Insight: An era ends at Ferrari – How did Massa do against Alonso?
Innovation
alonso massa
Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Dec 2013   |  12:17 pm GMT  |  173 comments

As Ferrari launched its 2014 turbo F1 engine in Maranello, the team’s disappointing 2013 came to a point of closure.

Felipe Massa ended an eight-year stint with Ferrari, as the team chose to sign Kimi Raikkonen in his place, alongside Fernando Alonso for next year. So, as part of our series of comparisons, we’ve run the numbers on their time together.

The Brazilian, who will drive for Williams next season, spent four seasons with Alonso as his team-mate and according to the statistics, Massa was comfortably outperformed by the Spaniard during that period. However, it needs to be born in mind that on a number of occasions Ferrari invoked team orders in Alonso’s favour, so these comparisons are more of a guide.

In qualifying, Alonso achieved the faster time nearly 75% of the time, beating Massa 59 times to 18. In terms of pole positions, Alonso came out on top with four, with the Brazilian failing to achieve one.

In the races, Alonso scored 11 victories over the period, with Massa failing to finish higher than second. When it came to podiums, Alonso once again led the way, with 42 to Massa’s eight. Things were closer in terms of points finishes, with Alonso coming out on top 69 to 58. But when both cars finished, Alonso finished ahead 58 times to Massa’s seventh.

Overall, Alonso scored more than double the number of points that Massa achieved and beat him in the drivers’ standings in all four years. The Spaniard finished second three times in that period, while Massa’s best was sixth in 2010 and 2011.

OVERALL STATS OVER FOUR SEASONS (Highest tally in bold)

Qualifying


Faster qualifying time: Alonso 59 / Massa 18

Poles: Alonso 4 / Massa 0

Front rows: Alonso 7 / Massa 2

Races


Wins: Alonso 11 / Massa 0

Podiums: Alonso 42 / Massa 8

Points finishes: Alonso 69 / Massa 58 

DNFs: Alonso 5 / Massa 7
Ahead in two-car finish: Alonso 58 / Massa 7

Championship


Points: Alonso 1029 / Massa 496
Seasons finished higher in standings: Alonso 4 / Massa 0
Highest championship placing: Alonso 2nd (2010, 2012, 2013) / Massa 6th (2010, 2011)

Their first season together – 2010 – was perhaps the year in which Massa was closest to Alonso. In qualifying, Alonso had the upper hand, achieving the faster time 15 times to four.

In the races, Alonso clocked up five wins as Massa failed to reach the top step. The Spaniard scored double the number of podiums with 10 to Massa’s 5, but they were close on points finishes with Alonso edging it 16 to 14.

2010 STATS

Qualifying


Faster qualifying time: Alonso 15 / Massa 4

Poles: Alonso 2 / Massa 0

Front rows: Alonso 3 / Massa 1

Races


Wins: Alonso 5 / Massa 0

Podiums: Alonso 10 / Massa 5

Points finishes: Alonso 16 / Massa 14

DNFs: Alonso 1 / Massa 1
Ahead in two-car finish: Alonso 13 / Massa 4

Championship


Points: Alonso 252/ Massa 144
Finished higher in standings: Alonso
Championship placing: Alonso 2nd / Massa 6th

In 2011, Alonso retained the advantage over Massa in qualifying with the Spaniard achieving the faster time 15 times to four. When it came to the races, Alonso’s speed and consistency was clear as he reached the podium 10 times while Massa failed to do so once.

Massa was close in terms of points finishes, with Alonso scoring the slightly better tally of 18 to 15, but when they both saw the chequered flag Alonso finished ahead 13 times to 2.

2011 STATS

Qualifying


Faster qualifying time: Alonso 15 / Massa 4

Poles: Alonso 0 / Massa 0

Front rows: Alonso 1 / Massa 0

Races


Wins: Alonso 1 / Massa 0

Podiums: Alonso 10 / Massa 0

Points finishes: Alonso 18 / Massa 15

DNFs: Alonso 1 / Massa 3
Ahead in two-car finish: Alonso 13 / Massa 2

Championship


Points: Alonso 257/ Massa 118
Finished higher in standings: Alonso
Championship placing: Alonso 4th / Massa 6th

Alonso had a very strong season in 2012, beating Massa 18-2 in the qualifying head-to-head and coming out on top in the poles and front rows tallies.

In the races, he scored three wins while Massa failed to achieve one, and comfortably outscored him in terms of podiums at 13 to 2. Perhaps the most damning statistic is that when they both finished, Alonso always finished in front – 17 times to 0.

2012 STATS

Qualifying


Faster qualifying time: Alonso 18 / Massa 2

Poles: Alonso 2 / Massa 0

Front rows: Alonso 3 / Massa 0

Races


Wins: Alonso 3 / Massa 0

Podiums: Alonso 13 / Massa 2

Points finishes: Alonso 18 / Massa 14 

DNFs: Alonso 2 / Massa 1
Ahead in two-car finish: Alonso 17 / Massa 0

Championship


Points: Alonso 278/ Massa 122
Finished higher in standings: Alonso
Championship placing: Alonso 2nd / Massa 7th

In their final season together, Alonso’s performances in qualifying dropped off, with Massa closing the gap and consistently outqualifying him. Alonso only edged the head-to-head 11-8.

In the races, though, Alonso retained his advantage, scoring nine podiums to Massa’s one and finishing ahead of the Brazilian 15 times to one when both finished the race.

2013 STATS

Qualifying


Faster qualifying time: Alonso 11 / Massa 8

Poles: Alonso 0 / Massa 0

Front rows: Alonso 0 / Massa 1

Races


Wins: Alonso 2 / Massa 0

Podiums: Alonso 9 / Massa 1

Points finishes: Alonso 17 / Massa 15 

DNFs: Alonso 1 / Massa 2
Ahead in two-car finish: Alonso 15 / Massa 1

Championship


Points: Alonso 242/ Massa 112
Finished higher in standings: Alonso
Championship placing: Alonso 2nd / Massa 8th

Don’t forget there is still time to enter the JA on F1 competition to win one of the five special edition Lego boxes which contain six Lego Ferrari cars, courtesy of our friends at Shell.Entries close today (Friday) Click here to find out more and enter.

Featured Innovation
INNOVATION BRIEFING
technical innovation from tata COMMUNICATIONS
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
173 Comments
  1. Gareth says:

    It would be interesting to see some stats for the number of times Massa was required to let Alonso through…

    1. Anil Parmar says:

      Germany 2010, Italy 2013, and Brazil 2012 come to mind.

      Of course, he was allowed to fight alonso and Bahrain 2010, China 2010, Korea 2011, Australia 2013 and Germany 2013 and in each occasion Alonso got himself ahead and walked away from him. Sums Felipe up really :/

    2. LBV says:

      I am an Alonso fan, but when I see all these stats about Massa vs. Alonso, I always remember Brazil 2012. Massa was extremely fast in comparison to Alonso in Brazil. At some points during the race, it looked like Massa could have easily won it, but decided to stay close to Alonso to try to help him out. Probably the best moment of that race was when Massa overtook one car but managed to leave enough room for Alonso overtaking both… amazing move

      For me, as a Ferrari and Alonso fan, that race more than compensated the lack of performance during his last 4 years. I have never seen any driver so focused on helping the team

      1. Spectreman says:

        Totally agree. I never thought I would find a supporting role worthy of that much praise.

