Posted on April 3, 2014


Why was McLaren faster than Ferrari in Melbourne, but slower in Malaysia? And how much faster was Valterri Bottas than his Williams team-mate Felipe Massa in Sunday’s Grand Prix – enough to make a pass on Jenson Button ahead, as the team believed? With the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan we can attempt to answer these questions, thanks to the latest performance graphs. NB – The vertical axis is the lap time in seconds, with the faster lap times lower down and the slower ones higher up. Click on the graphs to enlarge them. McLaren vs More…

Posted on March 1, 2014


Felipe Massa reconfirmed Williams’ strong showing in testing by posting the fastest time on the penultimate day of Formula One pre-season testing in Bahrain today, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen. The former Ferrari driver also logged 99 laps as elsewhere Red Bull Racing and Lotus once again struggled. After completing over 230 laps around the Sakhir circuit across the opening two days this week, today saw the team demonstrate the FW36′s raw pace, Massa setting the fastest time seen in Bahrain this year, a 1:33.258, in the final minutes of the day on Pirelli’s supersoft tyre. Massa had More…

Posted on February 25, 2014


Following months of speculation that Rob Smedley would follow Felipe Massa to Williams F1, the former Ferrari engineer has today been announced as Head of Vehicle Performance at the Grove squad. He will join the team between the Malaysian and Bahrain Grands Prix. Smedley will take up a newly created position in the team, working alongside engineers trackside while assisting with the of the FW36 development across the season. His engineering experience will also see him support Andrew Murdoch and Jonathan Eddolls, the respective race engineers of Massa and Valtteri Bottas. The team also announced that in an effort to More…

Posted on February 22, 2014


If ever there was a case study of how quickly things can change in F1, it is the Williams team. They won the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2012, failed to get a podium for the rest of the season, then had a dismal 2013 with only 5 points scored (four of them in the penultimate race). Now the signs are that Williams is going through a renaissance; the team has the right hybrid turbo power plant in Mercedes and it’s announced a series of sponsors in recent days with an even bigger one to come on March 6. It More…

Posted on February 19, 2014


Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg went quickest on the first day of the second pre-season test in Bahrain as Red Bull Racing again hit trouble. Sebastian Vettel completed just 14 laps of the Sakhir circuit in the afternoon before a mechanical issue brought his running to a halt. The defending champions arrived in Bahrain hoping that work at its Milton Keynes base and at Renault’s HQ in Viry had cured the problems that restricted the team to just 21 laps in Jerez but day one Bahrain began in the same style with RB10 garage-bound until the afternoon. When Vettel eventually emerged More…

Posted on February 2, 2014


Felipe Massa ended the Jerez test, his first for Williams, in an upbeat mood describing the situation at Williams as “better than expected” and tipping his former team mate Fernando Alonso to have the upper hand at Ferrari over his replacement Kimi Raikkonen. Asked by Italian media why he he had said Alonso would come out on top Massa said, “Because he is very intelligent, he’s already worked out the new regulations and he knows what he needs to do to be quick straight away. He combines talent with savvy. He has a lively intelligence and that is what is More…

Posted on January 31, 2014


As the first pre-season test of 2014 drew to a close at a gloomy Jerez and the teams began to pack up and contemplate the warmer climes of Bahrain at the next test on February 19, it was Felipe Massa who topped of the timesheet, the Williams driver finishing ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Force India’s Daniel Juncadella. And for Red Bull Racing there will be much to contemplate, as the team again ended running early. After completing seven laps in the morning, with Daniel Ricciardo again at the wheel, the team encountered mechanical trouble. Deeming the issue unresolvable More…

Posted on December 20, 2013


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 More…

Posted on December 15, 2013


Ferrari held its traditional pre-Christmas gathering at Maranello for the employees of the company and its president Luca di Montezemolo presented outgoing driver Felipe Massa with a 2008 engine, which almost carried him to the world championship that year. He thanked the team for all its hard work, but laced it with a warning, that the failure to develop the car after a strong start to the season, must not happen again, it was not, he said, “The sort of season we would have wished for, especially after a positive start, that we all hoped would continue. In part, that More…

Posted on November 25, 2013


Felipe Massa was aggrieved to be given a drive-through penalty in the Brazilian Grand Prix, for crossing the white line at the pit lane entry, when he was running in fourth place. It meant that the Brazilian didn’t sign off as a Ferrari driver on the podium, as he and the team admitted after the race that there was an understanding between the drivers that if they found themselves in that position, Fernando Alonso would have let his team mate through to finish third. “There wasn’t an agreement as such, but Fernando had said to me that if I was More…

