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Massa recognises it’s make or break
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Jan 2012   |  5:51 pm GMT  |  126 comments

Felipe Massa appeared at the Ferrari Wrooom media event in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy today, knowing that his back is against the wall and 2012 could be his final year with the team if he doesn’t raise his game significantly.

Two lacklustre campaigns have left the Brazilian vulnerable and both Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and team boss Stefano Domenicali have spelled out that he is fighting to save his job.

Interestingly, the Ferrari website presents a stark picture in its story on Massa’s appearance in Madonna and puts Massa’s position in these terms,
“Felipe Massa’s future depends on what happens now. At the end of 2012, the contract between the Brazilian and Scuderia Ferrari will come to an end, but the pressure that might build with this expiry date does not seem to have unsettled Felipe.”

Massa himself is realistic enough to know that he faces a decisive year. He’s less able to drive around problems in the car than team mate Fernando Alonso and suffered more from the Ferrari’s handling problems on the harder Pirelli tyres last year.

“If we have a good car then I know I can fight for the title, as I have already done in the past,” he said. “Since 2008, nothing has changed: after my accident, I am still the same.”

“I am well aware that in some ways, the first part of the season will be more important than the second,” he added. “When we reach the mid-point of the season, we will talk about my future and see what are the chances of continuing to work with Ferrari: The most important thing is the results: if they are good, making decisions about the future will be much easier and there would be no point in changing a situation that everyone was happy with.”

Photo: Ferrari


Many F1 insiders are surprised that Massa is still at Ferrari; a fit Robert Kubica might have been expected to be drafted in for 2012 after Massa’s disappointing 2011. But the Brazilian is a fighter, as he showed in his season long battle with Lewis Hamilton for the championship in 2008, which ended in heartbreak in Brazil.

The absence of a strong alternative candidate plays a part in keeping him there and it will be very interesting to monitor his progress this year and Ferrari’s positioning around alternatives. With the team having given indications that they’d like to get Sebastian Vettel as a long term leader post-Alonso, once Vettel’s contract expires with Red Bull in 2014, the team may be looking for the right person to bridge that gap.

However Alonso indicated today that he plans to keep racing for many years to come,
“I’ve still got many years to come,” he said today. “I’m 30 years old and there are guys racing at 42 or 43, so I guess every year I will improve a little bit.

“Maybe as you get older you lose some speed, but you gain experience so it compensates.”

Massa says that the new Ferrari car is a completely different design concept and finds reason for optimism in both the move to softer Pirelli tyres and the arrival of ultra experienced tyre engineer Hirohide Hamashima from Bridgestone.

Ferrari are certainly giving Massa every chance to come good, but his team mate Fernando Alonso is now in his prime, as he showed last year with some amazing results in an underperforming Ferrari car.

Massa has been in F1 for ten years, six of them with Ferrari. Will there be a seventh?

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126 Comments
  1. Thomas says:

    As a long-time Massa fan I say yes. Two bad years is not enough to make me forget 2008. Massa and Hamilton was so far ahead of the rest that year, both finding new limits.

    If Massa’s 2012 is as good as his 2008 then I believe he has a spot at Ferrari in 2013.

    However I’m not sure I would like to see him at Ferrari in 2013. I’m quietly hoping he’ll have a vintage year and replace MS at Mercedes. I’m really not a fan of team orders and the way Ferrari operates.

    1. Trent says:

      I like Massa, and I think the best thing for him would be to get out of Ferrari and into a new environment.

      I tend to think that the accident has not really affected him, more likely the changed team atmosphere has.

      1. Craig says:

        I agree with your statement that the best thing would be a new team/environment. I predict it would be a mid range team at best, Massa would have valuable transferable skill & knowledge for any team. All ethically above board of course!
        It may just walk away with megabucks especially if he has read Ferrari statement [as above article] “Felipe Massa’s future depends…….”
        I think it is a shocking statement for Ferrari or any team to make.
        Highly unproductive and what seems to be nothing more than a threat.
        I think Ferrari position is also of contradiction. They have always adopted a clear lead driver & No2 driver. In my view, Massa like other previous Ferrari drivers are treated as the support driver with regard to team tactics,engineering updates etc, in despite of this, Ferrari expect Massa to adhere full support but it seems to me that the team doesn’t set the same standard.
        I would though praise Ferrari conduct/support when he had the accident.
        Professionally, I don’t rate him as a top driver. Its difficult to forget his previous ‘driving’ pre Ferrari and when the pressure is on in a GP, he seems to default to mistake/error mode.
        Also when there are changeable conditions in any GP, he seems to be unable to adapt quickly or adapt at all.
        I will say this though, any individual who can get back in to a F1 car after the horrific accident he had, shows great strength and courage.
        Furthermore, if Massa did leave end of season, I’d be surprised if Smedley “Felipe baby” even with his Masters Degree would be able to amend and fix the shakiest of coat pegs that his Ferrari jacket thread would then be hanging by.
        Just my unqualified view of course.

