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Massa lands new two year deal with Ferrari
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Massa lands new two year deal with Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Jun 2010   |  1:01 pm GMT  |  111 comments

Felipe Massa has been retained by Ferrari for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, it was announced today.

Photo: Darren Heath


With the Brazilian’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, there were rumours that his seat may be up for grabs. Robert Kubica’s name was linked with the drive, as was Mark Webber’s.

Prior to the Turkey GP team boss Stefano Domenicali said that he would retain both drivers for next season.

“I am happy to be given the opportunity to drive for Ferrari for a further two seasons,” said Massa in a statement.

“Throughout my entire Formula 1 career, I have always raced with an engine made in Maranello and it is a matter of pride for me to be able to continue working with a team that I regard as a second family, ” said Massa.

Massa first joined the team in 2001 as a test driver before assuming racing duties in 2006 and has since amassed 11 victories, 15 pole positions and 30 podiums in 69 races for Ferrari. He also spent three seasons racing for Sauber.

Ferrari has shown considerable faith in Massa, who is managed by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari boss Jean Todt. After his accident in Hungary last year it stuck by him and this renewal is a real vote of confidence in the Brazilian, who was one corner away from winning the 2008 world championship.

The 29-year-old currently lies sixth in the drivers’ standings and comfortably outpaced his team-mate Fernando Alonso last time out in Turkey. He has struggled with the car at times this season, particularly when running the hard Bridgestone tyre, but Istanbul showed a turn around.

“Felipe has been part of Ferrari for almost a decade and together with us, he has grown as a driver and as a man, going through some very difficult times as well as giving us moments of great happiness,” added Domenicali.

“We wanted to show proof of stability for the future, believing in the worth of a driver pairing that is without equal in terms of talent, speed and its ability to work together for the good of the team.”

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111 Comments
  1. James W says:

    You would expect there to be lots of performance clauses in this contract. I find it very suprising that they are keeping him on, especially considering that Kubica is knocking on the doors at Maranello!

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Kubica made a switch to Ferrari in 2012.

    1. Rafael L says:

      There probably are performance clauses, but I don’t see why people give Massa such a hard time.

      He’s outqualified Alonso several times this season and has finished higher than him 4 times whereas Alonso has only finished higher than Massa 3 times.

      Sure, Alonso is ahead in the WDC but Massa is only trailing by 12 points.

      Since performance contracts usually have to do with performance relative to the #1 driver, at this pace Massa seems to be perfectly fine.

      1. Sergio says:

        Alonso has had sooooooooooooo much luck this year. His 2nd in spain had nothing to do with him but the faults of others, and all those mistake like China were erased by the saftey car.

      2. Adam Tate says:

        I agree, Massa gets a bad rap. But just look, 30 podiums from only 69 races for Ferrari! That’s nearly 50 percent! To be on the podium nearly half of the time, what more can you ask from a driver? People always praise Hamilton, even in his lean times like last year, but people seem all too eager to forget that Massa was the man who only lost that championship by 1 point. That is a quality driver in anyone’s book.

      3. TM says:

        Yeah i was surprised to read how many podiums he’s amassed!
        Also winning more than 1 in 7 races isn’t bad is it?!

      4. mtb says:

        Massa’s record in F1 is superior to Great Button’s, and we all know how wonderful Jenson (allegedly) is.

    2. TM says:

      I can never see either Alonso or Kubica agreeing to be team mates. I’d be so surprised if that ever happens.

  2. Henry says:

    With Ferrari’s current form, I think its lucky there were no other major teams looking for spaces, I know Massa is hugely loyal, and Ferrari have treated him well, but with Alonso acting like a prat and Ferrari egging him on, I would not have been surprised if Massa had looked around a little. But then again, you could say he is lucky to be given a two year contract and more opportunities.