Posted on October 24, 2013


Brazilian Felipe Massa has said he is in talks with Williams – among other teams – with regards a race seat for next season. The 32-year-old is in need of a drive after Ferrari chose to replace him with Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who is re-joining the Italian team alongside Fernando Alonso. “I’m talking with a few teams, including Williams,” said Massa. “I will not go to a small team. I will go to the team that has possibilities to build a good car. Massa, who narrowly missed out on the 2008 world title to Lewis Hamilton, added: “I’m not a More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Felipe Massa will not be reprimanded by the team after he ignored team orders during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. On lap eight, Massa, 32, was running ahead of Alonso when the Brazilian’s race engineer Rob Smedley gave him the instruction: “Multi-function strategy A. Multi-function strategy A now please,” over team radio. Massa, who is racing for his career as he has yet to secure a seat on the grid next year, chose not to move over, however the Brazilian was later overtaken by the Spaniard on lap 20 in a legitimate pass More…

Posted on September 10, 2013


Felipe Massa confirmed on Tuesday night that Ferrari has made its decision on 2014 and that he is no longer part of their plans. Massa has been a Ferrari driver for eight seasons and made the third most appearances for the Scuderia after Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. “From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari,” Massa posted on Instagram and Twitter. “I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together.” Another message added that he still feels he has more to offer as an F1 driver, “For next year, I More…

Posted on September 9, 2013


Felipe Massa has not had many highs in his career since the day in 2008 when he thought he had won the world title by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, only to find that Lewis Hamilton had managed to grab the fifth place he needed to become champion. On the podium that day Massa was a picture of dignity; taking the disappointment on the chin and celebrating his race win in tears in front of his home fans. At Monza this weekend we again saw Massa’s character. He looked sad all weekend, as if he knew that this could well More…

Posted on August 30, 2013


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the team are planning to switch all their efforts to the 2014 car at the end of September. Teams face a big decision as to when to stop developing this year’s car to allow them to divert more resources to next year when the regulations change dramatically with the introduction of new 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines. Ferrari are third in the constructors’ championship, 94 points behind Red Bull with eight races remaining. In the drivers’ standings, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is second, 46 points adrift of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, with team-mate Felipe Massa More…

Posted on July 11, 2013


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has publically backed Felipe Massa as the Brazilian’s future at the Italian team has once again been called into question. The 32-year-old had a poor start to last season and was in danger of losing his seat for 2013 before the team re-signed him for another year last October following a marked improvement in his results. This season started off much better for Massa, finishing fourth, fifth and sixth in the first three races before picking up a podium – only his third since 2011 – in Spain but since Monaco, things haven’t gone so More…

Posted on June 26, 2013


Ferrari are hopeful they can deliver a strong result at this weekend’s British Grand Prix as they believe the F138 will suit the high speed corners of Silverstone. The team are currently second in the constructors’ championship, 56 points adrift of leaders Red Bull while Fernando Alonso is second in the drivers’, 36 behind leader Sebastian Vettel. Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa is seventh. Alonso, who won the British Grand Prix in 2011, finished a strong second in Canada and Massa scored a battling eighth but both were hampered by a lack of pace in qualifying, something team principal Stefano Domenicali More…

Posted on May 22, 2013


Felipe Massa warmed up for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix by taking to the streets of Poland’s capital Warsaw in a Ferrari Formula 1 car. It was part of a promotional event for sponsor Shell which launched their new fuel – Shell V-Power Nitro+ – with over 30,000 fans turning out to watch the Brazilian in action. Massa did 20 laps in a 2009 Ferrari F60 around a specially designed street circuit that included two chicanes and two hairpin corners. The team’s pit crew also showed off their speed and accuracy in changing all four tyres on the car several More…

Posted on April 11, 2013


Double world champion Fernando Alonso says he does not regret the decision not to pit for a new front wing which ultimately caused his retirement in the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver, 31, broke his front wing when he made contact with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel at turn two at Sepang. With the track drying out after a rain shower, the team took the decision not to pit after the first lap in the hope they could keep going and change the wing when they changed tyres. However, the wing gave way and became trapped underneath the car on More…

Posted on March 25, 2013


Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso blamed “extremely bad luck” for his second lap retirement in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. The double world champion, who was competing in his 200th race, moved up a place to second at the start but broke his front wing when he tapped leader Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull at turn two. With conditions still a few laps away from being suitable for dry weather tyres, the team decided to keep Alonso, 31, out on track to avoid having to make two stops in four laps. It was a mistake; the loads on the wing were too More…

