Posted on January 15, 2010
Massa: Don’t expect fireworks with Alonso | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

After Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, it was Felipe Massa’s turn to speak today at the Ferrari event in Madonna di Campiglio. He talked of various things, but I was interested in what he said about his relationship with new team mate Fernando Alonso, the support he got from Ferrari and about fatherhood.

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Although Alonso has been the headline act this week, with Domenicali speaking of his arrival at Ferrari as possibly heralding a “new era”, Massa is newsworthy too. His return from a potentially career ending injury is one of the great human interest stories of the 2010 season.

So far in his media statements since Alonso’s arrival he has been careful to be strong without appearing hostile to his new team mate. Massa has had his feet under the table at Ferrari for four years now and has built some strong relationships. He had outperformed Kimi Raikkonen in 2008 and again last year in a difficult Ferrari car. He was still improving as a driver when he had his accident at Budapest.

He is a tough little character – as he showed when he said last Autumn that Alonso must have been in on the Renault crash plot – and he is used to fighting hard to get what he wants. So while welcoming a Latin team mate who is clearly more similar to him than Raikkonen, he is also right to be wary of the relationship and what it might hold for him.

With Raikkonen there wasn’t much rapport, but neither were there any politics. Domenicali and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo have been at pains to state on several occasions that both drivers are there to drive for Ferrari and there are to be no self-destructive acts, of the kind which made Alonso’s partnership with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren so painful in 2007. After a tough 2009 season, Ferrari needs the pair to work together to develop a competitive car and according to Massa, they are already well on their way with that,

“Things have started extremely well,” Massa said. “I’ve spoken more to Fernando now than in three years with Kimi. Perhaps this was not difficult because Kimi of course did not like to speak much, but I also worked extremely well with Kimi, even without speaking. So it was fine. I think we can have a very good relationship and we can work extremely well together.

“I think we need to work well together otherwise it will not be positive for either of us or for the team. We are in a very important team, we know what we have to do, and we know if we work well together on the professional side we can have a better car on the track. I really don’t think there will be a fire, and we can work well together. We can develop a great car.”

The fact that this is even being talked about by management and both drivers indicates that all sides realise that there are potential flash points here. Alonso has a history of “not taking well to not winning”, as Patrick Head once said of Nigel Mansell. Alonso likes it even less if his team mate beats him.

The problem for Alonso is that once again he is dealing with an unknown quantity. It was worse for him with Hamilton in 2007, about whom he had zero racing knowledge. He has raced Massa before and they have even had a flare up in Germany in 2007, when Massa though Alonso drove incorrectly in squeezing past him on a slippery track. They’ve buried the hatchet on that episode, they both say. But Massa is still hard to quantify because he keeps exceeding expectations and, according to his engineer Rob Smedley, he is still likely to improve some more.

“As for the problems, we have discussed it,” he said. “You’ve all seen what happened in 2007 when we spoke in Germany. I gave my compliments to him for the race and he said I had done something not honest, but it was not true so I just talked to him about it and then he said he was sorry, and that was it. Personally I have no problems, there are no strange feelings or opinions about Fernando.”

Alonso said yesterday that he will need three races to get up to speed with Ferrari. Massa too will need some time to get back into the swing after a long lay-off.

Ferrari have shown a lot of faith in Massa, they could easily have dropped him after the accident and made their life a lot more simple. He has done only one small test since and it is yet to be proven that he is as good as before. Massa acknowledged the extraordinary humanity of the way Ferrari handled his situation,
“I always had lots of support from Ferrari, since when I started racing for this team,” he said, “But the strength and the availability they showed after my accident was really incredible: I knew that I could count on them, but what they gave me was really exceptional.”

The big change in Massa’s life, apart from his second chance in F1, is the birth of his son last November. In the days when death was never at a comfortable distance for a racing driver, it used to slow the more sensitive ones down. In this era of almost unbreakable cars, it doesn’t seem to make much difference any more,
“When I sit behind the wheel I don’t think about my family, only when I come back to the garage I remember that I’m a dad now,” he said. “They say that you loose one second per lap for every child? A champion like Schumacher has won a lot and he has two children….”

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Massa: Don’t expect fireworks with Alonso
94 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Mac
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 6:42 pm 

    Think F&F will get on fine.

    No worries.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Matt
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 6:47 pm 

    While it might be considered an incomplete career, if Massa left F1 today I think he could hold his head high and say he was a successful F1 driver with 11 wins, 15 pole positions and a runners up in the WDC.