    1. Kibby says:

      partly agreed mate. But looking into it more closely you could see on a bigger perspective: changing place would be rather “starting from 0” than “a new challenge“ to him, so you might have to concede it was the safest thing to do (WDC, career in F1).
      On other notes, I am still puzzled about that “family“ thing at Ferrari – how and why chemistry didn’t work out with Kimi (other than the press view on this, of course…). Adding that Alonso’s patience resources are near 0 (had this not been naturally himself – which I believe it is – he must be thinking he waited long enough, see 2008-2009). I reckon they rushed too much into that split with the Finn. to be followed…

      1. Rich C says:

        “…why chemistry didn’t work out with Kimi…”

        LOL Two words that don’t go together in the same sentence: ‘Kimi’ and ‘chemistry’.

      2. Kibby says:

        “…Kimi is a friend…” (Ron Dennis, 2007)

      3. David Turnedge says:

        Well, Kimi simply looks like he doesn’t give a damn. Ferrari, I imagine, want your soul. And want to see that you give it every day. Massa is a great driver. He’s done more than many others at Ferrari in the past. He was a little unlucky in 2008, let’s face it, otherwise he would have likely been WC.

  3. chetz says:

    “Stefano Domenicali said that he would retain both drivers for next season.”

    will he himself be there at the end of the season given the way Ferrari are developing?

  4. Michael says:

    The question is, would this deal affect Alonso psychologically? He’s already obviously not very happy at Ferrari right now, and he’s not overly fond of Massa a teammate.

    James, what would your analysis be?

    1. TM says:

      Personally I think he’ll be delighted considering the recent rumours of Kubica and Webber.

    2. Drez says:

      “..not very happy at Ferrari right now, and he’s not overly fond of Massa ..”

      Where does those nuggets of information come from?????

  5. Ben says:

    It means a lot when Ferrari extends a driver’s contract. I remember when they extended Raikonnen’s contract to the end of 2010.

    1. Jerry says:

      Exactly. This is a one year extension with a second year as the price Ferrari is willing to pay to keep the silly season quiet.

    2. Drez says:

      James can correct me if i’m wrong, but I recall that it was Kimi activating a clause in HIS part of the contract, not Ferrari.

  6. D. says:

    Smart move. That guarantees that Alonso will remain the unquestioned No. 1 driver and now they can focus on giving him a title. Massa can’t and will not ever win a title, because he is far from a complete driver. I think Ferrari have made their job much simpler with this extension.

    1. El Vino Did Flow says:

      The question for me isn’t whether or not Massa is a complete driver…his stats have already answered that one.

      The question I have is…will Ferrari develop a car that either of their drivers can take all the way to the WDC? If their current developmental trajectory is any indication, I’d have to say no.

    2. Idra says:

      That’s interesting, because if I remember correctly Massa made fewer driver errors as runner-up in 2008 than the eventual champion Hamilton.

      I fully expect Massa to get the even with Alonso as this season goes on and surpass him for the next two years.

      1. D. says:

        You should also then remember that Massa has won a grand total of zero (0) titles even though he has been in a top car for years, whereas Lewis has won one title and almost a second (in his rookie year). And of course Alonso, who remains te best driver in F1, is the only man to have beaten Michael twice on equal terms. Expecting Massa to get on par with Alonso is just wishful thinking. Ain’t gonna happen.

      2. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

        2005 was not equal terms at all. He beat Kimi in 2005. Actually, McLaren beat Kimi in 2005, not Alonso. The real jewel in Alonso’s crown is 2006. In 2005 Ferrari was rubbish.

      3. andyb says:

        Interesting that you give Hamilton credit for “almost winning” a title but not Massa credit for “almost winning” a title in ’08. Remember how Hamilton threw his away by parking in a Chinese sandpit? Whereas when Massa “almost won” his title, he did it by winning every time he had to. (Blasted Ferrari pit light system!) And do you remember the race where Hamilton “almost won” his first title? The one where Massa was leading the whole race but had to let Raikkonen through to win the title?
        Massa is good, he deserves his seat.

      4. David Turnedge says:

        Are you suggesting that Lewis wasn’t in a top car in 2007 and 2008?

      5. Eric says:

        I agree with Carlos Eduardo Del Valle regarding 05. Kimi deserved that championship.