      2. George says:

        I think we forget the big accident he suffered in 2009… for sure he recovered, but after such an accident, no one can be the same.
        In F1 you have to be at more than your usual.

        A blow to your head will never let you be the same. Too bad

      3. Wayne says:

        I believe it can be a positive year for Massa, but only so long as he stops looking to outside influences to blame. Each and every coming together with Lewis Hamilton last year resulted in a very unsportsmanlike and petulant outburst calling for sanctions against the other driver and even questioning his sanity. This is a far cry form the magnanimous driver who so narrowly lost the title to Lewis a few years ago. It seems to me that the majority of the Massa-Hamilton incidents were ‘just one of those things’. A couple were caused by one or the other doing something stupid like Lewis did in Monaco and most of them were due to an out of position Hamilton in a faster car coming back through the field trying to pass Massa who was not going to yield the place regardless of the outcome. Alonso managed to be faster than Lewis on occasion, yet Massa never did in the same Ferrari.

        Personally, I think Massa’s one shot at the title has come and gone, there will never be another and deep down he knows this and is very frustrated. Especially when you consider that had ‘luck’ gone the other way he would have been a wdc already and it probably would have done for him what it did for Button but, strangely, never did for Lewis – settled the guy down into a more relaxed and ‘complete’ driver.

    2. Red5 says:

      As long as he continues to bring in the points I think he deserves a seat. Perhaps it is more important how he supports Alonso’s championship campaign rather than how many races he wins himself.

      In the end, the memories of 2008 are not enough. Although I sense that F1 has a shorter memory span Massa is talented and experienced enough to drive for another top team.

      1. Wayne says:

        I agree, I think Massa’s season will be judged by Ferrari on how well he support’s Alonso’s title bid. Do this well, follow instructions and bag 60% of Alonso’s points total and I’m sure he’ll be fine.

    3. ed24f1 says:

      Massa at Mercedes would be nice to see, and it also opens the opportunity of Schumacher mentoring him again as he did in 2006-09.

      1. Thomas says:

        I have always wondered how much Schumi’s mentoring and help meant for Massa’s results. He did dip in form after MS went to Mercedes..

      2. ed24f1 says:

        Yes, it’s possible that it affected him, but I still think it was the combination of his accident and having his first child soon after that naturally slowed him down by 0.001% or something – enough to make a difference in F1.

        Don’t forget that Massa is the only Top 3 team driver to have a child.

  2. Matt Yau says:

    I, for one, am hoping Massa can produce the form he showed in 2008. I think he will come good too, as long as he is comfortable with the car. (I am bias though having supported Ferrari since I followed F1).

    I just hope all this optimism about the car being innovative turns into championship winning results. But, I feel the hiring of Hirohide Hamashima is a bigger piece in the puzzle.

  3. Husker says:

    “Massa has been in F1 for ten years, six of them with Ferrari. Will there be a seventh?”

    Lets hope not.

    1. nathan says:

      Agreed

      Biggest loser in the world. Started to handle the defeat of 2008 graciously bur after that moaned about how everything was everyone elses fault. Claims he WON in spa 2008 – wrong!! gifted it by stupid stewards and has permanently been blocking / turning in on hamilton in 2011 causing most of the crashed between them

      My opinion. hes lost it….moving on.

  4. Vipin says:

    What about Giancarlo Fisichella?

    James, I thnk he is a third driver for Scuderia?

    Why can’t Ferrari give him a chance in 2013?

    It would be nice if Alonso and Fisichella be team mates in Ferrari, just like in Renault in 2005 & 2006

      1. Peter Scandlyn says:

        Just like Massa’s.

      2. Ritchie Hicks says:

        I agree. Shame though – he has a good approach to the sport.

    1. Giancarlo had his chance in 2009, and blew it.

    2. K says:

      What made you think Fisi is a good replacement lol… he’s only slightly better than Trulli, who isn’t all that good.

  5. ATB says:

    Struggling to see a viable alternative for massa for 2013, especially with webbers contract at red bull up for grabs at the end of 2012…

    1. ATB says:

      sorry the last comment Should have said “instead of massa”.

  6. Isotope9 says:

    I think Massa is doomed even if he does well.

    When the car was good, it flattered him…but he is still prone to silly mistakes that his teammates never seem to commit. Multiple offs/spins on wet tracks, multiple incidents/crashes etc. I realize that it takes two to tango, and often times Massa was not completely at fault but other drivers seem to be able to race without crashing into each other.

    Maybe it is all due to a lack on concentration, or pressure to keep his job, or trying to hard, but I think the writing is on the wall and in my opinion, this will be his last season at Ferrari.

    1. daphne says:

      You forgot about driving away with his fuel hose still attached in Singapore…

      1. StallionGP F1 says:

        The lollipop man released him too early dont let bias cloud your judgement and also its nice to get your facts right before you comment.

      2. Because clearly it’s the driver’s job to make sure the pit crew do their job properly?

      3. Rafael Lopez says:

        I hope you’re not serious…

        Did you even watch the race? If not, at least look the incident up on youtube. He got a green light due to someone else’s mistake.

      4. Chris Horton says:

        Hang on….you think that was his fault?!