    3. Tyemz says:

      My thoughts exactly. It ‘d be interesting to know the number of times Fernando was let through because he was actually “faster than Felipe” and would have passed him anyway and how many times Felipe was told to hold station when he was about to pass Fernando. I think the latter would be a good indicator of how close (or far away) Felipe was to Fernando during their 4 years together at Maranello.

  2. Storm says:

    Massa got hammered throughout the 4 years, but then again, his team mate was Alonso.
    Will be interesting to see how Kimi holds up against the Spaniard.

  3. Jamie Norman says:

    Interesting that the Ferrari big yesterday has already Kimi to number 2, saying he is there to support Alonso’s challenge

    1. NickH says:

      Kimi is there to win the championship. He would not have signed to be no.2. He’d rather go in holiday

    2. Random 79 says:

      In 2014 drivers get to pick their own numbers (from 2 to 99 – #1 is reserved remember), so all Kimi has to do is pick one less than Alonso’s. For example, if Alonso picks #48, Kimi can pick #47.

      The only way Alonso can defend against this strategy is to choose #2, but then he will be the #2 driver ;)

      (and yes I know that which drivers have chosen which numbers is confidential so that blows up my whole theory, but just go with it ;) )

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Alonso has chosen 14 and Kimi has chosen 7.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Okay then, new theory:

        Does this mean Kimi thinks he’s twice as good as Alonso, or that Alonso thinks he’s twice as good as Kimi? ;)

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Wonder why Alonso picked 14?

        Kimi keeping #7 probably saves him the hassle of phoning his helmet designer to make the change.

        It’s a funny one with Ferrari though, they should have the 27 and 28 cars in my opinion, no matter the drivers.

        When Seb no longer has the number 1, he should go for #21, suits his personality as the number most closely associated with him in 2013 ;)

      4. Random 79 says:

        @Clarks4WheelDrift

        Lol, but no.

        Vettel, in the tradition of his helmets, will have a different number for every race.

      5. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Clarks4WheelDrift, Alonso was karting world champion on July 14th in 1996 with kart number 14 beeing 14 years old (he is the only driver on the grid that has a karting world championship). Since then, it has been his lucky number.

      6. KRB says:

        Alonso came out yesterday to say he’s requested #14 as his first choice. So would Kimi pick #13? In the soon-to-be-retired system, they skip over #13.

      7. rachael says:

        @Random 79 i don’t see why their numbers would be relevant in the championship.

        Vettel will have #1 but in the years when he isn’t champion he will have #5.

      8. Random 79 says:

        They’re not; it was just a tongue in cheek response to Jamie’s comment.

        Trust me, I’m no goferet :)

  4. Paul Watson says:

    While the Anti-Alonso brigade will point to Ferrari’s preference towards Alonso over Massa, these stats only point to a complete whitewash!

  5. Arty Phice says:

    I take it that these figures are ‘team-orders’ adjusted?

    1. MISTER says:

      If you’ve watched F1 for more than 2 years you would know team orders existed since 1950 and every team has used them..

      1. W Johnson says:

        But some teams employ team orders far more than others and at points far earlier in the championship…..more understandable at the end of the season….NOT 5 races in as demonstrated by one particular team.

      2. MISTER says:

        give an example please.
        I remember about “Fernando is faster than you!” which was used after 9 races and when Alonso had 31 points advantage on Massa which I think is very reasonable.

        Looking forward to your reply with examples.

      3. Arty Phice says:

        Did you require an ‘emoticon’?

    2. quattro says:

      The figures are never ‘team-orders’ adjusted. If they would be, quite a few drivers who won titles throughout F1 history would loose their titles. For example Hamilton would have lost his sole title from 2007 – the one he took with MCLAREN.

      1. deano says:

        Hamiltons title was 2008, against Kovalainen

  6. Elie says:

    The only question anyone ever needs to ask here.. Is why on earth Ferrari waited so long to replace him. Loyalty after 2009 is one thing but the 2011-2013 were a complete waste.
    For Felipe himself he was surely flattered with the loyalty Ferrari showed- otherwise a break followed by a return to a new team post 2009 would surely have given him a new lease on racing life.

    I will only qualify the above with the fact that Felipe was always pidgeon holed as a no2 driver. Contractually as well as on track. Sure Alonso was the better almost all the time but there were occasions when Felipe was given no choice whatsoever even when he was 10 seconds up the road. This is soul destroying stuff for any racer. hope Felipe finds some of his 2008 form as he moves on to Williams and can offer something special before he retires.

    The stats are no surprise at all and are as much a blight in Ferraris methodology as they are a sign of success for Fernando Alonso.

    1. paul murray says:

      Felipe Massa was the BRAND AMBASSADOR for Santander in Brazil.That was why Massa stayed Kimi was payed off

      1. Luiz Eduardo says:

        Ever the Santander, and even Fiat, used the image of Felipe Massa to the point of making it brand Ambassador. Only Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna had strength enough for this image, since the Brazilian, unfortunately, doesn’t usually appreciate athletes who have not been champions. A serious error, because get and stay in F1 is a great title.

  7. Anil Parmar says:

    From the moment Alonso overtook Massa in the pitlane at China 2010, I knew Massa was in for a rough ride. He’s always lacked consistency and since the Pirelli’s came in he’s struggled to use the tyres in the way Alonso does.

    Here’s hoping his career at Williams goes better.

    1. MISTER says:

      As a long time Ferrari fan..Massa was my man in 2010..and I was fumming when Alonso overtook Massa at the entrance of pitlane..he actually pushed Massa a bit wide and got in front.

      Soon after that, seeing how well Alonso was doing…I became his fan. Still have Massa in my heart, but was a bit dissapointed to say the least by his performances.

      1. Yago says:

        I think Australia 2010 qualifying should have made it clear what driver was the one to follow. A master piece from Fernando Alonso. That was the inflexion point, when people at Ferreri started to realize what Alonso was made of!

  8. Will R says:

    It’s an interesting comparison made a little harder to interpret by the complete focus on one driver to the exclusion of the other at Ferrari. It wouldn’t change the story – Alonso is clearly the better driver – but the margin of difference is exaggerated by Alonso always getting priority treatment.
    Lest we forget Massa was as quick as Kimi during their time together, it’ll be interesting to see Kimi v Alonso play out.

    1. John S says:

      I’m very surprised with all the comments regarding these statistics be adjusted for the preferential treatment Alonso deserved through his performances. Who are we kidding? Giving Massa the one win in Germany 2010 and a few points here and there isn’t going to help four years of being categorically outperformed by his teammate.

      Massa is NOT the same driver he was pre-crash, so anything he did before is irrelevant. Do you really think Massa would be matching Kimi like he did before – right now? No. Just no.

      And for those who think otherwise will be in for a surprise when Kimi will be right there with Alonso fighting for position instead of languishing among Toro Rossos and Williams.

  9. jeroen says:

    Good luck Kimi, you’ll need it!

    1. Sebee says:

      Kimi has all the luck in the world.

      Wasn’t it Alonso’s sponso who got Kimi his “lucky” payout. He’s already the Alpha dog by being paid as much if not more than Alonso to not drive a Ferrari, while Alonso was sweating it to P2 in WDC standings.

      And who exactly is the Ferrari WDC in this pair? I think we need to be reminded.

      It’s not going to be a blowout in 2014, but I squarely think Kimi will get the upper hand by virue of his good quali pace, which is Alonso’s weakness and the fact that Kimi doesn’t have bad starts and high completion rate.

