Nico Rosberg
2016 Formula 1 World Champion
Alonso’s “save” highlights Massa’s plight
Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Mar 2012   |  7:39 am GMT  |  524 comments

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 this weekend. Felipe Massa had a nightmare weekend of uncompetitiveness, retiring from 13th place after a collision with Bruno Senna. “It couldn’t have gone any worse,” he told the Italian media after the race.

Massa looked uncomfortable on Friday and in qualifying was never on the pace. When Alonso spun off in Q2 he was lying 5th with a 1m 26.494s lap, while Massa at the time was on 1m 27.603. Massa had another run after his team mate’s withdrawal and was still 1.003s slower, qualifying 16th. He got a great start, up to 10th by taking advantage of the chaos in the first turn as Senna and Ricciardo collided, but his race pace was well short of Alonso’s in the opening stint. The Spaniard was into the low 1m 34s by lap three, while Massa took until lap 6 to get to 1m 34.6s. His fastest race lap – 1m 31.940 – was 1.7 seconds slower than Alonso’s (although it was set six laps earlier, so fuel corrected was 1.2 seconds slower).

The discussion throughout the pit lane all weekend was of how Ferrari have stood by their driver despite the results of the last two years. Now again that patience and loyalty is being tested. “We need to stay close to Felipe because it’s clear that he’s under pressure,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali. “I’ve asked his engineers to analyse the data on the car, also to reassure him.”

The Ferrari is a difficult car to drive with a narrow operating window at present. Alonso can deal with this better than Massa, although Alonso had a number of “moments” during the weekend, of which the spin in qualifying was the worst.

Massa is also still struggling to get the tyres to work and in the race was suffering worse tyre degradation than his team mate, which is a sign of not having the car well balanced. This is despite the hiring of Mr Hamashima, formerly technical boss of Bridgestone.

Where does the situation go from here? Massa must quickly regroup and get on top of his problems, clearly. Last year he was able to get away with being over half a second slower than Alonso because the gap back to the next fastest team – Mercedes – was greater than that. This year that part of the grid is much more competitive. Mercedes and Lotus, even Williams and Sauber look to have the pace to vie for the top ten slots, so the difference between the two Ferrari drivers may result in grid slots with a large – and obvious – disparity.

The pressure which Domenicali referred to in Melbourne and which was highlighted pre-season by Ferrari president Montezemolo, is significant. But there is no obvious driver with whom Ferrari might replace him.

Sergio Perez is the closest thing, but he has a Sauber contract and in any case has less than 20 Grands Prix under his belt and that is not Ferrari’s style to go for an inexperienced driver. Mark Webber is the obvious choice for 2013, should Ferrari feel they need to move on.

Nobody wants to see a driver who was so combative in 2008 and so dignified in defeat at the end of that season, suffering like this.

It’s a headache for driver and team management alike.

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1

Been this way ever since his accident at Budapest.. something happened then. Ferrari should go for Mark next season.

2

OK this is a wild call...but Kobayashi?

3

Longest first comment EVER.

4

+1, I didn't realize it is still the number one tread

5

+1, I didn't realize it is still the number one tread

6

+1, I didn't realize it is still the number one tread

7

Wow, now's that quite a line back to the OP!!! Which when you get there is actually about Massa's injury and nothing to do with Hamilton!!

Though it doe's show that while he may not be performing at the top of his game right now, you lot cant help but not talk about Hamilton!!!

8

Let's face it, if Massa does get in front of Alonso, he'll be ordered aside anyway. So why bother busting your guts. Ferrari have reaped what they've sewn.

As for Alonso v Hamilton, it still amuses me the number of people who seem convinced that McLaren would hire a double world champ like Alonso (at huge cost), and then build the car and the team around a rookie who they only confirmed a few weeks before the season started. Hamilton has probably declined as a driver since then, certainly in terms of consistently. But that year he fairly and squarely blew Alonso away. He needs his dad back in charge and to get rid of the popstar distractions.

9

There are a lot of people prematurely writing off Lewis after one race. Jenson set up his car better for the race (as opposed to qualifying under low fuel). Consequently, he had a quicker car that Lewis couldn't match. I'll be surprised if Lewis will repeatedly make that mistake at the next 19 races.

That's not to take anything away from Jenson. I think he's always been one of the best racers in the world, and over a race distance in a well balanced car can beat anyone. I suspect, however, that the next race may be a bit closer between them. Jenson won't get blown away, though.

Ferrari, however, have made their bed with Alonso, and will now have to lie in it. Webber may go to Ferrari, but only to take a big pay packet. He's not going to be competitive though, as everyone knows Alonso will be given preferential treatment. It would be the kiss of death for Lewis' career for him to take the 2nd Ferrari seat. I think he's intelligent enough to realise that.

10

"if Massa does get in front of Alonso, he’ll be ordered aside anyway" OK it has happened. It is as likely as seeing a snow tiger in the Sahara right now.

11

Something did happen - lack of Schumacher's influence over Ferrari. Seems he was still involved after he retired, guiding Ferrari towards Massa. 2008 and '09 shown exactly why Schumacher supported Massa - he was brilliant in both seasons, coming ever so close to the championship that in the end was lost by Ferrari itself, not the driver. '09 shown that even if he isn't in the best car, he can still race his heart out.

Saying that, Massa needs to know he has his race engineer and the team behind him. As he was trying to find his form in his first season back, he got screwed by the ones that he thought had his back, and ever since that contraversial day, he's been going backwards.

Seems Ferrari put all their eggs in one basket, and that basket isn't Massa. Massa needs the kind of support he enjoyed in 2008 and 2009 if he is to flourish, otherwise he'll keep fading. Saying he has his last chance and not doing much to help him isn't doing anything but delaying the inevitable - being fired.

I think it's time for Massa to look for somewhere else to drive, and take Smedly with him if he wants to and still trusts him, otherwise we won't see him race next year, which would be a great shame. His challenge to the '08 WDC wasn't a fluke, but he, like Alonso need a special kind of environment to be at his best, and right now he's getting exactly the opposite to what he needs at Ferrari.

12

Of course Massa needs a special environment as you say Wu, he needs the team to be behind him just as every one of these top drivers today do (Alonso, Button, Vettel, Schumacher) to varying degrees.

That's why Massa was doing lots of tough talking about Alonso just before and after Alonso joined Ferrari, about it not being Alonso's team, etc. But his on track performances, especially as someone who had already been racing at Ferrari for 4 years then did not match up to his vocal performance.

I remember the debates before Alonso started at Ferrari if he would be able to match up to Massa! But Alonso asserted himself over Massa quite comfortably by winning the very first race of 2010, and so on.

Massa has been on the backfoot ever since and not all of it can be attributed to Santander or Ferrari or whatever else people consider a factor for Massa's poor performance. It doesn't matter if Massa has "lost it" or not, he is no longer "doing anything" at/for Ferrari and hence why he needs to shape up or be moved out.

And for folks going on and on about the 2010 team orders incident and it's so called detrimental effect on Massa, look no further than Mark Webber at Silverstone 2010 for how a REAL driver performs when he feels hard done by his team! But all Massa can do these days is to be petulant whenever someone tries to overtake him, as Senna found out in this race. Google "Massa Senna dicing" for pictorial proof of how Massa unnecessarily went off track to push out Senna.

13

Massa took the normal racing line when Senna tried to pass him... it's rough, something that Maldonado did in the same race. However when they became interlocked the best thing both could do is carry on and hope they get un-interlocked along the way.

It's tough racing, but it wasn't anything more than that. It shows that despite problems Massa had throughout the weekend, he was still fighting at every oppertunity.

14

I think you missed the fact that their cars were tangled for more than 100 yards. Nobody in F1 is stupid enough to try and hit another driver. You never know what damage you might take.

15

Where was Kimi in 08 and 09? Massa beat him hands down. He was at his peak when the accident happened. People are forgetting how well he did in that dog of a car Ferrari produced. Constant solid finishes despite having no real chance of winning.

Massa has been more or less ever since his move to Ferrari up untill his accident. He beat an on-form Shucmacher a few times in the races and qualis, did the same with Kimi in 2007, and upped his game for the other 2 years.

He got pole on his first race back in Bahrain.

No, something happened in 2010, something that disheartened Massa. Same thing in 2011, he was on par with Alonso at the start of the season, then faded over the year. Let's face it, given the history of Alonso's outburts, in Renualt and Mclaren, it's not far fethced to believe the same is happening in Ferrari.

Trouble is, Alonso's prima donna-ness is backed up with good results, and I can't see why Ferrari would want to change the status quo.

Massa is demoralised. I think the qulity is still there, but he needs a team around him he can trust, one that believes in him, instead of treating him like a second driver at every oppertunity.

16

You misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm 100% sure Ferrari wants Massa to do better than he is now, but Massa needs to feel "loved". It doesn't matter if that's a bad quality in a driver, but it's what made Massa a championship contender. He is simply not getting the kind of support he used to and it shows. Ferrari should simply get rid of him and find a second driver that's eager to please. I'm thinking a straight swap with Perez might be a way forward for both Ferrari and Massa, because I doubt he will ever get back to what made him special while still playing second fiddle to Alonso.

17

Amazing how this is being blamed on Alonso...the most powerful man in F1 today and/or Ferrari themselves!..All this is pure speculation and makes for a good story...Bottom line is we don't know for sure what's causing this but what we do know is that Massa is being paid handsomely to do a job and he is failing dismally. And another thing, it makes absolutely no sense for Ferrari to 'sabotage' Massa as some are claiming as WCC is way more important to Ferrari than WDC, always has been. And if Massa is so fragile emotionally that he could let the Hockenheim incident 'destroy' his career then why did it not happen when he was asked to move for Kimi? Ferrari have given Massa all the support they can (most teams would have booted Massa after 2011) and it's up to him to deliver...simple really, you make your own luck...... but that's just my opinion 😉

18

His challenge in 08 wasn't a fluke?

He hasn't been in contention before or since, you may want to review that

19

Massa is damaged goods since his incident good enough before? yes now? no there's significant bit missing and it clearly ain't coming back. Would be ok to fill one of the lesser seats in F1 maybe?? but with the up coming fresh young talent i feel his number is up in F1 as a whole.

20
Spinodontosaurus

He was ahead of Raikkonen in 2007 as far into the seaon as Turkey. Ok so it wasnt 2008 level competing, but even so.

2009, really, nobody would have competed for the championship in that car.

2010 was his only other car capable of challenging, but was fresh off the crash then got booted to 2nd driver status mid way through the season (not without reason, though).

21

No, no, no. Massa was at times 3 seconds a lap slower than his team mate. You cannot excuse Sunday's performance with psycological flim-flammery. Ferrari have stuck with Massa longer than any other top team would have stuck with a driver. Ferrari only moved Massa over in Germany because he had allowed himself to get in such a position in the championship that he trailed his team-mate, and is was the right decision as Alonso's late championship charge proved. Massa spent the wholoe of last year fixating on Hamilton as his excuse, he'll have no where to hide this year.

22

Budapest was a setback, obviously. But I think he was slowly getting back to his old self up to Hockenheim exactly one year later. After that, he was worse than right after his comeback from injury.

23

Yeah, he learned that day how pointless and unimportant F1 and fastest lap is in the grand scheme of things.

24
Stuart Harrison

Given Ferrari's form, I doubt Mark would be interested. Ferrari would be better with almost anyone else on the grid except for Massa, IMO.

His incident with Senna was un-necessarily rough and makes me wonder who really was the guilty party in last year's feud with Hamilton.

The sooner he goes, the better for everyone in the field!

25

Webber wants be at Ferrari. There were some serious driver exchange conversations happened in Melbourne. Plus remember, they were both managed by Flavio. Webber & Alonso also good friends. No matter how bad Ferrari seems, you must consider them as contender for next season. Lewis won't get along with either Fernando or Seb. His attitude towards Jenson after the race is the most recent embarrassment. Lewis will work better with Partners like Petrov, Kovy & Di Resta. So unfortunately it is times up for Massa & Webber at Ferrari. And Lewis not going anywhere.

26

Bringing in Bianchi for that reason would be a good idea if it wasn't for the fact that he's French.

27

This may the best opportunity for Ferrari to bring in a young driver, maybe Jules Bianchi to show support for Italian drivers. Massa needs to get away from Ferrari if he's to have any future in F1. Better to leave than be shown the door!

28

Webber wont have a better option than Ferari next year. RB will not renew his contract. Mark is well used to doing what he is told and being a number 2. He has been the past two seasons and this will make three.

29

Good point about Flavio.

We have to be honest - Mark is a good #2. Maybe there is something to that.

To me though, Mark is too much of a man's man. He wouldn't that the crap that Massa took - and we know it. And end of day, that's really what Ferrari want from their #2 - submit to what we tell you. A driver can't have fighting spirit when it's his job to submit at a flick of a radio button.