      5. David A says:

        Was that really his fault though? I remember him getting the green light to drive away, but Ferrari hadn’t removed the fuel hose. This was compounded with an unsafe release drive through penalty.

      6. JackFlash says:

        Steady On…. Fair cop to Flip here Daph.

        How can you possibly blame a driver for setting off from his pitbox when the Ferrari ‘lollypop man’ gave him the “all clear to go”? It is “Captain Paddlepop” (who got the flick from the job probably) that holds the 100% blame here – not Massa. JF

      7. Jon says:

        No lollipop, just a green light, hardly Massa’s fault.

      8. Jon says:

        But was that Massa’s fault? They were using the lighting system to release him, and it went green. I think any driver would have gone at the same time.

      9. nathan says:

        should of used common sense and seen in his mirror the hose was attached

        MASSA OUT!!!

      10. Doobs says:

        You can just about see another car in the mirrors, what chance a fuel hose? Green light means go, they don’t do driving school “signal, nmirror manouvre..”

    2. I answered YES because Ferrari do not have a strong driver to replace Massa with.

      I don’t think they would gamble on Kubica, unless he performs at an extraordinary level when back behind the wheel of an F1 car.

      Jules Bianchi would also need to perform at a very high level in 2012 to even think there’s a remote possibility for him to drive.

      I’m really not convinced that Perez has what it takes either.

      With all this in mind, if Massa does a little better than he did in 2011 (a handful of podiums), they’ll sign him on a rolling contract maybe until Vettel makes a move?

  7. Rob Newman says:

    Massa’s main problem is, caused by Ferrari giving preference to Alonso. Until that changes, there won’t be any improvement in Massa. He is mentally not strong enough to absorb that.

    Currently there is no one available who could replace Massa. Not sure if this situation will change end of the year. Kubica will not be as strong as when he used to race. He is not an option.

    It is not just Massa, Alonso also didn’t get on top of the Pirellis. In a couple of months we will know if Ferrari’s investments on mass recruitment (hopefully within the RRA) will pay off.

    If Vettel wants to join Ferrari, then it has to be post Alonso era. He should not rush.

    1. Alex_D says:

      Did not Button came to Hamilton’s team?

      1. Steven says:

        And your point is?

      2. K says:

        Yes, but that’s Button wished to join; Vettel said he didn’t wish to join and remain with RBR, at least for the foreseeable future.

    2. Mingojo says:

      The Ferrari 150 was not good on hard tyres, I can’t see how Alonso or Massa are guilty for that. However what was clear was Alonso dominated his team mate, because he is simply better driver.

    3. Simmo says:

      I think that Ferrari do have several options, but many are already signed for 2013 already. Rosberg or Glock would be good.

      If Hulkenberg is good for 2012 he might be an option, and Kobayashi is alright.

  8. CraigD says:

    It’s funny that though people are saying this is one of the strongest grids in the history of the sport, one of the primary reasons Massa is hanging onto his seat is due to a lack of a suitable replacement! Of course, a large part of that is due to drivers locked in contracts but you’d think they’d be someone they could grab for the right amount of money and terms.

  9. Arshadhusain says:

    Fernando has raised the bar for felipe, and everytime felipe comes closer, Fernando would raise it again !!!

    No chance MASSA .. ADIOS MASSA

  10. Werewolf says:

    Massa’s driving style has always seemed a bit unusual to me and, perhaps, it works best within narrow windows; or maybe he is only as good as his car, while Alonso can be better. I remember Ross Brawn saying something about Schumacher being better than his cars whereas Irvine’s pace more accurately reflected the car’s performance.

    Whatevever, I don’t believe it is the Pirelli tyres because Alonso was so much quicker on the Bridgestones in 2010, too. It could be the accident, they affect different drivers in different ways, particularly head injuries.

  11. the_rh1no says:

    Yes Massa CAN do enough, however I highly doubt he WILL do enough.

    Massa has shown some great speed before his accident – I think it is still there, but for one reason or another he has yet to unleash it.

    Perhaps a move to another team could reinvigorate performance.

  12. goferet says:

    “If we have a good car then I know I can fight for the title, as I have already done in the past,” he said.
    ————————————————

    Hahaa the delusions & building of castles in the air that goes on in Maranello since the dream team left is honestly quite shocking.

    Massa can most definitely not fight for anything resembling an F1 WDC ever again with the type of competition on the grid now.

    In 2008, all he had to content with was Lewis & yet he arguably had the fastest car so he was able to do what Vettel does best —> Disappear after securing pole.

    But anyway with everything on the line in 2012, I predict a couple of podiums here & there will save Massa’s skin for least we forget, Massa is actually Brazilian of Italian descent plus he has that lovely Rubens trait, so loved at Ferrari i.e. A driver that doesn’t make too much fuss when asked to move over.

    As for Alonso, when or when will he stop thinking he’s the next Schumacher?