Posted on February 26, 2013


Felipe Massa says this week’s final pre-season test in Barcelona will be pivotal as his Ferrari team look to start the season at the sharp end of the grid. The Scuderia were well off the pace in testing last year and struggled with the development of their 2012 machine throughout the season. This year, the team’s early performance has looked more positive with Massa clocking the fastest time in the first test in Jerez and his team-mate Fernando Alonso the second fastest time in Barcelona last week. The Brazilian said the team are working on a number of updates for More…

Posted on January 17, 2013


The return to form of Felipe Massa was one of the more heartening stories of the second half of last season. In the 11 races prior to the Belgian GP last year the Brazilian had scored just 25 points, but in the remaining nine races from Spa onwards he scored 97 points, with two podiums. Speaking at the Ferrari Wrooom event in Madonna di Campiglio this morning, Massa said that this was down to a shift in his own mental approach rather than to any changes on the car which may have suited his style, “It is not that the More…

Posted on October 16, 2012


Felipe Massa’s Ferrari career will move into an eighth season after the team today awarded the Brazilian driver a one-year contract extension. The announcement had been expected for several weeks in light of the 31-year-old’s timely return to form, which has seen him finish in the points in each of the last six grands prix and help Ferrari move ahead of McLaren into second place in the constructors’ championship. Luca di Montezemolo had said yesterday that he would sit down with Massa at Maranello for a meeting today to discuss his future before making a final decision on it, and More…

Posted on October 3, 2012


Last Friday, somewhat lost among all the furore over the announcement of the Hamilton-Mercedes transfer, there was an important note made by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in a Q&A session at the Paris Motor Show. It was the session where he confirmed that Ferrari would need to shut down its wind tunnel in either December or January for calibration checks, which has had reasonably wide coverage. In the same session, Montezemolo talked about Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and there were a couple of important lines to note, for better understanding the full picture when the time comes for More…

Posted on September 24, 2012


The near-thousand strong parade of Ferrari sportscars that took to Silverstone earlier this month has been confirmed as a new Guinness World Record. In an attempt to beat the previous mark of 490 Ferraris all on the same racetrack set at Japan’s Fuji Speedway in 2008, Ferrari Racing Days sent out a call to owners of the iconic sportscar to descend on Silverstone on September 15 to see if they could beat that mark for a new world record. The attempt proved hugely successful with a mammoth 964 cars turning up at the home of the British GP. Organisers report More…

Posted on August 30, 2012


Felipe Massa has called on Ferrari to stick with him for next season because, “I believe I am a good driver and I can do a lot more than I did in the first part of this year.” Speaking in the paddock at Spa on Thursday, the Brazilian said that he was working to stay at Ferrari in 2013 and believes he still has a chance to retain his seat, but admitted that nothing is in place yet and anything could happen. “The direction is to stay here, but nothing is sure yet, ” he said. “So we need to More…

Posted on August 2, 2012


I’m delighted to release the JA on F1 Podcast #6 – featuring some of the biggest names in the F1 game. We’re really pleased with this one, as it has some great content from some very interesting people. It’s the half way point in the F1 season and we have some frank assessments of how it’s gone so far from, among others, Sir Frank Williams, “Maldonado probably does overstep the mark,” he says in this candid interview with Tom Clarkson. Sir Jackie Stewart runs the rule over the three of the leading drivers in the sport and analyses their performances More…

Posted on July 24, 2012


Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have taken time out from their preparations for the Hungarian Grand Prix to experience first-hand the devastation the two deadly earthquakes in northern Italy earlier this year had on the lives of local people. In May two large earthquakes inside the space of 10 days hit the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, of which Ferrari’s Maranello base is situated, killing 23 people, leaving thousands homeless and destroying both historic buildings and businesses to the estimated cost of £3.83bn in damage. Two months on from the disasters, 13,000 people continue to live in tented More…

Posted on June 20, 2012


Ferrari’s Chief Designer Nikolas Tombazis says the team has found “a big improvement in car performance” following intensive work on the F2012 and it goes into the European Grand Prix this weekend with confidence. Valencia’s street track plays host to F1 for the fifth time this weekend. It is a track similar in some characteristics to the two previous races in Monaco and Montreal; low speed traction being pivotal to performance there. This was a weakness of the Ferrari at the start of the season, with the first round at Melbourne being a race in which neither car managed to More…

Posted on May 15, 2012


[Updated] Everyone who follows F1 knows that Ferrari have shown extraordinary level of support to Felipe Massa in the last two and a half years. The little Brazilian almost won the world title for them in 2008 and would have done if they hadn’t lost him a win in the Singapore GP by leaving the fuel hose attached at a pit stop. After his accident in Hungary 2009 they again stood by him, helping him back into the car for 2010. But now, with such a tight field at the front in F1, the signs are that their patience is More…