30

I know we've all decided that the prospect of Alonso and Hamilton in a Ferrari together is ridiculous but is it? Alonso's problem was with the McLaren team not Hamilton. Judging by what these two sya about each other there is respect there. Yes Alonso could put a stop to any such move but would he want to or would he want a shot at putting that doubt from the season he was beaten by a rookie Hamilton to bed once and for all? Ferrari have said admiring things about Hamilton in the past whereas RBR have simply got too big for their boots and let their ego's run away with them.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I always feel that Whitmarsh positively beams when Button performs and displays less enthusiasm when Hamilton wins. I can't offer you any proof but I just get a strong sense of it. I do not belive for one fraction of a second that this in any way translates to any favouritism in terms of equipment or anything else tangible, but just that feeling will be enough to destabilise Hamilton - he is a pretty vulnerable guy emotionally.

I think Hamilton needs a fresh challenge with a new team, why not Ferrari - where they devote themselves to their drivers instead of the cold, clinical approach taken by McLaren? Hamilton would thrive with that sort of emotional support. What's the downside for Ferrari, the two drivers take points off each other - can't be any worse than one driver not effectively turning up which is what they have right now.

31

Alonso + Lewis in the same is likely impossible. Yes, He have problem mainly with McLaren, not Lewis.

But, Alonso really want to be clearly No 1 status and better treatment, and for sure Lewis never want to accept No 2 status.

So this scenario is unlikely to happen.

for me, I don't think any other team that Lewis could feel at home like McLaren. If Ron is there, I think he could probably solve some Lewis mind problem.

32

One thing to consider here: Hamilton sits in the best car on the grid. Only a fool would change teams while having the best car.

33

But if he's comprehensively beaten by Button (if), then would he want to stay? Furthermore, if he has another season like the last, would McLaren want him?

This is all speculation based entirely on one race, but it's fun to think about...

34
[BR]CerealKiller

"the season he was beaten by a rookie Hamilton"... huummmm... The season I saw, they end up TIED.

35

I think many people feel Hamilton 'beat' Alonso was because Hamilton was in his first year of F1, whereas Alonso was a WDC.

36

Though Fernando had to block Lewis from getting out on his qualifying lap in one race to get that 'tie'.

37

Sorry to be picky but whilst they tied on pts Hamilton was higher placed due to the number of 2nd places scored.

38

You should've gone to Specsavers in that case!

http://www.formula1.com/results/driver/2007/

Hamilton was placed 2nd and Alonso 3rd (by way of placing count back when tied on points)!!!!!

39

Then you were not paying attention. Hamilton was officially classified ahead of Alonso.

40

You may well be right. Hamilton was hired by Ron Dennis, who first met him in 1995, while hiring Button was one of the first big decisions taken in his own right by Whitmarsh, and that faith was repaid within 2 races in 2010 with that wet / dry Australian GP victory. There is a perceptible difference when Whitmarsh refers to Button, he is much warmer in his praise. McLaren do go to great lengths to provide identical levels of equipment and support, but ultimately the Boss will prefer one of his drivers over another. It is probably still the case that Ron still carries a torch for Hamilton within the McLaren group as a whole in preference to Button given Ron's huge role in mentoring and supporting Hamilton in his pre - F1 career.

41

Andy i agree with all that but you forgot to add Jenson wont tend to embarrass the team on a regular basis!

42

I think it boils down to business, and Button's success is more marketable than Hamilton's.

Button's seen as smart and dashing, with wit and an engaging personality. He's a grown-up playboy type. Lewis lacks maturity and charisma. He still looks like he's trying too hard to get onto Beyonce's xmas card list IMO.

In short I think that McLaren know that in JB they've someone with the potential to peddle a fair few road cars and Tag Heuer watches.

None of that has anything to do with Massa. Sorry, I got distracted!

43

That's a pretty interesting consideration, and a situation I wouldn't be adverse to seeing.

I think that Ferrari have to look at their team top-down and see where the multiple problems are first before once again becoming an attractive prospect to any of the current drivers. Car performance aside, there's then the issue of any incoming driver becoming an assigned number two, unless that mentality also goes in the inevitable shake up. I think Hamilton's probably lost too much love to drive for Ferrari as it is right now, but if there is another wholesale change, who knows?

I agree Hamilton needs a fresh challenge, and probably a chance to lick his wounds. Personally, I'd like to see him in a Williams next year. It'd be good to see him in a midfield team aiming up, and with him not putting so much pressure on himself.

As for Massa, well, it's been covered pretty comprehensively by other commenters here. Last year there was some thinking that he'd do well to 'do a Kovalainen' and go to one of the new teams as a development driver, but the way he ended last season and has started this one suggest that he might be better off out of the sport altogether. A real shame for he seemed like a really nice guy, but this sport is for the best drivers in the world. And the largest sponsor bank balances, but that's another article... ;D

44

That is true. And I do not have the impression that he will be able to recover again.

(He should have retired after the accident, but of course something like that is always easy to say in hindsight. In any case, having faced death like that will change you.)

45

Not only a matter of facing death. It's a matter of what is that risk worth? Is it worth it for Massa to drive hard, and as he well knows risk facing death again in a car that can at best be mid top 10 with luck?

I'm also tired of Ferrari putting huge pressure on their drivers with a sub-par car. Every second driver beside Massa and Rubens have been incredibly bad in the second Ferrari - which should tell us a few things about the equipment provided here. I believe it's their way to "pump up" their No.1 - they give the second different hardware.

I hope all of this gives us all perspective. Schumacher made his own team, had the type of input on the car and team talent like no other driver. All drivers since (including last years for Schumi) had a car which was built for them by staff chosen by the board. And this is why Ferrari is a 3rd best (or lower) team right now, and will continue to be.

Massa has been there for a while, and has seen it all. Don't you think he knows well what's going on? I'm with Massa on this. I'm not arguing that he's the best - but he certainly is very capable. And after his life experience and time on the team he isn't going to rip his guts out to go from 12th to 5th. In the end, while impressive, it's hardly Ferrari impressive. All I ask you to do it keep a balanced view.

46

StallionGP, don't think I'm overlooking Irvine. I've seen it, I remember it.

Funny how Irvine started winning only after Schumi broke his leg. Before anyone says it - sure Eddie took Australia that year, but after Schumi had problems in the wild first race of season.

What's key is suddenly back to back Ferrari wins after their #1 is out of contention - to ensure constructor standings perhaps? Did something suddenly change with Eddie's car to make that happen? Do you even doubt it? And what about Salo - who's abilities were not known - suddently the guy is winning the first GP and we have to ask him to move over for Eddie? How embarasing! Let's make sure Salo doesn't have the same amount of power at the next race so we don't have to do the switcharoo thing again. It really looks bad on TV.

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever, #2s at Ferrari don't get same hardware as #1.

47

if Massa is as risk adverse as you think he is, then there would be little point in even turning up and getting in the car.

this year he is racing to keep that seat - if you think he wont try as he is fed up with Ferrari giving him sub-par equipment then why stick about and not go to another team where he could win?

whoever has been in the better position to win has had the backing of the second driver in the team - shcumie for irvine / massa for kimi / kimi to massa - yes there is bias to one driver to start with, but typically the better driver to start with.

48

Rafa,

What I'm saying is that he is a man with perspective, may I say better perspective than perhaps you or me. He is a family man, with enough money to enjoy the rest of his life, came close to death in a freak accident which makes him reconsider the value of fighting for 7th place when his team doesn't really care. He is not getting the car to fight for wins. And he knows if he is in that position and his "team mate" is behind him, a radio message will follow. That's his reality.

Is that the cutting edge attitude we expect in F1 - of course I agree with you it is not. But is this his fault, or that of his team - there we can have a discussion.

As I said in my posts here (too many in this one article already I admit) he knows Ferrari well, he knows what's expected of him, and it's just a job to him now. And since Ferrari is paying the salary, it's obvious they are happy with his work. They paid off Kimi, I hardly see the reason they would keep Massa unless he was doing as expected, as asked, as paid.

Finally, I guess you don't have enough proof of how poorly treated that second car seems to be at Ferrari from past substitutes - but I say again - no one will do much better in that second car. And many will likely destroy their carrier in 3 GPs by taking that 2nd Ferrari seat. If I was a driver manager I wouldn't stick my driver in there. Lewis better not go into that shark tank either.

49

Sorry hardly makes any sense: Massa suffered a freak accident from a loose bolt from another car, something which can happen anywhere in the grid as long as you have a car in front of you close enough, not because he was pushing the limits of the car beyond what it could perform. Are we trying to imply here that what massa's trying to do here is find a comfy place at the end of the pack with enough distance in front of him so that loose bolts don't pose any danger? Common! The guy's an absolute embarrassment at present, period. And as for hockenheim being the reason for his current form, all I would say is that any of the drivers in the grid which we regard as good to great (amongst them six dwc ) would not let themselves be defeated by such an event, much less over two consecutive years, which has been the intervening period. Ferrari need to sort out loads of things, and many are nothing to do with massa, that's what'sbeen saving his head for a while, but the shove will come to push in the end, it's just in the cards.

50

What a brilliant point regarding the guys in the 2nd ferrari seat anyone remember Fisichella almost won spa in the force India switched to Ferrari and couldn't get out of Q1 and in the same car Raikkonen was getting to Q3.

51

Maybe something for Robert Kubica to consider.

52

I don't think it's Budapest.

If Massa's lost his mojo and Ferrari want to know why, they could do worse IMO than asking themselves what making Massa a clear number 2 has done to his spirit.

53

Ferrari only have a number 2 driver when one of them is out of the championship hunt (like Massa for Kimi at brazil 07 and vice versa in 08).

There have been several races where Massa has been ahead of Alonso in their two full seasons together; the problem being that Felipe has often been far too slow or been overtaken by Alonso.

Ferrari have only asked Felipe to let alonso by and that was in Germany 2010, the same race alonso won by 5 seconds from Massa who wasn't even a second clear of Vettel.

54

You are all basing you ropinions on Massa vs Schumi or Kimi.

In my opinion, 2007 Mclaren issues aside, Alonso is the best F1 driver since Senna. Massa was never a top tier driver and he's been found out.

regarding Germany 2010, Massa got a great start to overtake Alonso, and the team, rightly, felt that Alonso would have a better chance of the championship than Massa. they were right to tell him to move aside.

Why does nobody ever mention Irvine and Salo in Germany 1999, Salo could and should have won that race, what were ferrrari going to do? Fire him?

Yet he moved over for Irvine's championship assault.

55

here_was_senna, seriously - I REALLY THINK ABOVE MAKES MORE SENSE THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT! (sorry, but it makes so much sense I'm sayin' it loud).

Ferrari perhapas from influence from Schumi who I'm sure supported Massa, and I'm not sure liked Kimi pushed for more equal treatment after leaving, Ferrari tried it and the whole thing backfired with Kimi - who got mad and rebelled. That's when Ferrari started looking to Alonso, but with Alonso coming in they decided this whole equal treatment thing is a no-go and doesn't fit in at Ferrari - let's go back to #1 #2 status. And hence you have Alonso clear #1 in salary and status and Massa clear #2 with slower hardware or whatever else must be done to slow him down. Add to this the demotivation to have to submit to Ferrari orders at will anytime he manages to get a sniff or success and you have the Massa we have now. Massa who works the politics, wears red, collets his check and after so many years putting up with it is probably not going to rip his guts out when his team is clearly making him #2. One of those - oh yeah, you think someone else wants this job and will do it better Ferrari? Go ahead, go find them and sign them to this carier death seat. Who's willing to play second fiddle to Alonso and never have equal hardware or treatment for the next 4 seasons (not counting this one)? To be honest, I think Massa is in a good position to keep this seat. What real racer would want it? Massa is as good a racer as they will find for that seat.

56

You may have some truth in your statements sebee, I would be arrogant beyond belief if I thought I knew all the answers, but from what I've seen in the media about Kimi, he doesn't get upset by stuff, he's the Iceman, after all.

Mclaren have always insisted they have no no1 and no2, but if you ever read DC speaking about his time at Mclaren, you'll appreciate that he was effectively treated as number 2 by the team. Mika or Kimi were always preferred by Ron. He won races, yes, but Hakkinens first 2 race wins were orders by the management to let him through.

Australia 98, he made a mistake and pitted, it was outrageous that DC had to give up a race win for that.

So let's not get on our high horses, team decide generally what will happen, they're the employers.

57

You know, now that I think of it, maybe the whole Kimi thing is the reason Massa is treated more #2 like now. That whole thing may have upset Kimi who thought he would be #1 after coming in at high salary and winning a championship - but Ferrari let Massa loose in 08. He got upset and perhaps threw his weight around. It ended up costing Ferrari a buyout and lost #1 driver and they vowed to protect their #1 driver investment. Alonso now signed till 2016 must be protected or will be expensive for Ferrari. And therefor no more letting Massa loose to challenge the #1 and decretalus is value. What I do remember from 08 is all the talk about how little Massa was paid vs. Kimi and how how he was outperforming Kimi. I think I may be onto something here.