      1. quattro says:

        “He’s already the Alpha dog by being paid as much if not more…”

        Interesting way to interpret what most people will consider a clear sporting defeat. When Ferrari is prepared to pay RAI that much to GET RID of him, in order to REPLACE him with ALO – it makes it obvious which driver Ferrari thinks is the better competitive choice…and they should know. The more they are prepared to pay the less flattered the driver being KICKED out should be. And, the results since proves them quite right.

        “And who exactly is the Ferrari WDC in this pair? I think we need to be reminded.”

        If you dig even deeper in memory you will maybe remember who did beat and force into early retirement a (not one but) five times Ferrari WDC.

        “good quali pace, which is Alonso’s weakness”
        You can say it all day long but cannot prove it, hence it is bull****.

      2. Sebee says:

        quattro,

        Interesting.

        I think most of us here understand that Alonso’s sponsoship backing is the reason Kimi was pushed out, notrace craft alone.

        We also know how important tires are, and how Michelin was running a wide tire and Renault a dampener later ruled illegal mid season as it was a movable aero device. That’s what allowed Alonso to build up the points for WDCs against Schumi.

        Finally, look above at how close Massa is to Alonso in qualifying. Much closer than Alonso would like. Kimi will not be close. He will out qualify Alonso. I’m willing to bet you a Latte on it.

      3. Dan G. says:

        You are absolutely wrong!

        Kimi wasn’t paid because Ferrari wanted him out. To the contrary! Ferrari paid a fortune not to let Kimi available for other teams.

        That is actually proof of how highly regarded Kimi is as a competitor by the Scuderia as they didn’t want to make their lives complicated by having Kimi driving against Alonso and to be honest they were spot on because Kimi rules!

      4. Fireman says:

        @quattro

        “it makes it obvious which driver Ferrari thinks is the better competitive choice…and they should know”

        But Ferrari didn’t know how good Alonso was since he hadn’t raced for Ferrari then. Now that he has, they know. And they’ve rehired Kimi. So using the same kind of logic it’s quite the opposite.

      5. Yago says:

        I don’t know what a “Latte” is, but I propose you the following Sebee: if Kimi outqualifyes Alonso 60% of the times or more I will publically aknowledge (in the last race review of the 2014 season) you were right and I was wrong, and accept you are a better F1 analyzer than me. If Alonso outqualifyes Kimi by that much, it is you who will publically aknowledge it.

        Do you take it?

  10. C Lin says:

    Off topic. LdM just hinted that Kimi will be the no.2 driver helping to take points off Alonso’s opponents. Wow I hope the Iceman know what he’s doing lol.

    1. Richard says:

      I love Kimi, but hell his only motivation comes from his paycheck.

      1. Elie says:

        Well he still hasn’t received one in 2013 – so that clearly not the case

      2. Gareth says:

        So, um, he should race for free for the love of the sport? I don’t think any World Champion would have stuck it out at Lotus with the money issues!

      3. MelB says:

        @Richard Stupid comment

  11. goferet says:

    Hehe looking at those astronomical stats in Alonso’s favour, no wonder the samurai wanted Massa to keep his seat.

    For sure who wouldn’t want a teammate like Massa for not only does he obey orders immediately but also he does the majority of the donkey work in the factory and as a bonus sings your praises in public.

    Make no mistake, Alonso is a world class pilot but going up against a ”damaged” Massa was a typical sweet from a baby scenario.

    I mean if the old Massa could beat Schumi and Kimi to pole and wins numerous times, this just indicates to me Alonso was carrying the team on his back.

    Anyway, Alonso better hope Ferrari produce the 10th fastest car in 2014 otherwise he’s going to leak massive points to Kimi and if things are tight in November, this fact may also lose him the title.

    For as always, you can out perform a poor car but can only under perform in the best car.

    1. MISTER says:

      Alonso and Massa are good friends..and yes, Alonso knew that he can rely on Massa to let him past if needed, but realistically, how many time in the last 4 years Massa had to let Alonso past?

      I would actually prefer someone who can take points off my competitors. This is one thing Massa almost NEVER did. To take points off Vettel. In contrary, Webber took lots of points off Alonso, which helped Vettel.

      1. NickH says:

        He never did that because he’s not very good. That’s why Feenando “150%” Alonso beat him so easily. Also, one could say that changing your gearbox on the grid so that your teammate can move ahead is a form of moving over

      2. MISTER says:

        I definitely think getting the gearbox penalty in Austin was a favour to Alonso. The gearbox penalty and moving over in Germany 2010 were the 2 most obvious times when Massa helped Alonso. But what are the other times? Can we count 10 times in 4 years? 20 times?

        To be honest I don’t remember many such incidents and I’m not sure there are 10 such incidents in 4 years.

      3. Spectreman says:

        @mister: you only remember those two? better check your memory then – think Interlagos 2012.

      4. goferet says:

        @ MISTER

        Considering Alonso was backing Massa, it appears he prefers teammates that have little chance of taking points off him or his competitors.

      5. MISTER says:

        Have you ever heard of a driver saying to the world media that his teammate is not good and the team should drop him and hire someone else? Please give examples if you did. I don’t remember such thing.

        And taking into consideration that Alonso and Massa get along very well as friends, why would Alonso not back his friend up?
        Come on!

      6. W Johnson says:

        Mister,

        I agree with Goferet.

        It would also concern me from a Team Principal’s perspective if two drivers rub along so well in the way you describe Alonso and Massa….where is the intensity of two driver’s competing to win the WDC?

        It is obvious that Alonso wants to be crowned the 1 driver at Ferrari, having a driver in the team he knows he can beat than one who will give him no quarter such as Raikkonen….Let the battle commence!

      7. W Johnson says:

        Mister,

        I agree with Goferet.

        It would also concern me from a Team Principal’s perspective if two drivers rub along so well in the way you describe Alonso and Massa….where is the intensity of two driver’s competing to win the WDC?

      8. uan says:

        Alonso barely took points off of Alonso. And Webber rarely took points off Alonso (recall Abu Dhabi 2012 or Brazil 2012?) Great time for Webber to take some points, but couldn’t get it done. Though he did pip Alonso at Silverstone iirc, which was good.

        In fairness, Ferrari did cover Webber in Abu Dhabi 2010, which worked beautifully for Vettel.

        But ultimately, Webber never tried to take points off of anyone for Vettel, only to maximize his own results. I think if Ferrari had more trust in themselves or Alonso, they would have allowed Massa to race straight up, similar to Webber – it would have made Massa stronger overall and he probably would have done more to take points away from Vettel.

      9. W Johnson says:

        The point about having a team mate that automatically lets you pass is that it has elevated Alonso’s performance when others don’t get that easy pass.

      10. W Johnson says:

        Massa gave way to Alonso in many races…..far more than 2, especially in the way Ferrari coordinated the strategy to provide an excuse for the theatrics of Ferrari’s team orders when they were supposedly banned by FIA.

      11. quattro says:

        As you already are saying it was only a couple of occasions – actually it should have been many more, but since MAS never was ABLE to even get close to ALO come race day, let alone the redbulls, it was not needed or even possible.

        So you have to ask yourself why media channels and some fans still keep talking about such a none-issue given the total ALO-MAS domination. And why are they not they talking about the very obvious and clear mistreatment in other teams, e g Redbull or Mclaren as much. The only answer I can find is that these entities does so for no logical reason – it is only about bitterness. Bitterness towards Ferrari and bitterness towards ALO.
        I suspect that they will have to look forward towards even more bitterness in the coming ALO-RAI era…will be same story but a different “Massa”.