    Just because the Kaiser has the hunger to still keep slugging it out at 43 years old, doesn’t mean Alonso will too. Besides, Alonso is that type of driver that can’t tolerate humiliation for long so I give him 2-3 more seasons of taking driving lessons from the likes of Hammy & Vettel before he says adios to Formula 1.

    The only way Ferrari can get back to winning ways is with baby Schumi finishing off what Schumi senior began for it’s quite obvious Alonso at Ferrari is a combination under a spell = Doomed to fail.

    1. Sammy says:

      Do you realy mean what you are saying here?

      Alonso is not the next Schumacher indeed – I think he’s even better.

      If Ferrari is able to build a winning car this year, without any doubt Alonso will be WDC 2012 with Felipe second.

      1. StallionGP F1 says:

        In all honesty Alonso is not the next Schumy only people who like to deceive themselves say that. Now saying Alonso is out-performing the Ferrari is just a joke, common sense dictates you can only push any machinery to its limits before it breaks dis is his 2nd season @ Ferrari and hes not done anything for them, except redbull and mclaren come up with a car that’s a second slower I don’t see him winning the title also funny enough he’s not won anything at Ferrari and i don’t see that changing.

      2. mcdo says:

        Don’t know about you but I’ve seen him win 6 Grand Prix in a Ferrari and come just one bungled pit call away from the WDC. Not bad for someone who you claim needs a car a second faster than the rest.

      3. Sammy says:

        @StallionGP F1:
        You clearely have a very bad memory.

    2. vanja says:

      Oh, please! Driving lessons from hammy and vettel…. where have you been these past years???? If he wins the title this year,that is if ferrari is good enough, he will win much more.Because the team will got a moral boost. Alonso is at the top, we just have to wait for ferrari.

      1. StallionGP F1 says:

        If he’s outperforming the car then he does not need a better car.
        I think going to mclaren has damaged him and he’s lost the last part of the best Ferrari years as Ferrari is back to their win less streak before the Bryne, Brawn, Todt and Schumacher years

      2. Akuma says:

        StallionGP F1 that sounds like wishful thinking to me and do I detect a hint of anti-ferrari in your comments?

        Driving lessons from Hamilton & Vettel? Vettel who only wins from the front, is no good at overtaking and cracks under pressure. Hamilton, the same hamilton whose eyes lit up when Alonso paid him a compliment towards the end of last year, the same Hamilton who said Alonso is the best driver on the grid.

        Your comments make sense, sure.

      3. David A says:

        @Akuma – you’ve got some outdated views there on Vettel. He is good at overtaking and doesn’t alwaya crack under pressure. Plus he “only wins from the front” because he only starts at the front due to his qualifying prowess.

      4. StallionGP F1 says:

        @ Akuma well leave Vettel or Hamilton out of this as I did not comment on them but what I get from that is you are a fan of Alonso fair enough everybody keeps saying he out performed the Ferrari, I personally think he didn’t rather Massa ,Hamilton and Webber under performed hence alonso looked brilliant how many times was he mugged in an overtaking move last season?
        This most complete driver phenomenon is proper BS in my opinion based on 05 and 06 and I maintain he didn’t beat a competitive MSC in 05 due to the tyre war and 06 was mass damper year Button in the Brawn got the most performance the car could give from it, same with Vettel in 2011 but people would say redbull slowed webber down.
        What would Alonso have done better in the redbull?
        Food for thought!

    3. anil says:

      Driving lessons from Hamilton? He’s beaten Hamilton two years in a row in a car a couple of tenths a lap slower.

    4. Justin Bieber says:

      Wow, that was a nice read :-)

      In 2008, its fair to says that both McLaren and Ferrari were fairly equal. To say that the 2008 Ferrari had the same dominance as the 2011 Red Bull is pure fiction.

      I never heard Alonso say he was the next Schumacher. Maybe some journalist did but he didn’t.

      You say that Alonso can’t tolerate humiliation for long. Please share with us what you mean by that.. the guy is at the top of his game and driving well above the car potential. As for Hamilton & Vettle giving driving lesson.. I don’t think Vettle has anything to teach Alonso. Maybe Button could share a few point about driving in changeable condition but Hamilton?!?

      You clearly dislike Alonso. But we are not in 2007 anymore, you need to move on. As 25year old double world champion he did not handle the Hamilton challenge very well but after eating some humble pie at Renault, he is back in a top team. He is now recognize as a great team leader who inspire and motivate his team and drive his car well above its potential. Its only a matter of time before he wins another WDC.

      Now Hamilton is in a similar position and age as was Alonso when he join the McLaren in 2007. Its safe to say that he did not handle this season very well and he was very good at point finger at anyone but himself. I’m looking forward to see where he goes from here.

    5. K says:

      Alonso never thought of himself as the next Schumacher, rather it’s LdM who praised Alonso’s leadership ability which made him think of Schumacer.

      Alonso’s idol was Ayrton, that’s the reason why he went to McLaren in ’07, as James Allen stated in his articles before not so long ago.