58

You do realize everything you said backs up my point, right?

Barichello won or was allowed to because Schumi wasn't in it - just like Irvine in Australia. If Schumi was P2 in both cases they wouldn't have won it.

Salo was just another illustration but valid - I would have done same if I called the shots.

Massa and Kimi - really perhaps someone knows more, but we have no idea what was going on, when Alonso was signed and if Kimi knew, if Kimi appreciated Schumi hanging around, etc. Perhaps in the post Schumi/Todt era Ferrari experimented with more equal treatment just to end up upsetting Kimi and create internal drama that resulted in Kimi not performing and eventually wanting to leave.

I'm not here to argue for or against team orders or against #1 and #2 status - I think I have been clear that I support the strategy. But to blame #2 for lack of performance when he is treated like #2 (no pun intended) is a different argument all together. And I certainly feel Massa is treated like #2 at Ferrari.

59

Well Sebee, it's great to see your grasp of Ferrari and it's history is so open-minded...

For your information,

1) Barrichello won the 2000 German GP from 18th on the grid, Schumacher had retired and the conditions at the end were half of the Hockenheim circuit was wet, the other half dry.

The Mclarens came in for wets, Rubens carried on on slicks and won.

2) Salo was a stand in for Schumacher after he broke his leg at Silverstone in 1999. He wasn't competing for the championship, was he?

3) If Ferrari were so obviously 1 and 2, how can you possibly expalin that in 2007 Kimi, the highest paid driver that season won the championship, yet in 2008 and 2009 he was trailing Massa generally.

Surely using your hypothesis, Massa would never have been on the same lap as Kimi.

But like any tabloid, why let facts get in the way of assumptions!

60

Alons is stubborn - he uses this for good in F1 to never give up. This is certainly good for us to watch. How stubborn would he be if he was asked to move over a few times?

That Irvine/Salo incident just confirms what everyone here knows - Ferrari enter the championship with 1 car, and a backup. The second car at Ferrari is a driver's death sentence. Why do you think Rubens was in tears when he won his first in Germany in 02 - it wasn't supposed to happen. And if Michael was within sniff, it wouldn't have.

Honestly, we sit here and deny that Ferrari puts two cars on the grid because it's the requirement but clearly have always pushed a #1/#2 status. Is it really that hard to roll back 20 or 30 HP on an engine for the #2 car? Isn't that enough to shave off a few 10s and ensure you don't have on-track drama? Problem is, it works well when you have a dominating car like Schumi did - not so well when the grid is this close. Ferrari not only have to understand how their new car works, they have to figure out how to make two drivers work like McLaren. Their culture right now is broken. They only need to look into the mirror if they want someone to blame.

61

Fully agree with this point. It's worth recalling that at Hockenheim 2010 Massa was as fast or faster than Alonso (despite team radio messages to the contrary). The team orders incident clearly destroyed his confidence, knowing he'd never be allowed to be faster than Alonso. Alonso tried the same team pressure with Hamilton at Canada 2007, asking McLaren to get Hamilton to let him past on the same pretext he was actualyl faster (despite being behind) but they refused - and we know the outcome. I've no wish to attack Alonso here, any driver can ask a team to give him preference, it's a team option, but I do think it has to be taken into account when assessing the demoralized state Massa's driving is now in. Incidentally, my opinion: Massa should have refused to comply with the orders and taken a route of Ferrari, if competing in Formula 1 mattered to him more than money. But that was for him to decide.

62

Mingogo, yes I think it was at Indy USGP, but I don't think you can say Alonso was faster, or that he wasn't po'ed. Just YouTube that race, and see how Alonso tried to pass Hamilton down the main straight, but couldn't pull it off, and then wrung his hand at the pitwall afterwards, b/c he wasn't let past.

Alonso did the same thing as Germany '10 to Fisichella in Canada in their Renault days. I think Alonso is a great driver, but I really hate it when he pulls this sort of stuff.

63

I agree completely with Seebee. Massa has the ability and capability, history proves that. I garuntee that being ground down on by the team to "support" Alonso in the way they have these past few years is the biggest problem.

Equipment I am not so sure about but strategy etc absolutely.

In a game where 10ths even 100ths matter, confidence, team support, strategy and car develepment (direction) are massive disadvantages to be without.

Ferrari are deluding themselves. They take all real "racing" support away and then wonder why the no 2 driver has mediocre performance in a sport where the tiniest thing matters.

They can say they support Massa till they are blue in the face, words will never replace the actions we have all seen so frequently from Ferrari...

64

Hi Sebee, my respect for Alonso the driver has grown again the past year or so - since late-2010 say, when he started driving phenomenally well in a car some way behind the McLaren, yet alone the Red Bull. I much prefer McLaren's policy of backing both drivers equally (in theory anyhow) but I can see why a team would put its effort behind someone of Alonso's all-round talent and energy. On the other hand, I wonder whether Ferrari and Alonso himself wouldn't benefit from a bit more competition between their drivers (and if so, that would have to be another driver now).

Strange but this season the top teams without driver preference seem to be Mercedes and Lotus. Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren all have dominant drivers given explicit or implicit preference by the team - and amazing that the McLaren one isn't Lewis. That's a whole other story.

65

Well said David Ferrari might have destroyed Massa in the moments you describe. But Massa agreed. He must have had enough money to be able to say no, just race as fast as he could, and accept the consequences.

It all looks like the makings of a sad ending.

66

I don't think Massa was as fast or faster than Alonso in Germany. In fact, Fernando was faster than him the whole weekend. Regarding Alonso vs Lewis, I think it was in Indy, not in Canada. Alonso was faster than Hamilton and only a change of strategy by Mclaren because they were afraid of a safety car avoided Alonso's victory. After the race Fernando didn't complain like Lewis in Monaco which triggered a FIA investigation.

67

A balanced view David. You want to understand mental state - try to wrap your head around treatment of women in certain societies and religions and then understand what can be done to someone's mental state.

I don't believe Massa is being treated equaly on equipment within the team - as an insurance policy to ensure he doesn't out do Alonso. It's the team's way to protect their #1. I also believe that the way the team has behaved toward Massa is clear that he's a second class citizen in the team. Yet because he is a "team player" - let's call it that, he is kept on, because the team know that the way the second car is treated there is little chance anyone else would do anything of higher value than Massa in that second car.

You know what's extremely funny to me - all this Ferrari third car talk they keep nagging about every single season over last few. Funny because they won't even give good hardware and proper support to their #2.

I think there are many "legacy" fans of Ferrari from Schumi years, Kimi years, and even Alonso fans now wear red. But I think that Ferrari are into their funk decade or decades - and won't do squat unless they buy success like they did with Schumi and co. They will have to wait to find that perfect talent mix on another team, open their wallet and then - stay the heck out of the kitchen while the cooks make it all happen.

The truth is, last 5 years they've way been better at loosing championships than winning them.

68

Hypothetically lets say you are right. But the gap in pace and grid slot is too big to even support your ridiculous claim. It's not that Alonso is under pressure & fighting for the championship against Massa. I love Filipe & would love to see him wdc, but his consistently downward form doesn't support any claim of favoritism. Ferrari isn't benifiting out of this after all.

69

If, and it is an if, Alonso is enjoying the type of favoritism Schumacher had when he was partnered with Johnnie Herbert, it's perfectly understandable why Massa's nowhere.

Also, is it unreasonable to suggest that Ferrari have perhaps developed their cars in a direction that suit Alonso's style more than Massa's? Remember, Fisichella went from putting a Force India on pole and very nearly winning in the thing to looking a complete tool at the next race when he switched to a dog of a Ferrari.

I maintain Massa still has the talent, he's just not in a car that allows him to show it.

70

he joined up against Schumie, and was able to stand his ground. He then paired up with Kimi and whilst Kimi won that year, Massa was able to bounce back and challange for the WDC missing out at the last moment.

So the 2nd driver agruement doesnt hold much sway with me.

71

Yes, against Schumi who knew he was being pushed out for Kimi soon, and who knew the team he put together was going on with other things and slowly falling apart. The generous Schumi who by then had seven stars on his helmet and didn't have a single thing left to prove. The Schumi who after his briliant domination found a new perspective on life and became a more complete generous individual - which always tends to come easier when you have the above mentioned seven stars.

72

Agree, If they had of let him win that race on the anniversary of his near fatal accident it might have been the confidence kick-starter he needed.

Since than he has been no where because he probably doesn't have confidence in the team and himself.

73

It's the drivers responsibility to prove to the team he is the number one driver.

74

Or that was confirmation of his place in the team. Second fiddle. They want Massa to be second to their golden boy, he's second. Where is the problem? I say he's living up to his job description and obligations perfectly.

75

Massa was worse than Alonso before Germany 2010.

76

If Lewis joins in, Alonso might look like today's Massa

77

[mod]

FA has beaten LH in slower car 2 (!) consecutive years. 2010 FA beat both Mclaren drivers over the course of a season, in a slightly slower Ferrari.
In 2011 FA beat LH once again, this time in a much slower Ferrari, and was not far away from Button as well (over the course of a whole season). In 2011 the Ferrari was so bad, they even stopped developping it quite early and shifted attention to the 2012 car, while Mclaren kept making the car faster and faster.
Keep in mind that in 2010/11 LH was no roockie any more, compared to 2007 but was still beaten by FA in a slower package.

No question final results of 2007 were down to how badly Mclaren team was treating FA, in the second part of the season.

78

Everyone has their opinions but guess what, Alonso and Hamilton TIED and then Alonso left, so the driver in that team that was happy stayed and the one that left was most unhappy. Therefore in his most difficult F1 year Alonso still wasn't beaten by his teammate.. He's never been beaten by a teammate.

King Lewis meanwhile has been beaten, and in his own team. The facts are staring us in the face.

79

If Kimi wasn't in the equation, then with both tied on 109 points, Hamilton would've been crowned World Champion, on countback. Tied on points, sure, but still only one winner. That's how F1 rolls.

Lewis beat Alonso in 2007, fair and square.

80

Lewis and Fernando are BOTH great drivers.

81

+1

They ARE both great drivers.

But Alonso is better 🙂

82

One more thing, I am not one of those guys who wouldn't admit that he beat Alonso.

It was an achievement that deserves a recognition. Having said that there was a reason why he did it and it wasn't the team favoritism as we know FA drives best when the whole world is aganist him.

I bet if they were on Michelin tyres the results would have been very different. The truth is no rookie driver can beat a double world champion under normal conditions, not even Senna or Schumacher.

He tested a BridgeStone tyres many times while Alonso was getting used to Michelin. And Alonso had to unlearn the whole thing and adapt BS tyres.

If they are in the same team, I would put my money on FA.

83

Anup Kadam, did you even read your own link?!?!?

It basically says any McLaren-against-Alonso-conspiracy theorists are out to lunch, which indeed they are. Unhindered by logic, they'll happily believe anything.

84

@hero_was_senna

Please see my reply below.

Points are no the only way to determine drivers ranking. If the points are equal, they look at the number of wins. Lewis finished second, FA finished third that season. I support FA and no it is not an opinion but a fact.

http://www.fia.com/en-GB/archive/Pages/en.aspx

FYI

select year 2007

select category F1 world championship

select subject: championship classification

Take a look at who is second and third.

Thanks and regards,

For sure

85

Exactly Erik, I support FA but if Kimi didn't exist, Lewis would have been the champ not FA, it is a fact.

86

That shouyd be Alonso put his McL in the wall chasing wins.

87

Hamilton beat Alonso fair and aquare.

If you have equal number of points you look at most wins and if they match you 2nd places etc and hence Hamilton ended up second in the championship before a third placed Alonso.

Hamilton even got order to not try to pass Alonso early in the season and got upset about it. They thought Alonso would be the one to win the WDC but LH held onto him.

If Hamilton would not strand his car in the gravel he would have won but he did. In the race before Hamilton put his car in the wall and spun off chasing wins. If he did not do that he would have won(if LH still put it in the gravel).

88

absolutely correct. and not to mention FA setups were copied over to Hamilton' car all year long.

a rookie cannot find the best setup like a two time world champion. fair enough..

Hamilton has got more time on that car than Alonso that winter and the whole team was against him...and still almost won the world championship...

there is no way LH can drive a car around the problem...

89

1) Alonso and Hamilton were tied on points, Hammy didn't beat him.

2) Lewis hadn't tested extensively on Bridgestones, he raced in GP2 which used Bridgestone rubber.

Alonso had raced on Michelins whilst he was at Renault.

Their characteristics were different enough to the Bridgestones, that journalists reported that Alonso, Kimi and Kubica took half a season to get up to speed on them.

When Hamilton and Alonso tested the Mclaren on Michelin at the end of 2006, Lewis was nowhere near his times.