    If he manages to come back succesfully from a life threatening injury, a new father and Alonso as his team mate… And wins… that will be something I think.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: RON
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 6:50 pm 

    Kimi was such a loser…

    In any job, across the world, if you can’t communicate, you’re a useless isolated island…

    It has to be said, Kimi was the biggest fraud in the history of any sport – what a waste of millions.

    Kimi and Alonos are 90% media hype… and everyday, this gets more proven… they are not worthy to tie Michael Schumacher’s shoelaces, never mind claim to be competitive with him…

    [Reply]

    Ross Dixon Reply:

    Im not a big Alonso fan. In fact I can safely say I think he is a spoilt brat. However what you say is 100% false. He beat Schumacher 2 seasons in a row and was nothing short of brilliant.
    I still think he has a tendency to throw his toys out of the pram, like he did at Mclaren. I think Massa will beat him as he will be do driven to prove everyone wrong. If he gets the slightest edge Alonso will get rattled. That said Alonso is still brilliant

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    Tom - Australia Reply:

    Ummm i’d say in life Kimi is a winner. Comfortably.

    I say good on him for not selling out like the rest of them. Everything i’ve read about Kimi suggests he’s an awesome guy and the kind of person who would be a lot of fun to hang out with.

    [Reply]

    RON Reply:

    [mod], yes he was successful in duping his fan base out of a lot of money…

    In F1, he will be forgotten super fast, as the one who failed to beat his No 2 driver, and for his failure to replace Michael Schumacher.

    I only care about what I want out of F1, and I don’t want leeches to be sucking the sport dry without giving anything back in terms of entertainment or commitment…

    [Reply]

    Buck Reply:

    You think Raikkonen is a loser. You say he doesn’t deserve his reputation as a fast driver, and you also compare him (unfavorably) to Schumacher.

    OK, fine. But those are opinions, not facts. Here’s a fact when you compare Kimi’s speed with Schumacher’s: the two of them are tied for most fastest laps in a season. Except Kimi did it TWICE to Schumacher’s once.

    I suppose you think that’s pretty lucky for a slow loser.

    Antoine Reply:

    Bit harsh don’t you think Ron. If he was PAID millions by drivers contract and sponsorship, how does that make him a conman? I think it just validates his talent. I for one hopes he makes it back in 2011 as the grid is a poorer place without him..

    Bob Reply:

    Yeah, Cause niether of them ever beat Michael. oh wait…

    [Reply]

    Brace Reply:

    Thanks for opening my eyes!
    I can finally see!

    [Reply]

    Henry Manney Reply:

    “Kimi was such a loser…”

    Oh REALLY ?

    Perhaps that’s why he has already made enough money that he never has to work again ?

    You have a strange definition of loser, “Ron”. I think you might want to consider updating your definition. I’d say more, but the rules of this blog would not allow what I’d say next to be printed. Let’s just say that you come off
    as someone who needs some professional help, Ron.

    [Reply]

    RON Reply:

    There are numerous con men in history that have made lot of money… there are drug dealers that make a ton of money…

    They are all still losers in life…

    Money on it’s own is nothing… it’s the total package which makes the man…

    In F1 terms, yes Kimi conned a lot of money out of the sport, but that does not make him a winner… it just makes him a great con man…

    Which other driver can achieve next to nothing and get a free title of the fastest in F1? Massa must have been laughing the loudest…

    I love to give respect where it’s due, but Kimi has done nothing other then leech off the FIA going after McLaren in 2007… that’s it.

    [Reply]

    David Reply:

    Well said Henry! Kimi won at Spa, the drivers’ circuit four times. Got his superlicence after only 23 car races. Drove for Ferrari and McLaren. Got WDC coz he won the most races and most points. The boy’s got talent.

    RON must be so jealous. What has he achieved i wonder?

    [Reply]

    Stickman Reply:

    I think you must be kidding. Kimi a loser! An introvert maybe. His job was to drive; his communication skills with the punters are worth how many tenths a lap?

    In comparing him to Schumacher; I can’t recall great linguistic skills from him either and when did Kimi do anything questionable on the track.

    I also recall Alsonso getting the better of Herr Schumacher on more than one occasion.

    Bring on 2010, looking forward to the Tifosis’ reaction to any of Alonsos’ tantrums.

    Media hype! Why would Mercedes want Schuey?

    [Reply]

    MBR Reply:

    Sorry, don’t agree.

    I’m no Alonso fan but you can’t say he is 90% media hype. Hardly. Same goes for Kimi. They’re both world champions and they both (Alonso especially) were able to compete with Michael.

    Kimi didn’t communicate much outwardly but so what? I loved the time he was ‘interviewed’ on Martin Brundle’s excellent grid walk, I think during a presentation to Schumacher, Brundle asking if Kimi was present at the Schumacher do, Kimi simply replying, ‘No, I was having a s**t.’ Class.