    6. Chapor says:

      As a Hamilton fan I must grudgingly admit that Alonso gave driving lessons all around of how a race car should be driven and how it can be raced wheel to wheel. He dragged that Ferrari round the track at the scruff of it’s neck into places it had no right, from a performance perspective, to be. Respect were respect is due. MS is in my eyes still a fraud…

      1. David A says:

        “Respect were respect is due. MS is in my eyes still a fraud…”

        Contradiction there. The guy who was a formidable competitor between 1992 and 2006 definitely should get respect where respect is due.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        The majority of his dominance was allied to cars that were dominant, with poor competition in the other teams.

        Look at Mclaren and Williams during this period and tell me who was in the same league as Schumi.
        He underlined his dominance by only accepting subserviant drivers.
        Rosberg is no great, yet has the measure of Schumi.

        I say all this as a Ferrari fan, glad his ridiculous selfishness was at the wheel of a Ferrari.
        Bear in mind, this is the same man who had written in his Benetton contract, he could leave without penalty, if the team ever signed Senna!

        IMO, Alonso is the best driver since Senna and some comments from Ferrari would concur.
        He spends more time at Ferrai than Schumacher did. His speed has astounded team-insiders who rate him above Schumacher. Incidently, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Kimi also left the squad open mouthed with his superior speed in fast corners against the baseline of Schumacher. Schumacher is rightfully an F1 legend, but some balance needs to be brought to the argument

        Regarding Massa, I never understood Ferrari employing him, much the same as I never understood DC being employed by Mclaren for so long. Nice guys, but not winners.
        As to any argument regarding Alonso vs Massa, most people’s hatred of Alonso colours their opinion, he is a true great, Massa was never going to be near.

      3. Chapor says:

        In Germany he had a nickname, he was called Schummel-Schumi ( Cheating Schumi). The fact that he got that name in his home country says enough I think. He got lucky with his F1 career, he has talent, no doubt about it, but looking at the larger picture his performances are largely overrated. And before you accuse me of hating the Germans, I am German.

      4. James Allen says:

        Schumel means something between ‘crafty’ and ‘cheating’

      5. David A says:

        @chapor –

        Equally, the cheating aspect you tsalk of is overstated by quite a few fans who want to drag him down.

        “He got lucky with his F1 career”

        Don’t the majority of greats get some luck in their careers? Just because he may have had some luck doesn’t make things automatically happen. You have to make your own luck. Schumacher got his big break because of Gachot, but that didn’t put the Jordan 7th on the grid at Spa. He went to Benetton, but that didn’t guarantee 2 WDCs and 19 wins, nor did a Ferrari guarantee 72 wins and 5 titles. He deserves respect for being a great driver who had some of the biggest talent the sport ever saw combined with an unrivaled work ethic.

  13. Sebee says:

    Robert may be unlucky, but his bad luck is all in Massa’s favour. If Robert was Ferrari bound as was speculated, that door is all but closed now – and it gives Massa a chance to come good and stay. I think he’ll be there fore 2013 again as you say to bridge the gap.

    He is a GP winner, but needs to find his winning ways again. Let’s hope he can in 2012. Not like the on-track action can’t welcome another contender for GP wins.

    1. Sebee says:

      And for Drama’s sake – I wouldn’t mind seeing Alonso beaten – just to see a different story line.

    2. Steven says:

      I doubt Ferrari would let Massa win, even if he had the chance, he would have to move over for Fernando, unless Alonos was a few places behind, and that hasnt happened yet.

  14. Rob G says:

    The only way Massa retains that seat is if he gets on top of Fernando and with Fernando arguably in the form of his already amazing career I don’t see that happening.

  15. Ritchie Hicks says:

    Massa has never been the same since his head injury. He seems to have lost something and Ferarri have always been clear who their number 1 driver is. There is plenty of talent waiting for a drive with them. Personally I don’t care for him; his whinging annoys me.

  16. Nil says:

    “I am well aware that in some ways, the first part of the season will be more important than the second”. Is there a chance of Massa being replaced mid-season if his performance is below a certain threshold?

    1. Mitchel says:

      Surely not? He’s just referring to the next year’s contract being decided by this point in the season.

  17. Felipe is the greatest. After 2008 he won a life-long fan in myself. His attitude of never giving up will stand him in the best position for 2012, and then who knows what might happen… I hope it is in F1 with a competitive team.

  18. Richard says:

    Some how I don’t think Massa has been the same since the accident. He was very strong in 2008, but really has not shown that form since. If the car is good than Massa is capable of winning races, but there will be so much competition, not least of all from his team mate that, I think his chances of retaining his Ferrari seat very slim. A likeable guy but I suspect will be driving for a lesser team in the near future.

  19. Rich C says:

    I *hope he can do it, but I’m doubtful.

  20. Malcom says:

    Both Montezemolo and Domenicali have been too critical of his performance this year, for Felipe to remain with the Scuderia in 2012.

  21. Tony G says:

    Just watched the Hammond Moss DVD and listening to Prof Watkins he wouldn’t have allowed Moss near a car for two years after his accident. I know there are all manner of tests to assess a driver’s fitness nowadays but I keep wondering about Massa’s accident. I was in Melbourne for the GP in 2008 when Hamilton walked it and Massa took Coulthard and Vettel out in separate accidents at the first corner. I never would have dreamt at the time that Massa would go so close to beating Hamilton for the title that year.