    2. Bart says:

      I don’t think Massa was “damaged”, he actually wasn’t that bad in the first half of 2010. His problems started the following year and I think you can call them “Pirellis”

  12. meridabob says:

    You forget to add the stat about how many times who moved over for who.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Could you supply that stat please and hen comment if it makes any discernable difference.

  13. mystic_bolton says:

    He could and should have been world champion. In my opinion he deserved it more than Hamilton which does put Hamilton’s own performances and hype into question. Hamilton was very lucky that Glock pulled over to let him through; with out that then Massa would have deserved all the plaudits. I for one wish him well at Williams. Hope Ross goes their and gives the team the push they need.

    1. John in SD says:

      Glock was on slicks in a downpour. There was no letting anybody through. He and Trulli were done. However, Hamilton was very lucky that day.

    2. Tyemz says:

      Come off it man! that old horse ‘s been beat to death and lest you forget, this article’s about Fernando and Felipe, and not Hamilton, Glock, Toyota, slicks or wets.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Old song. Yes he won the race in Brazil and he was better in Brazil, but they had a nice fight throughout the season. Why does Felipe deserve the title more? Because he won more races -the Ecclestone argument? Perhaps we should discuss Spa 2008? The “deserving champ” has not been able to add another win after his Brazilian triumph whereas Lewis has won at least one every year since joining the grid- yeah Lewis is hyped!

      1. Rodrigo Martins says:

        What about Singapure 08 ? do you think is fair to keep those results ? and Lewis finished third and felipe was thirteenth… thats why i think Felipe deserved 2008 championship and in 2009 he was outperforming Kimi in most of the races until the crash.

      2. paul murray says:

        Singapore 08 Massa’s race ended when he dragged the fuel rig down the pit lane.Also had a gift in Canada when Lewis ran into Kimi while stopped at the red light at the end of the pit lane

      3. Rodrigo Martins says:

        But the pit stop was planned to be few laps ahead and without both cars in the pits… the team made a mistake but in a normal conditions that problem wouldn’t happen. In canada there was no plan to have safety car in the race track to help any driver… and felipe was only fifth…

      4. Spectreman says:

        I’m with you Rodrigo, but you know it’s kinda useless arguing these things with most brits. I mean, many of them think Mansell was one of the greatest drivers ever. He had a degree in engineering and yet in 86-87 he copyed Piquet’s set-up whenever he could. Not to mention that his only title was achieved in one of the most dominating cars in F1 history. I wouldn’t put Mansell not even in my all time top 20.

    4. Spectreman says:

      Any suggestion that Glock’s behaviour was suspicious is ridiculous, of course. Still, I do think Massa was the better driver that year. He was the best qualifier (on average, Hamilton had one pole more) in a season in which it was harder to overtake. Take away crashgate (that GP should have been simply annuled, I don’t care how much time it took for the cheating to be found out) and Massa is champion. Take away that pathetic scoring system that gave unprecedented only 25% points more to the winner compared to 2nd place and Massa is champion. Hamilton was VERY lucky. Unless he gets lucky again and Merc dominates next year, I can’t see he ever winning the title again.

    5. Rafael says:

      Glock did not let Hamilton through – Toyota took a gamble to stay on dry weather tires, but it eventually failed when the rain fell harder. Whether or not Hamilton deserved to be champion in 2008 no longer matters. History will always recognise him as a world champion.

      If anything, we can actually turn the 2008 guns around and point it at Massa: he had a better car, a better team, was the more experienced driver and had better “luck” (where else will you see the stewards dock your rival of a hard earned win [Spa '08] and hand it over to you instead?), but when it came down to it, he still couldn’t win the championship (I would say those endless spins in Oz, Malaysia, GBR, and so on ultimately cost him the title).

      Finally, I do not believe his accident in ’09 changed him significantly. If anything, I think it was really just all down to the realisation that Alonso was a much better driver than he (Massa) originally expected. I mean, Massa was able to (occasionally) take the fight to Schumacher and he did outperform Raikkonen in their 2/3 years together, so he probably thought he had Alonso covered; heck, he even out-qualified Alonso by some four tenths in their first race together (Bahrain ’10)… but at the start of that race, Fernando just drove around him in the first corner and ran away, eventually winning the race. And then there was the shove on the way to the pit lane in China (2010). I think that finally sent Massa (and Ferrari) the message that Alonso simply belongs to another level, and Massa unable to find any answer for it just faded away.

      1. Yago says:

        I agree on your view on Massa and his accident. Finally somebody with a balanced view regarding this, thanks. I just wanted to point out the following: Ferrari realized Alonso’s true level at the second qualifying session of 2010, in Australia. He drove beautifully there, the gap with Massa being more than 7 tenths. But more than that, he was ahead of Massa every single time they went out on track, and he managed those huge differences with his teammate in both runs of Q3, not just one marginal special lap.

        Pace wise, that was the inflection point.

      2. Spectreman says:

        @Rafael

        Better car? Better TEAM? Oh, c’mon…

      3. KRB says:

        Yes, a better car! 13-3 in fastest laps, back in the refuelling days when it was truly representative. 541-325 in laps led. 2008 remains the last season the WDC wasn’t in the WCC car.

    6. Krischar says:

      @ mystic_bolton

      Pure Myth and non sense

      Massa had the quickest car in the grid in 2008 (F2008). Mclaren were slower and Lewis did a brilliant job and deserved 2008 WDC winner. Despite the car Massa was gifted win and points in 2008 SPA GP. Massa drove into lewis in FUJI 2008 as well and lost crucial points. Massa spun in 2008 malaysian GP from P2 and lost points. Despite the quickest car and subdued teammate which massa had in 2008 he was not able to Grab the 2008 WDC.

      Glock story is a complete nonsense as well. Massa had enough chances in F1 to win WDC and achieve more than what his numbers show now. Yet People undermine what lewis has achieved in a slower car

      Alonso did a awesome job 2010 and 2012 were absolute cracker. He thrashed massa into pieces. Yet People here always come up with Excuses and Excuses like 09 accident, 08 few seconds WDC winner. Team order nonsense and Status quo rubbish.

      The people who support massa here are blind Alonso haters. IN fairness no people will like to be a fan of massa if they watched F1 for the last 5 seasons or so

  14. Andy says:

    Qualifying is the only true indicator, with the races having been managed in Alonso’s favour.

    1. Sebee says:

      Intersting angle.

      This view could easily be argued and defended, which in my book makes is a valid view.

    2. MISTER says:

      I find it ridiculous that you think Massa moved over for Alonso in races that many times in 4 years to explain the vast difference in results.

      Before you say such things, why don’t you actually write down how many times Massa had to help Alonso. While you’re at it, look how many times Massa took points off Vettel..Alonso’s main competitor in the last 4 years.

      1. Andy says:

        I find it ridiculous that you didn’t read my comment properly. I did not suggest that any team orders explained the differences between their race performances. I said that the true indicator was qualifying as team influences rarely played a part. There was still a chasm between them.

      2. Rockie says:

        “While you’re at it, look how many times Massa took points off Vettel..Alonso’s main competitor in the last 4 years.”

        This, how many times did Alonso himself take points of Vettel?

      3. Sebee says:

        That’s his point.

        At Ferrari quali has no orders beside asking Massa to give Alonso draft here or there. But in races the better strategy and priority always goes to Alonso, and it’s a big advantage.