    [Reply]

    timem1 Reply:

    Ron, Kimi won the only WDC that Ferrari has had post-Schumi. How does that qualify as being a “loser?”

    [Reply]

    Opposite Lock (Ken) Reply:

    From what I have read, Kimi is quite easy to talk to and has a wicked sense of humor in his native Finish language. He also has little tolerance for superfluous questions and talk about F1 while in his driver mode. For good or bad, he just likes to get on with it and leaves the PR image spins to others. Unfortunately this carried over to his team, engineers and mechanics. That ain’t good. If y’all remember Michael Andretti was pilloried for having the same attitude while at McLaren. I really like Kimi. He is an extremely fast driver with gobs of natural talent. He is also his own man. The fit with the requirements for an F1 driver was never quite right. But man can he drive. I think he’s going to enjoy rally driving if he’s willing to put in the recon work and develop a trusting working relationship with his co-driver.

    [Reply]

    Michael C Reply:

    Well said. Kimi let his driving do the talking sometimes to good effect sometimes not. However any other driver who drove the Ferrari last year (other than Felipe) had their reputation destroyed by it which says quite a lot about Felipe and Kimi.

    As to communication skills it was a bit annoying that he would say so little – but he shared that attribute with another fantastic driver (and another who Schumi had time for ) – his predecessor Mika Hakkinen

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    We can say a lot of things about Kimi and all comments probably right! The fact remains that Kimi is an exceptional driver and F1 is a lot poorer without him!

    Zack Reply:

    Kimi….a looser????
    Hell hes the 07 world champ….he outlasted hamilton and alonso. i might not be alonsos fan.

    Massa deserves to win the championship, he showed that in 08 and for sure, i know he is going to try his best


  4.   4. Posted By: Carlm21
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 7:10 pm 

    Great piece James. I like the fireworks headline, brilliant. You will be able to write a book on the squabbles between Massa and Alonso at the end of the 2010 season. What I think we will see is them both pushing each other to the limit and we might even see a ferrari crashing into a ferrari!

    Can’t wait for the new season. Finished your book the other day kept me busy during the snow disruption, good read.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: simon
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 7:13 pm 

    Yeah right! We hear the same thing from both drivers pre-season in pretty much any new pairing on the grid. It’s standard practice…peace, harmony and warm cuddles. Get them out on the track at the first race and it will evaporate. These two aren’t the best of friends and Alonso, for all he says, will want first bite. Everybody knows it, they just don’t say it. And why shouldn’t he? He is more talented than Massa, just as Shu is more talented than Rosberg. Being PC is brilliant…right up until the championship looks in doubt. Watch all the number twos shuffle dutifully into place (that means you Rosberg and probably you too Button) as soon as the public will swallow it. Oooo that sounds cynical. I do love F1 and I do really love all the posturing and chest puffing. It’s a better soap than Corrie or Stenders ever will be!

    [Reply]

    by_tor Reply:

    Yes. You said it buddy. At last someone willing to speak the obvious truth.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Simon
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 7:21 pm 

    By the way James, now that you’ve linked Twitter to your site, I can’t get through at work. The server thinks you’re a social networking site! I suspect I’m not going to be the only one. And since I’m 40, crumbling, past it and not interested in Face Tube or Twitter, that’s a shame.

    Otherwise, you do have the best informed F1 site and the book is a cracker.

    Cheers, Simon.

    [Reply]

    Martin P Reply:

    Yep, I’ve had the same problem – work blocks it now as “forbidden content”. I hadn’t quite worked out why until you’ve pointed out the obvious.

    [Reply]

    Stephen Kellett JAF1 Reply:

    In that case your companies servers are in error. The company I work for sells software, business to business. We’ll be adding a twitter feed etc later this year. And so will many other companies.

    So basically, your servers will be blocking the websites of companies that may be useful to you. Quite apart from the fact that some people at your company should be writing blogs and should be reading other industry specific blogs. All part of the same thing, from a certain perspective.

    Its easy to dismiss it, but from a business point of view, that is foolish and ignorant. Read “Inbound Marketing” book and find out why.

    [Reply]

    Henk Ensing Reply:

    Stephen,

    Will all due respect Sir, that’s a pretty arrogant statement.

    I’m glad to hear that social blogs are the way forward for you personally and companies that you know. I can assure you that for some of us Twitter e.a. is something in the order of: “been there, done that, got the T-shirt”.

    In the end only quality survives. Site’s like those of James fill a information need. Twitter on the other hand is becoming a nuisance like spam.