    1. Steven says:

      The only reason he got so close was because he was gifted a “win” in Spa when they wrongly diaqualified Hamilton. Lewis got 0 points and Massa got 10…

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Hamilton got 6 points actually.
        And what about the Singapore farce?

      2. Steven says:

        What about the Singapore GP? Ferrari released Massa with the fuel hose still attached to the car, whose fault is that? In fact, it can be argued that Aloonso and crashgate stole points from Lewis too.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        Don’t forget his engine failure 3 laps from the end of the Hungarian GP.

      4. amritraj says:

        Hamilton was third in that GP.

      5. Matthew says:

        Hamilton was awarded the customary 6 points for finishing 3rd in the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix. He was not DQ’d, but assessed a time penalty.

    2. ed24f1 says:

      @Tony G: Sid Watkins said it would take Massa 2 years to fully recover, so by now he should be fine. Also, Massa never hit Vettel in Melbourne 2008…

  22. Matt Wil. says:

    “(…)I give him 2-3 more seasons of taking driving lessons from the likes of Hammy & Vettel before he says adios to Formula 1.”

    Are you sure you are not joking?

    1. Mingojo says:

      Obviously he’s joking

    2. Charlie says:

      No he’s not… Just another fan who thinks vettel is god!

    3. JohnBt says:

      It has to be a joke if they look at Alonso that way.

  23. Chris Horton says:

    Forza Felipe!

    He can do it.

  24. Dan Orsino says:

    SPORT IS CRUEL the saying goes. But it’s been very kind to Massa.
    No one can deny he has put in some speedy drives for Ferrari, but his own mentor, Rob Smedley, put it very bluntly:
    “I wouldn’t keep telling him how to drive if I didn’t think he needed it !!”

    1. ed24f1 says:

      If you think F1′s been kind to Massa, watch Hungary, Singapore and Brazil 2008 again, not to mention various other bad luck in other years!

      Now that Webber’s luck’s turned around, Massa could well be the unluckiest driver on the grid.

  25. Daniel C says:

    What about Perez? He had a pretty decent rookie year and there is a history of Sauber to Ferrari driver movement. I think if Perez has a good year he could be a candidate for that seat.

  26. Monktonnik says:

    Can he? Yes. In F1 anything can happen and it usually does.

    Who would have thought JB would have beaten Hamilton, Hamilton beating Alonso in 2007, Webber outpacing Vettel in much of 2010, or Massa beating Kimi in 2008.

    Can he do it, absolutely. No one who stays in F1 for ten years is without the talent to win races and, with the right conditions, a championship.

    Will he? Probably not, but he might get close enough to Fernando to keep his drive if RK doesn’t stop ice skating. Also, Brazil is experiencing an economic boom, I am sure they’d sell a few less Ferraris in 2013 without Massa.

    I still maintain that Ferrari should have sidelined him after the crash and kept Kimi for 2010. It would have been cheaper and they would have scored more points.

    1. Marco says:

      Hammilton did not beat Alonso in 2007…..

      1. David A says:

        They didn’t finish equal 2nd in 2007, rather Hamilton was 2nd with Alonso 3rd.

        Equally wrong are the Hamilton fans who claim their driver “thrashed” Alonso. Hamilton beat Alonso, but only on countback.

      2. Monktonnik says:

        He did.

        But my point was really that past results are no guarantee of future performance.

    2. vanja says:

      If you want to be 100% correct you should say that hamilton AND mclaren beat alonso, that would make sense!!! otherwise it’s just nonsense

      1. Monktonnik says:

        Fair enough, as long as you concede that Alonso AND Ferrari beat Massa in 2010, and that Alonso AND Mclaren beat Hamilton at Monaco in 2007.

        My point really is that no one expected a rookie to be able to get close to a double world champion in his first season, in as much as no one expects Massa to do it now.

      2. vanja says:

        but don’t you think that ferrari gave an equal chance to alonso and massa at the begining of the 2010, alonso proved himself better and got the support of the team. hamilton did not prove himself better but got the support because he is british. don’t remember about monaco 2007 so i can’t say.
        and so look at the difference beetween alonso and the team and hamilton and the team…

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      Brazil is experiencing an economic boom, I am sure they’d sell a few less Ferraris in 2013 without Massa.

      With any other car manufacturer I’d probably agree it would impact on sales. But I think it’s naive to imagine that Ferrari would have a down-turn in sales because they sacked a driver. Ferrari is a brand nowadays. not a car.
      Anyway, their number 1 and 2 markets are USA and China…

  27. K says:

    I’m no Massa fan here, nor do I dislike him either, but I do feel sorry for him and wish he’ll raise his game and retain his Ferrari seat for the next few years.

    1. Dave Roberts says:

      I wouldn’t feel too sorry for him. F1 has been good to Massa and has provided a good living for him and his family. He appears to be a decent, honest man who will take his fate in good grace.