        It’s an interesting way to look at it.

  15. JB says:

    We knew that Alonso performed better but I didn’t know that Massa has a bit more DNF. I guess it does not matter. But he has been less fortunate than mark webber.
    Yet. He had no complaints what so ever.

    I suppose Ferrari don’t give freedom to speak like Red Bull does.

    With that assumption, I think Mark had it easier as number 2 than poor Massa.

    1. MISTER says:

      I don’t think you have much to complain about when you crash 3 times in a weekend like Massa did in Monaco…

  16. Joe B says:

    Wow. This makes Massa look much, much worse than Alonso when it’s all put together like this. There were moments where it almost seemed like he had his old spark back (the last few races of 2012 come to mind), but he hasn’t been the same driver since his accident.

    This partnership being over is a blessing for F1 though. Let’s see Kimi vs Fernando to settle the debate about who’s best between those two once and for all…

    1. Yago says:

      Sorry, but on my side no debate there at all. Alonso is a level (or two) above Kimi.

      1. Joe B says:

        That’s fair enough – I agree to thinking that Alonso maybe edges it, but I wouldn’t want to bet on it. It’s two of the best drivers of the last 10 years (the best?) in one team though; whoever wins, it should be great to watch.

      2. Yago says:

        I don’t really like to bet, but what I wanted to point out is that in my opinion it would be a safe bet. But I could be wrong of course!

  17. Dorian says:

    ouch. poor Massa, one has to wonder why Ferrari took so long to replace him. I’m guessing the constructors titles the last couple of years would have been different if they had a higher caliber driver. Not to knock on Massa as I really like the guy, but the numbers speak for themselves.

  18. KARTRACE says:

    James, on the other tread you almost stated that Massa beat Alonso ?

  19. John Bond says:

    Nice statistics but only statistics. What it doesn’t say is the team orders. In any case, Alonso is the better driver. But, can anyone believe that Alonso won 11 times and Massa could not win a single time. I am not sure about this.

    1. MISTER says:

      Is not only that, but Massa wasn’t even close a single time to be honest. Of course expect Germany 2010 I believe, when he was asked to let Alonso past and Massa finished 2nd. After that, I don’t remember when Massa was close to winning a race.

      1. Spectreman says:

        @mister: ‘zactly. Put yourself in his shoes: after all he’d gone thru, he’s finally getting his s**t together and out of nowhere comes “Fernando is faster than you…”

        Massa himself has said THAT was the worst moment in his career, not Interlagos 2008 or Hungaroring 2009. And it was sheer stupidity from Ferrari, had they let him win that race, I bet he would take more points from Vettel occasionally, and Alonso would probably have won at least one WDC for the prancing horse already.

      2. Yago says:

        No selective memory on my side. Even in qualifying the difference between the two was around four tenths! But of course Massa could have won that race, as a result of a good start (Alonso’s was compromised by a rude action by Vettel) and a very good first stint with the softs. Then with the hards Alonso was comfortably faster.

      3. Spectreman says:

        @Yago

        Ok, I take my ‘selective memory’ comment back. But only that.

      4. Yago says:

        Yes, but even in Germany 2010 Massa was not even close to Alonso’s pace.

      5. Spectreman says:

        Honestly, I suspect some selective memory there. And we’ll never know whether Massa would successfully defend his position. You know, drivers sometimes do win races with slower pace but smarter driving. Not only that, when it happens, the driver is usually exalted for his performance.

      6. KRB says:

        Massa could’ve held off Alonso in Germany 2010. Remember no DRS in 2010.

        Alonso tried the same thing in USA ’07, and CAN ’05, asking the team to employ team orders. Renault rolled over for him, while McLaren didn’t. For those moved out of the way (Massa, Fisichella), it had a predictable effect on their confidence, in that it obliterated any shred of confidence left. That’s all well and good for a team to do when they have the clearly best car, but is poison for a team that has to slug it out every race weekend just to bridge the performance gap enjoyed by a rival outfit.

  20. holly says:

    Alonso is a podium machine.

    1. Brad says:

      wonder what is Vettel then??

      1. KRB says:

        Compare them to their teammates in the same car, since 2010, for a better gauge.

        Alonso 42/ 8 Massa … 5.25:1
        Vettel 53/32 Webber .. 1.66:1

        Alonso is a podium machine.

      2. John S says:

        This is interesting. And valid. But we have to look at the performance of the cars they are working with. Alonso took an okay car and got it to the podium. Vettel took a good car and won with it. So Vettel is the winning machine.

      3. Brad says:

        KRB, looking at the stats you aptly provided, Im going to ask you again. Who is the podium machine? Im not concerned about their relative performance to their teammates.

      4. Bartholomew says:

        @KRB – And Vettel is a victory machine.

      5. KRB says:

        @Brad (and @JohnS and @Bart to some degree), I guess for me when you have the best car, you should be getting the most podiums. The Red Bulls natural finishing position should be #1 and #2, such is the strength of the car. So while Vettel has been racking up the podiums (and the wins), it’s the natural position for his car, being the better of the two RBR drivers.

        Alonso, on the other hand, was very often in cars that were 3rd or even 4th best, but still was able to snag podium places. His 13 podiums last year (next highest was Vettel with 10) in THAT car was very impressive.

        If we want to compare Alonso and Vettel, let’s use periods where each had the best car. For Alonso, that would be 2005-06, and for Vettel 2010-13, though even there Vettel’s had the better car in relative terms, with absolutely dominant cars in both ’11 and ’13.

        Alonso: 29/37 = 80.56%
        Vettel: 53/77 = 68.83%

        Full disclosure: I don’t even like the guy! I think Alonso is too political for his own good, more than a little paranoid, and a double-edged sword for any F1 team. He’s relentless behind the wheel though, especially on Sundays.

      6. Brad says:

        Ah, now now KRB, dont try to get clever and get to a space where things can get abit misleading. You used 3 years for Vettel. Let’s use his best 2 years for arguments sake and we’ll get a closer picture. Remember you did it for Alonso, please don’t disadvantage Vettel with having a longer period to calculate to. Let’s remember the quota and calibre of those Vettel raced against. Alonso had Schumacher right. Vettel not only had 4 other champions (5 with Schumie). So the stats for Vettel over his 2 best years look something like this…
        Victory stats
        24/38 = 63%
        Podium stats
        32/38 = 84%
        Vettel is BOTH the Podium and Victory Machine!!!!!!!
        Now I know this just blew your mind hasn’t it!

        Ps, you made a slight calculation error for Alonso’s podium stats: 29/37 = 78%

      7. KRB says:

        @Brad, I made an error with the denominator, it was 29/36 races = 80.56%. I forgot about Alonso’s DNS at Indy in ’05.

        I actually used 4 years for Vettel … 2010-13. All the years in which he had the clearly best car, just as I used 2005-06 as those are the only two years in which Alonso has had the clearly best car. Having the best car was my barometer, not best X number of seasons.

        Alonso has never had a car as dominant as the RB7 or RB9 were (or even the RB6, for that matter!), so I fail to see how just using those years would yield a fair comparison. He had the best car in ’05 and ’06, but it wasn’t miles better than Kimi’s McLaren in ’05 (Kimi’s Mac was faster, but not reliable) or Schumi’s Ferrari (which wasn’t as fast in the beginning, but faster towards the end of the season) in ’06.