Regarding Senna and Schumacher beating double World Champions, Senna I have no doubt would have and Schumacher conclusively beat Piquet in his 1991 races for Benetton.

90

More to add... Lewis never beat Fernando then both ended on same points...Add Ron dennis himself said during Chinese GP that they were racing Fernando and not Kimi...

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/10/20/alonso-is-not-the-victim-of-a-mclaren-conspiracy/

have a look at the link Hamilton followers...

91

always 1!!!

92

Not sure Lewis can drive a bad car like alonso can. we have yet to witness this as the mecca has had front running pace since he joined.

93

@ Scott: I think maybe you have missed the qualifying the last couple of seasons. I think Lewis qualifed 2nd last year (jenson 4th) and jenson 4th the year before (i believe Lewis had some problems in qualy) - they were very fast and just behind RBR. That was not a bad car it was just slower compared to RBR. Compare it to the dog ferrari has this year and tell me they were comparable.

@Phil: Ok they had a much slower car to start with in 2009. But in 2009, many teams missed the mark so he was still competitive behind the double diffusers (or just brawn).

All i am saying is if he was driving the ferrari this year, I doubt he would have finished 5th in Australia.

95

So you've missed the quality of car Mclaren have turned up with at the start of the last couple seasons then have you?

96

Melbourne 2009 (before he forfeited 3rd by lying)

97

Sorry, which Lewis you are talking about - Lewis (last few seasons) or New Lewis (annonced new Lewis for this year)? Of course he can join Ferrari but wouldn't it be nicier to join after being beeten by some Jenson two years in a row. By same Jensom who was described "Slow as Telegraph pole" by Breatore?

98

I think what Flavio said after dropping Button for Alonso was "time will tell if it was the right decision". Going on stats he did make the right decision. As big a fan of Button as I am if I was a team boss Alonso would be at the top of my list.

I havent seen "new Lewis" yet, he was fast in quali (which he often is) but sulked again after being comprehensivley beaten in the race. That said he was unlucky to loose 2nd to Vettel because of the safety car.

99

that was just after button refused to sign with briatore as his manager

funny that

100

Silly comment. Hamilton is proving to be less than the complete driver next to Button. Speed and raw talent he has in abundance but without the maturity, intelligence or technical nous to utilise it properly.

Perhaps Massa's problems are similar to Hamilton's (on a larger scale). The sprint format of the re-fueling era suited them but with heavy fuel loads and tyre degradation a F1 driver needs a more complete set of skills.

101

Smart commentary, I believe. That's why Ferrari hired Mr. Hashiyama(sp?)I'd venture. Still shows they believe in Massa....or there's money coming from somewhere???

102

Then you must think very highly of Button who is beating Hamilton for over a season now.

103

Lewis could only match Alonso in '07 season because he had the whole team on his side. Ron Denis made sure that season was a nightmare for Alonso, favouring Lewis at every race. However, Alonso still managed to keep his head focused almost winning the WDC. He proved he can manage high pressure situations like the champ he is.

On the other hand Lewis can't handle any pressure (clear examples in seasons '09 when the car was crap and all he could do was complaint about the car and teams, or last year when Jenson beat him fair and square). Lewis needs a crappy team mate, the whole team behind him and the best car in order to win anything.

If you put Lewis and Alonso in the same team, under equal conditions, i am pretty sure Alonso would destroy him mentally and thus on track. Lewis is mentally weak. Alonso and Jenson are true champs, LEWIS IS NOT.

104

I think history has shown that Ron like to create Champions rather than hire them. He famously managed to lure Lauda back to the sport only to then hire a young Prost. Likewise he pushed and back Senna over Prost as he wanted Senna to win with Mclaren. He backed Hakkihen over DC as Mika had stayed loyal with Mclaren during the barren years of 94-96.

With Alonso the top teams need top drivers always have done. They drive the cars quickly, you make millions off their name etc So Ron needed to hire Alonso but I think the brilliant start of Lewis in 07 caught Ron out. He got swept up in the moment of this young kid who he had invested in having a real chance to win first time out in one of his cars.

105

Yes, I think you've hit the nail on the head, Jaled, and the evidence we saw last season certainly confirmed he is basically still a boy!

When our man, Scott Dixon, got tied up with a woman some of his supporters here said "he'll be slower from now on", and I think they were right, although Scott doesn't do too bad! At least he comes across as a mature man with a good personallity which Lewis isn't doing at the moment. I must say I'm not a fan of Hamilton's or Vettal's, but I was quite impressed by Vettal's demeaner and manner during the interviews after the Oz race, but I wish he wouldn't rave on for so long! Last year I was switching off the tv when he started to talk!

PK (NZ)

106

Maybe the one's with "dream on's" and similar could explain why Alonso is not allowed to talk about 2007 (it was confirmed by some insiders that somekind of written form of agreement exsists)? It was clearly problem of Alonso so good old Ron made a deal to save him? Oh yes!

Anyway, time has shown which one of drivers was worth investment. Luckily McLaren have Button to save their arses.

107

I dont buy into that whole thing (by the way im not the same Darren as the poster above). Theres no way Mclaren would pay god knows how many million to get the at the time world champion to then sabotage his season.

I do agree that the support of the team was behind Lewis (Rons infamous "we were racing fernando" comment) but I think thats only natural in the stiff and serious Mclaren team to back the guy they had backed since he was 12 who fits the stiff and serious mould very well rather than the outspoken latino. its only natural anyway, you will always prefer one driver over another either deliberatly or subconciously. I proclaim to have no favorite out of Button or Hamilton but I always seem to find myself a bit more excited if Button wins.

They had equal machinery (so far as we are aware) so the only thing that affected Alonso was Hamiltons sheer speed. I think Alonso is far too tough a cookie to be phased by the apparent teams support for his team mate. The whole scenario was blown up with the spy gate thing, when Alonso threatened to blow the whistle on it his position from then on was untennable. That turned the team against him and rightly so, why should they support him if he is threatinging to jepordise the team.

All that said, I dont think the two of them could be in a team together again. On the rare occasions when they have been beaten or at least given a good chase by their team mates (Hamilton on Alonso in 2007 and Button on Hamilton last year) they have shown to be insecure and suffer from it. They need to be clear number 1s in their team. Alonso has been at Ferrari and is performing well (shame about the car) but Lewis suffered last year and was in a big huff this weekend about Jensons performance. The others like Vettel, Webber (I think he has calmed down and got over the teams apparent support for Vettel and will be all the better for it this year), Button, Rosberg & Schumi I think are better at just getting on with the job and focus on their own performance rather than fearing their team mates.

108

Ron initially got Alonso in to win the title but Hamilton was always his protege and as the season went on and the 2 was level pegging Ron changed his mind and backed Lewis it's fact, even Ron himself admitted in china by saying: "basically we were racing Fernando"

But anyway it's all in the past, if you want today's best driver then Vettel fits the bill and closely followed by Alonso, after the tip 2 Button, Hamilton, Kobayashi and Webber are close together, maybe Kimi will join the pack if he gets up to speed.

109

You forget to add having the car pretty much moulded round him too giving the long term project so to speak of his time in Mclaren as a whole! seems a waste of time when you see Jenson thumping him! lol

110

'Ron Denis made sure that season was a nightmare for Alonso' that's the biggest load of rubbish I’ve read in ages.

As for Lewis needing the whole team behind him, Alonso has a complete fit if the team aren't behind him. Remember his famous comment 'I feel alone in the team' at Renault when Fisichella beat him which was very rare, that was quite frankly - ridiculous.

It was Alonso who lost control at McLaren because they refused to give him number 1 status.

111

You may have a point there DARREN maybe Hamilton should turn his hand to the amateur hillclimbs where the total run times tend to be between 25 seconds and 1 min 30 seconds. Nice input 🙂

112

wonder why the [ spanish] observer sent by the FIA said reported that alonso got equal treatment

113

@Darren

When Lewis had an amazing start of the 2007 season, Ron realize the commercial value of having the first black driver win a WDC in his rookie. Since McLaren gets most of its money from sponsorship, the idea of having the next "Tiger Wood" with millions of sponsorship money flowing into McLaren bank account was irrestible.

Yes, Alonso was highly paid compared to Hamilton but it became irrelevent when you take into account all the hype behind Hamilton that year. Ron Dennis, Most of the McLaren team, Bernie and the FIA wanted him to win and they went out of their way to make it happen for the simple fact that he would have been HUGE for F1 and it would have given even more exposure to the sport(Tiger Wood Effect).

Now with insight, It look like Alonso might have been a better long term investment for McLaren.

114

Why would Ron of paid Alonso £20 million to race for Mclaren to then favour a driver like Lewis who he paid peanuts to in his rookie year! that argument doesn't make sense.

I do think Alonso is a better all-round driver but Lewis 'could' still beat him on single-lap pace. On current form though I think Vettel and Button could beat them both.

115

Good joke. Lewis has degraded as a driver while Alonso has progressed.

Lewis would get wrecked by Alonso now.

116

Lewis matched Fernando back then, mainly because he had nothing to lose compared to Fernando.

Needing to protect his image as a racer while trying to shed the wrecker image, Lewis is not the same driver anymore.

Back in 2007 he used to dive into the same gap like he is today, only back then other drivers were more "afraid" of him and gave him a lot more room, but no one yield to Lewis anymore... I remembered that Massa used to cave to Lewis' bullying before last year.

117

I wouldn't necessarily say with Ron's help. I think he was just much more put together in 2007 and hasn't been able to retain the focus he had that year.

The scary thing about Lewis in 07 was that he had potential to develop as a driver from the already high standard he had achieved. In the end, he didn't which must be disappointing for a Lewis/McLaren fan.

Alonso has developed from the driver he was in 2007, which is amazing considering he was a 2 time champion back then.

118

Totally agree, Hamilton wouldn't stand a chance if he were to join Ferrari now, he was a match for Alonso and with Ron's help distabalised Alonso in 2007 but right now Lewis would be wise to take Schumi's seat at Mercedes next year.

119

Sorry mate, Lewis is not at his most confident zone. I guess you said this because you are his fan and you hate Alonso

120

Dream on. Lewis looked terrible all of last season, an hardly a stellar performance Sunday. Now if you were to say Button, I might agree...

121

2nd that

122

I am really tired of Massa blaming this and that. If you have difficult time for a particular year, that's fine. For 3 consecutive years, as a tifosi, I am MAD.

Is there any communication breakdown between Massa and his engineers?

I would agree with James that Perez is the closet candidate for replacement but he is racing with Sauber..... what about G.Fisichella or Bianchi?

123

I would get that Lewis into the 2nd Ferrari. He would work well with Alonso, they have both matured somewhat since 07. Lewis can work round an iffy car better than Massa, whereas Massa like Button, only seems to go well when the car's more or less perfect. But the real issue for Ferrari is not the driver at the moment.

124

You can call yourself an Alonso fan, but a tifosi? NO WAY!

125

Oh boy, it's worse than type of pasta - it means "Carriers of Typhus"! Thank you google.

Thank goodness I never wanted to be a Typhus carrier! Even when Schumi was there.

126

Isn't Tifosi a type of pasta noodle?

127

Do you honestly think that Fisichella or Bianchi would do better with that car, with ALONSO as their teammate? Do you honestly believe it? Shame on you for turning your back on Massa "as a tifosi", who in his first three years at Ferrari managed to win and beat three world champions! I don't think you can call yourself a tifosi.

128

A tifosi, of which I count myself one, wants Ferrari to win. They want drivers to give everything and they want to see competition with other teams.

On occasion, a driver is hired by Ferrari that leaves us all bewildered because he doesn't fit the mould. this is especially true of Ferrari since Enzo passed.

Capelli, Barrichello, Massa and Kimi.

We rejoice when drivers like Villeneuve, Mansell and Alonso fight for the reds.

Prost, whilst a brilliant driver, was clearly second to the man we should of had, Senna.

Schumacher was the best in the field from 1995 to 2004 so that was a good call, but he never inspired love from the Tifosi, just respect. His idea of sporting was having a sub-serviant number 2, that gets no respect from anybody.

Ferrari is Italian in "cuore" which means to get our blood coursing through our veins, we want heroes driving there. We want gladiators wheeling the chariot.

Of the current crop, Hamilton would be a better addition than Vettel, despite the fact that Vettel would be more controlled as a driver.

129

'Prost, whilst a brilliant driver, was clearly second to the man we should of had, Senna.'

Senna was not crazy enough to sign for Ferrari. Same can be said about other first class brasilian drivers like Piquet or Fittipaldi. Only second rate brasilian drivers like Barrichello or Massa sign for Ferrari. But Senna - no - he didn't want grande casino - all he wanted was the best car and Ferrari couldn't give him that.

130

He only beat Raikkonen over a season.

I am sure he out qualified and and raced MSC at times, but not over a whole season.

I don't think that Fisi would necessarily do better than Felipe, but to be honest Ferrari should have put him out to pasture for 2010 and kept Raikkonen on with Alonso.