Posted on March 28, 2012


Both the Ferrari drivers went back to Maranello from Kuala Lumpur for meetings and discussions about the first two races and the way forward. Interestingly Malaysian GP winner Fernando Alonso had two meetings with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, a long one on Monday and another yesterday. Alonso participated in the ceremony whereby a flag is raised at the factory gate after a race victory, but while the Spanish driver’s stock is as high as it has even been within the team after winning a Grand Prix in arguably F1′s fifth or sixth fastest car, it has served only to More…

Posted on March 22, 2012


Felipe Massa gave local drivers in Sepang pulling into their local petrol station the ultimate expert service on Thursday as the Brazilian turned pump attendant. As part of a promotional event for the Malaysian division of Ferrari’s fuel partner Shell, Massa appeared at the Yazn Enterprise filling station and was there to greet Ferrari road car drivers on the forecourt as well as competition winners who got the chance to meet the 11-time grand prix winner. “It is great to meet fans on a day like this. Shell works extremely hard with Ferrari to develop Shell V-Power for Formula One More…

Posted on March 21, 2012


Ferrari is readying a new chassis for Felipe Massa to use in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix in order to rule out the possibility of anything “unusual” happening with his F2012 in wake of his torrid start to the season in Melbourne. The Brazilian struggled throughout the three days at Albert Park for grip and balance, qualifying 16th and then suffering from severe tyre degradation in the race which eventually came to a miserable end following a collision with Bruno Senna. In the post-race media briefings Stefano Domenicali said the team would “need to stay close to Felipe because it’s clear More…

Posted on March 19, 2012


Race day did not match expectations for the Ferrari team in Australia – it exceeded them. Fernando Alonso’s fifth place finish – essentially the position his Ferrari was in for much of last season in qualifying – was a very strong result from 12th on the grid. It is fair to say that the lowly grid slot was due to Alonso spinning off the track in Part 2 of Qualifying and he would probably have been more like seventh or eighth on the grid in a clean session. But Alonso’s result also put the spotlight on his team mate’s difficulties More…

Posted on March 13, 2012


Ferrari’s difficulties in getting to grips with the F2012 was one of the threads that ran right through pre-season and Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa concede the team goes into this weekend’s Australian season-opener still in a position where they need more time to fully understand the car – but remain confident it will get there eventually. In wake of a disappointing 2011, Ferrari had hoped to be winning from the off this season but in normal conditions that appears a rather forlorn hope at Albert Park given the problematic nature of the team’s winter. The inconsistent handling of the More…

Posted on February 20, 2012


Felipe Massa says Ferrari has been working hard at Maranello to ensure the new F2012 runs more reliably at this week’s test at Barcelona than was the case at the opening pre-season sessions in Jerez. The Italian team completed fewer laps with its new car than any team that was in action for three or more days in southern Spain two weeks ago, racking up just 270 laps in comparison to Lotus’s benchmark total of 404. The F2012 suffered from hydraulics trouble at various points of the week, while Fernando Alonso explained that the fact the new machine features so More…

Posted on January 31, 2012


The forthcoming season is unquestionably an important one for Ferrari, and with just a few days to go until the launch of their 2012 car, the team’s race drivers have been completing their winter training programme in Lanzarote. The specialist pre-season training camp, in sunnier climes to the traditional northern European winter, has long been a staple of many teams’ preparations ahead of a new season, giving them the chance to put their drivers through some rigorous exercises as well as providing an opportunity for team building. Ferrari have chosen the Canary island for their training camp in recent days, More…

Posted on January 12, 2012


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 More…

Posted on November 27, 2011


The feud which has simmered between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa this season, often flaring into an on track clash, has been put to an end by Hamilton visiting Massa after the race to make up. The Brazilian was finishing off his press briefing at the front of the Ferrari hospitality area when Hamilton approached him and gave him a hug and said a few words. It is not clear whether Hamilton felt moved to make some kind of apology or just a gesture to say that he wanted to put the events behind them. But either way, Massa, who More…

Posted on November 22, 2011


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has given Felipe Massa notice that he is fighting to save his seat with the team next year. Montezemolo used an interview on a show in Italy called Politica nel Pallone to confirm that the Brazilian, who almost won the world title three years ago, is safe for next year despite an “unfortunate season” but that he must prove himself to stay with the team beyond next year. “With Massa we have a contract for next year. He’s had an unfortunate season but we aren’t doubting a driver who three years ago fought for the More…