        In 2006 Renault had a car advantage at the start of the season and Michael was playing catch up in the second half of when Ferrari had a better car. Even then, the Ferrari and the Renault were closer on performance in the second half than the first half of the season. In 2006, Alonso basically did a Button, do you also respect Button’s championship (not saying I don’t)? I don’t remember any brilliant drives from Alonso that season like Schumacher’s in China.

    3. Trent says:

      Massa got within one corner of winning a title, so to make sweeping statments along the lines of him never being able to win a title because he isn’t a complete driver is not really a well thought out point of view.

      I do agree that he is lacking in some areas, but it’s hardly as cut and dried as you make out.

      1. Bobby says:

        Yeah but how many points was Massa gifted in 2008? Enough to artificially make the championship closer that’s for sure. There was his promotion in Spa, Kimi moving over for him a couple of races afterwards and that bizarre stewarding call whereby one of the backmarkers got penalised for being cut up by Massa.

        I’m not saying Massa isn’t a good driver but it would have been criminal for him to win in 2008 given the stewarding decisions / team orders that went his way.

      2. Carlos Del Valle says:

        Oh yeah there comes Spa 08 again. It is Britain against the world. I like Lewis a lot, and think he should have been the champion in 07. But the stewards were perfect at Spa 08, Lewis would never ever pass Kimi without cutting the chicane. It does not matter at all if he gave the position back, because he caught Kimi´s slipstream and would never be able to do that without cutting the chicane.

      3. Idra says:

        So of course you feel the same regarding Kimi’s title, as Massa gave him the win in Brazil 2007? Actually Massa’s win at Spa wasn’t his win, but that call wasn’t made for his benefit, even if he got points.

        And don’t forget Alonso, who won his titles because Kimi’s car broke down, his teammate was useless and he had a massive car advantage for the first races of the 06 season. And he was given 2nd place in China 06. Team orders? Oh and the guy has been involved in spygate and crashgate without getting any trouble. Massa would be a lot better world champion.

      4. David Ryan says:

        Mark Hughes wrote a very interesting article in Autosport just before the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. He compared the instances where Lewis and Felipe had benefitted from the intervention of luck. Eliminating the instances where bad luck removed a driver from a race (such as Felipe’s engine blowing up with 3 laps to go in Hungary) and reversing contentious stewards decisions (such as Spa), his calculations showed that with all instances of luck removed Felipe would have been some 23 points clear of Lewis with two races left to go. I’m not sure if 23 was the exact figure but it was certainly something in that ballpark. On that basis you would have to conclude that Lewis, not Felipe, was “gifted” points if such terminology is to be used.

        Anyway, am glad Felipe’s contract has been renewed as I feel he is much underrated as a driver and deserves another shot at the title after the team’s blunders in 2008.

      5. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

        This research from Hughes quoted by Ryan is new to me. But it shows that calling Felipe lucky is a tall order.

  7. Vivek Krishna A says:

    Brilliant! Really happy for Massa to be staying at Ferrari for two more seasons. I really hope this boosts his performance in the Canadian GP.

    James, do you have have any news of what tires Bridgestone would be bringing for this weekend. I feel Massa and Ferrari will be strong if they get the supersofts this weekend.

    1. Sergio says:

      So true, i hope it pushes him to do better.

      Bridgestone are bringing the supersoft and medium compounds, so he should do better. He has raced well when the softer tyres are used, but he did beat alonso with the harder ones in Turkey too.

    2. Ed says:

      The softer range are in for Montreal and Valencia, and then back to the hard tyres for Silverstone.

      I don’t think Ferrari have much hope in Canada, but in Valencia, with one driver at a home race, and the other a defending winner, they should be strong.

      1. Heffalump says:

        Yeah. Just like Massa was a “defending winner” in Turkey two weeks ago and look where it got them.

      2. Henry says:

        I think you’re being slightly optimistic with the assumption that it being a home race will make much difference. They are driving a dog of a car at the moment. Having said that, they are announcing alot of upgrades for valencia, but if they do find performance it can be put down to new parts rather than having that enviable position of being a ‘defending winner’!

      3. Ed says:

        My badly made point was that the new upgrades combined with the other factors could give them a boost – not just the home race or prior success.