131

@Sebee, I think Rubens is probably the most successful No2 as he has a lot more podiums to his name, although he did less races at Ferrari.

Felipe has had good seasons for Ferrari, no doubt, and at places like Turkey he shows true world class form. It is a shame that Ferrari asked him to move aside for Fernando; I think that is what has broken his spirit.

@Spinodontosaurus, you are right of course. I didn't mean to say that he only beat Raikkonen of just one season, but rather to say that KR is the only World Champion he has beaten over a season.

But is Massa is not rated in the top echelon of drivers it is hard also for me to rate KR in that elite group as they have shown that over a couple of seasons they were more equal than MSC or Alonso against Massa.

132
Spinodontosaurus

If you only count up to Nurburgring in 2009, he beat Raikkonen overall in their 2.5 seasons together.

133

Maybe Alonso said I come, but not next to Kimi - hence the 30M goodbye card to Kimi.

Fisi is a backup to a backup to a backup when there are 30 days in February. Why is Massa at Ferrari so long? Because he can work the politics and put up with the crap they throw at him. As I said above you can't be a driver with fighting spirit and charge when you you have to instantly turn it of when someone flicks the radio button on the other end.

Let's give Massa a break - honestly, he has been the most successful #2 at Ferrari ever. He was world champion for a few seconds - which is more than any other #2 at Ferrari can say. That plus his long employment clearly to me means his employer feels he is doing exactly what he is paid to do. Never again will Ferrari let their #2 challange their #1 like Massa challanged Kimi.

134

Fisichella? Really?

The last opportunity he had in a Ferrari made him look the second rate driver he has always been. He was faster in a Force India.

135

Ferrari seem to be waiting for Kubica. There is however, no guarantee that Robert will ever be able to race again. At present the only real option I see for them is to wait until the end of the season and hire someone like Mark Webber. Mark would jump at the chance to drive for Ferrari, at least based on previous comments. This would give Ferrari the chance to 'wait and see' on any number of drivers currently building their careers, Ricciardo, Hulkenburg, etc. Or maybe just sign Algesuari, he's got a bit of spare time at present.

136

There is another option.

Adrian Sutil.

He has the skill, the experience, and the potential.

Ferrari should sign him up.

137

Sutil has his own issues, personal and on track he really needs to sort out. I'm sure he was a wasted talent at Force India, but last year he got spanked by di Resta, a rookie. It was more down to Sutil's lack of effort than di Resta's ability why that happened, and after Kimi, and now Massa, Ferrari do not need another driver that can't be bothered.

138

plug lol you would be right i reckon but for Sutil's off track escapades as it appears it inspired Sutil to drive out of his skin in the latter half of the season realising the grave situation his career was in.

Anyway you are wrong Sutil fairly out performed Di Resta all in all (and out scored) but if it was not for his off track issue i doubt he would have.

Quite strange what it takes for some people to perform at there best i would have thought if you reach the pinnacle of motorsport you would naturally do so anyway!

139

Sutil got spanked by di Resta? Not according to the scoreboard.

140
Spinodontosaurus

Check their final points totals, you may want to review that post afterwards.

141

Sorry, but I think nobody considers Kubica any more. No matter how sad the truth is - that accident has sealed Robert's fate in F1. With some many pretty good drivers around (even some are without seats this year) I really doubt any team will risk putting him in their car. I wish all the best for Robert but I believe we must stop talking these nonsences about him comming back to F1, especially to Ferrari.

142

One would be mad not to consider Kubica - Lotus surely did, even as they signed Kimi.

Kubica was the driver of 2010 for many. He did not contedn the championship, but the Lotus guys were taken back with his speed, determination, and most importantly his leadership.

One area where Ferrari has been failing is leadership from drivers ever since Schumacher's exit. That's why Kimi was fired, because they thought Alonso would replace Schumacher in that role. Instead they got a more emotive version of Kimi, who likes to whine over the radio instead of driving a team forward.

Saying that, even if Kubica came back, would he be able to fit into the leadership role like he had at his Renault days? He would have his work cut out to bring the team towards him, and challenge a 2 world champion for influence. Kubica would be best in a team like Merc after Schumi retires again, for Roseberg is not team leader material, and Hamilton, not a team leader material himself, is more likely to stay at Mclaren.

143

No, Alonso has a bad habit of letting his temper get the better of him. Even as far back as... last qualifying. Instead of being angry at himself, his first response for binning it was to have a go at the marshal for not doing what he's not supposed to do!

I get a feeling he's not an easy person to work with, live with, or be friends with.

He's a great driver, don't get me wrong, but he has about as much charisma as an old shoe lace.

144

I don't think Alonso whines over the radio, that's a certain Macca driver you're thinking of. LdMonte himself has praised Alonso's team leadership skills and he probebly has a better knowledge of his man than anyone here.

145

I gave the link to the site below, but I'll give it here.

He drove a rally car about 2 weeks ago, posted competitive time too. That's something that can't really be done with only one hand.

Alg's source was wrong, and he shouldn't have run with it. Perhaps Kubi's hand lacks the fine movements yet, and the glass holding thing was either taken out of context or a complete lie.

http://robertscomeback.blogspot.co.uk/

P.S. That Alguesuari rumour is there too.

146

It's sad, but given the length of Kubica's recuperation he really is off the cards, I'd really happily be wrong, but that accident was probably the end of his career.

Unfortunately his return is an 'if' that gets bigger every month.

147

It's probably hard to live then you see things in a different way than other. Alonso has been behind team since day 1 at Ferrari - find at least a single sentence where he complains about his team even after bad results like on Saturday?

Yes, I agree regarding Kubica - everybody is waiting (every single top team) for the guy who never shows his right hand in the pictures and like rumors say (not only Algesuari's source) barely holds a glass in it. Robert was a fantastic driver but his time in F1 is done. Hope I'm not right

148

Totally agree and Adrian Newey might also move to Ferrari in the next two years and build a team that will be a match the might of Lewis & Button.

149

Nope, Newey was already approached by Ferrari and he turned down the offer and took up his role at Redbull. I guess they need to get Rory Byrne back.

James, I read somewhere that Rory had significant input into this years car, what happened there any more information?

150

My money is on a joint partnership between Brawn and Newey at Ferrari within 3 seasons from now but either way certainly Newey regardless of what he has previously voiced.

151

I heard that Newey turned down Ferrari because he doesn't want to live in Italy. He prefers to live in the UK, where Red Bull is based.

152

He was a consultant on it, I understand

153

Massa is fragile, when everything is perfect, he can be as good as ANY other top F1 driver, but any imperfection in the car or change of condition, his performance degrades more than most other drivers.

Alonso is a great driver because he can drive around many issues, he can produce result under a wide variety of situations.

It is sad to see Massa gets into current state, it would be better for he if he decided never come back after recovered from the injury.

154

YES!

Look at Canada 2011. He was 2nd while he was doing well! Then he lost out because he was put in a bad situation with HRT.

155

I like Massa a lot, and I agree with you.

Further, I think it's worth noting that Massa has never won a race without starting on the front row. Even in 2008.

Massa sadly is not a good overtaker. This is a big problem when you can't qualify well.

156

I agree that Massa is fragile, but I believe it's more to do with support he gets from his team rather than how good the car is. '09 shown us the boy can drive a bad car. He outclassed Kimi throughout the year, which ultimatly lead to Kimi's downfall.

157

No he's just fragile. He's a touchy feely driver, very affected by his state of mind. He's not a ruthless psycho killer like Schumi or Alonso or Vettel. How many times have we heard Rob Smedly et al giving him encouragement over the radio? You don't get that from the other side of the garage.

158

Wasn't Hamilton getting encouragement in Monza after he got demoralised by Schumacher?

Morale is a strong thing, and good morale can win races if the car is good enough. Massa is demoralised, and if he feels that whatever he does in a Ferrari will be meaniningless because Alonso comes first then he needs to move quickly like Rubens did. Barrichello contested a WDC a few years back, so it's not over for Massa, but he has to look for a drive now and show to the paddock what he's capable of.

159

Agreed! It's not that Massa is that bad, it's just that Alonso is so good. The problem is Ferraris. It takes a dual world champion, with a unique ability to alter himself to the car to make that Ferrari look good. A comparison would be classy stoner on the Ducati which no-one else can ride, Rossi included. Massa is one of the best drivers in the world he needs to move to another team. Id like to see him in a Williams next year with Pastor.

160

yes he could do well in a williams.

i also agree in throwing JA in the car. might cause a few fireworks!

161

JA = Jamie Algersuari, correct?

162

I don't believe Bruno will last anymore than this season. From my understanding of Williams financial situation they could well afford having Fillepe next year.

JA in a Ferrari? Impossible, the car been described as having a 'small performance window' that I doubt James could squeeze through....

163

Or squeeze in even!!

164

Patrially agree. I guess it may be the same issue Ross Brawn was talking about Ferrari in Schumacher times: his ability do drive around car's problems underlines his team mate's problems while the true problem is car's general imperfection.

165

Well said.

166

Clearly the Scuderia were hopeful of an Alonso/Kubica partnership for 2012 and I think it would be foolish of Massa to kid himself otherwise. If he doesn't up his game, I fear for his career.

This story also highlights the void that the Ferrari Young Driver Academy should be filling. Yes I know it isn't Ferrari's style to go for a young driver, but their current situation isn't working well for them either. Unfortunately, Jules Bianchi isn't going to do a better job than Massa.

Sutil and Algersuari might though!

167

Buieme and Algursari (apologies for the spelling) are available, plus sutil and heidfield. Ferrari have plenty of experienced drivers to choose from. The question is does anyone want to play second fiddle to alonso in a car that is difficult to drive.

168

Agree that the drivers you mention are likley to perform better but from a marketing perspective?? Ferrari can not take on other teams rejects.

169

Rejects?? to be snapped up by an ambitious Mercedes team virtually over night! barely reject material. I will assure you we will see a lot more of Jaimie in the future and at the top end too quite sure his next drive will be in a top 6 team and from the start of next season at the latest.

170

Fully agree with you but I dont think Ferrari does - that's my point. I was genuinley impressed by Jamie in the second half of last leason..

171

Im sorry Mike, but none of them is Ferrari material, Alonso would destroy them.

172

Being destroyed by Alonso is irrelevant. Ferrari need a second driver to score points. If Massa is not scoring points Ferrari have nothing to lose in trying one of the drivers mentioned above. It would only be for the rest of the season.

If Massa struggles with his new chassis in Malaysia I fear he will not make it to the start of the European season.

173

That's a bit harsh hero, got to remember prior to his accident he was certainly very good and put in some pretty exciting drives in his championship WINNING season (read and think and you will get it browsers) he was up against a very competitive hamilton at the time in a team/car at the time very much moulded around him as it was in 07 too.

I do believe you are right and as i previously said he should never have got past the 1st season back since but to say cant wait is somewhat harsh considering his accident was absolutely faultless of his own accord.

174

Not quite Mike with the car known as being poor i reckon he will get at least 5 or 6 races regardless (unless he bins at every race from here on) but cant see him being there come mid season regardless if the cars good or not as i reckon even if the car turns out to be the best by then the margin between Alonso on race days will be too great to justify him being there.

Really sad to see him go but this has to be his last Regardless i feel Jaimie is the man for the seat all in all giving the fact that Alonso is there and the team order tendancy of Ferrari, but get the feeling from a post reply from James the other day that the seat is near certainly Webber's for next season so I wonder if there's a 2 way contract clause for if it becomes clearly justifiable for a Torro young gun to get into a Red Bull seat and likewise Webber gets straight into the Ferrari seat??

Should be interesting to see what happens regardless, I feel this could be a strange season as where multiple drivers change team etc throughout the season.

175

I pray you are right, I can't wait till Massa is ejected from the team, he brings nothing to it

176

Not so sure hero Alguersuari would fit in nicely i reckon, Reckon he is a far better driver than given credit for and also remember very young.

I feel he would be the perfect companion for Alonso come Ferrari come replacement or in house contender.

Interesting Mercedes were quick to swoop for him for either there own uses to profit from or to keep out of competitive rivals cars!!

177

I mentioned earlier in the year that Sutil might be a possible replacement if Kubica is not able to drive (or doesn't want to have a comeback race in a woeful Ferrari that supports only one driver)

178

To be honest I don't care if Sutil comes back or not. But it is a possibility. Pretty sure there are no FIA/F1 rules stating Sutil can't race. If I got it wrong, then correct me.

Would Ferrari hire him? That's another matter that only Ferrari could anwser.

179

I would think you have that very wrong but morally and sensibly no team with any sense or dignity would take him on and i think you would find that covers every team.

Why would take in a just into the top 3rd driver to risk bad press detracting sponsorship deals etc etc?? wise up even if Alonso carried out such a crime he would be brushed out of the F1 circus back door. Silly Silly idea.