Posted on October 30, 2011


Felipe Massa spoke around 90 minutes after the Indian Grand Prix in which he was penalised with a drive through for colliding with Lewis Hamilton. It was the sixth occasion the pair have collided in a bitter season. Speaking after the race Massa said, “I don’t have anything against him. Zero. If I saw him I would tell him what I’m telling you now. “I don’t understand why I have the penalty. I braked later than him, I was in front and on the grippier part of the circuit and I didn’t see him on the left. So he was More…

Posted on October 4, 2011


The aftermath of the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa at Singapore shows no signs of abating. Immediately after the race we had Massa attempting to confront the Englishman, who rebuffed him in front of the TV cameras at the track. Then there came the suggestion that the F1 drivers want to meet with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting in Suzuka this weekend to discuss Hamilton’s overly aggressive driving. Then at the weekend F1.com ran a race edit featuring a radio clip of Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley urging his driver to,”Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy More…

Posted on September 6, 2011


There’s an awkward interview in El Pais, the leading Spanish daily paper, which was done during the Spa weekend with Felipe Massa and which slipped under the radar. Reading it through, it seems very familiar; a newspaper goes to interview the underachieving team mate of its national hero and asks him how he feels about being beaten by their man. For Massa in this scenario you could insert any driver down the years who has found himself paired with an ace. However Massa is slightly different in that he was a contender; 11 times a Grand Prix winner, he almost More…

Posted on August 25, 2011


With this weekend being the 20th anniversary of Michael Schumacher’s debut in F1, there have been tributes aplenty from fellow drivers but none more effusive than from his great rival of the mid 2000s, Fernando Alonso. “I have great respect for him, he’s one of the greatest or the greatest in our sport,” said Alonso. “The numbers are there and impossible to repeat for us. It’s been a great pleasure to drive with him all these years. I will always remember all the battles with him. It was a priviledge to drive against Michael Schumacher. “He decided to stop and More…

Posted on January 6, 2011


Ferrari, 5 wins, 2 poles, 3rd in Constructors’ Championship There are so many ways to look at the story of Ferrari’s 2010 season, but let’s start with the helicopter view, the overview in other words. Ferrari hires Alonso (finally) gives him a winning car and despite a few mistakes he establishes himself as clear number one, takes the chances, wins races and then loses the title at the last round due to a bad mistake on strategy by his team. The inescapable conclusion from this is that Alonso owed Ferrari one after his early season mistakes, but he made good. More…

Posted on October 19, 2010


There is a lot of attention on Felipe Massa at the moment, despite the fact that he is not a contender for the World Championship. He has been the subject of speculation about whether he will retain his drive next year, while recently he has received encouraging words from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, which is a mixed blessing, like a chairman’s “vote of confidence” in a football manager. The Ferrari website has identified his “key role” in the next three races and he himself has said that “the best thing I can do to help Ferrari’s and Fernando’s aspirations.” More…

Posted on September 8, 2010


Today is a big day for Ferrari as they will appear before the World Motor Sort Council to answer charges relating to violation of the rules regarding team orders in F1. This relates to an incident at the German Grand Prix in July, where Felipe Massa allowed Fernando Alonso through to win the race after receiving the message from his race engineer, “Fernando is faster than you”. In Germany the race stewards examined the matter and were satisfied that a team order had been used, which violates Article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations. The team was fined $100,000 and referred More…

Posted on September 2, 2010


There has been a lot of chat online and in the comments section of this site these past few days about Felipe Massa’s start in Spa. The Brazilian parked his car ahead of the grid slot he was supposed to take up and thus gained a small advantage from it, certainly over a metre. The FIA’s detection devices didn’t pick it up and he ran his race as normal. Having started sixth on the grid, he was fifth on the first lap, one of the drivers able to take advantage of Mark Webber’s poor start. What is supposed to happen More…

Posted on July 25, 2010


Team orders returned to the top of the agenda in Formula 1 today as Fernando Alonso took the win in the German Grand Prix thanks to his team mate Felipe Massa letting him through in the closing stages, despite leading the race from the start. It is a tough moment for Massa and a hard call for the team to have to make. Although the message was coded it was unmistakeably a team order, which are banned in F1. The team will also know that Massa’s motivation will have been torpedoed by this moment. It was Alonso’s second win of More…