    If it were for me, I’d ban Twitter totally within the company I’m working (and I’m not the only one). Because it distracts people from doing their work properly, pure and simple.

    In the end it’s the other way around. No company can afford not to be accessible on the internet. So if having a Twitterblog results in a site being inaccessible, you can be assured that the twitterblog gets axed. Except for the poor sods that think they need unnecessary software that is…

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: F1-FAN
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 7:31 pm 

    I don’t expect too, because Alonso will beat him and from the start he’ll be number one. Everything is pointing on that.
    Again, I expect Massa to be replaced in 2011. Or maybe they’ll renew contract for only one more season before dumping him.
    Believe it or not.

    [Reply]

    Zami from Melbourne, Australia Reply:

    Mate up until now Massa’s position in Ferrari is much stronger than Alonso’s. You mustn’t forget that he has beaten every single world champion over the last 4 years on the track in numerous occasions during their best form. It’s bullish to say Alonso will blow Massa away. The season is not even underway and you are already talking about Massa getting dumped in 2011. Ferrari was kind to let Massa retain his seat not because of their kindness, it’s because they see Massa as one of the best driver’s in the business and he has lots to offer to the team. I believe McLaren would prefer to have Felipe any time instead of Jenson (unless it’s something to do with Massa not being British). So get a grip mate, let the race start first, then we can judge who is better and who is not.

    [Reply]

    Andy Fov Reply:

    Fisc worked wonders in his Force India then couldn’t drive the Ferrari for toffee. Will Alonso take to it like a duck to orange?

    People are a bit too quick to write Massa off, but, facts:

    On his day Massa could beat MS, and he’s temperament / racecraft have improved significantly since 2007.

    Were it not for a silly traffic light system he’d already be a World Champion.

    He’s a talent broadly comparable to Kimi’s.

    Alonso may well have more points at the end of the season, if truth be told I don’t know how it’ll pan out, but I’m not expecting Alonso’s degree of supremacy to be nearly as huge as most others.

    [Reply]

    Zack Reply:

    Massa leaving ferrari is like schumacher leavin again.

    And Kimi is much more talented then alonso. For example, in 2009, with ferrari not having a fr8 car, he took victory at SPA. Kimi shouldnt have left.

    The Massa-Kimi strategie was excellent

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: jocker12
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 8:04 pm 

    “they could easily have dropped him after the accident and made their life a lot more simple” – I sincerely doubt it…..
    You also express the reason why….
    ” Massa has had his feet under the table at Ferrari for four years now and has built some strong relationships. He had outperformed Kimi Raikkonen in 2008 and again last year in a difficult Ferrari car. He was still improving as a driver when he had his accident at Budapest.
    He is a tough little character – as he showed when he said last Autumn that Alonso must have been in on the Renault crash plot – and he is used to fighting hard to get what he wants.”

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Irish conor
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 8:20 pm 

    I’d have my money on massa to out qualify alonso this season but for alonso to shade him over the season. Alonso is just that bit more of an allrounder and more adaptable tthan felipe although I agree felipe is massively underrated. Massa for Bahrain tho

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: jay jacob
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 8:35 pm 

    We may never know what happens behind closed doors between Alonso and Massa, nor will we get from them individually what they truly think of their team mate, but whatever happens, good or bad between them, will raise interests in F1 as a whole and will keep people talking and interested in F1, so it isn’t all bad; controversy makes for a livelier F1…and the best controversy headlines are between team mates!

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Kent Paul
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 9:19 pm 

    Massa’s eye looks gorgeous

    XXX

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Silverstoned
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 9:19 pm 

    There is far more pressure on Alonso than Massa to deliver. Ah, but what! Alonso will need THREE races “to get up to speed”!
    So there we have it. Quite a smart defensive preamble which you left out of the Alonso post, James.

    As for Massa, not looking great, is it?

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Frank Duffy
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 9:56 pm 

    Massa will be ahead of Alonso because he has no pressure on him and life is a bonus after nearly losing it plus new bambino will make him a very happy boy will go fast nothing to prove

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: jose
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 9:59 pm 

    that was said by emeron fittipaldi if i don’t recall wrong. It was in an era when sex was safe, and racing was dangerous.

    [Reply]

    Dantton Reply:

    I think that´s from Jackie Stewart

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Dale
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 10:00 pm 

    Let’s just wait for the first time Alonso plays politics and comes out on top :)

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Jon Wilde
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 10:18 pm 

    Off Topic, but James are you trying to tell us something by leaving the BMW logo in the latest banner to adorn your blog?