180

Waken up and smell the coffee Wu as with most of your posts!. The only path back into F1 for Sutil would be if he started his own team, and that's if Bernie and the other powers above would let him in as it would be very very controversial.

181

I think the four guys you mentioned would all be very happy to spend a season with Ferrari. It would be a great opportunity for any of them to show what they could do in a top team.

182

I do feel Ferrari bears some of the responsibility for this, had they not asked him to move over for Alonso and let him take the win on the anniversary of his accident, then i think Massa would have more confidence and be a better driver.

183

These hockenheim-excuses really need to end.

If a driver is mentally destroyed if he has to take one for the team when it is neccesary (if illegal) he doesn't deserve his seat, much less the milions he is being paid to occupy it.

I don't believe that theory anyway because Massa knows better than anyone that at Ferrari, succes is rewarded with number one status in the late season. All he has to do is beat Alonso in the first half of the season. He moved over for Kimi in '07 and Kimi moved over for him in '08. He could similairly turn the tables this year and be the golden boy once more...

I also really haven't detected Massa's supposed recovery up to hockenheim. He was comprehensively outperformed by Alonso from the first corner of the first race of 2010 onward and IF anything is undermining his sense of self-worth then it's that (and not Stefano Domenicali giving him the stink-eye).

In other words, his underperformance has damaged both his confidence and his standing within the team, not the other way around.

184

I cannot agree with the sentiment that Massa is struggling because he has been relegated to #2 status at Ferrari. He is an F1 racing driver, if he can't clear his head and do his job then he isn't up to the task. Nice guy, gentleman off the track, gracious in WDC defeat... YES. Up to the task at Ferrari now, no...

I guarantee you that if any other top driver was relegated to #2 status he would buckle down, race his heart out and say "Not too bad for a #2 driver" after finishing ahead of his teammate.

185

Exactly my point. I just can not understand those people saying Ferrari have destroyed FM.

A true #1 driver fights his position within the team from the first to the last race. He is not letting himself getting in that #2 position in the first place. Not after 10 of the 19 races.

If he still hasn't worked out that Germany incident after one and a half years, he is not worth his seat in F1.

186

The problem is that in the 39 races that they've been team mates, thats still one of only two races where Massa was able to match Alonso (the other being China last year). He's been showing for all that time that on race pace is generally half a second a lap slower than Alonso and I think thats got nothing to do with his crash but the genuine difference in their abilities matched with three less than perfect Ferraris.

187
Spinodontosaurus

Korea 2011? Massa was the faster for some distance of the race, and only lost out due to slow pitstops landing him in taffic.

188

Korea 2011, wasn't that the race that Alonso told the team he was faster but they didn't let him through?

Put in some quicker laps after Massa pitted, came out and chased down Button some distance ahead and caught him. I don't remember Massa stuck to his rear after that? In fact he was 10 seconds back.

He had qualified ahead of Alonso as well.

The problem that Massa has, and I remember seeing it with Trulli at Renault, Alonso isn't the greatest in qualifying, but come race day, he is staggering.

In 2004, Trulli generally started ahead of him, but during the race, one Renault would move forwards, the other back, no prizes for guessing which was which.

All the greats have a weakness.

Prost didn't like the rain or passing back markers.

Senna took too many chances through back markers and lost some wins because of it.

Schumacher was generally poor with starts, how many times did he carve across the track to keep others behind him?

Alonso isn't the best in qualifying

Vettel in a dominant car has it all covered, qualifying and race, but I want to see what he does when he isn't always at the front. Suzuka last year showed he has weaknesses too when he swerved at Button at the start. Or Turkey and Spa in 2010?

189

I seem to remember that race ebbing and flowing a bit, there was points where Alonso was being held up and times when Massa was definitely faster. I'll give you that one as it was still a good performance, but that still leaves it at 36-3 in Alonso's favour and quite a few of them weren't even close.

I get the feeling that if he doesnt pick up the pace by ome way, and now, he may not even see out the season as him loosing points relative to Alonso could cost Ferrari dearly.

190

If Massa was any near as fast as Alonso on a regular basis they wouldn't have asked Massa to let Alonso through.

191

And looking at the results of other drivers 12th to 5th isn't all that impressive. Let's put that into perspective please. If number of spots gained from starting grid to GP finish is the metric, I'm not sure Alonso would be on that "podium". Perez, Kimi, Kobayashi all this same or better with what should be slower hardware.

192

My bet is that Massa finishes out the year, and they choose to let him go. Then they call up Perez, who has been scoring well as of late. By then, he'll have almost 40 races under his belt. They took a chance with Gilles after one race... different management and times now, but it's not unreasonable to see them putting in Perez after he's had two years to mature.

They probably wouldn't mind a Telmex sticker on the car alongside the Santander stickers!

193

Go for Kobayashi, he's a better and more exciting driver than Perez, the results speak for themselves.

If they really want a champion calibre driver then keep an eye on Kimi, if he gets up to speed and shines for Lotus it be wise to try and tempt him back, he is the most naturally gifted driver, even more do than Vettel or Hamilton, but then he got out dueled by Kobayashi at Melbourne, that could be down to ring rust so we shall see.

194

How naive, Ferrari got rid of Kimi for a variety of reason, not because he was slow.

195

To make room for Alonso who probably wasn't coming if Kimi was there. Santander paid the bill - with taxpayer dollars. Ok I'm speculating.

196

I don't think Alonso would have had an issue with Kimi being there, much as Senna wasn't fussed by Prost being at Mclaren.

The original talks were that Alonso had been signed for 2011, but Ferrari decided to cut their loses and paid his season off. I would imagine also, $250,000,000 dollars a year from Marlboro would cover the expense of paying him off. I doubt Santander was involved.

197

I can't see Kimi going back to the team that dumped him for Alonso when he still had a year left to run on his contract. Sure he enjoyed being paid NOT to drive for them but he's a proud man

198

Even if Ferrari want him, I think Kimi may not go there!

199

Replacements? Sutil for instance. Trulli. At this rate, perhaps Badoer and Fisichella would be improvements?

But Alonso was lucky, very lucky, to get fifth. It seems that Lotus and Williams, possibly Mercedes if they fix the tyre issues, are better cars right now. Mercedes certainly in qualifying. That would mean Grosjean, Kimi, Maldonado, Webber, Vettel, Button and Lewis are expected to finish in front of him on a track with working DRS zones.

200

F1 is not always just luck. Jack Villneauve was a lucky champion, Alonso is a better & proven champion even when he is 10th. He does it over and over. That's the fact. That's why Fernando always loves racing toe to toe against Schumi. Because they are very much alike when it comes to outperforming a car. If Alonso had Schumi's leadership skills we would've witnessed Ferrari dominance for possibly for the next decade. But that's F1, mostly fact, hardly any luck.

201

Found this. http://youtu.be/prrV_gQa1oM

even if u might think this can't gv the overall pic, but it show hw detail n all-rounder n hw "busy-body" MSC of team problem...he push everybody to the limit, not only for his own car team, but the whole team...if that is not some sort of leadership, i'm not sure what it is ....

202

I completly agree. What Ferrari needs is another Schumacher, a person that puts all the effort into winning not just on the track but off it, supports his team and engineers instead of crying like a baby when things go wrong, someone with the technical know-how, who understands the car technically instead of just driving it.

Schumacher was a great driver, but he was also a leader. He inspired his people into doing better, and he gave them back results. He knew exactly what he wanted from the car, and delivered when it was given.

It seems Alonso is waiting for Ferrari to give him a car he wants and expects everyone to be thankful he's there instead of building the team around him, building its morale and devotion to him.

Incidently Shucmacher is doing the eaxt same thing at Merc he did at Ferrari. He knows what it takes to win, and even after 2 seasons finishing below Rosberg, he is still the team leader. Alonso still has a lot to learn from his example.

203

Depends how you view it.

I don't think Rosberg is actually that good, and Michael hasn't got his ability from 15 years ago to carry the car any longer.

204

Schumacher's leadership skills?

Todt brought Schumacher to Ferrari for 1996. With his suggestions, they signed Brawn and Byrne for 1997 and finally won the WDC in 2000.

Alonso should have won in 2010 but for the wrong strategy call.

Last year, the design team was replaced because ultimately, they weren't improving. Pat Fry has been the Technical director for under a year and has been recruiting alot of top level people ever since.

When they get the car right and Alonso wins, will it be Alonso or Pat Fry's team that guided the team?

Alonso is a leader, and it's taking time to get the package together.

Even the "great" Newey took from 2006 to 2010 to win a championship with Red Bull.

205

Trust me I have.

Also the jump start in China, the team and Massa not letting him through In Australia when he was obviously quicker...

Hang on, the team not asking Massa to let Alonso through, good grief, flies against all of peoples assumptions huh?

Due to his mistakes, he was 47 point behind in Britain, and yet still managed to be in the lead of the championship come the final race.

Massa never once uttered he would win the championship, yet Alonso kept saying they could turn it round. His self-belief is staggering

206

'Alonso should have won in 2010 but for the wrong strategy call.'

You can also say Alonso lost out after he crashed in Belgium. Or after he destroyed his car in FP3 in Monaco. Think about it.

207

LOL Yep but you got to admit he's consistantly lucky. Just look at how he got the Renualt to finish in the top ten for two seasons after McLaren kicked him out. (Ignoring the fixed race)If you do something enough times you have to admit its not luck but skill.

208

If and when Kubica can prove his fitness and demonstrate he still has the capacity to pilot and F1 car on the edge then Felipe can expect a phone call. Dominicalli should offer Alonso half his retainer; as without him he would already be drawing unemployment benefit.

Even Alonso may be enought to rescue his plight however. If the Mark II Ferrari due at Barcelona doesn't deliver, I expect curtains for both Dominicalli and Massa.

209

I agree that Kubica at his best would be one hell of a competitor to Alonso's dominance over the team. Alonso more or less said the same.

210
Mark in Australia

When you are just not quick enough and have lost the edge, the time has come.... Unfortunately for Felipeand Ferrari this is the reality.

I can't see this partnership seeing the year out, sorry to say.

I'd love to see Webber in a Ferrari at some stage, but doubt Mark would go there with the current car issues; any thoughts?

211

You cannot blame the driver for him being unable to race a dog to podium finishes.

212
Mark in Australia

No, you can't. But what you can do is compare the driver to his team mate. And in this case, and for the past few years Alonso has mopped the floor with Massa.

You can't blame the dog of a car but Alonso has fundamentally had the same gear to work with. He even managed a win last year in said dog of a car.

Massa needs to be accountable. I feel as soon as a suitable replacement is found he will be out, barring a race winning turnaround from Felipe.

213

The truth is that Alonso, especially with whole team behind him, would mop the floor with 90% of current Formula 1 drivers. I don't see Massa's fault in this.

Massa is a momentum type of driver. If he can string two or three good results, he can go steamrolling again. But that would never happen IF Ferrari would still concentrate solely on making Alonso a world champion. Considering that I don't see a reason why Massa's contract was ever renewed. They should search for a humble number two driver back then. But still, putting Perez, Kobayashi, Maldonado etc. in the Ferrari wouldn't fix the major problem which is the car.

214

Oh, forgot: Alguersari or Buemi, my favourite of those two would be Alguersari.

215

alonso should be doing a better job than massa-after all the whole team is built around alonso.

ferrari aren't capable of running 2 number 1's like mclaren, mercedes etc. it's just not in the latin culture or ferrari's dna.

massa is getting the standard ferrari treatment. smiling to your face while the knife is twisted in your back. in the old days ferrari just dumped drivers on a whim. at least a driver knew where they stood.

216

Oh dear lord!!

So from the 1950's when all Ferrari drivers fought with each other constantly, through the 60 and 70's, 1979 when Villeneuve and Scheckter fought each other, 1982 Villeneuve vs Pironi, and on, then in 1999 through to 2008 when Ferrari won countless races with 1-2's, or Kimi won a WDC in 07 with Felipe moving over in the last race, then Massa nearly winning in 2008...

Silly me, of course those Latino's can't run two cars equally. ( BTW, I'm Italian here )

Maybe the fact Ferrari have won 16 Constructor championships would imply that maybe they might run two cars equally? (Mclaren have only 8 consturctor championships. )

Massa cannot support Alonso whatsoever and because of this Ferrari cannot win the Constructors championship.

217

They used to work that way. There hasn't been a lot of evidence of that since the Schumacher era. Given that the team's principal financial benefit is from the constructor's championship, and that having two strong drivers is the best way to maximise your chances of that title, I've never understood the logic behind favouring one driver over the other anyway.

218

Schumacher left at the end of 2006.

Ferrari won the 2007 and 2008 WCC. The WDC in 07, almost 08

2009 was a poor car, as was 2011. Any car that can only win a race per season, will never win the WCC.

Since his accident Massa has proven that he isn't up to the task of F1 driver any longer.

Whether it's residue from his injuries, or Alonso has completely destroyed him psychologically, it doesn't matter.