Posted on June 9, 2010


Felipe Massa has been retained by Ferrari for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, it was announced today. With the Brazilian’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, there were rumours that his seat may be up for grabs. Robert Kubica’s name was linked with the drive, as was Mark Webber’s. Prior to the Turkey GP team boss Stefano Domenicali said that he would retain both drivers for next season. “I am happy to be given the opportunity to drive for Ferrari for a further two seasons,” said Massa in a statement. “Throughout my entire Formula 1 career, More…

Posted on May 27, 2010


Today has seen the bosses of Red Bull and Ferrari give strong hints that they will be keeping the same driver line up for next season. First Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said Felipe Massa was likely to be given an extension in an interview with my old sparring partner Martin Brundle on the BBC. “Yes I think so,” he said responding to Martin’s question would Ferrari retain its drivers. When Martin asked if he was “sure” he said “Yes” Massa has had a difficult start to the season and has been outpaced by team mate Fernando Alonso so far. But he More…

Posted on May 26, 2010


This weekend at the Turkish Grand Prix a lot of attention is likely to fall on Felipe Massa. A three times winner of the Istanbul race, this is a weekend when he needs to show that he still has it in him to take Ferrari to the winner’s circle and to run his team mate Fernando Alonso close. If Red Bull still has a big margin over the rest, as is expected, then Massa’s minimum task is to beat Alonso. He should have great confidence he can achieve this on a track which he “owns” and where he even had More…

Posted on May 14, 2010


It has long been rumoured but now it’s official – Jean Todt’s son Nicolas is launching a bid to run his own F1 team, taking his highly successful GP2 team ART GP into the sport’s highest category. With the failure of USF1, there is a 13th slot on the grid for next season and the FIA is inviting applications from teams wishing to fill that slot. Stefan GP has indicated its intention to apply, but Dave Richards’ Prodrive outfit and Lola have both said that they will not. As with last year’s applicants, teams will be subjected to a financial More…

Posted on May 10, 2010


Felipe Massa looked rather dejected all weekend. He was asked after the race by Italian colleagues whether this was because of the rumours that Ferrari was thinking of replacing him with Robert Kubica, “I’m not happy because the whole winter test I was 110% happy with the car the way I drive. I started the first race and I was 120% happy with the car. We did a great job in the first race. The last four races have been harder tyres than Bahrain and I can’t use them like I want, I need to understand, I’m a little bit More…

Posted on May 3, 2010


Fernando Alonso has been speaking about life at Ferrari in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The Spaniard has claimed Michael Schumacher’s decision to turn his back on Ferrari in favour of a return to Formula 1 with Mercedes GP has helped him settle in more quickly with Italian team. Alonso, who won the season opener in Bahrain and currently lies third in the championship with 49 points, is clearly enjoying competing at the front again after spending two relatively uncompetitive seasons at Renault and feels the absence of Schumacher, both as a driver and Ferrari team consultant, More…

Posted on February 14, 2010


We are half way through the official testing season and there are many interesting story lines emerging. Everyone is looking to get a feel for who’s ahead, but as I posted a few days ago, I’m inclined to believe the engineers I speak to who say that it’s looking pretty close and there is no outstanding car this season. Looking back over the first two tests, though, I am struck by a human interest story most of all. Felipe Massa is back in business. In fact so strong has the little Brazilian been over the last two weeks, that it’s More…

Posted on January 24, 2010


This weekend has been quite low key in anticipation of a big week ahead. It’s the quiet before the storm. Tomorrow Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will pull the covers off the first Mercedes F1 car for 55 years and by next Sunday we will know what three of the main contenders for the world championship look like; Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. And then testing will begin and the new season will be up and running. It’s all about to kick off. But there have been a few points worth noting this weekend, as we gear up for the action, More…

Posted on January 21, 2010


Felipe Massa is set to test a 2008 Ferrari at Barcelona on Friday. He will take the car over from Valentino Rossi, who has been enjoying another taste of F1 power this week. Ferrari are able to do this because the car is now two years old, which is the embargo set by the testing committee to protect against new technology. The car is now part of the stable of cars managed by Ferrari’s F1 Clienti department, which looks after old F1 cars for its wealthy customers. No other team does this and it’s quite an undertaking to maintain all More…

Posted on January 15, 2010


After Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, it was Felipe Massa’s turn to speak today at the Ferrari event in Madonna di Campiglio. He talked of various things, but I was interested in what he said about his relationship with new team mate Fernando Alonso, the support he got from Ferrari and about fatherhood. Although Alonso has been the headline act this week, with Domenicali speaking of his arrival at Ferrari as possibly heralding a “new era”, Massa is newsworthy too. His return from a potentially career ending injury is one of the great human interest stories of the 2010 season. More…