  28. Craig in Manila says:

    I like Massa, he seems like a decent guy and is certainly talented, but it’s getting a bit worrying when his form is now seemingly not even good enough to warrant the role of a Number 2 driver.
    The unfortunate thing is that, even if he was performing at his 2008 levels, Ferrari wouldn’t let him beat Fernando anyway.
    He really should get out of Ferrari and try to get a Number 1 role in a different Team as my fear is that it’s now getting late, his career will start to dwindle away, and he’ll be remembered as just another driver who nearly (but not quite) got into the top tier of F1.

  29. Norman C says:

    I think Massa needs to build a technical relationship with Schumi again so he can be his mentor once more.

    Just like Hamilton needs his dad back.

    These are two very fast guys who need to be direct. Otherwise Massa needs his dad to wear pink shirts also like John Button. :)

  30. Maurice A says:

    Long time Ferrari supporter and i actually hope he keeps his job. I think Massa is being underestimated and the quality well eventually come back.

    I read most of the comments and people are saying its his accident his never been the same, i don’t think thats it. I honestly truly think 2008, brazil, last corner and last few seconds of knowing you almost had the title and thats what i think it is. I’m sure a professional within any sport or even work trying to be the best and almost accomplishing that goal, then gets taken away from you, it will definitely have an impact.

    Personally i think he needs to win the title to keep his job and we know how hard that’s going to be. I think he should start concentrating on trying to get a chance with Red Bull and a person with his credentials should give him a chance.

    1. ed24f1 says:

      I disagree, in 2009 he was stronger than ever and put in some brilliant drives before his accident.

      Without the accident he possibly would’ve won a race or two that season and would’ve been in a much stronger position against Alonso in 2010.

    2. Liam says:

      I don’t think it’s 2008 that slowed him down… He was crushing Kimi in 2009 in that dog of a car before his accident.

      In fact, I don’t think he’s slowed down at all… He just couldn’t get to grips with the handling characteristics of the Ferrari. Massa has always been slower than Alonso anyway, chuck in the car not suiting him and you get what’s happened these last two years!

      I don’t really think he should be around much longer… There are a few drivers I think that about – There is just sooo much talent around these days with the way drivers are being picked up in Karts and groomed through to F1 – Only the very best should be in F1 these days and I don’t think Massa qualifies.

  31. James Bond says:

    People seem to forget 2008 and part of 2009 when Massa was faster then higly rated Kimi in the same car…
    So come on Felipe, new tires, Ferrari better in warming them up will certainly help.

    1. Nick says:

      If we take a look at the past, at Ferrari, the only driver there is more quicker than his mate when the team supports him better …

      Just see:
      - Schumacher vs Barrichello
      - Massa in 2009 vs Kimi
      - Kimi after the Massa accident in 2009 (he just became better than before, why?)
      - Alonso vs Massa (2010, 2011). Just remember that Massa perfomed well at the start of 2010 but then faded, why ? Why a lot of failed pitstops and poor strategies for Massa only ?

      From my point of view they won’t hire anyone better than Massa just because no one agree to be number2, although Button possibly could just fight Fernando without any words, who knows.

      So, my prediction that ferrari will hire someone young and for Massa it’s better to change the team where he won’t have the support like he had before.

  32. Richard D says:

    I don’t think Massa has been quite the same since his accident. Perhaps he should plan for 2012 to be his retirement year and bow out as near to the top as he can make it rather than drop down the field into lesser cars until not even the back marker teams want him. He should learn from the mistake of his fellow countryman.

  33. goferet says:

    @ Justin Bieber (Lol)

    What I meant by Alonso can’t stand humiliation is, it’s a known fact that Alonso is a very proud individual & with proud people, they don’t like it when they’re beaten and that’s why you hear Alonso complain whenever his teammates do not jump out the way.

    Same reason why Alonso went running out of Mclaren in 2007 instead of stand up to the challenge.

    As for teaching Alonso some driving lessons, I wasn’t referring to past seasons but for seasons to come & believe it or not, Vettel sure can teach Alonso something about holding it together during qualifying & running away at the front.

    And no Justin, as long Alonso stays at the has been team Ferrari, he will never win another title, you may want to check up on Alain Prost’s career.

    1. vanja says:

      let’s put it this way:

      Alonso has the team behind him and this is the reason why massa is so much behind, and massa should leave for his own sake
      this is what a lot of people say
      let’s say that exactly same thing happend at mclaren in 2007 only with the team backing up hamilton, alonso almost won and decided to do what most of you are saying for felipe…
      leave because conditions are bad

      Good job Alonso

  34. Dan says:

    He’s got two hopes and Bob’s out of town.

  35. Akuma says:

    Massive Ferrari fan here, I cant help but think the Ferrari top management have had a detrimental affect on Massa. At the same time, Massa has not responded and raised his game. The issue I see with Massa, as another knowledgeable fellow on this thread has mentioned, is that Massa struggles to drive around a cars problems.

    Whereas Alonso, like Hamilton, can drive around problems, Massa is more happy to blame a poor car than criticise himself which I think is very important for a F1 driver.