He was good enough as a second driver, but he was never going to be a multiple Champion.

What I can't get my head around is the fact that he has proven in 2 seasons, that he just isn't good enough anymore in any capacity, be completely different if he was supporting Alonso but not quite at his level.

Ultimately, the second driver should be good enough to step into the team-mates position if he encounters problems

219

Latin culture? It never fails to amaze me, when people calmly make statements like this: would LH clearly sulking mood at macca's favouritism of jb fit into this description? If memory serves me well, that's two English drivers in an english team, hardly Latin! Maybe we should think of red bull's more than obvious bias towards vettel as the standard bearer of the team? But then, the outfit is Austrian with a base in the uk i think and one driver is German and the other Australian... Hmmmm. And Ferrari not being able to run two nr 1 drivers? That is clearly untested since massa can hardly claim being a decent nr 2. But let's retrace: 2007 kimi wins the championship, fairly being deemed the nr 1 driver, whereas the following season, massa challenged for the dwc. Was Ferrari not a Latin team then? Hmmm I'm confused.

220

Oh and as for massa getting the standard Ferrari treatment, how does two years of hardly meeting any expectations at all fall within your description? In my company and probably in most that want to keep succesfull, massa probably would not have survived 2010, much less last season. Sorry to say, your post does not make any sense at all, but then again, it could be my Latin character failing to understand simple logic.

221

I don't share your thoughts. Just because in the past Ferrari used the teams orders without putting up "curtains" doesn't mean that's the case every time.

In 2010, Ferrari like everyone of us, saw the performance difference in their two drivers. They knew that with the car they had that early in the championship..they need to back Alonso to have a chance of the Driver's championship.

What do you think McLaren would've done if the performance difference between Lewis and Jenson was big in favour in Lewis and Jenson managed a very good start and race..

It's all strategy to aid the chance of winning a championship. McLaren used to radio on Lewis (or was it Jenson) that their fuel is critical when they were racing each other very close. Maybe that was the case indeed, but what if that was a coded message?

I don't know about you, but I would be very upset if Ferrari would let a unperforming Massa take a win and blow the chance of winning a championship for the second driver. If Massa would produce those kind of performances like in Hockenheim race by race..then I would be outraged at Ferrari..but that was a one-off. Every team is here to win..not to please the fans.

I cannot believe you are comparing McLaren's driver situation with Ferrari's. Jenson and Lewis are pushing each other all the time and they are sharing wins..while at Ferrari is obvious that Massa is nowhere Alonso's pace. And that was the case since Alonso arrived in 2010..not just now.

222

This is I feel a 'corrupted' view of F1, as opposed to the pure view as given by Frank Williams.

It does not matter if Massa underperforms, if he manages to get a win fair and square he should have that win. Handing it over to Alonso is unworthy. To be a F1 world champion you should be able to do it by your own merits and not have it handed to you in the way Schumacher did, and now Alonso. It is clearly Ferrari way, and that is why I really cannot find it in my heart to love them.

It is true, you could argue other sports employ such tactics such as cycling, but they are also the poorer for it.

F1 should be pure, if nothing else, the WDC should be able to say 'I won that' and not I was gifted that.

Massa, I feel has been broken by this Ferrari ethic in the same way Rubens as before him....

223

What you are talking about is something that it will be ideally..but the real world is not like that. You must wake up and realize that.

How is "Fernando is faster than you" different from "Mark hold your possition" or " Jenson we are critical on fuel". To me, they are the same.

You must be very naive to think that all team orders that are given in F1 are plain and simple like it was in Germany in 2010. There are always team orders and sometimes maybe not even the drivers don't know they follow them.

Nobody is going to write about you that you got 2nd place in championship but you got it on merit while the champion was helped by team orders. History remembers champions and not number 2's.

Come on guys..there are millions of £/$ invested in this sport. You think the shareholders would be happy if a team principal says "We didn't win the championship but we let our drivers race every time" ? Shareholders will be happy when they see their investment grow.

Ohhh and don't get me started on "it is clearly Ferrari way". Look at RBR last year. Vettel was miles ahead in the championship and still Horner instructed Mark to hold the possition.

I see that even worse than Ferrari's team orders in Germany 2010. At least Ferrari knew that Massa will have absolutely no chance of winning the championship. And they were right.

224

If Massa makes it to the end of the season in a Ferrari race seat, I'll eat my rocket redMcLaren hat!

Is Luca Badoer still available? Even he couldn't be worse than Massa right now.

225

Ferrari's loyalty to Massa is water tight - as seen over the last few years. Mark my words, he will stay for the remainder of the season.

Would you like tomato sauce with your hat? 🙂

226

+1

227

How long do you think he will last James? Will he make the end of the season or will Ferrari wait for Webber next year?

While watching Maldonado fight Alonso on Sunday I couldn't help but think he was the logical choice to replace Massa. Pay Williams a huge hunk of cash for Maldonado, Williams brings back Rubens for one final blast, everyone's happy.

228

I've heard there is a clause somewhere on the Ferrari contract that says they cannot hire bald drivers.So Maldanado is definitely ain't happening!

229

Does the non hiring of bald staff policy run to technical directors to!!! If it does, I'm willing to bet they'd change that policy in a heartbeat if they could get their hands on a ceartain technical mind!!!

230

I don't know, that's why I highlight this story. It's interesting to see what they decide to do. Their options aren't great

231

Options are not great no but certainly plenty full i reckon they should let a young gun in that's itching at the bit to prove himself instead of a accomplished older the driver that understands that he is in as a no2 as lets face it Ferrari are unlikely to win the constructors until something radically changes outwith the drivers seat so why not take the gamble on a young gun who might just get them there on raw talent alongside/pushing Alonso??.

232

Not great maybe not James but certainly plenty full, what driver would turn down the chance to drive for Ferrari ??(other than Kimi or a very front runner currently) I reckon they should take the gamble on a young gun itching at the bit to prove them self rather than an already accomplished driver coming in understanding they are in a no2 role.

233

delete that other one and this one put in here on landed in wrong place!!!

234

How about Heikki?

The guys has proven to be quick, has experience and worked with a big teams in the past. And he is just 30, if I am right.

Could be a good move for Ferrari.

235

F1 and you dont think Hekki would have a get out clause if Red Bull or Ferrari Approach him?? i would certainly think so!

236

He is contracted to caterham.

237

I know it is very early days, but Vettel seem to be interested in Ferrari at some point of his career. I'm thinking back his post race emotional interview in Monza last year, "only thing would've made this win perfect if I was wearing red". What's your thought?

238

Quick question James.

If Ferrari decide to take Perez in 4-5 races..will Perez take his points with him at Ferrari or the points will stay at Sauber?

What are the rules in regards to that?

Thanks

239

@Oracle - On your question "you think they will do a better job than a driver who beat kimi and scored 12 wins and may poles?" - on current form, the answer is YES!

Massa is not the same driver he once used to be.

240

Points don't "move" if a driver changes teams.

The drivers championship is independent of teams, so technically a driver could win the championship having changed teams mid season.

The Constructors points are scored by the car, so any points scored by a driver at that team, remain with the team if the scoring driver moves.

241

He keeps his, Sauber keep the constructors.

242

Points won in a Sauber stay with Sauber.

Points won by driver stay with driver.

243

The constructors points stay with Sauber, the driver points go with Perez. Same thing happened when Fisichella moved there in '09.

244

What's stopping Ferrari from going after Alguersuari or possibly Sutil? Are there any legal hurdles?

Persisting with Massa in his current form would seriously compromise their constructor championship chances.

245

Alguersuari and Maldonado? One is a pay driver, the other was just sacked for being average and you think they will do a better job than a driver who beat kimi and scored 12 wins and may poles?

246

The only option available at present will be to sign a driver that is not driving, plenty of them or call Perez, my understanding is that, because he is part of the FDA, Ferrari Driver Academy, he has a clause in his contract that will allow him to drive for Ferrari.

Accordingly with my Italian sources, Kubica is not anymore in the frame for an F1 seat next season, Webber is a safe bet, but Hamilton stock could be on the up at Maranello if he decide to quit McLaren at the end of the season.

247

I think he has just lost it. Whatever it was that he had before his big accident has gone, and it obviously can't be helped by being continually well beaten by his team-mate. It is a shame to see him like this, and unless he digs incredibly deep and finds something then the focus and scrutiny is going to become more and more intense. I hope he can find a spark, something just to set him going.

In a way it is admirable that Ferrari have stood by him for so long, but surely Domenicali and co. can't afford to have blind loyalty for too much longer if results & especially performances continue on their downward curve.

248

Timo Glock would make an ideal substitute. He deserves better than Marussia and would be closer to Alonso having much experience in difficult cars.

249

I personally never liked the idea of sacking people, but scuderia's loyalty and patience is far from what one would call reasonable. Massa simply is not cutting it and one could definitely say that he's harming the team at this stage. I hear those that argue that massa was given a very clear no 2 role in the team and given the injustice of this he's just cashing in for as long as he can. That's a pretty cynical view i think, and these people would argue differently if it was other teams involved. At the end of the day very few times over these last two years has massa looked remotely competitive. Who knows JA, maybe that kid that you've got commenting with you on gp day won't last that long without a seat (although if you go by Spanish media, alguersuari is not really alonso's cuppa tea, but then again, who is?) For all I admire FA, sometimes I wonder how much loan in his karma bank does he have to pay before things brighten up for him? Tough!

250

I don't see them replacing Massa mid-season with a driver racing for another team. It would be like Fisi in '09 all over again.

What about someone like Sutil, or even Kubica if he's ready?

251

The sad thing is, Massa's deficiencies with respect to Alonso mean you can't help but re-evaluate his earlier achievements.

Instead of admiring his race wins in 2008, I look back and think, "wow, the 2008 Ferrari must have been awesome -- in Alonso's hands it would have won the WDC easily".

252

In addition to Dan's comments, just look at the sensitivity to temperature that season. Any time it was cold the Ferrari tended to be nowhere. Kimi couldn't qualify well on most tracks - heat helped a lot.

On some tracks and temperatures the McLaren was clearly the better car. On others the Ferrari had the edge. A common comment from Martin Brundle when commentating in 2008 was "look at the understeer". Felipe was clearly comfortable with that on corner entry. Whatever the car does now, he isn't comfortable with it for much of the time.

When the cars are well balanced and the cars have a good feel you won't get much difference between the top drivers. When there are problems differences appear. Kimi had an issue managing the tyre temperature in 2008. The McLaren characteristics have meant that Lewis has never obviously been tested, and he tends to end up on the excessive wear side in races occasionally. Melbourne was unusual for Jenson as he just went for it from the start - a bit like India in 2011 - rather than being more cautious.

Alonso seems okay with tyres and under and oversteering balance, but he had brake feel issues with McLaren. Schumacher had tyre feel issues in 2010 and 2011. We are working what flaws Vettel has - he is increasingly showing he can pass others, and he seems to have tyre management as good as anyone. Yet to see him in an ugly understeering car.

Cheers,

Martin

253

I think you are being a little unfair to Massa here - Raikkonen was his team mate after all, and he beat him (though admittedly I don't remember if Kimi had bad luck or other reasons for being beaten).

254

I really do not think that one could draw any conclusions in this regard.

Massa is clearly not his former self and there are many other puzzle pieces (such as Alonsos preferential treatment) that contribute to the current state of affairs.

255

The team was behind Massa, that was the difference. It was Kimi's option to have equal status within the team, which benefitted the other driver.

256

So...It was Kimi who opted not to be No1 driver and have equality in the team which is why Massa did well in 2008 is it? Sorry but you gotta laugh sometimes. Massa was given No1 status that year because he was beating Kimi fair and square. Remember that Kimi was the one getting getting the No1 status salary at the time and not Massa. It's been said here many times and I'll say it again. Ferrari will back their fastest driver whether it be Michael, Alonso, Kimi or Massa, they proved that in 2008, surely it's obvious that Massa is just not performing and has nothing to do with status, Alonso or Ferrari politics?

257

or maybe Fernando is just competing againts a defect teammate who has'nt been the same after a horrible accident. What a way to measure Alonso...

258
Mohammed Al-Momen

Maybe if Kubica recovers !!!!

259

He might but not enough to justify a top seat drive i dont think, shame though as i believe he was certainly in the top 5 driver bracket for sure post Senna.

And on that why bother bouncing about in the lower bracket of F1 if he could switch to rallying maybe and do well there certainly seems about as interested in that as he is F1.

With his injuries and the fitness level req in F1 training and the G forces on cornering etc i wonder if he would fit into rallying now better??

260

As i have said before he should not have been racing last season, let alone this one.

Loyalty is all well and good, but at this level you have to think of it that the driver is simply a component on the car (we have been told that enough over the years by the engineers). Using this as an example: if the gearbox was causing an issue and the result was that you were off the pace at nearly every track or caused you to fail on multiple occasions, would not the team look to replace the component with something more reliable?