    Mr Sauber is yet to announce the Team name minus the BMW title……

    [Reply]

    Martin P Reply:

    He has to keep the BMW name until next year doesn’t he?

    BMW entered the 2010 season, not Sauber and I believe it’s a spurious FIA rule that you can’t change the name from the one on the entry form without special dispensation… which they haven’t given so far.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 10:33 pm 

    James, some interesting personal and political dynamics for 2010 with Massa, Alonso and Schumacher.

    How close do you expect Massa and Schumacher to remain going forward? Will Felipe be forced to distance himself from his mentor?

    [Reply]

    Alberto Dietz Reply:

    Nothing anyone can do to prevent Michael and Felipe remaining friends AND taking the top two positions in the 2010 WDC, closely followed by Sebastian and Bruno, themselves just ahead of Lewis and Jenson. The noise you hear is spoilt brat throwing toys out of pram already.

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Seye
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 11:33 pm 

    All hail king felipe

    [Reply]

    Alberto Dietz Reply:

    Right you are. Forza, Felipe!

    [Reply]

    Lucy Reply:

    Forza Massa!!

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Andy
        Date: January 15th, 2010 @ 11:54 pm 

    I am sticking my neck out on this one. I rate massa very highly. I think it will be very close between him and alonso. And particularly in the early half of the season I think he will outscore fernando (cue lots of vitriolic criticism from alonso fans).

    James,
    one of the thinks I enjoy most about the blog is the complete lack of objectivity of some posters. Does it entertain you as much as me?

    For instance, I like button and Hamilton, but as a fan of f1 I greatly admire schumi, alonso, vettel. But some people are firmly in the “marmite” camp. If they like one driver they appear to be completely anti their main rival.

    [Reply]

    Morris Mao Reply:

    AS a Alonso fan, I also expect the firt five races would be very tough for Alonso to fight against Massa.

    He has to spend sometime to adjust to the car, to the team.

    It is also Alonso’s expectation, althought he expects 3 or 4 races.

    [Reply]

    Andy Reply:

    Indeed. I just think it will be very close for the whole season and Felipe might just beat him in the first season.

    The question is whether the ferrari will be a good car or not. I have seen rumours that the aero is not very good again (but I prefer to wait and see for the end of the tests).

    [Reply]

    guy Reply:

    ohhh the “marmite camp” I love it… I am using that from now on…

    [Reply]

    Andy Reply:

    Its the best I can come upwith guy. You will read every day, some people can only appreciate one driver.

    I read the funniest comment on a blog ever yesterday. Someone on another site wrote an article about Fernando having his first crash for ferrari(on a black run, he went down on his bottom for 40 metres after falling over while skiing).

    Someone actually quite seriously wrote “This is a disgusting piece of yellow bellied journalism, and the writer should apologise to Fernando”.

    I think you’ll agree some people need to lighten up on life ;-)

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Jerome
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 12:16 am 

    James

    I don’t mean this in a bad way but we all read the press releases and news stories. I think what would be interesting if you could give us you insight as to why you think there will be fireworks at the team this year as you stated previously. Or who you believe out of the two will come on top and why.

    To make it fair, I simply think that ferarri being who they are count on alonso to outclass massa with as a result fm playing second fiddle just as Rubens was forced to. I think the problem may be as I think you will agree, ferarri might not be on rbr pace in 2010.

    Besides all this I would love to see you views or anyone elses on the predicament of young mr. Rosberg. I actually think that if he is smart ( and I hear he is unlike many f1 drivers) he sees this as a massive opportunity. All he needs to do is work like mad, ignore the press totaly till after race 1 and try to beat MS while MS is trying to find the grove.

    [Reply]

    Andy Reply:

    I think if I was Nico would of been over the moon with being signed by the world championship team. Getting paired with a 7 times champion would be causing me some discomfort right now. winning the mind game while he is getting back up to speed I think is the way forward.

    [Reply]

    theothercoldone Reply:

    I think he’ll just have to put his head down and consider it this way: I’ve got a 7 time world champion sitting in the other car – there must be a lot I can learn from this guy…

    [Reply]

    KNF Reply:

    Nico could do far, far worse than being a second Massa to Schumacher, just look at how much improved Felipe has been since his Sauber days.

    Getting hit in the head by a spring during qualifying though, is strictly not recommended…

    It all depends on how much pride Rosberg (both younger and older) are willing to swallow…

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: PaulL
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 12:20 am 

    James, I thought it was Alonso who took issue to Massa’s driving at Nurburgring 2007 not vice-versa?

    I dig both these drivers, I hope they both flourish this season and one of them captures the title.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Tom - Australia
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 1:24 am 

    I think Filipe *thinks* he is a lot more amiable than he actually is.