  8. AP says:

    Great news for … Alonso! He has a handy team-mate for the next two years. Now he has to make sure that Ferrari performs much much better than recently and the Championship will be up for grabs :)

  9. Colm says:

    Massas luck continues, then.

    1. Tre says:

      Luck??????

      Missing the world championship by 1 point after all the BAD luck, hunagry engine, singapore…

      Being injured last year and missing all those races. Also missing out on this very contract extension due to the injury.

      Massa doesnt have luck.

      1. Beka says:

        Oh cmon. He made so many mistakes that year and was simply granted several points by FIA. He is good from pole or when he leads from the first corner but is never able to come back and fight trhough the field. his overtakings are allways rubbish, he can not properly hold off somebody and allways makes nervous mistakes in defence. Fast but not a complete driver.

      2. Leo says:

        Cut throgh the field???? Silverstone 2007, Canada 2008 Japan 2008??????

        Overtakes??? All the above, The best move of the season was Massa on Hamilton – Hungary turn 1 around the outside.

        Massa on Webber Japan 2008.

        Hamilton made more errors than Massa in 2008, and the FIA did not ‘gift’ Massa anything, that was Hamilton getting himself in trouble like he always does.

      3. Bobby says:

        Agree, 100%. Massa was handed points on a plate that year. Lewis being demoted in Spa was disgusting.

      4. Idra says:

        Lewis did more mistakes that year than Felipe. Massa lost the world championship because his team screwed up several times, while McLaren made very few mistakes and Lewis screwed up for himself.

      5. colm says:

        Certainly he is lucky (depending on which perspective you see him from – through the glass half empty or half full.)
        He is lucky to be alive / sighted in both eyes / not disfigured.
        He is lucky to be retained by Ferrari.
        He is lucky to have family, friends and fans to be with him and encourage him on.
        Lucky, lucky, lucky.

      6. beka says:

        well canada 2008 was ok and he made a nice move there but other favorites retired there. he was 5th or something. not quite a comeback.
        THe name silverstone is a disaster for massa. Besides he was not on the podium there as well.
        And Japan 2008? his teammate fought it up to the podium position almost getting second from dead last. Where was massa? not impressive here as well.
        And how he went off being comfortably 2nd in Malaysia? He should think of his own mistakes rather than of trafficlight system and not first of all. How he collided in japan and spun off stupidly? His teammate fought through up to 5th after Singapore incident. He also had a chance as the SC was on the track and he cough up from behind and what did he do? he spun and hit the barrier being out of the points.
        And his excuses all the time its annoying. I remember last on a press conference after monaco qualifying he spent more then half of his time bringing excuses why he was slower than kimi. Really not a championship winning material. Neither mentally, nor by racing qualities.

    2. Horacio says:

      Gosh! A guy has been driving a Ferrari since 2006, went to the podium 30 times in 69 races, brought 11 wins to the team, and you talk about luck.
      OK, then.

  10. Liz says:

    I don’t think it means much. Raikkonen had a contract and look what happened to him! Will Massa definitely be driving for the next two years or only if he achieves various goals and targets?

    Fantastic site James : I visit a couple of times a day but this is my first time for leaving a comment. I’m really impressed at the standard of comments left here and the level of debate. It’s great. Thank you!

  11. bill says:

    I am extremely happy to see that happen, he deserves more time with scuderia to nail that wdc for himself and the team after all those years together and the uncertainty surrounding him after the crash in hungary, congrats felipe, you can do it ;-)

  12. Rafael L says:

    What a pleasant surprise!

  13. Mal says:

    Kubica would go backwards if he went to Ferrari from Renault. Ferrari lost it, it gets clearer every year since 2008 and they won’t get out of this anytime soon, unless many (Italian) heads roll.

    The only reason they kept Massa is because the 2 drivers they were really interested in (Webber and Kubica) saw no point in going to Ferrari.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      I agree, Ferrari has lost the edge. This lineup is the best Ferrari can achieve at this time, and I’d be willing to bet that if Alonso had to sign a new contract at this point he’d probably take a hard look at returning to Renault. Both Kubica and Weber are better off where they are.