Posted on January 13, 2010


Ferrari is hosting its annual media and sponsor event in the Italian ski resort Madonna di Campiglio this week and that means that there will be plenty of Ferrari-related headlines for the next few days. Today it was the turn of team principal Stefano Domenicali to speak. He talked about Ferrari’s need to get back to the front of the grid, he spoke about the importance of fuel consumption this season, now that refuelling is banned and he talked about history, recent history. “Let’s not forget Fernando is the only driver on the track who in his career has beaten More…

Posted on October 15, 2009


Felipe Massa is playing an interesting game at the moment, with regards to his team mate for next season, Fernando Alonso. First at a lunch for Brazilian journalists yesterday in Sao Paolo, he claimed that Alonso must have known about the Singapore crash plot, even though he was cleared of involvement by the FIA, “Fernando knew, ” he said. “Of course he knew, I’m 100% certain of that. In a team it is impossible not to know the strategy of the other driver.” Many of the drivers say the same thing privately, but have not wanted to say it publicly. More…

Posted on October 12, 2009


Today Felipe Massa did his first laps in a Formula 1 car since the horrific accident in July, which threatened his career. The Brazilian drove a privately owned 2007 car, fitted with Bridgestone GP2 tyres and covered 100kms on the team’s Fiorano test track, next to the factory in Maranello. He will do more laps tomorrow. Ferrari described it as ‘not a proper test’, rather as ‘a way to regain confidence with his natural habitat; the racetrack.’ But Massa’s return is a victory in itself. He has overcome a savage accident which had the potential not only to destroy his More…

Posted on October 11, 2009


Ferrari has put out a statement confirming that Felipe Massa will drive an F2007 Ferrari tomorrow at its Fiorano test track, but has stressed that together with the team, Massa has come to the conclusion that his best interests would be served by not trying to race again this season at the final event in Abu Dhabi. I have to say that this looks like a smart move. Prior to flying over to Europe a week ago, Massa was reported by Brazilian colleagues to be determined to drive in the final race. But having undergone some training and two days More…

Posted on October 10, 2009


Felipe Massa came through the first day of medical tests in Paris yesterday, with the doctors confirming that his eyesight has not be affected by the accident he suffered in July when he was hit in the forehead with a 700 gramme metal spring. “Today Felipe Massa started a series of neurological and ophthalmological exams by the FIA at the Pitié Salpetrière hospital in Paris, ” announced Ferrari, “Part of the Brazilian driver’s recovery programme after the accident in Budapest on 25 July. Today’s exams ended at 7:30pm and will restart tomorrow afternoon. The first outcomes are positive: especially the More…

Posted on October 6, 2009


Felipe Massa arrived back at Maranello yesterday, some two months after the accident which threatened his career. The Brazilian is anxious to get back into a car and race again as soon as possible, but team boss Stefano Domenicali, who managed to beat most of the F1 paddock back to Europe by at least half a day, said again that the team is “not in a hurry” Massa understandably wants to re-establish himself solidly at the team before Fernando Alonso arrives. The date of Alonso’s release from Renault has not yet been decided, but Ferrari would like it to be More…

Posted on October 4, 2009


More is beginning to emerge about the comeback plan of Felipe Massa. The Brazilian arrives in Italy tomorrow for two weeks of physical training, evaluation and preparation. Ferrari say that he will go on the simulator in the factory, to test out his reactions and get back into the swing of things. “Our main target is to make sure that everything is okay from the physical point of view,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali. “We asked the FIA to make sure that there is no breach of the sporting and testing regulations. This gave us clearance to do the test. More…

Posted on October 2, 2009


Felipe Massa has hit out on Brazilian TV, claiming that he was ‘robbed’ of last year’s drivers world title because Renault cheated. “All of what happened was robbery – but regarding the race nothing has happened, the result remains the same. This is not right. The robbery changed the outcome of a championship and I lost (the title),” Massa says that the result of the race should be annulled, which would mean that Lewis Hamilton would lose the six points he gained for his third place finish and Massa would be world champion. Massa compares the situation to the Italian More…

Posted on September 8, 2009


Also in today’s Guardian interview with Felipe Massa is an interesting section where he talks about the championship battle and the recent, alarming decline in the form of Jenson Button. According to Massa, who fought Lewis Hamilton for last year’s world championship, Button is buckling under the pressure as the end of the championship comes into view and this offers Massa’s friend and fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello the chance to win the title, “Look at me, ” says Massa. “I came to Brazil six points behind [Hamilton], and I almost won the championship. That was one race. Rubens has five More…