    I think it’s fairly well established that he has a bit of a mouth on him.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Zami from Melbourne, Australia
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 1:27 am 

    You gotta admire Felipe’s honest comments. He really is a very improved, genuine and honest grand prix driver. He certainly proved me wrong since he joined Ferrari. When I saw him crashing his Ferrari like an armature in Albert Park, Australian grand prix I was thinking, ‘what a waste of a good car!!!!’ Now as the years gone by this guy really is a contender for the world championship in my book. His outspoken character makes him even more likeable. I really hope Alonso & Massa work well together.

    Off the topic James, I was reading Ted Kravitz’s fantastic column on the BBC website. He touched some extremely crucial issues about the new regulations. With no refuelling what happens when some cars start leaking oil during the race? Do they get any chance to refuel to make up the loss of fuel or it’s just bad luck? Oh there are so many things I wanna ask James. What about the wet tire rules? Has it changed at all this year? One last thing is about Bernie’s comment about the shortcut to F1 to improve overtaking. That’s outrages!!!!! What was that all about?

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Morris Mao
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 1:31 am 

    I think Ferrari still has to make it clear how Alonso and Massa will compete with each other in Sunday race.
    With no refeuling, the race in the qualification would be easier to sort out,but for the benefit of the team, a firece fight like 2007 in Germany should be avoided.

    Alonso has said, 2010, the qualification would be decisive. Maybe that mean the Ferrari’s clear rule in 2010 would be: who win qualification, who would gain more support from the team on Sunday.

    That would make it easy to find a balance between two drivers.

    [Reply]

    rossetto Reply:

    You mean, Ferrari should it make it clear for you?

    I bet, they did make it clear among themselves already.
    Outsider should not expects teams divulge their inside strategies.

    [Reply]

    Morris Mao Reply:

    It’s just a kind of comment, not requirement,
    I would never have such requirement; it is none of my business.

    You can see it shows what I think would be fair for two competent drivers, because the reality is: no driver would race under the same situation as his teammate; the team has to make a decision at some point to make their race even better.

    In 2007, I had thought it would be fair to decide who would carry less fuel to have better chance for pole on the last laps by referring to their lap time at the end of the second stage of the qualifying, but it did turn out that McLaren have their own strategies.

    Fortunately, at least I have read from Domenicali that the rules between their drivers had already been set clearly.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Rudy Pyatt
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 1:48 am 

    Man, this is going to be great to watch. These guys are both throwbacks from the Wayback Machine – they would have been right at home in the days of Rindt, Stewart, Cevert, Fitipaldi and all the early ’70s greats.

    Actually, the whole grid has that feeling. OooohAhhhh.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Lola
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 3:09 am 

    If the car will be up to the task, I say Felipe for 2010 title.
    That would be poetic justice for 2008…. and 2009.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Arya
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 5:00 am 

    James, I have read on quite a few forums that if Massa gets beaten by Alonso, it might be curtains to his career with Ferrari. Robert Kubica might replace him. How much of water does that story hold James?

    [Reply]

    rossetto Reply:

    Forums…. outsiders.

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: James
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 5:21 am 

    Guys check out vipf1 dot com they are giving away paddock club passes to the abu dhabi F1 2010 Grand Prix.

    James, Hampshire

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Cakes
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 6:32 am 

    Wah!! Kimi did not speak to me… sob…sob..

    stop crying

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Tigerdad
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 7:13 am 

    If Felipe outperforms Alonso after coming back from that terrible accident, it would be the “feel-good” story of 2010.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: AlexD
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 7:28 am 

    History needs Massa to win against Alonso. Why? To show the world that consistent and hard work will pay off at the end. He is not as talented as Kimi, but he is a better driver today and I wish Massa all the best because he is a better person and nicer character than Alonso.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: DK
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 8:50 am 

    Can we really believe what the drivers said in a press conference like this … ?

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: DK
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 8:54 am 

    Can we really believe what the drivers said in press conference like this …?

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Ian
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 10:56 am 

    I agree with James and other comments that the ‘warmth & love’ between Mass & Alonso is likely to be largely orchestrated. Alonso has been either involved or association with so many dubious incidents in the past but has escaped virtually unscathed almost every time. I believe he’s shown prepared to stoop lower than his competitors so my bet is that if Massa outperforms him at the start we may well see pyrotechnics on and off track!

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Buck
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 11:49 am 

    Well apparently Ferrari has declared 2010 is going to be the Summer of Love all over again! Long hair, beads and tie dye shirts…

    Peace, man!

    Yeah, right.