        The best evidence of this is Fisichella’s podium count in those golden days for Renault: 8 podiums over 2005-06. So 29-8 for Alonso in their time as teammates (78.38%). For the Vettel-Webber partnership? 61-40 for Vettel (60.40%). Webber, who scored 2 podiums over his first 7 seasons, then scores 40 over his last 5. All b/c he was sat in the best car for most of those 5 seasons.

        Lastly, the number of champions in the field is irrelevant, unless they’re in cars that are as or more competitive. Beating Villeneuve in a BAR, or Hill in an Arrows or Jordan, means zilch. Even beating Schumi in a crap Ferrari (’05) or Hamilton in a crap McLaren (’09) means nothing.

  21. AuraF1 says:

    Interesting about their final year qualifying – wonder if that was Massa regaining some of his old speed or Alonso losing some of his one lap pace (clearly his race pace wasn’t impacted if so).

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Massa with quali set up. Said by him and the team. At the end of the weekends the result was the same because felipe had way worse pace and tyre management due to the agressive settings, but in qualy made the difference sometimes (but still lost it 11-8, though).

  22. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    What we see here is that, after all, this year was very similar to the last one in terms of relative performance (last year 20 races with 156 points between drivers, this year 19 races with 130 points difference) so I have a public question:
    If Alonso hasn’t been as good as last year, and Massa has done equal or better, why is the difference almost the same?
    I have one possible answer, but i would like to know what other people think about it.

    1. MISTER says:

      I believe it seems Alonso hasn’t been as good as last year, only when you compare him with Vettel. And the car was pretty bad in the 2nd half of 2013..therefore leaving a bad impression of Alonso’s performances.

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        So overalls he hasn’t been worse than last year…

  23. James says:

    With the interesting comments today from Di Montezemelo saying Raikonnen has been hired as a #2 driver, it will be an interesting article in 12 months time to see who did better at Ferrari – Massa or Raikonnen.

    1. Brad says:

      Link please

  24. Stan says:

    I’m not sure about the statement that Felipe changed after that accident, i think he changed after he lost the championship in 2008 and the crappy start the team had in 2009 before his accident, then coming back and finding out Alonso “the great” is his team-mate, that’s what got him.

    Being the number 2 driver to Schumacher is different, he’s the calm, charismatic German hero who worked 4 years to make Ferrari the force it was from 2000 to 2004, Felipe would have been happy to be second to him a couple of years and seeing Raikkonen as a threat only on the circuit, never in the team was still ok to him, Kimi is too laid back and doesn’t want atention, so Felipe was still the favorite.

    But Alonso, who like Michael is also charismatic, witty and a champion but with a clear passion to win, stole the team from him, or at least that’s the way he probably felt. He should have left Ferrari in 2011 for Renault(Lotus today) and things would have been different. But i’m guessing Ferrari is very comfortable.

    I like to think he has the skill, at Williams with Bottas who is a next-gen driver, that’s were Massa will prove if he has what it takes. If not better get Bruno Senna back, sponsors love tossing that name around.

  25. Krishna says:

    This is an article with useful insight in the post accident Massa era. Any info on how he fared against Kimi and Schuey?

    In another note: The article could have been edited more in the vein of JA’s standards. There are a ton of spelling issues and grammar – some of us race fans care, you know.

    1. Kevin says:

      Yeah, James, “borne”.

  26. Bart says:

    James,
    first of all, congats on the best blog of the year! The highest standards in my view.

    What do you make of LCDM’s words: “He knows that he is in the second half of his career,” he said, referring to Raikkonen. “But he is especially strong in the race, and is able to take points from Fernando’s opponents.”

    Luca didn’t say Kimi would fight for the title. You could think they have a no. 2 role for Kimi or just don’t believe he’s able to challange Alonso. Interesting…

    1. James Allen says:

      Humouring Alonso, but also knowing Raikkonen doesn’t care what is said, he knows what he’s doing there and he will do his best

      1. Bart says:

        Thanks for your reply, James, a very good point, I think. This Alonso humouring might turn into a double edged sword, however.

        We’re in for a thrilling season. If someone runs away with the title like RB have done this year, there may still be plenty of good stuff going on at Ferrari. I hope Kimi and Fernando stay super motivated

      2. Sammy says:

        Mental games going on there already but my feeling tells me Fernando will eat Kimi alive ;)

      3. Elie says:

        It’s Monty’s usual trick of spurring both drivers on isn’t it.
        It’s kinda like “Kimi your too old to pose a serious threat ..& Fernando your still the best but you have to remember Kimi is not bad in the race so watch out”

        I’m sure in the back of his mind though he’s thinking “when Kimi starts beating you on track then we will see who are “the geniuses” ”
        Win win situation anyway you look at it.

      4. Bryce says:

        Wishful thinking from a big fan, or realistic expectations?

        I hope he does well and proves me wrong, but think that whilst not much older than ALO, that slippery slope of age has already taken his edge.

      5. Elie says:

        @Bryce- I don’t think there will be much in it either way. Even if one wins more races than the other. The margins won’t be dramatic.
        It’s the old story it depends how well the car suits a particular driving style. Given FA has been with the team over the last few years he has more intimate knowledge of what direction the car is being developed .So the pendulum is already slightly his way. But Raikkonen is the driver that adapts to any car faster than any driver I have seen in F1, Sauber, Mclaren, Ferrari and indeed Lotus he stuns people from the first turn of the wheel.

      6. C Lin says:

        You are pretty spot on James!

  27. Lawrence says:

    FM got mullered.

  28. Davexxx says:

    “Massa was comfortable (sic) outperformed by the Spaniard during that period”…
    I’m not sure poor Massa would feel comfortably about it ;-)

  29. John M says:

    Ferrari got what they wanted: a number 2 driver.

    I don’t know if anyone will ever know to what extent Massa’s accident at Hungary affected him. But, clearly he didn’t measure up to Alonso. How much of this was down to the team not really backing him, versus him just not performing well enough? Is Alonso just simply that much better than him, or was he just never quite the same after his injury?

    I’m sure we all have opinions on this, but I don’t think there really is a definitive answer. Probably a bit of everything combined (injury, Alonso’s better, #2 status).

  30. Stephen Taylor says:

    James , what do make of Montezemelo’s comment that Kimi has been brought back to Maranello to ‘take points from Fernando’s competitors’?

  31. madmax says:

    Massa Ferrari time

    2006 Schumacher vs Massa
    Qualifying Schumi ahead 14 v 4
    Race both finished Schumi 11 vs 3
    Schumi ahead qualy by average 0.357s

    2007- 2009 Raikkonen vs Massa
    Qualifying Massa ahead 25 v 20
    Race both finished Massa 15 vs 14
    Massa ahead qualy by av 0.075s not including 2009.

    2010 – 2013 Alonso vs Massa (from article)
    Qualifying Alonso ahead 59 v 18
    Race both finished Alonso 58 vs 7
    Alonso ahead qualy by av 0.302s not including 2010-2011. Don’t have data on other years.

    Looking at this I think Kimi’s going to have severe problems next year handling Alonso.

    1. madmax says:

      (mistake above) Alonso ahead qualy by av 0.302s from 2010-2011. Don’t have data on other years.

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      And this is with 2013, when Massa has been all the year using qualy set up. Before this season he was losing 48-8…

    3. MISTER says:

      Thanks for the time put into searching this madmax. Makes it an interesting reading and gives a bit to think about next year.