Posted on September 8, 2009


Felipe Massa has spoken at length to the Guardian newspaper today, in a terrific interview with Donald McRae. You can listen to the whole interview on the Guardian website. The gist of it is that he feels that everything in life is pre-ordained, including his accident. This was something he had to come through, to serve some higher purpose, but he hasn’t worked out what that purpose might be yet. He is lucky to be alive, not to be blinded or brain-damaged by the 700 gramme alloy spring which fell off Rubens Barrichello’s car in Budapest and bounced into his More…

Posted on September 1, 2009


Felipe Massa says that he got a thumbs up from his visit to top motor sport doctor Steve Olvey in Florida this weekend. He is to be allowed to resume training after a small medical procedure in the next few days. But a statement from Ferrari suggests that he will be training for a return in 2010, not this season. “I’m very happy with the outcome of the exams,” Massa said. “After the small surgery that I will have done in the next few days I can finally start working out a little in the gym to get back in More…

Posted on August 24, 2009


Ferrari’s official website has a nice story today about Felipe Massa contacting his friend and fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello after his emotional win in Sunday’s Grand Prix in Valencia. Massa replaced Barrichello at Ferrari in 2006 and the older man carried a get well message to Massa on his crash helmet all weekend and after the race dedicated the win to him. Although it was not in any way Barrichello’s fault the spring which hit Massa in the head in Budapest fell from the rear suspension of Rubens’ car. He said over the weekend that he feels no responsibility for More…

Posted on August 6, 2009


There are now two Ferrari drivers working hard to make a comeback, both requiring clearance from medics before they can race again. While Michael Schumacher has a date with the doctors with regard to his neck injury and the slightly more urgent deadline of a race on August 23rd, Felipe Massa has been discharged by doctors in Brazil and is beginning his recuperation at home in Sao Paolo, following his head injury during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. His road to recovery will be longer. Yesterday Massa’s doctor, Dino Altmann said, “Felipe has had a remarkable recovery. We did More…

Posted on July 30, 2009


I posted on Sunday that the F1 drivers made a DVD together with SKY Italia for Felipe Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley to take to him in hospital. Massa watched it soon after being woken from his chemically induced coma. Here it is. It’s interesting to see the body language of the drivers as they deliver their messages. Check out Webber in particular who doesn’t sugar the pill about being in hospital. Click on the link below: Get well soon, Felipe

Posted on July 28, 2009


While Felipe Massa’s condition continues to improve in hospital, speculation regarding who will stand in for the Brazilian at next month’s European Grand Prix in Valencia is mounting. Word in Italy is that there is still concern about Massa’s sight in his left eye, with some suggestion that the optic nerve may be damaged. However Massa’s doctor Dino Altman, this afternoon said, “Felipe has no damage to his left eye. He opened it a little, it is still swollen, but he can see well. There is no obvious damage.” Only after detailed checks on the optic nerve will it be More…

Posted on July 25, 2009


Felipe Massa has been operated on this evening and is now in an induced coma in the AEK Hospital in Budapest. An inaccurate report from AP this evening suggested that his condition was life threatening but this is not the case. The operation was successful and he is likely to be woken tomorrow. Medical estimates of how long he will be out of action vary from two months, to longer. It has been suggested by one doctor here that he may miss the rest of the season. More will be known when the medically induced coma ends and the medics More…

Posted on July 23, 2009


Felipe Massa is one of a number of drivers to react with concern to the debut of 19 year old Jaime Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso. Alguersuari has done very little mileage in an F1 car, and what he has done was in a straight line, but he qualifies for a superlicence because he won last season’s British F3 championship. “For me he’s too young,” said Massa. “He’s never driven a Formula 1 car, or he has driven it in a straight line, or whatever. For me it’s wrong. It’s not good for him. He can burn himself very quickly.” More…

Posted on May 21, 2009


Two weeks ago Felipe Massa’s hopes of a podium in Spain were wrecked by a strange situation with the refuelling of his Ferrari, which meant that the team believed he was running out of fuel and was telling him to slow down in the closing stages of the race. He lost places to Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. When we spoke to him after the race he and the team had not worked out the reason, but yesterday he explained what happened, “What happened to my car especially in the last race was something that I never saw More…

Posted on May 10, 2009


Felipe Massa has his tail up today, Ferrari are back in business and he knows that he has an important role in the outcome of the race, particularly at the start, where he lines up fourth on the grid. Using the KERS system, which will give him an 80 horsepower boost on the run down to turn one, projections show that he should be second by the first corner, but if Button makes a poor start as he did in Bahrain and Kuala Lumpur, Massa will have him. “It will be hard to pass in one go all three cars,” More…



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