single report.
        Hats off!

      2. James Allen says:

        It’s not great waking up at 4am! But it’s soon over

  16. Richard Mee says:

    I think it’s too soon… i don’t know who’s advising him or permitting him to chase an agenda of trying to get back in the car this season; in my opinion they should rule it out blank and focus fully on next year.
    Even if he’s physically fit enough he may not be emotionally ready – anything could happen and the risk vs reward makes it utter nonsense to me.

    Also, off topic, what the hell is the thinking behind this universal testing ban? I’d love to know who has compared the cost of winter testing vs. the increased investment in wind-tunnels / CFD software and other compensatory equipment… or versus the safety risk of half a dozen wet necks going out on the track at race 1… and/or the cost to the F1 spectacle of key teams struggling to mount a competitive challenge until its already too late to win either championship?

    The testing ban in its current form is blunt and ugly and is not conducive to achieving ‘pinnacle’ motorsport!

  17. bonnie b says:

    James, Off the subject here, Who owns the paint
    livery in F1 the race team or car manufactors?

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      Great question, no idea. I’ll email one and ask

  18. Carl M says:

    All the best to Felipe, but I think it will be twice as hard to win the championship now Alonso is on board. Being Kimi’s team mate for last 3 seasons brought the best out of him, hopefully he can do the same with Alonso. Any news on Kimi? My reckoning is Mclaren or Brawn.

  19. Nash says:

    Do you think that there is a driver out there who has an exit clause with the team he will currently sign with?

    e.g. Kubica signs with Renault but has an exit clause that if Felipe is found not fit, he can make the switch? Offcourse such a clause can only be based on a Kubica-Ferrari agreement that comes into action at that time.

  20. Adron Gardner says:

    Both Massa and Alonso cut their teeth as testers and it undoubtedly helped them along. I think the FIA should “sponsor” a few open test days through the season and at least allow the younger drivers. How much would it really cost? Maybe dedicate a Wednesday on before a few of the European races.

    Perhaps smaller bottles of Champagne on the podium to compensate for the costs?

    1. John says:

      I agree with you. A lot of drivers currently in F1 benefited in the lack of testing restrictions (to some respect). Would it really cost the teams that much to have group testing days? I mean, have they really thought this through and the costs far outweigh the benefits?? I think not… I used to love to watch and follow testing… it’s going to be a boring winter this year. James, couldn’t you or some colleagues write some articles to bring attention to this and the danger lack of testing brings along (especially for young drivers)?

    2. Brace says:

      Perhaps if Bernie wouldn’t take half of the profits it could be invested into F1 actually.

    3. Leslie says:

      Mumm pay to be there on the podium. Don’t know whether thats a BE or a FIA earner.

      So far the testing ban may have saved money but it has not improved the racing, except in the unusual results department. We’ll have a world champion who’s done nothing since mid season, cars which only do well on one kind of circuit and tyres which work on some cars but not on others etc.

      I also think Massa would be crazy to get back in a Formula 1 car anytime soon but then he thinks he shoud have won the 2008 Singapore GP and the world championship.

      We’ve also had replacement drivers who are not up to the job and who have been thrown in with no preparation.

      And here we are talking about ‘the pinnacle of motorsport’.

      Oh, should I mention a driver crashes his car on purpose to change a race situation.

      I’ve been folowing Formula 1 for over 50 years and, regardless of the money, the motorhomes, the driver salaries, the websites, the hangers-on, the dim broads and the corporate speak it is still about the boys and their toys.

      Cheers.

    4. Rudy Pyatt says:

      Agreed. Or else, let some promoters run some non-championship races, as used to be common, to accomplish the same thing.

      James, a question on the notion of non-championship races, aside from its merits versus “official” group test sessions, and those sessions as such. Does Bernie’s Deal give him commercial control over all things “Formula One,” or does he have rights only to “the FIA Formula One World Championship?”

      If a promoter wanted to hold an off/pre/post-season non-”Formula One World Championship” race at Estoril, say, would Bernie be entitled to a piece of the action? Would he be able to veto such a race, keep it from happening in the first place? As another example, would his commercial rights (CVC’s but you know what I mean) ownership prevent someone from resurrecting the Tasman Series? Does he have control over the tests that annually go on at Jerez and Silverstone?

      1. James Allen says:

        I don’t know the precise answer to that, Rudy, but certainly there will not be any loopholes in the contracts which allow others to exploit F1 in a non-championship event.

  21. Sharp_Saw says:

    Okay, I’ll give Ferrari the benefit of the doubt regarding the decision to remove Raikkonen in order to accommodate Alonso as a means of achieving better overall long-term results. One thing, however, is abundantly clear, Alonso is joining Ferrari under circumstances very distinct to those when Schumacher joined them. Therefore, as great as a driver Alonso may be, he must not be overestimated at the same time.

  22. Peter says:

    So, actually Hamilton will be in a pretty good situation as probably the only one driver among the bests to have some continuity in terms of the car. That can give him significant advatage in the early part of the season.

  23. Darren says:

    i can never understand the love affair with Ferrari, the family etc etc. I for one when my son ( aged 5) drives in F1 i will help him in the correct decission in driving for Williams or Lotus.

    James just for fun, can you tell us of any ridicules rumours that are doing the rounds at the moment.

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