    [Reply]

    Dale Reply:

    Heavy man, let the dudes may hay when the sun shines 8)

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: yer
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 11:51 am 

    massa? number 2, alonso number1

    [Reply]

    Dale Reply:

    Drivers are always paid what they’re worth and does anyone here believe Alonso is being paid the same as Massa or Button the same as Hamilton :?: :?

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: ROBBM
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 12:36 pm 

    Both drivers are saying what the PR folks are advising them to say, that’s obvious and it makes senses. Who wants to be the first one to throw a hissy-fit and rock the boat … all eyes, blame and pressure would be on the one who shoots first… one that Jay Jacob is right.
    I’m no Ferrari fan but I’d really love Massa to be the next champion.

    Rob

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Josh
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 1:17 pm 

    Great article James!
    I personally believe we’ll see a repeat of ’07, only with MORE fireworks this time :P . There’s no way we’re going to get through this season without atleast one of the ‘big three pairs’ falling out, Massa NEEDS a WDC to keep his career alive.

    [Reply]

    Dale Reply:

    Big 3 pairs :?: I see only 2, Ferrari and McLaren :?:
    Webber’s not equal to Vettel and Rosberg is hardly a Schumacher is he :?:

    I think there are 6 drivers who have a chance of being F1 champ this tear, 2 at McLaren (though my money’s on Hamilton). 2 at Ferrari, 1 at RedBull and 1 at Brawn

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Peter Freeman
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 2:09 pm 

    “when Massa though Alonso drove incorrectly in squeezing past him on a slippery track.”

    James this is a very strange sentence, is this what Massa says? Have you ever seen the footage directly from above? It clearly shows where Massa was on the track and that Alonso came round on the outside with loads of room and that Massa clearly knew he was there. In fact the contact came only after a full 1/3rd of Alonso’s McLaren was past Massa, so Massa could clearly SEE Alonso, then Massa moves right across the track and hits the McLaren with enough force to break the carbon fiber! Ever tried to break carbon fiber? Clearly Massa made contact with force and clearly he WELL saw Alonso and knew EXACTLY where he was. I don’t see how it could have been Alonso’s fauly and neither do I see how Massa did not make contact deliberately.

    Take a look from above, what do you think?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S_9urzUrcY

    [Reply]

    bond007 Reply:

    I completely agree with Peter here….
    the issue here is that whole issue with the thing is that massa tried to bump into alonso …accusation seems genuine after seeing the video …. but no one heard of alonso “squeezing past” massa?? …. james you seem to be starting new controversy altogether ;) …. but its kinda sad that issue is being made of whole thing forgetting the great drive by Alonso :(

    [Reply]

    RON Reply:

    Looks like a typical racing contact to me, nothing more…

    If these two fight over such a non-event, I can only imagine how they will over react come 2010… bring it on…

    [Reply]

    Amritraj Reply:

    Are you RON Dennis from McLaren? You seem to be hell bent upon posting delusional comments against Alonso….

    [Reply]

    Jonny Reply:

    It is a little harsh to suggest that Massa drove into him. The track was wet and the cars would be a little more nervous than usual and I’d say at best Massa squeezed him. To me it was firm but fair. Alonso was only angry after the race because he was so fired up. But it was great to watch, reminds me of Montoya moves on Schumacher and no-one complained about them. Great racing and I hope to see this in abundance in 2010.

    [Reply]

    Peter Freeman Reply:

    I don’t see how what happened was a ‘squeeze’. Massa moved from the very edge of the left side of the track right over to Alonso on the very right hand side of the track, a distance of MORE than 3m, all the while having clear sight of the McLaren. look at the footage, Massa’s Ferrari is not unstable in any way, he has complete control of it, this was a deliberate move.

    [Reply]

    rossetto Reply:

    Simple racing accident. the cars were running on wet track and were clearly erratical.
    failing to see that from the footage linked above, mean being blind.

    [Reply]

    Peter Freeman Reply:

    If the track was so wet that coming off a corner Massa had so little control that he was helpless to prevent his car from skidding right a across the track into another car, then the whole race would have been carnage and called off. No I can’t see that this was a skid, Massa had control, he could see Alonso, this was a ram.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Opposite Lock (Ken)
        Date: January 16th, 2010 @ 10:29 pm 

    Massa and Alonso will not be on good terms after Alonso starts to withhold information and settings from Massa. That will start when Filipe wins a race or two. That being said, much as I hate to say it, I think Alonso is one of the best setup/development drivers (equal to Schumi) today. He understands how to dial a car in and extract the most from it. A real short comming for Massa and previously Kimi. In some ways, I understand why Alonso might jealously guard the setting information from his teammate. Especially if he is being beaten by said teammate. In other ways, it is a team sport…

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Harvey Yates
        Date: January 17th, 2010 @ 11:53 am 

    Even Alonso’s strongest critic will be forced to admit the man isn’t stupid.

