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

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

Photo: Darren Heath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Michael Schumacher

Hi James,

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


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


Why does everyone seem convinced that Kubica is better Massa?


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

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

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


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


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

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

Michael Schumacher

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


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


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

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


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

good luck this weekend schumi… LOL


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


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


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


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


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

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

Thank you Ferrari for giving him more chances.


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


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

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


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


He’s twice the driver Irvine ever was.

Midnight Toper

Irvine was twice the man.


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



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



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


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


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


Hi James,

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

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

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



yes please James!


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

FORZA Ferrari, not everything is lost.


Hi James,

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

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

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

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



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


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


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


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

Jamie Kirkland

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

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


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

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