    4. Hansb says:

      Nice statistics !
      It shows the incredible race performance of Alonso by outperforming Massa 58 to 7. Compare that to Räikkönen and Schumi.

    5. NickH says:

      These statistics are totally meaningless because Massa has been useless since his accident, whereas before his accident he was a very good driver.

    6. JK says:

      I agree with what you say and imply, but to a lesser extent.

      Summarised into another words, what can you expect from Kimi, the guy who was made to look bad by even someone like Massa, whom, Massa himself was extremely embarrased by Alonso.. Just Imagine what Alonso would do to Kimi..

      But..

      Massa was at his best and peak of his career (performance wise) during the years with Kimi, making Kimi look bad and Massa better.

      And then we compare Massa to Alonso, the guy who destroyed Massa..
      This makes Massa look bad and Alonso Invincible. Since Alonso joined Massa at Ferrari, Massa has been not so hot.
      Some say it is the accident, some say #2-handcuffs… either way, his performance was not what it could and should have been.

      I am rooting for Kimi to do well, but being a betting man I put my money on Alonso coming out on top.
      But not by as much as your stats suggests.

      And I sincerely hope so too, because with so many unknowns going into 2014, it will be more difficult to anticipate the outcome.

      Performance gaps between teams will be bigger than recent years (making the 2014 championship potentially boring, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in performance the chasers), and I think the key points of enjoyment that can be derived from 2014 is inter-team racing.

  32. ManOnWheels says:

    I think one needs to take that with a grain of salt. No one knows how often Massa had to make room for Alonso or got the 2nd best option when splitting the strategy.
    I think in any other team the two would have been closer matched.

  33. NickH says:

    Pre 2009 Massa is totally different to post 2009 Massa. Despite flashes of speed still not anywhere near the driver he was before his accident

    1. Mikedefieslife says:

      Pure speculation.

      Massa actually performed well initially after his comeback. It was later that his performance got worse.

      You have to remember that the cars were a lot different in 2010 to those in 2008. Massa was known to rely on traction control more than most.

      It’s interesting to see that in 2009 when the car was complete rubbish both drivers struggled badly, though after Massa’s accident Kimi had 4 podiums in a row.

      1. NickH says:

        So you’re basically saying Massa was good with Traction control (ie. pre 2009 as the cars in 2008 still had special software that acted similar to TC) and bad without traction control (ie after 2009). So he was bad after 2009… Not sure what you’re arguing pal?! Massa would have never won a race in that Dog F60 like Kimi did

  34. Steve JR says:

    Poor Massa. These numbers are essentially meaningless with his nunber 2 driver status. His talent was surely dulled from the incident in Hungry in 2009. A true comparison would have been to pit him against Alonso in the 2008 car back in the day. He certainly had more than just an edge on the mighty Raikkonen that year.

  35. john3voltas says:

    People will go crazy when a driver in a red car is told to let by his teammate.
    I am a Ferrari fan, have been for at least the last 33 years (been a fan since 6yo) and I have seen tens not to say hundreds of team orders coming from teams that don’t have red cars and I never saw as much as 10% of the whiners that I’ve seen when it’s the red team.
    I do like Massa a lot but I have only seen him move over for Alonso (a driver that I don’t particularly like) for maybe 3 or 4 times in 4 years.
    You may say that 1 time is enough, that it’ll send the message stating that he is #2 but then again teams have to make sure that they optimize their points in every races and unfortunately Massa was never in a position that we could say that he had chances to get a win or even a podium when he was asked to move over.
    Drivers have to suck it up and see that as a message that they haven’t been delivering and that they need to do a better job.

    1. MISTER says:

      Excellent point. As far as I’m concerned, both drivers in a team are equal (more or less) when on the start grid. If Massa would’ve qualify on the first or second row..and got the lead of a race within 2 laps..no team in the world would ask him to slow down and let his teammate, who lets say is in 3rd or 4th, to pass him.

      The only time was Germany 2010 when Massa would’ve probably won the race, but he was 31 points behind Alonso with half a season gone. I like Massa, but when your teammate got a 31 point lead in half a season, then I think the team was right to get behind the driver who still realistically had a chance to catch Webber at that time who was leading.

      I would like to point out Australia 2010, when Massa finished 3rd and Alonso 4th 2 second behind Massa. Even tho’ Alonso was leading on points, Ferrari let them race.

      1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        I also remember that race, especially the last laps. Alonso not only finished 4 th, behind Massa, he also defended BOTH against a charging Hamilton, and he did that being very smart. I remember the post race analysis. He let himself some room between his car and Masa’s for having space to defend against Hamilton. At that point of the championship, he was a team player.

        P.S. I just want to apologize for the bad English, and i wanna say hello to all of you. I’ve been here since the spring of 2010, reading JA on F1 but this is the first post!

      2. James Allen says:

        Thanks for your post

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        You are right, it is an excellent point. Take Monza when Alonso had a Q3 failure started 10th. Massa was well ahead and if good enough, should have raced near Alonsos pace, kept cars between them, but he couldn’t and was hunted down.

        I don’t think Massa would have won Germany 2010 though. He was a bit slower than Alonso lap after lap, lost his lead and the Red Bull in 3rd was also closing on them as well. I think Alonso would have made the move before it became a 3 way scrap. In no way did Massa do what he should have done in Germany which was blast away from Alonso and Seb to take the win from the front.

        The way some people bleat on about Germany makes it sound like Massa was half a minute up the road and sacrificed the win for no good reason!

      4. Yago says:

        Alonso was clearly faster that weekend, but remember there was not drs in 2010, and no fast degrading pirelli tyres. Alonso tried to get past Massa after the first pit stop and wasn’t able. I think Massa probably would have won in Germany, and that’s why Ferrari used team orders. It was very difficult to overtake that year! (Alonso lost the title as a consequence of this. With drs in Abu Dahbi he would have been the 2010 world champion!)

  36. Dave Aston says:

    Wow, Alonso only has 4 poles in 4 years at Ferrari. At a team like that, so much experience and so well funded. I’ve been watching since the early 80′s, and I don’t know why he’s so highly rated. He’s good, but not great.

    1. MISTER says:

      Don’t take this personally, but you’ve been watching and didn’t learn anything. How many points do you get for pole position?

      1. Bryce says:

        How else would someone be expected to “take this”, other than personally?

        I would like to know why you feel the need to stand up for ALO so vehemently?

      2. MISTER says:

        It really wasnt personally. I get a bit frustrated when people attack him without giving examples. Or they talk about him and Massa like he got favours from Massa every single race in last 4 years.

        How should I feel when people use Brazil ’12 as an example that Alonso benefited from a team order. Yes, Massa did help Alonso in Brazil’12, but I believe every teammate would have done that regardless of any team orders. Alonso was still with a chance and it was normal for Massa to help.

      3. j says:

        Agreed. After the first 20 comments or so it started getting old.

    2. TimW says:

      “good but not great” bit like the last 4 Ferrari F1 cars really….

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Edit: Wow, Alonso managed 4 poles in 4 years at Ferrari. At a team like that, such poor cars and so badly developed. I’ve been watching since the early 80′s, and I can see why he’s so highly rated. He’s a great, 2012 really confirmed that. :)

  37. Warren G says:

    Four years together and the same old tired “team orders” line is trotted out. The only times Massa was ahead in the races was usually through a series of fortunate events that played into his hands, rather than sheer speed. In four years, I remember 4 instances where Massa was asked to move over, and at that stage he was clearly out of contention for the title.