    His original beef with McLaren was not that he was being treated unfairly but that he wasn’t being treated as number 1. On that he was quite clear at the time although the message has become blurred (deliberately?) over the months since.

    Given this was the source of all his problems at the time I can’t see the man ignoring the lessons that caused him so much heartache, aggravation and – let’s not forget – money. And that’s not to mention his job.

    He had plenty of time, when swanning about mid-field in the reportedly underpowered Renault, to come up with some plans for the future. And I bet these did not include wishy washy contracts.

    Put yourself in the man’s place. Given the history, would you sign on the dotted without some clear and express promise of primacy? He knows how good Massa is – he saw off an ex WDC. Alonso must wonder if he could do it again.

    Ferrari, at least without Todt/Brawn to limit their say in such matters, have been notoriously fickle with which of their drivers they support.

    With this in mind there’s got to be something set in stone in his contract which gives him an edge. He’s used to having a talented and aggressive teammate (although not at Renault) so knows the danger Massa will pose.

    Now here is a forecast that is not a wild stab in the dark. Unless the accident has cost Massa some speed, I’d suggest that there will be ‘tensions’ in the pitlane at Ferrari.

    Whilst it might be purer to have the excitement of on-track competition between drivers in different teams, the history of F1 shows us that battles between teammates can be riveting.

    We have a number of apparently closely matched pairs promised for 2010. I think that is where the excitement will be.

    We have lost the anchor of Mosley. That alone would be sufficient reason to get excited by the possibilities of the new season. But given the line up I’ve got to say that his going has become a minor matter.

    I’m getting quite excited.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Chris Sheldrake
        Date: January 17th, 2010 @ 12:49 pm 

    I agree completely with Ken – although there’s probably a greater chance of it all going wrong at Ferrari than many think.

    Alonso will need to feel completely dominant to feel comfortable and with Massa in the other car engineered by Ron Smedley that’s unlikely to happen.

    [Reply]

    Peter Freeman Reply:

    I think Massa is focusing every fiber of his being on one single thing… beating Alonso. Its going to be good to watch as Alonso HAS to beat Massa!

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: The Limit
        Date: January 17th, 2010 @ 10:56 pm 

    To reply to earlier comments on this blog, anyone who claims Alonso is a fraud is well wide of the mark. Question his ethics, or lack of them depending on what side of the fence you sit, but nobody can doubt the man’s ability in a racing car.
    As for Massa, I am confident that he will improve and show his true worth in 2010. It is worth remembering that not only is he liked and respected within Ferrari, he has a very close working relationship with Rob Smedley his engineer.
    That is a very important factor to consider, especially following last summer’s horrific crash in Budapest. It is said, by some, that following Mika Hakkinen’s near fatal shunt in Adelaide in 1995, his relationship with the McLaren team strengthened no end. In many ways, to a certain extend, I can see that happening with Massa.
    The big difference is that Hakkinen was very close with then McLaren chief Ron Dennis, and one cannot say that without doubt concerning Massa and his bosses. Obviously, by putting Raikkonen to pasture they have gone for the best possible replacement in Alonso. They obviously felt that Fernando offered them the best way forward, not Kimi or even the recently unretired Michael Schumacher.
    The challenge for Alonso is that he is starting from scratch, with engineers that don’t know him and he does not know. There will be very little time for him to get into the swing of things, hence last week’s comments about it taking him ‘three grands prix’ to find his level of performance.
    Its not as if Massa lacked the incentive to right past wrongs in 2009, following his heartbreaking loss to Hamilton in Brazil. He will be doubly focused on proving that he is every bit the driver, and them some, despite being hit on the head at 160mph by a large suspension spring.
    What I found interesting about Alonso’s ‘three race’ comments is that what will happen if it is Felipe Massa who comes flying out of the blocks in Bahrain? What if Massa has a winning streak simular to Jenson Button’s last year in the first few races? Its not an impossible scenario, and has to be on the minds of Massa and Smedley too.
    For me, that is Felipe’s time to try a gain an advantage. Once Fernando beds down, and gets used to his new surroundings and machinery, the heat will be really on!

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: f1 fan
        Date: January 18th, 2010 @ 2:25 pm 

    Its difficult to predict what is going to happen after 3 or 5 races, but I really can’t see Massa and Alonso hating each other. Massa is just… too nice.

    Still, I do think Alonso is the better driver and will win more points.

    [Reply]

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