Whenever i think of Massa i think of a quote from Martin Brundle in 2004 saying "you would not even lend Massa the keys to your hire car the way he is driving." He has done nothing since 2008 and cannot rest on those past achievements, drop him and dont look back.

James, is the willingness to honor a long term contract a case of the Nicholas Todt's still having massive pull at Ferrari because of his fathers legacy?

As for replacements: Jarno has no current drive...He will get you through the season in preperation for Mark Webber in 2013.

261

I'm not his fan but I do feel sorry for Felipe. Seems like he and Lewis are also on a downward trend with regard to their performances.. o_O

I don't think Felipe has a problem with anything, it's just Alonso being too good a driver, and when you put Alonso next to Felipe, the differences become much more visible than if they were in different teams and cars.

262

Compare Lewis to Massa in not fair.

Massa is obviously downtrend. But I don't think Lewis is downtrend.

Lewis speed is still there, but his weak point is tyre management. If the tyre is more durable, I stil think Lewis has the upperhand to Button.

With this Pirelli, Button can show his advantage as everyone predict since 2011. His reputation is soft on tyre.

263
Mohammed Al-Momen

it is unfair to compare Lewis to Felipe. Hamilton put a stunning lap on Saturday and if it wasn't for the safety car he would have finished 2nd.

264

I didn't say Hamilton did a sh*t job, I just said he's going downhill (and I don't mean going down like a landslide either). It's just you gotta look at Saturday and Sunday, Lewis wasn't as strong in the race and couldn't get the better of Jenson, hence on a downward trend (especially when Jenson has had the upperhand over Lewis since the mid-end of 2011). Felipe in general has been going downhill anyway.

265

Yet another person underestimating Button. He is a brilliant driver, a world champion that has been getting used to Mclaren and slowly taking over the team leader role. Button knew you can't win on Saturday and preferred to have a faster car on Sunday.

I think Hamilton did a good job, but he has to stop believing he's the best when he simply isn't. It's that kind of enitiled, lazy thinking that will be his undoing for yet another year.

266

If he has many more races like that, he will be kicked out before the end of the season.

Look at how the "undertalented pay drivers" have fared ? Maldonado harrasing Alonso's Ferrari in a Williams ... Perez... Even Petrov is looking way stronger than Felipe.

Being a nice guy is not enough, FM needs to get on it or he will correctly be labelled a basket case and shown the door.

267

Ferrari should have dropped Massa at the end of 2010, or at the end of 2011 at most. The only reason they've kept him is because they feel sorry for him after Hungary 2009.

He's never been a brilliant driver, not even in 2008, average at most with some good results. In wet conditions he's a complete joke, he's done. Ferrari know it, he knows it and we all know it.

Felipe Massa at this point is like a racing horse with a broken leg, there isn't much more that can be done for him.

Ferrari will lose at least a couple positions in the constructors championship at the end of 2012 because they are basically running a one car operation with Alonso, the other one is simply useless an has to go away.

268

Not nicely said, but true.

269

Hi James, what would you say Alonso's "moments" were (with the exception of the qualifying spin)?

270

He had some big slides, some major corrections etc in free practice in particular. The car looked a handful

271

James, old topic but whats your feeling about him physically - do you think he lost something (reflexes, etc) in the 2009 accident?

I still recall his Singapore 2008 pole. He seemed then like the only other driver to Hamilton who could do something freakish behind the wheel.

272

Don't forget that after the accident, Massa returned and scored pole in Bahrain 2010 and came in 2nd in Germany 2010. So the accident couldn't have been so bad on him physically.

I think Massa is just an OK driver. As JA says, in a car that is difficult to handle (which includes wet conditions), Massa does not cope very well. Anyone recall Massa's 6 spins at Silverstone 2008 in the wet?

As for a replacement, there will be no replacement for Massa this year. He will see out his contract with Ferrari. Ferrari's unfailing loyalty to Massa will ensure this. It's the same loyalty that sees Stefano still at Ferrari.

273

There was also Monaco 2008. Besides Singapore 2008, both were awesome pole laps, and Ferrari screwed him in both races.

274

I think the doctors would know that and it would have been highlighted. He's not matching Alonso and that's tough mentally, as it was for Kovalainen at McLaren. I see it quite similar to that situation

275

Did anybody see the TV show Richards Hammond did about how his serious accident in Top Gear changed his life & personality? He also interviewed Sir Sterling Moss about his serious accident and Sterling Moss said it changed so many little things about his life and personality as well. And their wives agreed saying they weren't the same person they were before their accident. So maybe it's the same for Massa - he's a nice chap but has lost that extra bit of risk-taking edge it takes to be a top F1 racer.

276

Great analogy. I like this comment above all else here.

The subjective mental affects together with being forced to be a number 2 have blunted Massa. Those few tenths lost have sadly made him an also ran.

277

If Alonso is overachieving with the car and Massa is still at the level of competitiveness of Hamilton as in 2008, then the conclusions are: 1. Alonso is very very exceptional driver, perhaps the best the world ever saw. 2. The whole Ferrari technical team has tobe sacked (not Massa) for producing a car which even 2008-level competitive Massa is unable to produce good results as he can still beat Hamilton if given a good car!

The truth is 2009 accident had its effect and Massa is not the same one as seen in 2008. It is like Monica Seles in tennis. She never came back to her high standards after the attack on her.

278

Oracle so you meant Kimi was driving far too slow in that Ferrari 2008 then. He must have been like 1 second off the pace.

279

Massa was not driving the same car as hamilton in 2008, he was driving a much faster Ferrari which has fooled many into thinking he was a lot better than he really is.

280

I think the doctors have absolutely no way of knowing for SURE exactly how the head injury affected Massas driving. They can tell he's basically fine, but they have no way to measure "driving skill" and exactly how the brain processes the input and put it to use and if that in any way is different from before. He can be 99.8% fine, but its those .2% that give you half a second on the clock.

281

Absolutely spot on!! im just amazed he is still been given the chance behond the hope and pitty yr this is now his 3rd since!!

282

Good comment. Too much faith on doctors is not right! Brain and mind (the driver of brain or you may call functional force/program of brain) are not known well to us now. We are still far far away from fully understanding these two entities and how they work together.

283

The big difference between the situation with Kovalainen at McLaren is that Hamilton was getting new parts one or two races before Heikki, therefore the disparity between the two was often artificial.

284

I agree that no one wants to see Massa suffer, but he was not so dignified last year. Indeed he seemed to fixate on Hamilton. I remember his race engineer deciding the best way to motivate Massa on one occasion was to suggest he try to 'ruin Hamilton's race'. Last year, Massa was all the things Lewis is often accused of: churlish, childish and sometimes dangerous - yet he largely got away with it because he is a 'lovable figure' and is constantly cut slack because of his fight back from injury.

Honestly I'm torn... On the one hand he is arguably the most underachieving driver on the grid, and the least deserving of his seat on recent to mid-term form, and his personality is beginning to suffer for it - which is possibly the greatest shame of all.

On the other hand it is heartening to see Ferrari’s loyalty to their driver, who was injured in service to them. When so many drivers are simply cast aside with little more than a text message, Ferrari are to be applauded for shrugging of the coldness of ‘business’ and embracing the warmth of ‘people’.

Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari in 2013? Is it really totally impossible? I don’t think it is. For sure, Alonso could make sure it never happens but would he…?

285

On the other hand it is heartening to see Ferrari’s loyalty to their driver, who was injured in service to them. When so many drivers are simply cast aside with little more than a text message, Ferrari are to be applauded for shrugging of the coldness of ‘business’ and embracing the warmth of ‘people’.

How times have changed..

In 1976, Reutemann was signed for the 1977 season because Lauda had been so severely injured in Germany.

Lauda's remarkable recovery, at Monza 6 weeks later, forced Ferrari to have to supply a car for him and eventually sack Regazzoni.

Lauda left Ferrari once he secured the championship in 1997 before the end of the season, and alot of his decision was based on this business decision.

On another occasion, Arnoux, was sacked after his 1st race of the 1985 season.

I don't understand why, they seem so reluctant to make the big decisions.

Is the media and public perception that strong now?

286

Hard not to fixate on someone who kept crashing into him.

How many of their collisions was Hamilton's fault? How many other collisions were Hamilton's fault?

Give me a break, Hamilton was a wreck last year, and Massa was justifingly upset.

287

Nope, you'll recall that Massa too was penalised.

289

Lewis would not go to Ferrari unless Ferrari really sort that car out before Lewis signs a new contract.

McLaren is fast and the Ferrari is having lots of issues..why would he go to Ferrari?

290

Correction Lewis would not get the chance to go to Ferrari!!!

291

Massa may have been dignified in his defeat in 2008, but since his hit on the head, and in particular since he found out about the crash scandal he's been less than magnaymous.

292
luke richardson

James, do u think massa deserves a seat at ferrari?? I am dure thst given his pace last season and the apparent continuation of this in 2012, he can't have long left to prove himself, he seems a different driver since his accident and ferrari cant keep giving him these chances, when the really need 2 drivers to take the challenge to red bull and mclaren!

293

I feel sorry for Felipe. After his great 2008 season he was given a terrible car in 09 and then suffered his unfortunate accident. When he returned, Ferrari had hired a new team leader and it has been obvious that Massa is the second driver in the team ever since Alonso arrived.

He had his comeback win in Germany handed to Alonso and if I was a betting man I would put money that development is geared around Alonso as the number one driver. Mentally it must be very frustrating and I don't see how Felipe can overcome it.

(I'm not saying Ferrari's policy of favouring Alonso is wrong, clearly with a double world champion in the team he is a natural figurehead)

294

How about your 5Live colleague Jamie? Or how about Ferrari old boy Barrichello?

295

Massa has just ALWAYS been overated, to my point of view. He knows he's under pressure so overdrives, so makes mistakes, destroyes tires... For him the question is not to know IF he'll drive for Ferrari next year, it is to know if he can still attract a top team...

296

Everyone had sympathy for Massa at the end of 2008 and again following his accident.

However, for at least 18 months it's been very obvious to everyone that he's no longer the driver he was before the accident.

It's a real mystery why Ferrari management have made no move to secure a guaranteed replacement, especially when it became clear following his accident that Robert Kubica was not going to be available any time soon, if at all.

If all else failed, if they had any sense they should have swallowed their pride and put Kimi back in the car when he became available.

I wonder how Monte could possibly think they can run three cars when they can't even find top notch drivers for two ?

Great result in Australia for Kimi and the Enstone team, by the way : This is sizing up to be a fantastic season.

Pity about the events at Williams, though.

The team must have been heartbroken to see 6th place thrown away on the very last lap.

That's young drivers for you.

I doubt whether Rubens would have made that particular mistake............

297

Ferrari want 3 cars because they don't have the heart to give Massa the boot. Hence, they'll be able to keep Massa in the 2nd car and put Valentino Rossi (an Italian heor) in the third car 😉

298

Even if Massa was replaced would the new driver do any better in the Ferrari tractor? Probably not.

299

The penultimate line was perfect in it's irony and sad but true bluntness.

I'm sure it's everyone's hope that Massa rises up to the occasion. However, it looks like he himself is fighting a losing battle.

300

Hard to find someone to play second fiddle to Alonso.

Heidfeld is free and might help develop the car and support Alonso's effort a little better than Massa - Nick has always stepped up when his team mate has had genuine pace - (Raikonnen, Webber and Kubica to name a few) and stayed on par with them, whilst driving consistently to solid points finishes - Certainly he is what Ferrari really needs in the number 2 chair in terms of the constructors championship.

People have gotta get off this Kubica dream - I doubt they'd offer him a contract until they've seen him race somewhere else beforehand - He may have lost some speed and confidence like Massa.

301

....another crash! Massa perhaps not the victim he tried to portray after several collisions with Lewis Hamilton during last season's races.

302

I think both Massa and Domenicali, and Montezemolo as well, deserve this situation for what they did in 2007/08 to Kimi. They tried to make a hero out of a psychologically weak and less-than-highly skilled driver (along with making room for Alonso) by making Kimi look slow and demotivated.

It's strange they haven't been questioning Massa's motivation for the last two years...

303

Ferrari made Kimi look slow and demotivated? How does one do that? You honestly think that Kimi would not have noticed that he was being sabotaged by his team? cause that's what's being implied here. Kimi wasn't interested in being a team leader which is what he was hired for and in the end he lost interest in racing, it was there for all to see with Massa beating him more often than not. Kimi's sacking was entirely his doing and anyone who believes otherwise is simply ignoring the obvious.

304

I think it's less the crash and more the crushing weight of alonsos personality cult at Ferrari. He struggled with tyres last couple of years but ever since the Ferrari team orders scandal he's just not even tried. Before that he at least seemed keen to try and outperform alonso.

305

If FM is that easily demotivated, he doesn't deserve a drive in F1. He is not a fighter then.

The truth is, he's lost it.