    On a side note, I think since Hamilton´s pops stopped being his manager. There is no one really to tell him, “you had a %hit race, it was your fault, learn, adapt and move on”. Instead it is, “You can do no wrong, it is not your fault, keep at it” which I think has contributed to his less than stellar season last year.

  36. Sri says:

    Massa never looked like a champion. In 2008 also, if there was Alonso in a good car or interested hungrier Kimi, neither LH nor FM would have been the contenders. The fact that the championship was won in sub-100 points itself is a testimony to that fact.

    I’m surprised by this statement that Alonso thinks driving at 42 years of age will give the benefit of experience. Usually a few years of experience is enough and the returns are minimal as years go by where as losing reflexes with age is much more rapid and hence Ferrari will not entertain a 40 years of age driver in their midst.

  37. J says:

    Come on.. the ferrari of 2008 was mile ahead of the Mclaren! Massa didn’t outshine Hamilton that season. Massa have never achieved the maximum from any car he has driven. However, Ferarri are happy with him since he won’t take points away from their number one driver, where as the Mclaren drivers keep stealing points from each other.

  38. Matt W says:

    I’m not entirely convinced that Alonso is “in his prime”. He doesn’t seem anywhere near as brilliant as he undoubtedly was in 2005/2006. He has flashes of that brilliance, some superb performances, but he doesn’t seem to be able to keep it up for an entire season like he could when he was a little younger.

    Seb is currently at that sort of performance level. I don’t think Ferrari will be an attractive prospect in terms of being groomed as an Alonso replacement when potentially Seb could be the more successful driver at that point and won’t be inclined to follow Alonso’s lead.

    1. James Allen says:

      I disagree. He didn’t have the car in 2011, but he is in his prime now age 30 with the experience he has combined with the speed

      1. StallionGP F1 says:

        Going by your analogy James by the time Vettel is 30 he would be a driving God at the rate he’s going if he’s driving like this @ 24.
        You put it as he didn’t have the car @ in 2011 but Alonso was brought in to help point them in the right direction with development and leadership skills.

      2. Sammy says:

        StallionGP:
        Really, your analogy doesn’t make sense to me.
        Actually, you are as good as your car is, and that’s what Vettel is at the moment. Alonso is the opposite, bad car but he manages to over-perform the car. Pushing the car to it’s limits and even beyond.
        Put Alonso in the same car as Vettel right now, and he wil distroy Vettel completely. Not because Vettel is a bad driver, but just because Alonso can conbine experience & speed at this stage of his career.

      3. StallionGP F1 says:

        Its not my analogy but going by what James said now saying Vettel would be destroyed by Alonso is just a joke I think you have been watching another formula for a while [mod] all that talk of him destroying Vettel is BS he needs speed to get anywhere near Vettel right now stop living in the past.

  39. Die Scuderia says:

    I would like to see Massa staying. This tends to bring consistency within the team. That said, results are important. And Filipe knows for sure he has to put the sum off all experiences gathered during the years into a single statement about himself in 2012. This isn’t a tough call for him especially when remembering his drive against Schumacher in 2006 and against Raikkonen. Yes Alonso casts a rather longer shadow now, but Filipe should be able to diliver just as Alonso. For him, it’s more of a mental strength, heart and vision that is required to pull it all together. Die Scuderia.

  40. ed24f1 says:

    This seems like the perfect article to be accompanied by a pithy italicised editorial in your end of year book, James!

    Let’s hope that it’s a positive ending for Massa, as I know that if he has a strong year, it will certainly make me one of the happiest F1 fans in the world!

  41. Andrew Kirk says:

    Good read as ever James any feelings on Webber joining Ferrari? Random question but he is only signed at Red Bull for 1 year, he gets on with Alonso and he would be happy to be fighting up front rather than battling mid field in a smaller team.

  42. JohnBt says:

    Massa’s fate is in his own hands. Ferrari has been very loyal to Massa.

  43. eof1 says:

    Massa is out if Rosberg is in…? definitely it seems he is still very fast….

  44. Doobs says:

    Massa seems a bit like Button where they like the car set up a particular way and are less able to drive round problems like Alonso and Hamilton. If the new car can be tuned to his preferences he’ll be quick.

  45. Walter bakker says:

    Too many arguments made without giving proper understanding to the intangibles of motor racing. Millions spent on the cars yet we think the drivers can overcome weaknesses of faulty engineering. So much can and does happen for which there is no control of and a few drivers have been able to still impress.
    If Massa wants to stay at Ferrari let me say one name, an example from which to learn from. Not the greatest F1 driver ever but without a doubt the most courageous and committed person to exceed all life challenges dealt his way. ALESSANDRO ZANARDI. No matter the challenge presented he exceeds all these drivers with complete determination and a drive few other F1 drivers could supply. Zanardi is now rank #1 in hand cycle after losing both legs in a crash. One very focused racer. A trait a host of drivers on the grid last year and this year desperately need to improve on. A. Zanardi exemplifies a true champion. Learn this Philipe and the sky is the limit.

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