    2. Olly says:

      Kubica hasn’t signed for Renault. So Ferrari wanted Massa over him.

      1. Zack says:

        Kubica said last week that he loves being in Renault and is not looking for other teams. Ferrari was not even on his agenda and Ferrari knew this.

        I don’t think there are many drivers left who would want to be part of Ferrari, the way they are now.

      2. yer says:

        there are many drivers who wants to be part of ferrari, here is the list: chandok, brunno senna, alguersuari, di grassi, kobayashi

      3. Nikka says:

        Maybe you should take a look at latest Kubica’s manager interview like fe here http://www.planet-f1.com/news/3213/6189174/-Kubica-to-Ferrari-more-wishes-than-facts-

        and especially this very telling part “Right now we do not need any interest in Robert expect the interest from his own team so that the car can be developed to become more competitive.”
        cheers

  14. Gavin says:

    I’m amazed at the criticism Massa has received this season. There’s little to choose between himself and Alonso in the championship and although Alonso has shown a few flashes of brilliance he’s made way more errors than Massa this season.
    It’s no secret that he’s not too comfortable on the harder tyre but we’ve seen little whinging from him and very few mistakes.

    All this after a near fatal accident as well remember.

  15. Michael C says:

    Great news – I hope he feels more comfortable vis a vis Alonso as a result. I didnt entirely trust Domenicalli when he said there was going to be no change to drivers on TV recently ( he seems a lovely guy but he didnt give it 100% when he said it I thought) – so its good to see it confirmed

  16. Michael says:

    Congratulations to Massa.

  17. Uzair says:

    I’m not a big Massa fan but he was never gonna leave. If I had a nickle for every false rumour that comes out of the paddock.

  18. Austin K says:

    I’ve nothing against Massa, but I’m disappointed- I was hoping that they would give Kubica a go soon!

    And then there’s Valentino Rossi… oh how I would love to see him in a Ferrari.

  19. Spark says:

    Well, the only proper replacement for Massa could have been Kubica. And to me Kubica seems like a very smart guy and he probably quickly made his choice between Renault and Ferrari.

    At the moment, Renault has better momentum than Ferrari so that choice wasn’t too difficult. And for Ferrari there doesn’t seem to be much of an alternative for Massa.

    In all fairness Massa has showed his skills in recent years. Only this year he seems to struggle a bit. If Alonso wouldn’t have made all those mistakes, the difference between him and Massa would be much greater in the WDC standings. But recent years have showed that Massa can up his game when it is needed. So once he has mastered the harder Bridgestone tyre, he can probably match Alonso.

  20. Carl 21 says:

    Good driver but not a complete driver like Raikkonen or Alonso.

  21. Calixto says:

    Nice for him and it makes all sense for the team. Bringing Kubica could become potentially catastrophic if it meant a team divided (like McLaren 2007) and Webber is older and no better than Massa.

  22. Jamie Kirkland says:

    Good News, I am a fan of Massa, and don’t think that some of the criticism of him this season has been fair.

    He’s been more consistent than Alonso, if not always as fast.

  23. PaulL says:

    I am genuinely so pleased for Massa. Great guy and a very good driver.

  24. Steve JR says:

    Kubica won’t be too chuffed to hear this news – maybe he’ll start sounding more positive about keeping his drive with Renault now that it seems likely there is a driver lock out with the top teams for next season.

  25. BMG says:

    I think this has more to do with Webber re-signing with redbull.

  26. Jake says:

    Hi James,

    Sorry this is a little off topic but i’ve been trying to get an answer and figure your most recent article is the most likely one to get a reply on.

    There has been a lot of talk about why teams have been trying to put less and less fuel in knowing they can back off at the end of the race. But surely this actually makes the race time slower then it would be if they had a little bit extra fuel. Why don’t the teams put in the fuel to run the whole race at full pelt as this will be much quicker than shaving off a couple of tenths a lap for the first half of the race and then having to back off by about a second for the latter part.

    The only reason i can think of is track position, but that would mean the teams are expecting to gain track position whilst a couple of thenths faster and then not lose it whilst up to a second slower.

    Could you please shed some light on this for me, I’m sure its probably something quite obvious I’m missing but I just can’t figure it out.

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes but it’s about getting to the first stop in position. Read the most recent FX Pro strategy briefing I wrote after the Turkish GP – there’s an explanation there

  27. SHIPARCH says:

    I’m very sorry to say this because I consider myself a die hard Ferrari fan but I think the problems Ferrari is facing this and last season are with upper team management. Masa is an excellent driver and his stats show this as well as Alonso of course, this is an excellent pairing that will push each other under the right circumstances – a good car. I can tell by the press releases that Ferrari is not pushing as they should, yes they are giving it 100% effort but they really need to give 200%; stop saying we’ll try to fix the problems and say we’ll fix the problems.

    Alonso is on his right to be mad, he is one of the drivers as well as the one who puts his name on the line and from what I can see seems to be the only one in the team trying to push hard and saying this is broken, we need to fix it. Yes he has made some mistakes but so has every other driver out there, and sometimes it takes making mistakes to get it right.

    FORZA Ferrari, not everything is lost.

  28. Mark V says:

    Here’s a little conspiracy theory: since Massa will no doubt be loyal to Ferrari forever and has shown that his accident hasn’t slowed him down to the point he has given teammate The Great Savior a run for his money, perhaps this is a sign that Alonso’s seat is no longer a given. Ferrari have already set a precedent by prematurely canning Raikkonen so what’s to stop them from doing the same to a known complainer loyal to no one but himself?

    Getting Rossi in there (especially given his recent injury and subsequent statements about his desire to drive for Ferrari) would be a bigger coup for Ferrari and hugely satisfying for the Tifosi than Alonso could ever be.

  29. Jon says:

    I am happy for Massa. I don’t want to say much more of him, I am not a huge fan. I just think that he gets a bad rep, and I don’t understand why. I don’t understand why he is judged more harshly then others.

    I didn’t think much of him early on, but he showed in the year he went against Hamilton for WDC that he was a pretty good driver, and in the English speaking world he doesn’t seem to get the credit for that. Maybe in Brazil he does, I don’t know because I don’t speak Brazilian.

    I don’t think he gets judged by the same criteria as Hamilton, Alonso etc. And I don’t think he as been bad at all this season. I was surprised there was rumours to start with.

    The press can be harsh can’t they. Especially the Italian press. Ferrari seem terrefied sometimes, by what the Tifosi might say. There is so much extra pressure on Ferrari and their drivers. Those fans/media etc etc are ruthless.

    And then you have Ferarri with Luca looking for things to make it easier for them. Like third cars, or other certain decisions about the rules. Quoting their history and status in the sport is an excuse for helping them stay at the top all the time.

    I also thought it was funny when Max was FIA president.. and Todt was working with Ferrari, how many decisions seemed to go Ferarri’s way. But then as soon as Todt left, Ferrari and FIA were enemies. Ferrari didn’t get what they normally get, and there was actually war of words between them. Even a threat to leave the sport last year (together with other teams). That was a very complicated issue, and I was on the teams side for that, but this was one of Ferrari’s main motivations. It’s hard to imagine that happening if Todt was still there.

    1. yer says:

      judged harshly? massa is an f1 driver, he is not an actor, so he should act and speak like an f1 driver

  30. Vik says:

    This is indicative of Ferrari’s current malaise. They have eschewed rapid protyping (a la Macca) in favour of slower, phased updates – fundamentally compromising their fight for the championship and now they are allowing sentiment to govern their choice of driver.

    The stars aligned for Ferrari for 10 years. Schumacher, Todt, Brawn, Byrne. I am concerned that, now, Ferrari maybe in a state of terminal decline. They should be *decimating* the competition after beginning work on their car last year. But, staggeringly, they’ve dropped the ball. Something, somewhere, is very, very wrong.

    1. Brandon says:

      The problem to me is the Italians running the show now whereas the Ferrari that found success in the past had a team of Brits and a German driver.

      1. Ben says:

        Forgive me..but of the big 5 (Todt, Byrne, Brawn, Schumacher and Martinelli) but wasn’t Jean Todt French, Martinelli Italian and Rory Byrne South African?

      2. Michael C says:

        you are of course right re thje nationalities – but it does seem that there is a grain of truth in the ‘Italians running the show’ comment – and I am not anti -Italian I hasten to add – but it does seem that thinga are slipping – mind you Mclaren had some howlers in Monaco as well……

  31. Jordon191 says:

    Looks like the silly season is over before it ever really began, with 9 of the top 10 seats already locked up for 2011 (Petrov’s at Renault being the only potential vacancy). Too bad for a young charger like Sutil, who wants to move up to a top-tier team, but really has no place to go.

  32. Josh says:

    I think this is a fair contract for both Massa and Ferrari. Massa hasnt lit the world on fire with his performances this year but after his accident last year I think he deserves some time to settle back in again. If he had won the 2008 World Championship I dont think people would be thinking so poorly of him and perhaps laying more of the blame on Ferrari.

    One thing is for sure, Ferrari need to show up to Canada in a faster car or it might be all over for 2010.

  33. Pat says:

    Hi James,

    just wondering if the very close timing of this announcement to Webber’s contract renewal is purely coincidental?

    Do you think its possible Ferrari had put forward a proposal to Webber and only signed Massa after he opted to renew his Red Bull contract?

    Pure speculation on my part, but thought it would be great for any insider info,

    thanks

    1. Michael C says:

      yes please James!

  34. Steve Smith says:

    Has Massa been retained just to play second fiddle to Alonso, because he ‘conforms’? I hope he doesn’t end up the same way that Rubens and Irvine did with Schumacher.

    1. James Punt says:

      Got it in one. Alonso was brought to Ferrari to lead and win titles like he did at Renault. His sojourn at McLaren told everyone he is not capable of having a fully competitive team mate. Massa fits the bill of being solid, a capable points scorer, occassional race winner but never going to be a real thorn in the side to Alonso, hence the choosen one will be happy in a way he would never have been had Kubica been signed. He fills the same role as Irvine, Barrichello and Fisichella, a de facto number two.

      1. Idra says:

        I do think you are underestimating Massa here. He probably played second fiddle to Michael in 06, but he never gave Kimi an easy time and he has not given Alonso an easy time either.

    2. Richard says:

      He’s twice the driver Irvine ever was.

      1. Midnight Toper says:

        Irvine was twice the man.

      2. Richard says:

        I think Massa’s pretty brave, going back after that accident.

      3. Leo says:

        LOL!!!!!!!

        Twice the man????????? yehhhhhhhhhhhh……

        LOL

      4. Steve Smith says:

        I think he may have been a bit taller than Massa?!!! I guess we never really got to see how good Irvine was, ‘cos he was always number two to Schumi …. he admits this himself. This is my concern with the Alonso/Massa. No doubt Massa’s a good driver, but will he fulfil his potential playing second fiddle to Alonso?

  35. Nicollers says:

    Very surprised to read this. I was convinced Kubica would join Ferrari next year. Perhaps Ferrari are still keen on their Number 1 driver having what they deem to be an inferior Number 2 driver so tension is kept to a minimum. Then again, perhaps they are doing the honourable thing and sticking with a proven driver after his horrendous accident last year.

    I’m very happy Felipe has got a seat at Ferrari for another 2 years. It’s his best chance of trying for a Drivers’ Championship. But so we have any idea what the Tifosi reaction to this news has been like James?

  36. RB says:

    Why does Massa get so much stick? He may not have the pure racing pace of a Hamilton or an Alonso, but he gets the job done. As an earlier poster says, 30 podiums from 69 races shows massive competence on his part.

  37. Mike says:

    This guy has just got to win at least one WDC in his career, even up against Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Button, Webber, Schumacher, Rosberg, etc.

    He deserved it in ’08 and must win one, period.

    Thank you Ferrari for giving him more chances.

  38. Richard says:

    This is a real good news story. Clearly he’s not quite as good as Alonso or Schumi, and as a driver, not quite as good as Kimi. But very nearly, as he’s demonstrated many times. All of us can play Fantasy-F1, but there’s no denying that Ferrari have an excellent driver line-up.

  39. Pawel says:

    In my opinion the teams want to settle themself in safe harbours prior to real changes to F1 that will happen in 2013 when new regulations are to be introduced (including new engines). Since 2013 we will have all changed as new game would be about to begin. As such I’m convinced that top teams will have kept theirs line-up unchanged for next 2 years.

  40. Ahmed says:

    Fantastic. So Massa’s contract expires when Schumi’s does, leaving the path clear for a Schumi-Ferrari reunion in 2013… Perfect! ;)

  41. onyx says:

    Can anyone tell me a race where Massa won a race by actually passing anyone rather than just winning from the front…?!Sure he’s fast but not in Hamilton or Alonso’s class…no wonder Alonso is happy he’s staying!Massa’s performance in Spa 08 was truly pathetic and to get a win for it was laughable-if he had won that title it would have been a joke..

    1. Michael Schumacher says:

      Hungary 2008, he passed Hekki and Lewis at the start around the outside and he was leading and his engine blew with 3 laps to go.

      1. Tre says:

        That was a great performance by him, best overtake of 2008.

        good luck this weekend schumi… LOL

      2. mtb says:

        And his pole lap in Singapore was the lap of the season.

      3. mtb says:

        And what was it that Hamilton had said at the previous round? Something about how Massa would never have overtaken him around the outside.

      4. Mike says:

        Also in Canada ’08 he did a double-overtake of (I think) Kovalainen and Barrichello at a crumbling hairpin while making up for an extra stop after a long stop because of rig failure.

        And he took pole by half a second in Monaco ’08 with more fuel, and was leading by 40 seconds at one point. No he didn’t stay perfect and win that day but come on that’s big potential.

    2. Vebz says:

      Massa had nothing to do with Hamilton spa issue. The problem is hamilton always gets himself into trouble, its not the fia against him. its just him.

      Stop blameing Massa for something that had nothing to do with him.

  42. sixtenths says:

    Nice to see this news, Felipe is a great guy and every day he beats or matches Alonso it is yet another crack in the nasty little Cheat’s reputation.

    Kubica kept on getting mentioned, but what would happen at Maranello if he arrived and soundly beat FA ? If Massa can equal and beat him despite not being in many armchair pundits top driver list, what would Kubica do to him ?

    I know many people, especially his countrymen take great satisfaction in mentioning that FA and RK are “Poker friends” but all they are really displaying is a total lack of knowledge about Poker, at the table, you do not have friends, just Chips. Likewise on the track…

  43. Kirsty says:

    Why does everyone seem convinced that Kubica is better Massa?

  44. Michael Schumacher says:

    Hi James,

    I posted something yesterday but I think it wasn’t approved. I would appreciate if you can explain why. Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      No idea. If it said something like “I agree” or “+1″ it may have been nailed by Akismet. Send it again, please

  45. Steve Smith says:

    Maybe it’s all about ‘perception’. There is obviously a lot of support for Massa here. However, the impression I get from the comments appear to suggest he is perceived as a ‘solid’ and ‘reliable’ driver who will always get results. Great if he was driving a Volvo in F1, but he drives for Ferrari – which has a more dynamic image. Rubens has a similar image …. Irvine was a bit more ‘out there’. I like Massa and I think he’s a ‘good’ driver. However, he doesn’t have the same dynamic of an Alonso or Hamilton. Button has a similar ‘safe’ image – he gets results by using his racing style. However, Lewis is the driver who is perceived as being the young gun who is an out-and-out racer (whether this is the case, is not the point – this is the perception). Maybe Massa is the ying to Alonso’ yang???!!! I just hope he doesn’t sit there rotting away for the next five years getting the occasional good result, but never really challenging for the championship because Alonso is calling the shots in the team.

    1. Mike says:

      Think he’s just not fully back yet. First of all despite what he says about being the same, after nearly getting killed, he may subconsciously be more cautious for a while. Second, there are precedents to suggest that after a concussion and long general anesthesia there’s at least a temporary detrimental effect.

      It will take longer to know if he’ll be the 2008-9 Massa again, and even if not, he’s been scoring points every race, is a good team player, and a bargain WDC-capable backup.

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