    I’m not an Alonso fan, I support the team and if Alonso moves on, good luck to him, but to diminish how comprehensively he has destroyed Massa in the last four seasons by dragging team orders into his terribly unfair. He has the full support of the team because he’s earned it, not demanded it.

  38. Liam in Sydney says:

    A beasting, in anyone’s language. Yes Ferrari told Massa to defer to Alonso numerous times, but on all but a few occasions Alonso was genuinely faster, and once past, invariably romped away to secure a 2nd or 3rd. What Massa needed to do was finish 1 place behind Alonso, to be ‘the next best’, but he invariably was not sadly.

  39. Truth or Lies says:

    I am really surprised James Allen took time for this totally pointless article. It’s impossible to judge Alonso and Massa in the same vein as some of the other comparisions recently made.

    Massa was a team player at all times throughout his Ferrari career eg: handing Kimi victory at Interlagos in 2007 to secure the title. Then when you add in the number of times his strategy was compromised during races to benefit Alonso, this was a very regular feature in 2010, 11 and 12, though I felt less so in 2013, it makes the comparison valueless. Alonso comes out ahead of Felipe for sure, but this article portrays a massacre and its purpose is disrespectful to Massa.

    Even leaving all that aside, there is no account taken of the physiological effects that Massa felt returning from a serious head injury and then having to deal with a political mover like Alonso.

    In the end its a meaningless space filler. I’ve come to expect much more from JA on F1 than this type of pointless journalism.

    1. James Allen says:

      ” There is no account taken of the physiological effects that Massa felt returning from a serious head injury and then having to deal with a political mover like Alonso.”

      I’m sorry, this is Formula 1.. the very highest level…nobody takes account of those things. If a driver can’t hack it he’s out. Same in other professions within the sport. Do you think F1 should be all about making excuses?

      I see no reason whatsoever why Ferrari should be exempt from similar comparisons to the ones we have done with other teams, none of which you criticised. A caveat is clearly made at the top of the article that Massa was compromised by Ferrari orders and that the piece is therefore more of a guide.

      I can’t do more than that.

    2. Davexxx says:

      Sad you have to make this pointless criticism of James’ article. Ironically it would have been MORE unfair of James to have NOT done a comparison article about Ferrari while doing them for all other teams.
      I found it a useful article since I hadn’t realised ‘how badly’ Massa had done, even though he still did a good job attempting to fend off the opposition to help Alonso.
      James is also right in that F1 is a tough world and, regardless of any reasons, if you can’t do well then someone else will replace you. Also Kubica points out it’s unlikely Massa’s injury had such a major impact (pardon the pun) on his subsequent performance.

    3. KARTRACE says:

      Every article got its purpose. Whether we agree with content or not that is another issue. All in all Massa is a nice guy but that doesn’t make you F1 WCD. He was helped by Kimi in return, year later, and he failed on his own accord to promote himself to the F1 Throne. He had enough chances but didn’t make “the sale”.

  40. TimW says:

    Firsat one to use some dodgy statistical method to prove it was a draw gets a free mince pie!

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Ermmm,

      Alonso beat Massa by more than double the points most seasons.

      1-0 Alonso,

      Massa has raced for Ferrari about double the amount of times Alonso has.

      1-1 Massa/Alonso,

      Hence, cough, statistically it was a draw.

      You can keep the mince pie though, as I fudged the results – the full theory also proves Massa’s helmet is a brighter yellow than Alonso’s helmet hence 2-1 Massa.

      1. TimW says:

        not bad, but I’m sure there is a more obscure measure out there, maybe positions gained from the start to the 3rd corner on a high downforce track in April (not including 2010)

  41. Tim says:

    The Alonso-Massa battle wasn’t much to talk about, the real battle was Massa trying to hold onto his seat.

  42. Rockie says:

    Looking at the stats all I can see here is Nepotism at Ferrari!

  43. Rishi says:

    With some of the longer-term comparisons like Alonso vs Massa and Vettel vs Webber I wonder if it’s worth ordering the analysis differently from a mere chronological analysis.

    For example, it is generally believed that Vettel really got on top of Webber when it came to a) Red Bull’s blown diffuser (including the iteration that came up when EBDs were banned after 2011) and b) the Pirelli tyres. Therefore you could try to split the analysis two or even three ways. With the three ways analysis, you could compare them firstly in 2009-10; secondly in 2011, 2013 and the second half of 2012; and thirdly the first half of 2012. Although the numbers would need to be treated with caution undoubtedly, it might give a basic insight into how the rule changes translated into differences between the team-mates numerically.

    With Massa and Alonso it is a little more awkward. However, I feel that Alonso got better relative to Massa as he settled in 2010 right up to the start of 2012. However, from about mid-2012 onwards, Felipe started coming back at Alonso, though he was still too inconsistent to do this often enough. So maybe you could split in by 2010-early 2012 and then mid-2012-end 2013. Admittedly the problem here is that Massa’s improvements didn’t always show up in the numbers (through reasons mentioned and through inconsistency) so the argument is not quite as strong as for the Vettel-Webber case.

    Should stress these are just some ideas I had and I know this is meant to be a light comparison at the end of a long season for those who travel with the sport (most races if not all). Not to take anything away from this blog, which has been great to read as always.

  44. Thompson says:

    I recall saying Alonso was poison!

    The team broke Massa’s spirit in favour of Alonso
    In the same way Webbers spirit was broken. But Massa did himself no favours.

    As a professional sportsman Massa should have understood this and done as much has he could to make things hard for Alonso, he did not-I agree with James on this.

    Kimi imo was not motivated in he’s 1st carrier at Ferrari for what ever reason and did not build on he’s huge kaonasss
    as displayed at McLaren but a few drives which were outstanding this year will make this the battle one to watch.

    These two are of the same generation, it’ll be interesting to see how toxic things get in the red team.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Britney Spears in an F1 car…has potential ;)

  45. John S says:

    Alonso and Vettel seriously don’t get enough credit for their accomplishments.

    Massa and Webber deserved their treatment through virtue of their performance. Period. We are in an era of Maldonado getting a Lotus seat over Hulkenberg because of money. This is motorsport not a charity.

  46. Nick_F1 says:

    Do not forget that Ferrari’s car was always tuned for Alonso, he had better engineer team and every engineer attention was (is) for Alonso not Massa. Massa’s car was always a previous revision vs Alonso’s one or he was testing something that should be plugged in late on to Alonso’s car.

    Just remember when Alonso were DNF several times – Massa’s result become better – why ? Because all Alonso’s strategies & “specialists” were being switched to Massa and helped him to archieve the maximum like for Alonso.

    I do agree that Alonso is better than Massa as a driver. But Massa like Lewis is quite unstable but they both could produce an excellent drive if everything is put together. Although Lewis could do it more frequent.

  47. German Samurai says:

    Massa has no business in F1 with three podiums in three seasons driving a good car. It’s an appalling record considering that Vettel would have won the championship in the 2012 Ferrari and Ferrari should have been leading the drivers championship going into the summer break in 2013.

    It’s almost embarrassing that Alonso could only out-qualify Massa 11-8 in 2013. Massa was a glorified test driver for Ferrari.

    As well, Alonso should be ashamed of the lengths the team went to advantage him at the expense of Massa. People to this day still bring up Austria 2002 (forgetting that Schumacher handed the win back at Indianapolis), yet Alonso gets no criticism for Germany 2010 and things like the gearbox change to move Alonso up one grid spot at Austin last year.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer