F1 Winter Break
Felipe Massa shows character on a difficult weekend
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Sep 2013   |  11:00 am GMT  |  315 comments

Felipe Massa has not had many highs in his career since the day in 2008 when he thought he had won the world title by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, only to find that Lewis Hamilton had managed to grab the fifth place he needed to become champion.

On the podium that day Massa was a picture of dignity; taking the disappointment on the chin and celebrating his race win in tears in front of his home fans.

At Monza this weekend we again saw Massa’s character. He looked sad all weekend, as if he knew that this could well be his last Monza as a Ferrari driver, but he still put in a strong performance, not least as a team player.

The team is making its decision on who will partner Alonso this week and Massa didn’t look all weekend like he believes it will be his name that comes out of the hat.

Nevertheless, he played the team game. On Saturday he played the lead out man for team mate Fernando Alonso, giving him a tow. When the fastest way to qualify is a single timed lap, as in Monza, this meant sacrificing his own lap. Ironically the pair got separated on the final run and Massa ended up qualifying ahead of Alonso in fourth place.

On Sunday he fought his way up into second place at the start, but then allowed Alonso to pass, under instruction from the pit wall, to challenge Vettel.

He missed out on third place because the strategy team allowed Webber to undercut him at the pit stop. Without that Massa would probably have ended up on the podium along with Vettel and Alonso.

As for what Ferrari will decide this week on his future, Massa said,

“I don’t know. Nothing is decided yet but it doesn’t depend on this race. It would be marvellous to stay at Ferrari, let’s see if there is a chance. I will speak with Montezemolo, I’m not sure when, but he knows me well and knows my value. As do other teams.”

There have been those in the paddock who have been saying that Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari is a “done deal”. German TV station RTL said it on Sunday after the race and BBC TV’s Eddie Jordan, who has had his fair share of ‘scoops’ over the last few years, has been saying it’s done for weeks.

Experienced Italian colleagues with many years ducking and diving around the corridors within the Scuderia were more cagey at the weekend, but seemed to think that in the end they would take Raikkonen, for his points scoring ability to help their Constructors’ Championship challenge and as a hedge against anything going wrong in the relationship with Alonso, leading to the Spaniard’s departure or sabbatical. The more Machiavellian third dimension to Raikkonen’s return is to show that they are standing up to Alonso, not giving him the run of the place.

However Raikkonen will not work in the simulator and will not service the team’s sponsors like Massa. Alonso referred to this on Sunday night, obliquely, when he said, “I have great respect for Felipe. He is a great professional; working in the simulator every day, working here in the paddock every day until late. Whatever the team’ decision I will be happy and if Felipe stays I will be maybe two times happier.”

Next year with significant technical changes, the simulator work is going to be important, but Ferrari also has Pedro de la Rosa, who is an expert in this area. But he’s not a race driver and from Raikkonen’s point of view, de la Rosa is very much Alonso’s man.

This brings us to the other side of the debate, which is – does Raikkonen actually want to drive for Ferrari again, alongside Alonso? I asked him on Thursday where he would like to drive and he said, “I change my mind every day!” The ongoing discussion has helped his negotiations with Lotus, with whom one senses he would prefer to stay. But he has to be convinced that they have the money and capability to produce a competitive car and only he knows whether they have given him satisfactory assurances. If he signs for Ferrari this week, it will be as much because of this as anything else.

Waiting patiently in the wings is Nico Hulkenberg, who did his chances no harm at all by qualifying a mediocre Sauber third on Saturday and then holding off the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg for a heroic fifth place in the race.

Ferrari has a close relationship with Sauber and knows something of Hulkenberg from his work with Ferrari engine technicians this year. Hulkenberg denied last year that he had any kind of promise from Ferrari when he took the Sauber drive or that they had an option on him, but he is considered by many F1 engineers to be the brightest prospect among the next generation of drivers and was able to demonstrate speed and consistency at the weekend.

Asked after the race about his hopes of a Ferrari drive he said, “It’s something I would not deny [his hopes of a Ferrari drive]. I’m definitely interested in it, it’s a no brainer. Will it happen? Time will tell.”

We don’t have long to wait.

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Whether it's Kimi or not, Ferrari need to get rid of Massa if they want to get serious about winning any of the titles.

It can't be that Massa is missing in action for two-thirds of the season, only to come good when the contract situation reaches climax, and then to disappear again once it's resolved.

If it's not Kimi, they should really consider Hulkenberg. He'll be perfect to score solid points for the team, keep Fernando honest, and potentially even inherit the no.1 seat in 2-3 years.

With Nico v Felipe, it's very simple...

Give a guy who continues to prove his worth a chance


Continue to give a guy a chance to prove his worth


According to Autosprint it's Kimi and it's a done deal.


My sentiments exactly Kris, couldn't have put it better myself.


Agreed! You can't keep the same thing going and expect a different result!

Remember they kept Barichello alongside Schumi because it was a winning formula!

Simple principle: you don't change something that works

My personal opinion is that Alonso has become too comfortable at Ferrari and keeping Massa would be no help to him.

Also not so sure about the "family" culture Montezemolo refers to at Ferrari. This could well be their demise. If he is serious about Ferrari winning championships then as a President he needs to make some bold decisions very fast!

And I thought he had learnt something when meeting up with Apple last year!


Massa is not their problem. They need to have a car.


I hate to break it to any of the Massa/Ferrari fans. But what has Ferrari achieved while Massa has been in their seat?. Schumacher needed strong teammates to take points off his rivals, Irvine and Rubens. Schumacher didn't win a title while Massa was his teammate. However Kimi did, but that was because Alonso and Hamilton were too busy squabbling and the title was thrown away, and Kimi picked it up in spectacular fashion. That was the only WDC title that a Ferrari driver has gotten. A team needs two good drivers that will turn up 99% of the races and take points off their rivals. I would love to see Massa keep the Ferrari seat as he deserves it for his loyalty all these years. Unfortunately however, while he is occupying the seat, there is no chance for a WDC title unless Ferrari build a bullet proof car that just plainly dominates the field like Senna/Prost at McLaren, Jenson/Rubens at Brawn, Hakk/Coulthard at Mclaren, Rubens Schumacher at Ferrari, Vettel Webber at Red Bull. It's a couple of years too late, but if Massa had been taking points off of Alonso's rivals, then maybe Alonso would have had two more world titles at least!, given how much he lost out to Vettel. It's a pretty easy decision. Ferrari needs a high points achiever in both cars to get more WDCs and WCCs.


* That was the only WDC title that a Ferrari driver has gotten while Massa has had a seat there. That's embarrassing.


If they had Raikkonen, arguably they could be challenging for the constructors championship by now - they'd be at least 80-90 points further on.

Next year, it's going to be even more critical to have two decent points-scorers in the team, if Vettel is the only veteran driver at Red Bull. RBR might still romp home with the Driver's title, but I suspect Mercedes and Ferrari will give them a good run in the Constructor's. Hey, maybe McLaren might find their mojo again too..

Alternatively, we could have yet another year of Formula-Vettel. Who can tell?


Vettel veteran? Hahaha A 26 year old Veteran in F1? Well I guess he could retire by 29. But yeah Ferrari needs Raikkonen for the WCC they are overdue 1 much like Mclaren.


Felipe is a Ferrari man, he's like family, and Ferrari look after family so I would not be surprised if he stayed for 1 more year? or maybe they will swap Hulkenberg with Massa taking his place at Sauber?

Massa is a very fine driver,and is also a great person - so I hope he does stay, and with a better car he could shine again !



Spot on.


Massa is the problem, he is (or was, until he got fired) Santander's little lap dog for the Brazilian market and on their payroll as brand ambassador. True F1 fans know that Kimi was completely screwed over by Ferrari in 2008 and ruined his F1 career for a good 3 years. It had nothing to do with that Massa was the better driver, it was all politics and money. He had his days in the sunshine- time for a better driver to take his place


If Santander makes a dime or two it is from Brazil, not from bankrupt EU members.


Alonso, nearly won the 2010/2012 WDC championship...and you still think it was Alonso creating miracles? The car was good enough.

But in terms of WCC, look how far they were compared to RBR. WCC is where the money lies.

In Schumacher era they were winning both.(WDC+WCC)

In Kimi era (brief really) they won 3 championship (1 WDC+ 2 WCC)

In Alonso era so far (4 yrs) they haven't won anything....

Surely Ferrari would do something to change that. ALonso and Ferrari are tied to each other due to Santander's money, so only option remains is to replace Massa, bring in another driver and hope he delivers to enable them to compete in WCC.


Ferrari has a car that can try to win Driver's championship with two drivers. One always ahead, the other trying to help take points away from competitors. The problem is for the past three or four years, Massa just couldn't take points enough points away from Vettel. So they end up nowhere.


I'm not convinced Alonso is driving to add a couple of WCCs to his resume...


Nearly won ... with the help of Massa.


Come on, they have arguably the best car before the tire change and among the non-RBR cars. That red bull is just out of this league.


massa is their problem, he cost them the constructors title last year and they should be much closer to red bull now


I want to agree with you that it is not Felipe but the car. But Felipe does not bring his A game to most Sundays during the season. I think that is the problem.


That's a very simplistic summary of the problem. How can you explain such a huge disparity in points scored? Alonso is proving that the car isn't preventing then from being close to contention. the current situation is embarrassing. Even if you have a clear 1 and 2 within a team like Ferrari does, you should still expect your number 2 to reach 70% of the points total of your number 1.


You could expect 70% points if the team put 70% of their time to Massa.

Now, Alonso/Massa have 90%/10% attention as for the car, strategy, etc ...

How many attention from the team -> so much score will be from Massa. And by the way, from Kimi as well !


Interesting and timely article. This'll be a fun read in retrospect, months from now!

Regarding Hulkenberg, to my eyes not picking him up has been Mclaren's biggest mistake for a few years.

Tornillo Amarillo

Go HULK, we need to watch a mature drive like you. He's fast and consistent, like Kimi.

HULK was doing a pole with Williams, leading with Force India, doing great yesterday with Sauber and never generating a conflict.


I agree 100% Hulkenberg is the real deal and fully deserves a top flight team next year.

It surprised me McLaren didn't make the move for him last year.

Ferrari best snap him up as a long term prospect then look to replace Alonso with Bianchi after 3/4 years


McLaren got swept up in the whole "we didn't really even want Lewis anyway" hype, and had to announce Perez in advance to make it look like the whole thing was in their hands, when it obviously wasn't. At the time, Perez was (arguably) a better shot than Hulk, who only really came on strong in the final races of the year. If McLaren had taken their time and waited until the end of the season, Hulk would have probably been the better choice.

It's hard being a McLaren fan 🙁


why everyone talks like perez do nothing in F1 and Nico has a few Vicories on his hand, Perez had a better year in 2012 than nico.


Totally agree mate, Mclaren had to show they were bigger than the driver (I'm a Hamilton fan) and it was a swift response. Admittedly Perez isn't a bad choice he's not too far from Button this season, and with Mclaren not delivering a good car this year there's less pressure on him.

Your also right Hulk came on song at the end of 2012, timing counts for a lot of F1 transfers.

Roll on 2014!


I'd that scrapping the fairly awesome MP4-27 for the slightly woeful MP4-28 and losing Hamilton would have to be the two biggest mistakes McLaren have made lately, but yeah I'd agree they'd probably be regretting not signing Hulk right about now 🙂


Folks Perez came with big TelMex $$$$. Did that figure into the decision to picl him? My sense is it was a "tie breaker"....


I still do not understand their decision to take Perez, if this were not McLaren I would say it was for the sponsorship but does McLaren really need that? I hope not, but Perez strikes me as a pay driver! Pay driver's tend to generally be all balls-out, something to prove, agression and poor decisions with the odd flare of tallent when all the right conditions present themselves. Great drivers produce brilliance when the conditions are not perfect for them.

To me it seemed as though Perez was a knee-jerk reaction, and a badly considered one at that. A decision taken by Whitmarsh, under who's stewardship, the McLaren team has been inconsistent, to be polite.

It also showed exactly what a terrible state Williams have got themselves into when they gave up on Hulk.


they had to give up hulk, they needed pastor's cash but he's turned out alright.


Gave up on Hulk for Maldonado... What a mistake.


Mclaren's title sponsors Vodafone are pulling out of sport from next year aren't they?

So obviously McLaren would want to secure money in that department, Perez with Carlos Slim backing him brings in a lot of money.

So Perez's move to Mclaren was more to do with the money he brings in and less to do with his racing abilities as such.

And this happens regularly in this 'sport' where money dominates everything.

Santander-Ferrari partnership is may be first such example in recent past. Santander wanted Alonso-Massa pairing (because both of them are/were brand ambassadors for Santnader's business aspirations) and hence Ferrari screwed Kimi


That's fair, but they did that for specific reasons which didn't pan out.

Perez vs. Hulkenberg would have been pretty obvious to me even at the time. I just didn't get it; it felt a bit based on Perez' performance in the last race, which isn't the intelligent way to pick your driver for the next few years.


Its Red Bulls mistake as well.

And if Ferrari choose Kimi in the long run it will be their mistake too.

But such is life

some ppl have all the luck and some can't even buy some.


I think Felipe overstayed his welcome at Ferrari.

After his accident in 2009 he never the same guy that fought for championships.

Getting Raikkonen in is the best choice Ferrari could make.


I'm no Ferrari fan (not since Berger/Alesi years), but you have to respect a team that gives him a chance to come back from injury. They could have cut him loose long ago, keeping him is just about the only thing that they've done right in a long while.


To be fair I think he deserved that chance. He developed hugely with them from 2006-09, nearly winning the title in '08 and generally having the upper hand over a driver (Raikkonen) who was being paid much more than he was.

But I agree with you that Ferrari's loyalty to Massa in the last couple of seasons, given that his performances since 2010 have been less consistent, has been admirable. Sadly even as someone who really likes Felipe I think the time has come for a change but I'm thankful they gave him a chance and, to be fair, once they re-signed him last year he ended up helping Alonso's title charge - albeit unsuccessfully - particularly at Austin and Brazil.


I am of the same opinion as @Erik T.

As a Ferrari fan, much as it hurts to see the team lag over the past years, I respect them for having stood by Felipe post his "episode". F1 is an ultra competitive sport where winning is everything - but, as we know, Ferrai is a team run as much from the heart as it is from the head (alas, less of the latter lately :)) and hence the passion we see from the tifosi.

At Ferrai, Team comes first and the drivers second - Monty made that plenty clear even to mighty Alonso pre-summer break. Felipe has been an epitome of a team player and, lest we forget, demonstrated in the past to be a very quick driver (cruelly denied a WDC in 2008) - for this Ferrari have done him right by giving him adequate opportunity to get his form back.

Having said all that, I do believe it is time to move ahead and bring in a change.


Massa was brand ambassador for Santander in Brazil (2009-2011) for Santander's business aspirations in Brazil.

Since 2008 Santander is Ferrari main sponsor isn't it?

Also, Alonso favours Massa as his #2 over anybody else on the grid, this must have gave Massa another 2 yrs at Ferrari. However, he is not scoring enough points to allow Ferrari to even compete for WCC. Hence, his times up.

And so don't be fooled by Ferrari's generosity; its all business.


And look who will pay the salary?


Der Spiegel claims to even know who will pay Raikkonen's approximately EUR 20 million salary -- partly the Alonso-linked Spanish bank Santander, and partly team sponsor Shell.

See? Everyone is a pay driver in the end. 🙂


Actually Santander is paying for some contract but Shell will be paying Kimi's 20 million Euros basic salary.


Ja James, Shell 20 Millionen für Kimi?

No way! 🙂


This from Der Spiegel - http://bit.ly/19BZ6xa

" ... Santander soll für Hilfe gesorgt und Räikkönen das Geld für die Vertragsauflösung gezahlt haben, um Alonso beim Mythos-Rennstall unterzubringen. Jetzt hilft nach Informationen von SPIEGEL ONLINE Ferrari-Großsponsor Shell aus. Die circa 20 Millionen Euro Grundgehalt sollen vom Mineralölkonzern bezahlt werden. Damit wäre Montezemolo intern aus dem Schneider".


We prefer English on this site, thanks. Google translate has this as

Santander is intended to provide help and Raikkonen have paid for the contract the money to Alonso accommodate the Myth team. Now helping to information obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE major sponsor of Ferrari Shell. The approximately 20 million euros basic salary to be paid by the oil company. Montezemolo would be so internally off the hook "

I have to say I doubt that


That doesn't sound right to me at all
Who says?


The Language used seemed to Suggest that Felipe's Time at Ferrari may be up. Felipe himself saying it was important to show his Value to other Teams, and Alonso I found spoke very much as if Felipe was a man on his way out.

Tornillo Amarillo

Exactly John, I thought the same about Massa talking about "other teams". He is already OUT of Ferrari.

If De la Rosa is a developing driver, I cannot see why MASSA cannot do the same thing, specially if ALONSO was praising his abilities with the simulator lately.



There's not a chance in hell that Massa will get signed to another team.

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but it's just that simple.


I think I'll take you up on that bet. If Massa is released by Ferrari, he will be on the grid in 2014.

How about Massa, best #2 in the business, goes to Lotus with Alonso? Flavio comes back to lead the team. I call that the Alternate Scooby Doo ending. 🙂


Wasn't a bet, more like a statement, but for what it's worth I hope I'm wrong 🙂


It'd do Formula E no harm to have a few drivers of Felipe's pedigree.


I wouldn't be so sure.

He's had a hard time in a highly-pressurised seat at Ferrari, against one of the best drivers of his generation. Add in Brazil 2008, Hungary 2009 and Germany 2010 and it's easy to see why he's struggled.

But he's still the premier driver from a country that is absolutely crazy about motorsport and has a huge amount of experience at a front-running team, not to mention a healthy amount of wins and pole positions.

If I was a team principal at a mid-table team, like Williams or Force India, I'd be pulling up trees to sign him.


If Felipe makes an exit from Ferrari, I for one would love to see him in Force India and take that team forward (perhaps even in place of Paul di Resta who passes no opportunity in pouring vitriol on his own team when things don't work out to his liking).

Just as we agree that it is fair for young promising talents like Ricky and The Hulk to make their way to top teams, I also think it'd be good for highly experienced drivers to move to promising mid-field teams before they quit the sport altogether so they can perhaps help such teams make "a step forward". Force India has done incredibly well this year and potentially Felipe could help them maintain that trajectory next year. In fact, I shall call The-King-of-Good-Times Dr. Mallaya and suggest this myself 😉


All true, but the problem he faces is that given the new engines next year all the mid and lower field teams need cash, which is why they're signing drivers who have backing from sponsors.

I haven't heard anything about how mush Massa could bring to a team like Williams or FI (aside from himself of course), but even it he did find a seat in a midfield team (which I hope he does) I have a feeling he'll end up in a similar situation to Damon Hill or Jacques Villeneuve when they left Williams.


I think Hulk is the most sensible choice, as he is a prospect for the future, and I doubt he would immediately cause problems for Alonso.

Raikkonen going back to Ferrari would be the most interesting, but it would be an extraordinary turn of events, considering his previous bought out exit. I also think he would take points off Alonso, though the constructors championship would undoubtedly boosted.

As far Massa, and another team, I think it is easy to underestimate the mental and practical implications of having Alonso as a teammate. The only person ever to stand up to him over a season was Hamilton. We saw a similar gradual dip in performance when Fisi partnered Alonso. Massa would do well enough in a mid-grid car with a lesser teammate- Lotus?


@ Well Balanced

FISI indeed is excellent driver, wehn fisi partnered alonso there were no issues at renault under Flavio

Fisi did rate Alonso as the best driver in Formula 1

There should be no issues for anyone when they partner alonso (NOW) The onus lies on the team to manage relationships and get the best out of their drivers. Even ater such Tumultuous 2007 season. Hamilton have confessed the fact he learned and developed quite a lot as a driver when he drove alonsgide alonso with mclaren in 2007

Massa is not exactly the problem at Ferrari right now. Yes massa failed to deliver any decent points over the past 4 seasons yet the car has been Abysmal for the last 4 years as well.

Hulkenburg seems very logical and decent option. Kimi and Alonso will make it very interesting for the fans. Massa still have a chance to retain his seat yet come next season he will out of Ferrari for sure.


It was easy for Hamilton to "stand upto" Alonso. Hamilton was after all Mclaren's blue-eyed baby, and had the entire team rallying behind him. Alonso was an outsider at Mclaren.


WellBalanced, well balanced! xD


"But he’s [de la Rosa] not a race driver and from Raikkonen’s point of view, de la Rosa is very much Alonso’s man."

James, you seem to forget that Kimi and de la Rosa were teammates at McLaren. When Kimi came back to F1, Pedro was the person Kimi went to ask how the new tires handle etc.


Obviously Alonso and de la Rosa are both Spanish, but Kimi and de la Rosa gets along really, really well.


Sure. But today he's Alonso's man


It just seemed like a statement that wasn't fully thought out, hence the illogical conclusion.


James is it possible that Kimi gave that response to you because he is fed up of being asked about his future?

James also what happen if he does not get the Ferrari drive and also the right assurances from Lotus, what then?


Back to McLaren. Or Sauber!


Well Rallying is always an option.


Of course it's possible!


Umm, from Kimi's point of view de la Rosa is someone to be trusted on technical details. Thus, that's actually part of the pros for going to Ferrari. There's no problem between these guys, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say.


I agree with you. All I've ever seen of Pedro and Kimi is huge respect for eachother. PdlR may be a Spaniard, but that's not going to mean he'd work at Ferrari to favour Fernando over Kimi, they are all professional and would work for the team.


No surprises here James

Alonso and DE la Rosa are Spaniards

Most importantly DE La Rosa rates Alonso very highly when it comes to the talent and skill that's required in Formula 1


Yes, Pedro De La Rosa rates both of them.

Last year De La Rosa said:

"Kimi is a phenomenal talent and definitely one of the best drivers I have ever seen."


And Alonso and DE were caught up together in the Mclaren Sypgate data test, so they have a special bond. I would say the owe each other big time.


Does he not rate both Alonso and Kimi highly


Ferrari are far too sentimental to simply fire Massa. Chances are, they'll offer him a test role, to soften the blow of asking him to give up his seat.

JA, are there any restrictions on the number of test drivers a team can have? Is it feasible they might make Massa Raikkonen's tester? Alonso has de la Rosa, as you say.


I suspect (and very much hope) that Massa has too much pride and dignity to accept being a test driver for Kimi.

He may not be up to standard in the high-pressure seat at Ferrari, but he's good enough to race for most other teams.




Or just pay him like they paid Kimi 25million to not drive, I'm sure a year or 2's Massa salary should do the trick, or maybe pay Sauber to have Massa in the car for next season, a win win for Sauber, a race winner and a pay driver.


I can't see Kimi going to Ferrari without equal status to Alonso. That said, I can't see Alonso not having No 1 status in his contract after the Mclaren fiasco.

I'd love to see Kimi back in red, but it would signal a massive U turn from Ferrari which given the costly split would be a big sign of no confidence in Alonso.

I'd say in terms of form, Kimi and Alonso have been very even these last two years. Kimi has been 10/10 of race days the same as Alonso, maybe his form has even been slightly more impressive due to the smaller budget.

I'm not sure what effect this would have on Alonso. He seems much more reliant on help from his team mate than most drivers I can remember.

If the main goal is the constructors championship, one would have to wonder why they don't consider no longer sacrificing Massa's qualifying and race to assist Alonso so much.


@ Matt W

Kimi to push alonso ?

Kimi may end up at ferrari once again, yet there will be no doubts or questions will arise to who will be NO 1 at ferrari

People here seriously need to get a grip. We have seen massa and kimi as team mates at ferrari ? Massa easily beaten kimi in 2008 and first half of the 2009 season as well. On other hand Fernando has trounced massa for the last 4 seasons.

We know the answer ? Don't we as to who will come out on top if kimi and alonso are to be pitted against each other

People here always find excuses to understate or devlaue Alonso's achievement and calibre as the best driver in Formula 1 for ever. It's quite uneasy and painful to read such comments


It is ridiculous to use Massa to compare Kimi to Alonso.

Compare to Massa to himself first.

Why is it that a man who 11 races before 2009 and came within a whisker of winning the 2008 WDC make come nowhere close to winning a race in the last 4 years.

Do you have an answer to this?


in a fair fight with political considerations neutralized, I pick Kimi to beat Alonso 3 out of 4 times, and I'd bet that there are a lot of people who would agree with me, here.

I know the 'complete driver' is at the top level of F1 and his reputation for determination is well-earned, but how many times does a man walk away from a burning bridge with an empty pack o matches before you say, 'pyromaniac'?



Agree with you 100%! Sporting characteristic is very important, if even most important thing. In my opinion it is the reason, why Kimi has so big fanclub. It is not because he is fast (it is important too) but because he is very honest and respectful.


James and Karim:

Thanks for the great perspectives.

As you may both know, I don't underestimate Alonso, despite my dislike of the Alonso Media Corporation, or what ever reason is behind the massive PR work supporting him.

They are both of a similar vintage, it is just that I believe, if all of the peripheral variables could be neutralized, Kimi is the fastest driver, now!

And in complete agreement with Karim, that Kimi IS WILLING to go head-to-head with any driver, and accept the results without excuses or blame. In this sporting characteristic, (much prized by I), in the current formula one, Kimi is unrivalled.



It will be very difficult to beat Alonso in a Ferrari, Kimi knows this. But the great thing about Kimi is that he doesn't shy away from these challenges- he wants top machinery to challenge for the WDC- if he gets beaten by Alonso- he will take it on the chin and accept it. He needs to improve his qualifying performances to make this a real toe-to-toe battle with him imo- but time will tell all.

Everyone knows he is the most naturally gifted driver on the grid and he can adjust to anything, he may not have the outright pace he had 5-8 years ago, but he is still a force to be reckoned with.


Maybe 10 year ago, but now I'm not so sure

Don't underestimate Alonso in a race situation

The good news is -if and when it's confirmed - we will have an answer all too soon!


Kimi will not sign for Ferrari unless he gets equal treatment and I'm pretty sure he will make sure it is enforced.

I agree, the Kimi of 2009 was totally unmotivated and Massa more than had the measure of him, but his time away seems to have re-invigorated him. He is now on the same form as 2005 where he pushed Alonso despite inferior machinery.

Alonso may be able to beat Kimi, he may not. Hopefully we get the chance to find out. In terms of favourite within the team, one guy is a Ferrari champion, the other isn't and has a recent history of criticising the team. I don't think it is cut and dry who they would favour. A U turn like this on Kimi is a pretty stark message to Alonso. They spent millions getting rid of Kimi for Alonso, it won't have been a light decision to bring him back.


What help, more often than not Massa is a long way behind Alonso on pace and there's only been a few rare occaisions when Fernando has actually needed the backing up.


Gifting him wins, pulling over countless times during races to give position, sacrificing strategy, sacrificing development updates or being used as a guinea pig.

The list is endless. That isn't necessarily a criticism, it is a valid strategy under the regulations.


Win, not wins, since the start of 2010 Massa has only been in the position to win 1 race, and yes he let Alonso through who was fighting for a title. He's only pulled over 4 or 5 times in total for real places, other because it would have been pointlessly holding up Alonso who would be on a different strategy.

There has only been a few occasions where Massa has genuinely given up a good position to Alonso, most of the time this all happens in the closing stages of the season where his own poor performances have left him well adrift of the title race. Whatever we might think about the favouritism, it's undoubtedly come about simply because he's been out performed most weekends by Alonso. In fact statistically the biggest performance gap between team mates over the last 4 years is between these 2 drivers.


I can't see Kimi giving Alonso the tow in qualy!!!


To be fair, we haven't really seen Felipe give Alonso the tow either 😉


I have seen that last year


What I found odd is with the different sites/magazines driver rating for Monza, all of them gave Massa a lower rating than Alonso but Massa qualified higher while he had to tow Alonso, then Massa let Alonso pass him in the race and finished a few seconds behind Alonso.

What's going on here?

Also now all kinds of reports saying Kimi to Ferrari is a done deal and Alonso is considering 'fleeing' to Lotus because of this taking Santander with him.


No way Alonso goes to Lotus. Everyone (other than Vettel) is looking around for the best car in 2014 and it's going to come from a works team i.e. Renault-RBR, Mercedes or Ferrari. As an Alonso fan, I think Kimi would be a better choice rather than Hulk. If Kimi does move to Ferrari, I wonder who would be his race engineer... Rob Smedley may be too chatty for Kimi 🙂 If not Kimi, for whatever reason, then Ferrari should get Hulk. He deserves it, way more than Perez in the McLaren or DR in RBR IMHO.


I'd love to hear Kimi's response the first time he's called "Kimi baby".


Fleeing lol.

As funny as that is you have to consider that Lotus is the team he won his double WDC with...sort of...and in the meantime he hasn't won squat with Ferrari.

Does that constitute a valid motive to move to Lotus?


Lotus could really use Santander money too, plus I believe Santander pay the majority if Alonso's wages.


Where's Eddie Jordan when you need him?!


Eddie had predicted the move on the BBC website that Kimi is going to Ferrari. He did it before Spa.



Eddie read it from another site that broke news of this some weeks ago and confirmed his signing on the 14th August.


U do feel really sorry for Massa.

He is a really great guy.

But Ferrari desperately need another strong driver!

Whether its a new driver or the rest of the team u get the feeling that unless fresh blood enters the team nothings really going to change. They will just keep on losing


I very much doubt that Alonso will stay at Ferrari if Raikonnen arrives. It's a slap in the face and a sign that relationships are ruined.


@ vitaly

In you dreams mate

Massa has beaten kimi fair and square and so did Greosjean as in quali battles.

What makes you to say this ? Alonso hater ?

Get real and realise the truth. Alonso is completely on a different level to kimi


Are you Andrew Benson by any chance?


...and perhaps Fred suspects Ferrari's turbo may again perform below their competitor's.


Experienced Italian colleagues with many years ducking and diving around the corridors within the Scuderia


Lol... The mental image is cracking me up.

Right, this mystery of the Ferrari number 2 is worth of Hercule Poirot for it really could go either way.

I mean we have Whitmarsh and Button (both F1 insiders) saying there won't be changes at Lotus and Ferrari and on the other side of the shore, we have the experienced journals saying the Kimi is already a number 2 driver.

But one thing is for sure, if Ferrari go for Kimi, this will be a slap in the face for Alonso because it would indicate Luca is trying to show who is boss by putting the team's needs ahead of Alonso's personal ambitions.

On the other page, if Ferrari stick with Massa, this would indicate Alonso really runs the team and he has the team's full support in his quest for glory.

Now seeing as Alonso hasn't been making lots of friends at Maranello recently, it will be interesting to see if he still has the support.

As for Kimi, no one can blame him for seeking greener pastures because at the moment, Lotus is letting him down performance wise and if he goes, this would be a good sign as in it would confirm the iceman's hunger is really back and no, am not referring to magnum ice creams.

Regards Hulkenburg, if he hit the ground running like Lewis did in 2007 maybe he would be in a top team by now.

The form Hulkenburg displayed in GP2 had many fans thinking he might be better than Lewis.


Everything is possible. About insaiders:

2009 no-one insaider don't believe that Kimi get the bounce, but it happened.

Probably he goes 2014 to Ferrari. Like I wrote in other comment that there are too many marks last month or 2.

-Shell (wants Kimi)

-LdM (good memories)

-Dominicali (big respect)

- positive articles on the Ferrari website

-last week in Italy car-area Union choose Kimi as the best drive of the year.

Personally I don't want that Kimi goes to Ferrari. He is unique drive and deserve N 1 position in the team. He proved it a number of times, and most important he made it by driving not demanding special treat.


It's been ages since I have been here but you still come out with utter tripe, some things never change it seems!!

Luca isn't trying to show Alonso who is boss, he is the boss, and if you think any driver really has that much influence over the Ferrari team, remember it was LdM who signed Kimi in mid 2005 for the 2007 season.

Schumacher was given the option of continuing but LdM had effectively taken his control of the team, along with Todt, away.

Kimi and LdM have been in discussion for some months, why do you think Alonso started asking RBR about possible vacancies? Get real.

If Alonso moves, it destroys any credibility that he may have had as a "samurai" warrior. He will prove once and for all, he does need a number 2. Briatore may have allowed Alonso anything he wanted, but both Ron Dennis and Montezemolo have bigger balls than Briatore.


Absolutely Hero, people forget who actually run the team. We've been saying it for some time Alonso keeps giving lip when things aren't perfectly his way.. His team mate who is down trodden and not performing, gives him tows, gives him track position, gives him grid position & still he's not happy..! Raikkonen did not have the best cars in 2008/9-certainly not what he wanted - but he was always gracious on track- gave his team mate track position, gave him credit and never once gave the a scuderia lip even when he was a) their last world champion

b) had lies cast about him and his motivation

c) dropped for the Santander money

I wish everyone had te same ethics as Kimi Raikkonen and just some of his extraordinary talent. This what ai like in people not just racers their talking is done in their work !

Valentino from montreal

Ciao Hero ! I'm happy to see that your still alive !

In all honesty , your one of the reasons why I keep checking in on this website ..

So Alonso , ( your favourite ) , has been lashing out towards Ferrari as of late , and frequently too ..

Is'nt about time that you put Alonso on your X list , like I have done ever since 2005 .. ?

Come and join me on the " Todt - Schumacher " side of the fence , and I promise you that you'll be a lot more happier !

Ciao amigo mio !! Oh , and Forza Michele !!


Val, lei come sta? How's the little one?

I still love Alonso the driver, but he's showing his emotional side now and it's none to pleasant.

I'm just glad Luca kicked him down a peg or four, reminded him who's boss. I think the hiring of Kimi is also a coded message to Santander, ie, Ferrari will never be commanded to.

Regards Michele, he's part of the legend now. Forza Ferrari sempre


@ hero was Senna

Hey, welcome back m8


I like Massa and if he goes, this is not how I wanted him to go, but sometimes, nice guys do finish last (or 2nd, in a two driver per team scenario - like Rubens)

Massa held on to his seat the last couple of years because of the WDC and Alonso and Ferrari assumed winning the WDC would make Massa's contribution worthwhile to the constructor's c'hip. But having struggled for the WDC itself with Alonso in the car, Massa's inferior showing has hurt them in the constructor's to the point of what is now a given Massa will end his Ferrari days in the manner it is going to happen.

Partly Ferrari's fault for not having a car worthy enough of winning c'hips, partly Massa's fault for not being there all the time.

Raikkonen to Ferrari please. Kimi Raikkonen deserves to go out from F1 on a high - or atleast with a top two car, with how HIS life in Formula One has panned out. No guarantees Ferrari will be a top 2 car next year but hey, best chances with the best teams to start with.

Hamilton and Rosberg

Vettel and Ricciardo

Raikkonen and Alonso

Button and Perez

Hulkenberg and Grosjean

Maldonado and Bottas

It should be a good year of racing..


Di Resta and Bianchi maybe as well?


Well if Alonso is scared to go up against Kimi at this stage of both their careers then he needs to give it up, first he gets rattled by Hamilton, then he's scared to be teamed with vettel at Ferrari and now scared of Kimi? who's he trying to kid now?


Exactly this ^^^ x1000


Sensible post James, compared to the Alonso fan article re: Raikkonen to Ferrari on the main BBC Sport website.

Thanks for the integrity, and for making this website an open and reliable destination for all things F1.


I was never under the impression that Felipe could shadow Fernando once he was overtaken... To me the best proof that he could beat Fernando would be that he stays right behind him until the checkered flag... so that everybody can make up their mind....But that never ever happens...

I like Felipe very much, as a driver and as a person, but I feel he is washed out.


Never ever? I vaguely recall Massa killing Alonso's times in Korea and having to be told to not get too close behind him.

It certainly doesn't happen often. When Massa is on it, he's still a great driver. Unfortunately he seems to rarely be on it. I was hoping he'd carry on his late-2012 performance this year, especially with the Ferrari looking pretty good early on. Evidently not.


So Fernando wants Massa and Ferrari want Raikkonen? How about they meet halfway and take Hulkenberg? I think this is the best solution for both parties, Fernando really doesn't want Kimi, and Nico would be less of a threat to him, and Ferrari get a more plaible (than Kimi) number 2 who should help them out in the constructors championship more then Felipe.

Kimi's problem is he is over qualified for anything other than a clear number 1 role in any team. I think this is why Red Bull didn't take him, he would just be too quick and upset the incumbent top dog. I think that Kimi will see his career out at Lotus, or maybe McLaren. I can't see how he could end up in a top team alongside Alonso/Vettel/Hamilton.

I hope Ferrari do take Hulkenberg, as it is hard to see where else he could go, Sauber seem set on the Russian kid and there aren't many other open seats. Losing Nico would be a real shame for F1, he is clearly the best of the new generation, and I would love to see him toe to toe with Alonso.


He could stay put, apparently Gutierrez no longer has Telmex backing so is likely to be out at the end of the year.

And I reckon Hulk could be a real thrat to Alonso once he's bedded in at Ferrari.


Didn't know that about the Telmex backing. If Gutierrez doesn't have Telmex money behind him, and he certainly doesn't have the results so far, hopefully Sauber will sign someone decent for next year.

No wait... they're getting the Russian kid who'll only qualify for his super license because he'll have done a few hundred kms testing.

They need at least one solid driver, but if Hulkenberg gets an offer from a bigger team he's outta there.


True on the Kimi thing. But that was also back in the days of putting in as much track time as you wanted. Sirotkin's not going to have that luxury.


Well, Kimi only qualified for his super licence because he did a few hundred km of testing for Sauber and look how that turned out. Sirotkin seems fairly quick in Renault 3.5but it's probably a bit too soon for him to make the jump, but like he said if he doesn't he might not ever get another chance.

The Telmex thing was mentioned on Autosport several weeks ago but hasn't been reported much so I'm not 100% certain on it.


Well Kimi goes to Ferrari he'll go to Lotus


Massa is a great wingman. Kimi would be a great side kick.

It is a tough decision for Ferrari. It comes down to pampering their double world champion or giving him a run for his money.


LdM said towards the end of last year, that FA would have an input to driver selection when he had won a WDC for Ferrari. Surely enough said.


Alonso isn't "their" (Ferrari) World Champion. That's the issue to begin with pampering when Championship targets haven't been met for 4 years. Ferrari will decide what's best for the Team.


Looking at the career of the only Ferrari driver to have made a comeback >>> Berger >>> I have been trying to see if there are any similarities between Kimi and Berger.

i) Berger was one year older than Kimi when they both joined the team in their irrespective careers.

ii) Berger raced for Ferrari from 1987 - 1989 whereas Kimi raced from 2007 - 2009 (exactly 20 years apart)

iii) Berger returned to Maranello thanks to encouragement of countryman Lauda in 1993 and raced till 1995 whereas Kimi doesn't appear to have anyone speaking up for him at Maranello.

iv) Berger returned to Benetton in 1996 which is the current Lotus team.

Fun Fact.

It stated Berger was instrumental in bringing Jean Todt to Ferrari as team manager.


Berger returned to Ferrari and left just as a young German WDC arrived.

Are we to assume that Kimi is paving the way for Vettel?


@ hero was Senna

Now that you mention it, you may have a point.

Only problem is Alonso wants to renew the contract past 2016.


Ferrari will allow for that only if he wins atleast one WDC with them in the next three years!

With Kimi to Ferrari, Kimi will take some points of his rivals but also of Alonso, which will make Alonso's job much tougher.


Although it would have been cruel to fire Massa after his 2009 accident, I still think that having Kimi and Fernando in 2010 would have probably been enough for Ferrari to beat Vettel and Red Bull to both titles that year.

Whether that means Kimi and Nando are right for 2014 of course is another matter.

Part of me thinks the Scuderia should sack Fernando and go for a Raikkonen/Hulkenberg line-up next year.

Maybe Fernando to McLaren alongside Perez? And Button either retiring or going to Lotus?


Is it true Mclaren haven't taken up their option on Jenson for next year yet as they are waiting to see how the Kimi situation plays out first and whether they can snap jim up James?


(Carlos) Slim chance - Raikkonen hates having to suck up to investors and do the "corporate relations" thing that McLaren love.


Doubt it.

Button is very much Whitmarsh's man!!


Now that's a pity..and a sign of a team boss who really misses the point. A driver who can be unbeatable on a day where all the stars in the galaxy are aligned for him really isn't the sort of guy who'll win you WDCs and WCCs, is it?

Since Whitmarsh took over, there is an undisputable downward trend in Mclaren's fortunes..surely there will a limit to how much s**t shareholders can take!


Interesting that in 2011 McLaren wanted to lock Button down with a long multi-year contract but Button didn't want it... now Button wants a 3 yr contract and McLaren is taking its time...


And I certainly can't imagine Kimi wanting to go back to McLaren


Is there a chance Kimi could retire?


Yes if he doesn't have a competitive option


I think that's one of the reasons Hamilton left



Any chance at all JB ends up at Ferrari? They'd look great together!


I suspect if they'd been able to get Webber, he would have been signing up with the understanding that he was there to be a definite #2 to Alonso. Basically to do what Massa's supposed to be doing, picking up solid points for the WCC while Alonso challenges for the WDC. Massa clearly hasn't been able to deliver those kinds of points. Hulkenberg, while he's definitely shown some talent over the years, has never really had the car to be able to show consistent competitiveness. He has shown flashes of brilliance, but then other weekends he's out of the points just on pace. Is that all the car, or is that the driver too? Going up against Gutierrez this year hasn't really told us anything new. We know Hulkenberg's good, but the disparity between the two drivers makes any comparison pretty much pointless. We just saw in dry conditions Gutierrez drop out in Q1 while Hulkenberg made it to Q3 to put it on P3. Hulkenberg went on to finish a very solid 5th in the race, while Gutierrez added a big zero points to his season tally of... zero.

I can't really see that being an arrangement Webber would have been interested in though.



Are there really people who still rate Mark as a top-level driver (anywhere near the VET/ALO/HAM/RAI lot)?

He has been getting trounced by VET for the last 3 years, and he hasn't exactly been a willing #2. So why would Ferrari choose him over Massa/Hulk etc?


Don't think so, but Ferrari wish that Webber wasn't retiring. They had several attempts to get him


I sort of wish Massa had won the 08 championship now.


oh no , after this weekends hamilton face , could you imagine his face if massa had won in 08 !


Massa was worthy of the 2008 championship. If not for the Singapore fuel pump fiasco (and even if Lewis was allowed the Sap win) you never know...


Yes, I remember Alonso won in Singapore after Flavio order Nelson Pigeut to crash on the wall!

Alonso always need help to win.


Don't forget that in 08 Massas engine blew in Hungary whilst leading.


I too (as long as Hamilton was to win another).

Massa can say he as good as one it- the random fact of Glock slowing up dramatically allowing Hamilton past just as Massa crossed the line cannot be enough to say Massa doesn't have what it takes to be WDC. He and Hamilton showed that year that they did. Massa can hold his head high- hence the residual Ferrari loyalty (though I now think it is time for a change on the second driver front).


Sorry, 'won it'.



why? can you imagine, hamilton no championships and massa languishing for 3 years as a "champion"

that would devalue being champion


Sure? What about Button?


He also outscored Hamilton in their time together at Mclaren. Him and Webber are very similar in my opinion, would of been great to see them in the same team.


What about him? Button has won 8 races after winning his champioship, and was runner-up in 2011 with the dominant redbulls.

massa has had only 6 podiums after 2008, most of them 3rd places.


Pure speculation but I think Ferrari would be happy to see Alonso throw the toys out of the pram and walk, which is likely to happen if Kimi is given the seat. Clearly Ferrari have come to the conclusion that appea

Red Bull took Ricciardo because they're thinking of the future. McLaren took Perez because they're thinking of the future. Ferrari took Massa because they were thinking of the future. Kimi's 34 next year. By 2016 Ferrari will have a 37 and 35 year old driver. How's that going to work against a Vettel at his absolute peak age as a racing driver?

Ferrari wants Alonso to walk so they can have a Hulkenberg and Raikonnen partnership.


Sorry but, McLaren hired Perez thinking in the future? Yes maybe long term money, Claro Video (owned by Slim) is already an sponsor of McLaren.


Can you imagine Alonso and Massa decamping to Lotus??

With Santander...


James do you think that the Allison connection from Lotus would sway the decision Kimi's way at Ferrari.


Allison is a great call.

He worked at Ferrari from 2000 to 2004. We all know that particular time in history.

He went to Renault and Alonso won in 2005 and 2006.

When he left Lotus this year, many teams were trying to hire him including RBR, yet he has signed up for Ferrari.

Shortly after we have Kimi to Ferrari rumours starting.

Alonso was seen deep in conversation with him at Monza, who knows, maybe Alonso will embrace the future and welcome the new Ferrari dynamic.


Everyone can see Kimi's quality and Ferrari know him as he was their last champion....


The ‘personality contest’ continues to fill the sport’s innovative vacuum –

‘F1 Whispers’ is now the predominant international party game.

I sincerely hope the new engines for 2014 changes that.


...so then we can say it's all about the car, but a different car with a different driver?


Not quite –

Then we can say it’s all about innovation – which is where F1 should be focussed.

Individual drivers are a here-today-gone-tomorrow factor no matter how talented or important they are and technology evolves far more rapidly than the human species.


'Phillip' did all he could in Monza to help his team, but he is prob on his way out, I just can't see it working with Kimi and Alonso.."pull over Fernando is quicker than you" really !! why not Hulk to Ferrari, Bianchi to Sauber, Massa to Marussia for his final year to help with transition to Ferrari drive train, keeps it all in the Ferrar 'family'


Marussia won't take an ageing Massa onboard . I'd guess they are going to take on young driver with plenty of money behind them!


Sorry Stephen forgot to add Massa would arrive with a bag of Ferrari money, nothing for Marussia to pay !


I don't think Massa will go Marussia . If he went there it would be further humiliation for him driving around in the slowest or second slowest car.


James, is there an update on the impact Rory Byrne is having on the 2014 Ferrari car?

He generally had the upper hand against Adrian Newey in a head-to-head, so if I was an F1 driver, I'd want to be in one of his cars next year!


I'm not sure about that. I only ever recall Rory Byrne designing the best car in 2001, 02 and 04.


No anon, I only read about F1, I'm stuck in this lab and they experiment on me...


Well, the Benetton of 1994 and 1995 weren't too shabby.

The 2000 Ferrari was at least the equal of the Newey Mclaren and won 10 races that year and the 2003 Ferrari won 50% of that seasons races.


The 94 Benetton was an inferior chassis and inferior engine. The 95 Benetton was also inferior to the Williams but less of a difference in performance due to now having the same engine as the Williams. If you don't agree then you probably didn't watch F1 back then. Hill made a meal of 95.

In 2000 the McLaren was the better car. Did you watch back then? 2003 it was basically equal to the other cars over the course of the season. MSC in a Williams or McLaren wins the championship.


A big input

He's doing 100+ days a year there


Was there today as I just had dinner at the Montana next to him.


Really?! This is incredible news 😀


Are Ferrari going to get rid of Tombazis?


James, could that be one reason Kimi wants to return to Ferrari.


If Kimi joins Ferrari, would Lotus be a team worth joining for the Hulk.

Kimi has a lot of pulling power- its a sure sign if he leaves, that he doesnt beleive in the team plus the compound affect of losing him may reduce the teams budget?

I hope the Hulk goes to Ferrari- I want to see new blood at the top.

Checo, Ric, and The Hulk - signs of times.

Just a shame Vettle is so young!


Then you have Sauber signing Sirotkin. Not a good decision.


I'm guessing they don't have much a choice in the matter. They need the Russian money to stay afloat, and the only way they'll get it is if they do whatever they can to get him a license and put him in a race seat for next season.

They at least need a solid driver in the 2nd seat, but surely Hulkenberg's going to get a better offer from another team...


And ditching Frijns to boot, despite winning a series that Sirotkin is currently 9th place in.


Time for change at Ferrari. Yes, it was an okay drive from Massa, but drives like Sunday's are too few. If Ferrari believe in themselves it's time to get a surefoot challenger in the 2nd car.

Time for Hulk to step up. Wouldn't mind Kimi in the 2nd car either. If Alonso is that fast he shouldn't be bothered to have a fast team mate.

I however would have prefered to see Kimi in the 2nd RBR. At least then there will be someone else to win other than Vettel. Wouldn't mind too much if they dominate as long as there's a bit of a race on Sunday's and some extent on Saturday afternoons.

Maybe we should petition to get Lewis in the second RBR seat and Kimi in the second Fer seat.

THERE'S an F1 I will watch.


Massa again is the one we are waiting for, as soon as his future plans are confirmed, all the other pieces fall into place.

I worry that with Hulkenberg we will have a repeat of the Hamilton/Alonso relationship at McLaren - Alonso wants a clear No.2 - Hulkenberg may suck that up for a year, but he will start getting itchy for results when he has the pace to challenge and half the team behind him.

Ferrari are in a bit of a stalemate with Alonso however, it is sad that their hands are somewhat tied with his sponsorship by Santander and holding the prospect of losing that over their heads.


SO you are sure hulkenburg will be quicker than alonso ? The most Hilarious post i have ever read.

Alonso drives for Ferrari only because of santander ? Crazy and does not make any sense

Hamilton / Alonso comparison does not hold any truth. Hamilton had the the entire mclaren team behind him in 2007 Dennis made it clear and made a public statement in China 2007

Hulkenberg is decent driver who can deliver points nothing else

Alonso should ditch Ferrari and need to find a team who can provide him the best car in the grid (Like VETTEL did) not just a team who live in the past history or political showdown


I'm not sure, but I've seen enough to know if you put him in a front-running car he will be a front-running driver.

Alonso doesn't drive for Ferrari only because of Santander, but its a symbiotic relationship - if he leaves it's bad for Ferrari.

Hulkenberg is a kid on the up, he will play number two only for as long as he doesn't think he should be number one - that time will come and when it does there will be friction.


Of course Massa shows Character / Talent / Skill Blah blah blah his job is on the line... it's like ground hog day... the same happens every year... then he gets a 1-year extension to his contract and he recedes into the background again... yawn.

As much as I'd love to see Kimi take Massa's seat I can't see Kimi agreeing to be a number 2 driver. Also Alonso won't have another driver with equal status in Ferrari... so Ferrari will probably.... yes you guessed it ... stick with Massa becuase he is a loyal puppy.

Unless of course Alonso jumps ship to Lotus... and Kimi jumps to Ferrari... and loyal puppy Massa keeps his seat for another year!

Either way having Massa in the Ferrari is fatal has he just doesn't consistly earn CC points.


I admire Ferrari's loyalty to Massa over the last three years (since Hungary 2009). He's a great guy, likeable and loads of diginity, but the reality is he's just not quick enough (and consistent enough) for Ferrari to mount a serious challenge.

He should just retire and enjoy the Ferrari gravy train like Fisi, Gene etc


I´m surprised McLaren is not making a move to get Kimi. He is one of the most popular and one of the best drivers.

I´ll be very happy if Kimi goes back to Ferrari but I also think that McLaren needs him a lot more.




I believe McLaren needs a stronggest line up. I understand that Perez brings money. So he has to stay. Button is good but he is not at the same level as Kimi, Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton. I see that this year the car is bad. but Button and Perez should have done more, specially Button. And in 2015 Honda comes into play. There is no Ross Brawn this time around to help Button. I think with Kimi McLaren would have better chances to win


James -

What is your view on the logic behind Alonso's public spats with Ferrari at the moment?

It's obvious to any follower of F1 the frustrations that Alonso must be feeling given he came within a cigarette paper of winning the WDC in 2010 and, in most people's eyes, deserved the Championship in 2012.

Andrew Benson has written a piece on the BBC website following Monza that brings to life, quite nicely, the mind-set of someone having to watch their nemesis romp his way 4 straight titles in (for the majority of the time) super machinery.

But... And crucially...

For the most part, Fernando has been in the next best car.

Ferrari have had periods of inconsistency, of course but they have provided Alonso with the next best racing car overall. During the course of the 4 years, the Ferrari has been better than the offerings from McLaren, Renault and Mercedes.

One might argue that if Alonso was a better qualifier and could get himself on to Row 2, then he'd often find himself in P1 at the first corner given the Ferrari's start-line performance and we all know the Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel aren't as formidable when they're not at the front.

With this in mind, is it not rather foolish of Alonso to be over-critical of the team, purely for the reason that there is nowhere better to go?

One can understand some criticism if designed as a rallying cry (as we've seen before) but I think Alonso needs to tread carefully after his ear-tweaking and now that Ferrari seem to have sorted out their summer slump.

Purely from a logical perspective, if there is nowhere better to go, what is the point in ruining it where you are?

Is Alonso just incapable of sucking it up any more?

I'm interested in your view on this.

Also, what is your take on next year – can we have a feature on your view of that?

I appreciate it’s all speculation and a lot of the talk has been about engines. Honestly, I reckon the guys at Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault know their onions and my hunch is that we’ll get a similar situation to that which we have now. I think they’ll deliver roughly the same power relative to each other (if they don’t then it will make for a pretty rubbish championship), the Mercedes will probably edge it on grunt, the Renault on drivability and Ferrari in between on both. Why would it be any different given that’s the DNA of the engine teams?

I guess no-one knows what the pecking order will be next year but I expect Mercedes with their team of “Galácticos” to produce something interesting. Ferrari, armed with Byrne, Fry and Allison should do ok as well.

But I’d love to hear more about the other rule changes e.g. perhaps even more importantly in terms of status quo, don’t exhausts have to exit at the very back? Have that Mr. Newey.


My view is that he is "on it" pushing hard to win races and championships and they have not made a fast enough car for him to challenge and then when they make a sloppy call, as he considered the timing of their release from the pits in Q3, then he says over the radio, "come on guys, get it together", albeit in a more frustrated tone than that!

He's a competitive animal, he wants to win and he has been making a tense situation worse by some of the things he has said.

Everyone there is frustrated and they have to pull themselves out of it by working together. It's the only way. You could argue that his conduct has not been very "teamy".


If Kimi were to show up next year at Ferrari and win the world championship Fernando would be out the door. Ferrari must know this. I can't even imagine how upset/enraged he would be! Though I imagine he would see it as the ultimate betrayal, after bringing Ferrari so close in the last years and holding out for the car to finally win, only for his teammate to take it.

I'd love to see Kimi back there though. I just get the feeling that Lotus will only fall further behind next year. How can they possibly convince Kimi that they can take it to the Mercs, Red Bulls and Ferraris in this new engine era?


Ultimate betrayal? How about Raikkonen winning them a WDC and helping them win WCCs, only to then be paid to leave and sit the season out to make way for Alonso? They weren't "so close" with Raikkonen, they were there. And then they boot him for a driver (and a big sponsor) who has yet to win them a title of either sort.

I don't think Alonso would have much to complain about in terms of betrayal.


I agree totally with regards to Raikkonen, I'm a huge fan of his. I think they treated him appallingly, though I'm not sure we'll ever know the full story behind that. I love the idea of Ferrari having to come back to Raikkonen and asking him for help to win championships again. Especially Montezemolo.

Though I do think Fernando could feel a justified betrayal, in that he has fought and managed to make the Ferrari a title contender and maintained a high level of performance and team spirit throughout, with the whole "we win together and we lose together' team line.


Hopefully Raikkonen goes to Ferrari. With an older pairing of Raikkonen and Alonso, it can give Hulkenberg and Bianchi two or three years to keep learning, maybe get another team in-between (certainly for Bianchi) and perhaps in a few years, Ferrari could have a lineup of Hulkenberg and Bianchi.

There is the whole question of Vettel, but right now, I can't imagine any driver outside of those three really ending up at Ferrari. Some might say Hamilton but if he does leave Mercedes at all, I would think he'd go back to McLaren.....if they're consistently competitive in the V6 era.


As hard as it is.. Ferrari must bite the bullet and let Felipe go. In doing so they acknowledge that Ferrari must operate very differently from here on in and try to to discover new heights / limits of their creativity and drivers.

Above all things they must not be complacent with allowing any incoming driver to have some input into the team and a level playing field on track. Otherwise loosing Felipe will be pointless!

I'm guessing James Allison starting with Ferrari will be a huge factor in deciding Kimi being signed. It cannot have gone unnoticed that everything Allison put into 2012 /3 for Lotus was delivered very quickly by Kimi on track. What Kimi has above every single driver is his natural ability to find what does and doesn't work in a car very quickly. If they "tap" into this during a very heavy development phase of 2014. Ferrari could possibly be a force in the 2 most complete racers in the field.

On the human side- Alonso must be put in check !!- if he has not matured enough to allow a person of Raikkonens undoubted calibre to help guide the team- then he should be shown the door. Ferrari have options - Hulkenberg and shortly Bianci both are solid futures for Ferrari. Kimi is proud man but not too proud to let anyone race him fairly in the same car- he's already proved that.

Ferrari has tremendous potential in this pairing but like many - I do not trust Fernando, he has not gone to any team that he hasn't left in turmoil. If he works with Kimi - they can be unbeatable in any top 3 car with the resources if Ferrari behind them.


Have to say, James, the level of comments here on your site, and this thread in particular, are of an extremely high standard... a really, really great read - thanks to everyone for their thoughtful insights.


I will just slip in a quiet .. Thank you


Thanks. Tell your friends


Interesting line about leaving teams in turmoil.

Sounds almost Prost like in his politics.


I couldn't have said this any better myself- well done!



You think Alonso could leave Ferrari? For his old stomping ground, Lotus?


Bild newspaper said it could coincide with a ramping up of works Renault support for the Enstone based team, backed fully by the French carmaker's chairman Carlos Ghosn.

We talked about this in your Honda/McLaren post, and I thought some views expressed by fans were interesting. We talked about who could be a second Honda team. One fan pointed out the fact that RBR and STR will have Renault in 2014, and that Lotus and Caterham of course have Renault. However, the automotive agreements between Caterham and Renault mean that the only team that could go from Renault to Honda in 2015 is Lotus. After the pull-out post CrashGate, and success with RBR, what would the possible motivation be for Renault to pump money into yet another team venture. They are in F1, they are WCCs, what's the need for Renault to pump money into Lotus?

Is Flavio/Alonso making a play of some sort for Lotus?

Would Alonso really be that upset with Kimi being at Ferrari that he would leave?

We've seen him leave on a whim at McLaren, so it's not outside of his MO.


He has a contract for three and a half years..


Raikkonen had another year with Ferrari too.


what? Like the one he had at Mclaren for a 3 year term?


This Silly Season is getting sillier by the minute, sucking in even those who have solid contracts. But it's what is being speculated and reported on in the press.

Apparently Alonso is not too fond of Kimi coming - which makes sense.

Ferrari wants to hedge their bets - which makese sense.

Alonso is not happy or used to both of these thins - which also makes sense.

Didn't Alonso leave McLaren 2 years early after one sort of Gate or another?


Ferrari needs to understand their underlying problem. There are so many unhappy people at Ferrari. Not just because they are not winning but because of the way things are run which is according to Alonso's whim and fancy.

Alonso will be happy as long as Massa does all the donkey work. The test driver can work on the simulator if not Alonso can do that. Everyone knows the history between Alonso and de la Rosa when they were at McLaren and how they were pilfering Ferrari information. So whether it is Kimi or any other driver will be at a disadvantage.

I am not sure if it is a good idea for Kimi to go back to Ferrari. They once destroyed his career and if they do it again, then that will be the end of his career in F1.

Massa needs to think what is best for him. He has Not only let his fans down but his country as well. He should have carried forward Senna's legacy but he became a lap dog.

If Ferrari needs to get back to happy days, then Alonso should leave. He is the problem. Ever since he walked into Ferrari, it is jinxed!


I believe in the final apology from Mclaren to FIA in 2007, they admitted the Ferrari confidential data was widely spread inside of the organisation, not only De La Rosa, Alonso and Cougham knew about it.


Yes, but information related to Ferrari car setups on race weekends were passed to Alonso by de la Rosa. Alonso was not good at setting up his car hence needed help.


That's ridiculous. Mclaren and Ferrari cars that year were different, how Ferrari's set up could help Mclaren? Please, revisit what happened that year. Mclaren cheated, Alonso brought that information to FIA.


50-60 million deal for two years is not done in a couple of days. I think that Kimi’s Ferrari contract was finalized in July. Alonso’s loyalty to Ferrari is in question and that’s why Ferrari is having discussions with Alonso, Massa and Hulkenberg about the second seat.

Tornillo Amarillo

I think that now money is easy to get in this economic context and given that technology allow to have and excellent second car (maybe not so perfect though), Teams should have 2 great drivers and not just one and the other in a supporting role like MASSA. BARRICHELO.

Examples of great pairs:





I feel bad for Massa. He needs to go, but still one can't help but feel sorry for a guy who has done everything asked of him often to the detriment of his own career. No better example of that than this weekend - towing ALO in quali (all the while being cursed by him from behind) stepping aside to gift 2nd place to ALO. Say what you want about the fall off in his driving skills, but he was a professional. I can't think of another driver who has done so much overtly to help his teamate.


His own career?

In 4 seasons he has been soundly beaten by Alonso and has had to supoort the team in their quest for the championships.

At this level, you cannot perform for 4 or 5 races a year and be taken seriously by anybody


I think James Allisons move from Lotus to Ferrari may have sealed the deal.


I think there will be bad blood between Räikkönen and Alonso at Ferrari if he decides to join them. After all, the only reason Alonso took his place in 2009 was because he brought with him the immensely lucrative Santander deal. That will be playing on Kimi's mind and he will go out there with a point to prove. Ferrari sabotaged his season in 2008 and ruined his F1 career for at least a good 3 years.


Sorry, but no. Ferrari did not sabotage Kimi's season in the slightest in 2008. There is absolutely no credible evidence for that whatsoever. It was Kimis failure to bag the 2008 title that I think killed off his time at Ferrari - I suspect that the team looked at the fact that Massa came within a point of the title and reasoned that Kimi ought to have been another 15 points or so up the road.

I really can't for the life of me see why Kimi wants a second shot at Ferrari. Everything he hates about F1 and that Lotus lets him skip (the PR, the need to be a coprorate figure and to tailor public comments, the endless simulator testing) is surely just going to be a complete nightmare for him? I mean, that's largely why he fell out of love with the sport in the first place.


Here you go;Ferrari did sabotage Kimi


After reading that article, Ask yourself one question, Why would Luca and SD both commment about next years driver line up and Kimi's motivation in May 2008, even when Kimi is leading Driver's championship in 2008 and just had the best weekend of his career (spain 2008).


James, if there was more going on than met the eye, doesn't that deserve some analysis by a professional like yourself? That's what we, your readers, rely on you for.


Where I can shed some light and provide some insight, I do


James, please point out ALL the factual incorrect items on this article. I will research them myself.......


No. I don't want to be drawn into this.


That article has a lot of odd assumptions in it and time lines and decisions that don't match. There are also some items I know to be factually incorrect, so that leaves one wondering what is true and what isn't in the elements one does not have knowledge of..

I'm sure that the was more to that period than met the eye at the time, however


There may be no evidence to prove that in 2008 Kimi's season had been sabotaged- but that will always be difficult to prove- but there is plenty of clues pointing in that direction.

First of all, in 2008 after 4 races he was leading the championship, until Montezemolo and Domenicali had to answer questions about Kimi's future and retirement rumours. Montezemolo even said that "Massa's place is secure and partnering Kimi with Alonso is too dangerous"- that was the first time there was a clear indication that Kimi was probably the first to make way, even though he was champion last year. This response was 3 days after he won in Spain.

Secondly, there was a clear message from the chairman of Santander, Botin, to Ferrari that Massa would be the one who should lead the title charge for Ferrari and not Kimi, to boost local investors in the Brazilian market that could be worth billions. Since Kimi is from a tiny country called Finland he was not so much a keen figure for Santander to lead this investment campaign in Brazil for their subsidiary, plus he was not Brazilian. So Kimi suffered because he was not Brazilian.

Thirdly, there were plenty of times that he was not consulted about the changes made to his car- like the front suspension. He had numerous disagreements with Domenicali about this and they only changed his suspension as late as Singapore.

Fourthly, Schumacher was the official 3rd driver heading the car development, and Schumacher who was so chummy chummy with Massa, wanted him as the official debrief driver with Kimi left out of the loop. The changes made to the car benefitted Massa more than it did Kimi- that is almost a fact.

Fifthly, just look at the results from Monaco onwards, some incidents that undoubtedly looked very suspicious, particularly some of the pitstops, and Kimi's lack of grip that suddenly occurred when before there never was a problem. Domenicali vetoed Kimi's wishes since he has the authority to do so as team boss, but Kimi always had the decency never to speak about it any of this in public- which is why Ferrari respect him so much. He never said a bad word about Ferrari. No wonder Kimi left for 2 years- he was psychologically destroyed.

All in all, this cannot be classified as a coincidence why Massa was beating him- they favoured him over Kimi, because Ferrari were lap dogs to Santander's requests and orders- everyone has a master- even Ferrari.

You believe what you want, and what I am saying cannot be regarded as any proof, but if I was a betting man and I had to choose between whether it was sabotage or coincidence- I would no doubt bet that it was the former


So what's he doing going back there, then?! He must be a right glutton for punishment!


I feel sorry for Felipe, but you cannot say he wasn't given a chance to prove himself, as he was given plenty. He's a good workhorse. But like Eddie Irvine before him, he just isn't good enough (anymore). You cannot blame Ferrari or Alonso for "breaking his confidence" or whatever, since more often than not, he was never close to Fernando's level to begin with.

Ferrari clicked with Schumacher-Barrichello, bec. Rubens - at the minimum - was just as quick as anyone (not named Michael Schumacher). And so he was always right there or thereabouts ready to take over in case Michael was having a bad day. Nowadays, when Fernando is not running in contention, Felipe is also nowhere to be found.

I don't think Raikkonen will work a second time around: Ferrari needs someone who will bring (technical) value in addition to what Alonso already offers. Again, referring back to what made the Schumacher-Barrichello partnership a success, Rubens experience and technical know how complemented and enhanced Michael's input. Raikkonen has the capability to bring those with him, but the question is: will he choose to apply it in a diligent manner, considering he barely did so during his tenure at the Scuderia from 2007-2009?

I think the best choice for Ferrari to partner with Alonso next year would either be, Hulkenberg or Di Resta - both are competently quick and are also eager to learn and improve.


These drivers are extremely sensitive, not least because they are competing for very fine margins. Like Schumacher before him Alonso is expert at arranging the team around him, and that is enough to knock a driver's ability to capture those last 10ths. Massa, when he gets his head in the right place, is fast, 2008 indisputably showed that- he gave Hamilton a very good run for his money, and beat Kimi. Maybe his lack of performance now is partly due to a loss of speed after the Hungarian crash, but I mainly put it down to the Alonso effect. Gradually, Vettel has had a similar effect on Webber. It's not to say that those teams' no 1 drivers aren't the fastest- they are- but that the performance of the respective no 2 drivers in those environments is not necessarily always representative. Webber went through all of 2011, until the final race in Brazil, without winning, and is yet to win this year. Look at Vettel, on the other hand. Massa hasn't won since Alonso has been his teammate... I think it is easy to underestimate the effect of the mental dominance of a no 1 driver in a team.


I do believe confidence is vital for any athlete, but at the end of the day, it's always going to be a case of mind over matter. I understand being Fernando's teammate isn't easy - especially for a sensitive chap like Felipe - but he's had more than enough time to adapt to the situation and, sad to say, he's failed to come through more often than not. I mean, in 2007, Fernando firmly believed (and it eventually turned into a reality) that everyone at McLaren (even Fernando's side of the garage) truly wanted Lewis Hamilton to win and that the team were more inclined to offer the Brit greater support. Although, instead of falling off, Fernando only developed a stronger resolve and continued to keep himself in title contention. - he did all that despite knowing the team was not 100% (or at all) supportive of him.

Felipe isn't strong enough mentally or consistent enough to maintain a season long title campaign - 2008 was his best chance and yet, even with interventions from the FIA (gifting him Lewis' Spa win post race), he still failed to best a relative rookie. Frankly, like plenty of drivers before him, Felipe is good. Unfortunately he's just not THAT good. Same goes for the likes of Mark Webber, I'm afraid.


first of all its unfair to say fernando saying good things about felipe is taking dig at kimi. both are team mates and friends, you wouldn't expect him to say he wants a different team mate or bad things about felipe. So, i wouldn't consider things he said as any hint of his team mate preference.


Finally a bit of common sense!


James, any reason why Ferrari value driver's championship more than constructor's? after all they're constructors n if I were to buy a supercar i'd definitely take interest in F1 wcc!


I don't think any team values Driver's Championship more than the Constructor's. The money is in the Constructor's. But drivers are selfish and they are interested only in the Driver's.

If I remember correctly, when Alonso was at Renault, he told Flavio to give priority to Driver's and he was saying there are posters on buildings on Drivers and not constructors. At that time he was playing tantrum at Renault because Fisichela was beating him.


Can you tell me who won the WCC in 1976 or maybe 1994 or more recently 2008?

Could you tell me who won the WDC in those years?

Chances are you will remember the drivers champion far easier than the constructors. Thats why Ferrari aim for the WDC.

Ultimately, Ferrari doesn't need the WCC to validate its existence.



What do you mean by kimi not doing the simulator? does that mean he wont want to or he's not allowed to?

pls can you explain??



Kimi is prone to motion sickness in simulator and also different drivers have different ways to learn the car; i.e where they can extract time from it, how can they go faster etc...

Here's a comment from Andrea Stella;

Andrea Stella: “Kimi was able to do so many things behind the wheel that our engineers’ advice wouldn’t have been of help there. In that sense Kimi is better than Michael Schumacher. When I was working as Michael’s data engineer we always had to tell him accurately how he could drive faster in different corners according to the computer. With Kimi you don’t need these kind of advice. He finds the solutions himself.”

Here's the link;



Kimi is prone to motion sickness in a simulator since his Mclaren days. Also, last year Kimi reiterated that point before AustinGP saying he learns nothing from it. He prefers to do it the classic way- on track with wind past his front wing!


This is all true, as far as I know. However, it is good to keep in mind that the simulator is there for more than just drivers to learn things. Simulator work helps teams develop the car, and hence it is important for them that the race drivers drive in the simulator too. Kimi not being keen on working in a simulator counts against him, no matter what the reason behind it.


I don't think Kimi and Alonso are a good fit.

But it will be interesting if next year we hear "Fernando, Kimi is faster than you."

2014 will be worth watching just to see the fireworks in Ferrari. It'll certainly keep the brand name in the headlines.


I'm assuming that if Kimi does go to Ferrari he'll probably take one of the guys he knows (is that Mark Slade?) rather than work with Rob Smedley. I'm sure Kimi knows Rob but I can't see that being a match made in heaven. Only partially related to this, does anyone know what happened to Chris Dyer? If memory serves me, he's no longer at Ferrari.


Kimi is an outstanding driver but he is an outstanding PRIMMA DONNA also.I do not think he can be of any use trying to develop a car and he is far too self centered to help a team like the Scuderia.


Then why are they re-hiring him for €20,000,000?


I hope they do not end up paying him NOT TO RACE again. Anyway let s talk about this in a years time, if he is at least third on the points I will not open my mouth again.


Do you even know the man?


No, do you ?


Yup, Alonso has developed his Ferrari for the past 4 years brilliantly. Alonso even calls his own developed car as crap hehe.


Please don't patronise people about how great Massa's character is, that's not the point

I would gladly take Massa as a friend much easier than Alonso, as I dislike some of the Spanish driver's morals as a person, but I would watch/take/buy/hire 1 Alonso over 100 Massa's in F1 any time

So Massa has done the Team's playgame, but really what else could he do? I'm sorry to say, but he simply doesn't have talent to do more than that

It hasn't been one sided either, it's not like Massa has given everything to Ferrari, and Ferrari hasn't paid him back

Ferrari has given him chance after chance to prove the critics wrong, but that never happened. So many great drivers could have had that dream seat, and they always prefered him instead. Hulkenberg was even left out of F1 in 2011, wich was a greater shame, wasn't it?

It's only when Massa's seat is under pressure that one sees some small glimpse of performance. And this is a fact for fans or no fans, so what does that say about his supposed great character and professionalism?

Many also seem to forget the way Massa handle's opponents that try to pass him on track. I've never seen him being fair, in fact he is almost always inevitably bully with others. And let's not talk about the 2011 season, where it seemed his only job at the track was not to race, but to ruin Hamilton's car.

I compare Massa to Webber, where the car is greater than the driver, but Webber always made sense to keep at Red Bull, as he always brought consistent points to the team, making Red Bull world champions, whereas Massa has never, ever done that, except in 2008, wich I think was a fluke

Keeping Massa at Ferrari for so long reminds me of a relationship, where one knew for sure it wasn't going to work, but kept it going just to be called a nice guy/girl. One mustn't be brute or hurt other people's feelings, but at the same time one must try to be open and honest to put sorrow matters to an end


F1 drivers, especially the likes of Massa who clinched a WDC if only for 10 seconds, need to be allowed to win.

Take that away and there is practically no incentive to reach to that next level in the ability to drive a car faster and beyond its limits.

Mika Hakkinen had a major accident and injury, but he came back and was allowed to go for the victory. Once he had enough victories, the fear for another accident outweighed the fire to win more.

Massa came back from a major accident, and found himself in a situation where he was not allowed to win.

I blame Ferrari and not the driver for putting him in an incentive-less environment.

The result has been a gradual descent in performance where the only trophy was getting shoulder pats for playing a supporting role.

Perhaps Felipe is lucky to land a seat at Lotus, or Williams, where he can have a fresh start and relive the hunger to perform at the next levels of his driving.


+1. Massa is better off not having Alonso as his team-mate. I don't know if Alonso even helps Massa at all. Do the simulator work, be the team-player, give me a toe, give me your position. Sounds like Alonso thinks Massa is his secretary. In contrast, Schumi helped and tutored the poor chap.

After Schumi retired, Massa seemed to have inherited the throne so to speak, and had real incentive to write a chapter of his own. Things were possible. He nearly got a WDC in 08, beating Raikonnen in the process. He was alpha male then; he's Alonso's poodle now. Talk about being emasculated. After a life-threatening accident, he comes back to find a manipulative rooster in the barn and then comes "Fernando is faster than you". What do you expect Mass to do?

Alonso wants Massa retained, because he wants Massa doing what he wants. Same story since 2010. Massa's own understanding of his job description is to help Alonso and be his player. Forget Ferrari's WCC quest for a moment, and Massa is actually doing quite well.

If Ferrari wants to win a WCC, get Raikonnen (he's his own man) alongside Alonso and get rid of the preferential treatment until one of them has had the better of the other. Alonso has never been a team player. Ferrari should realize this very quickly and not partner him with an up-and-coming guy who is likely to get manipulated into becoming another secretary.


"and get rid of the preferential treatment until one of them has had the better of the other"

That's exactly what Ferrari has done for the last 7 years.



could I ask you if you share this opinion of an engineer who has worked closely with Kimi and Alonso (it's form Andrew Benson's article):

"[Who's better?] I think Alonso, pretty convincingly," he said. "Everywhere - especially qualifying and the first laps of the race."

Cheers, Bart


There is no way Alonso would out qualify Kimi. Even Alonso supporters acknowledge that qualifying is his weakness. Jean Todt had the choice between Fernando and Kimi to replace Schumacher and he went with Kimi because he knew he was better. Enough said.


This is really interesting argument. Todt rocked and worth to be analyzed why he did that. Or it was financially more attractive to take Kimi at that time?


At that time, between Kimi and Alonso, Kimi was the faster driver of the two.

Kimi only lost 2003/2005 WDC's because of reliability issues.

I think todt was smart enough not to get drawn in to any kind of hype or get fooled by statistics.


That's what I read some time ago in the Italian press: back in 2001 Todt wanted Alonso in Ferrari, alonside Schumacher or as a test driver, they even had some sort of pre-contract, but then the Spaniard signed with Briatore. It didn't go down well at all with Todt who felt betrayed. Hence, his choice for the after-Schumacher was obvious.

I remember him say in 2007 that Kimi and Fernando were equally good but the Finn not being "arrogant" was a perfect match for Ferrari


OK, I just read this line from Andrew Benson's article announcing Kimi's return to Ferrari:

"But he has been inconsistent for the last few seasons and the Ferrari team believe Raikkonen will provide more consistent support for Alonso and prevent any possibility of the Spaniard not producing his best."


Anyone who thinks that Kimi is going to Ferrari to "provide more consistent support for Alonso" is completely delusional in every freaking sense of the word- be it from Kimi's perspective or Ferrari's.

Andrew Benson has officially hit my Black List of journalists.


I think Kimi will announce he's staying Lotus on TUESDAY. That way it gives Ferrari and Hulkenberg time to prepare announcements and speeches.


Thats andrew benson for you, putting up stories wich never has facts only insinuates. If you look at his sources its always some guy but it never turns specific. Besides he is known for his alonso love... [mod]


I mostly think Benson's unknown sources are all himself.


It sounds like the conversation between kirk and karn in the new Star Trek film, maybe we just call alonso, khan!!!!

Seems quite apt.


Well, I know who that isn't, and it's Andrea Stella. This is the man who said that he is better than Schumacher at naturally figuring out how to improve lap time- saying further that Schumacher had to be read the data and told what the data said about how he can cut time in a corner.

I sense it is probably hogwash, actually. There is enough that has been said by engineers who have worked with Kimi to indicate that such a statement is hogwash.


Is there more to Raikkonen's re-hiring by Ferrari than just a balancing act against Alonso ? My feeling is that Alonso will quit the Scuderia if they don't win the title next year. And Ferrari will have to wait atleast until 2016/17 for Vettel to join them.

In the meantime, they would want to fill the gap for 2015/2016 with a top tier driver. Given Kimi's is 33 already, he seems like the most natural choice to serve Ferrari for the next 3 years and then retire making way for Vettel.


Hulk seems to be flavour of the month so I will quote Flavour Flav "Don't believe the hype"

That is all.


Hulkenberg has been impressing people prior to this year. If anything, aside from his fantastic Monza performance, this year has been mostly nothing to rave about. Crap car that he can't do much with, against a team mate so slow you can't even begin to make a useful comparison.

When Massa was on the block last year people were saying Perez or Hulkenberg. When Hamilton was rumoured to be leaving McLaren people were talking about Hulkenberg. When Grosjean's seat was looking questionable at Lotus, people were talking about Hulkenberg.


I'm not denying he is good but I completely and utterly fail to see why he is so hyped vs others in the midfield. Having wasted far too much time analysing stats I don't feel the hype is justified over 1 or two others. A soon to be 4th team in 4 competitive seasons speaks volumes over and above fashionable hype. The short memories evident in all aspects of F1 absolutely astound me.


He's not being booted from teams for being rubbish/average. He was booted from Williams for Maldonado's $, left Force India for what should have been a better team (having just beaten di Resta), and if he leaves Sauber, it'll be because a better option is available to him for next year (or he gets booted to make way for the Russian kid and another driver with a bunch of money).


Hi, James in all fairness Alonso didn't use strategy toasts Weber, he did it on the track. That's the difference between the two, Alonso makes things happen


"However Raikkonen will not work in the simulator and will not service the team’s sponsors like Massa. Alonso referred to this on Sunday night, obliquely, when he said, “I have great respect for Felipe. He is a great professional; working in the simulator every day, working here in the paddock every day until late.”"

This implies that Alonso doesn't do as much of this work a does Massa, and when Alonso misses the first tests of the season it undermines his assertion that they start each season equally. He's always the number one from the start, and he has a hissy fit when he's beaten fairly or when Massa doesn't compromise his own race to help him. Massa's lap times suggest he would have finished the race in 2nd position if not for slowing to let Alonso past on lap 8. I don't understand why they made the switch so early, if they waited until later in the race Massa would have kept third, and three more points for the team. Is Alonso so fragile or volatile mentally that he has to be managed so early in the race, and the team have to lose points to keep him happy?


If Alonso got stuck behind Massa it could have taken away any chance of being able to catch Vettel later on. Switching places meant Alonso was the one running in free air at whatever pace he wanted, able to manage the tyres however he wanted (not that tyres were really an issue), etc.

What if they hadn't switched and then when Red Bull brought in Webber for the undercut he came out ahead of both Ferraris?


I think the reason alonso has been p***ed the last few weeks is because he knows Kimi is going to Ferrari


Strangely enough, for all the crap talk that's going on in the media with the whole Ferrari/Alonso/RBR/Raikkonen/etc. business and whatever else... post-race at Monza, Alonso looked the most at ease I've seen him in a long time. Normally he comes out of a race looking like he's about ready for murder-suicide. At Monza he congratulated Vettel, chatted away with him and Newey, was even smiling. And it looked like a genuine smile (from what I've seen Alonso's not particularly good at faking a smile).

Maybe it was the thousands of diehard Ferrari fans outside screaming for him... but he'd just once again not won a race, once again Vettel had beaten him to it, and the result, unless the remainder of Vettel's season is utterly disgraceful, pretty much put the nail in the WDC coffin. And for the 4th time running, it's Vettel/RBR in the way of his 3rd title.


Good read. Thanks! James.

I feel sorry for Felipe cause I like him a lot but results matter. Can't argue with numbers.

Almost everyone here thinks that Kimi would be a threat to Fernando and not Nico H. I disagree. I think Nico H is a bigger threat to Fernando than Kimi.

Nico H is young and the lap times he did in Monza in a Sauber were very impressive. I am starting to like the young guns - Nico H and Daniel. Even Perez and Grosjean are starting to get their act together.

All in all great stuff happening for the sport. However, I miss multiple pit-stops and refueling. Those were the ways to stop someone disappearing stating from pole.


Nico is definitely very quick in qualy...bt i doubt his consistency and race craft compared to Kimi...Hulk made pretty clumsy moves in races specially in Brasil 2012...Kimi just seems to be sublime in races...plus even though kimi seems to be slower in qualy compared to his early years, I still doubt whether it is more to do with Lotus's car characteristics or Kimi's age


Felipe needs to leave Ferrari to have any chance of salvaging his career. He should have done this at the end of 2010 following the infamous German GP. He's still fast but mentally crushed after 3 years supporting Alonso.

However I still can't see Kimi going back to Ferrari and if he does it will end in tears and I also can't see Ferrari dumping him for Hulkenburg. So unless Felipe walks, I am not sure, despite all the media hype that anything will change. I sincerely hope for Felipe's sake that it does. He's a great guy and a beautiful driver, who could thrive in a different environment.


Any one know when Nico Rosberg's contract runs out? Martin Brundle said the "Silvers" might be interested in Kimi


And when is Wayne Rooney´s contract run out? At this point I wouldn´t be surprise to see people in the media saying that Manchester United is interested in Raikkonen


Massa, can be mega on his day, he just han't had enough of those days unfortunately.

I'd love to see The Ice-Cream Man back at Ferrari.

Fernando is faster than you.

Leave me alone I know what I'm doing.


If Massa is booted from Ferrari and then retires...I will definitely miss him.

I wonder how things would have been different had that spring bounced harmlessly away without hitting anyone back in 2009?


Not much different- he had Alonso coming his way in 2010


I think an Alonso / Raikkonen pairing at Ferrari would be very formidible indeed, although I believe that over a season Alonso would win. From a team point of view, each driver has tracks that they are incredibly strong at which the other isn't and offers the team a better opportunity at winning more races in the season, for eg Kimi virtually owns Spa while Alonso ironically owns the German GP. Conversely, Alonso has never won at Spa or Raikkonen in Germany.

Ferrari need a driver who can deliver on the occassion Alonso doesn't and Raikkonen would definitely fit that bill, which Massa clearly hasn't.

As for comments on Alonso using Massa as his development driver and not doing much simulator work himself, it's simply not true. It's been reported that during the YDT, Alonso and De La Rosa were in Maranello working on the simulator to correlate data from the track.

If anything, it could Raikkonens lack of commitment to the entire team package that irks Alonso.


If I'm Ferrari (or more accurately, Santander) I'd do a slightly different shuffle - swap Alonso for Kimi and paying Lotus for the privilege of sending Fernando back to Enstone. The disharmony that an upset Alonso allegedly causes (if the media reports are to be believed) seems to be very, very costly for PR.

There is no need for Alonso if you have Kimi in the team in terms of results. The Kimi Mk2 who has returned from rallying is now an even better driver. So that caters for the actual F1 side.

And then, Massa is more important to Santander and F1 in general then most here realise - the Brazilian market is immensely lucrative. That's where the money is.

It won't happen, but that's what I'd do! And frankly, provide Lotus sort their finances out, with Fernando's infamous 6 tenths, they'll be back with a shout of beating Red Bull 😉


Actually I'm pretty sure Fernando, with his "infamous 6 tenths", would have beaten Red Bull for the 2012 championship in the Lotus car. Not only me, but Jacks Villeneuve and Flavio Briatore think exactly the same, you can check the statements by yourself. Probably if you speak with Grosjean he could tell you the same, as he knows what Fernando can do from their time together at Renault. xD


Yes, sure we can trust in Briatore's impartiality and integrity...


I don't understand the No1 driver situation - Schumacher & Rubens was a different era, testing,tyres etc.

Alonso has been a clear No1 and hasn't reaped the rewards. When Massa got the 'Fernando is faster than you' message, (if I'm not mistaken?), had Massa won that race he'd have led Alonso in the points table? Surely it's more beneficial to let your guys race until it's mathematically impossible for them to win the WDC? What does such a situation do for Massa's motivation? He arrives at every GP knowing that, bar an Alonso retirement, he would not be given the opportunity to win the race. Even in Australia his strategy was compromised for Alonso, that's the first race of the season - what does that do to a racer's motivation?

Better off letting him race and think he's got a sniff than shackling him from race 1.

Comentators are always saying the first person to beat is your team mate, well Alonso doesn't need to and Massa isn't allowed to. The best way to get the best out of the car is to let your team mates push each other, not beyond the limits, but to the limit as per prost/senna, mansell/patrese, hamilton/alonso, kimi/massa, hamilton/button, hamilton/rosberg, vettel/webber - yes possibly a bad example but they do push each other, webber has never been asked to pull over to let vettel by.

It's the way ferrari go about it that's the problem. Kimi and Massa were WDC contenders in 2007/2008 when they just raced each other, but with respect. Once one was out of the running he helped the other. They were just as close to wining the WDC in those years (obviously did with Kimi) as they have been with Alonso.

There's nothing to say that having a No1 driver has helped Alonso or Ferrari be more competitive in recent years. In fact it's probably made Ferrari less competitive as it's demoralised Massa.


Ferrari let Massa race Fernando, that actually is what they want. But at the midpoint of the championship, Alonso is always miles ahead on points, and has already destroyed his teammate.

In Australia Felipe's strategy was not compromised. He was asked if he wanted to pit to do the undercut, but he felt it was too early and he feared not being able to make the next set of tires last long enough. So he said no. Instead Fernando took the risk and did pit. But Felipe was asked before as he had preference from having track position. So please do not distort the events.

I challenge anybody to name a single time, during the first half of the championship, when Felipe was not supported by his team if he had track position advantage over Fernando. That has happened on very few occasions, so you can review those races and judge by yourselves.

Then sadly for Ferrari, except 2012, at midpoint of the season Fernando has always been very far from the leader, so both in 2010 and 2013 Ferrari asked Felipe to move over as they are and where in a critical situation. If Felipe had been close to Fernando on points (remember he has not even half his points) that call to move over would have been delayed till the last few races.

So please stop saying Felipe is not allowed to race Fernando. What Ferrari wants above all is to have the best car. This image of a great driver in a bad car of the last few years is not what they want, and is one of the reasons why Montetzemolo is not comfortable at the moment with the situation. By not letting Felipe race as you suggest, is detrimental for them, as they would be favoring this image of one driver miles ahead of the other, hence a bad car but a great driver. If Felipe had been close on points to Fernando these past years, people would think the car was pretty good, and not just a supreme driving putting a car where it does not belong.

So as you see, this theory of Ferrari favoring Fernando right from the start of the year, just for divine right, is rubbish.


I think it is too late for Felipe Massa. I believe he is going to be fired, or removed from the seat at the end of the season. I feel that they should go for Nico Hulkenberg, as part of future planning for success at Ferrari.

However, just going a bit off topic, Sauber are planning to have 18 year old Sergey Sirotkin in one of their race seats next year, if he gains a FIA Super Licence. My personal view on this is that it may be a year or two early for him, although looking at his results, it suggests he may have some talent. What do you think, James?

Also, James, have you seen Sirotkin drive, and does he have the talent to become an Formula 1 World Champion?


18 with his level of experience is way too early and other drivers would be concerned.

I've not seen him race, so I cannot comment further


Can they do something to ensure, or make it very difficult to get his FIA Super Licence, or block his entrance to a race seat? Can the drivers and team owners block his entrance to a F1 race seat?


This is what is so frustrating with Massa. He only turns up and puts in a performance when he really, absolutely has to. When he turns up he's clearly got something - just he rarely turns up.

Maybe his data would suggest otherwise but he never seems to give it his all race in, race out. Professional? Yes to a point but I'd also argue lazy and maybe not the cleverest driver. Smedley appears to have to walk him through each race corner by corner.

Solely for his inconsistency he shouldn't be able to keep a seat in a team that want to be fighting for championships.


My thoughts exactly.

How can any fans tolerate this - "an engineers needs to teach the driver how to drive"?


I'll be sad if Massa ends up without a drive. He seems good when the team pressures him and he was good with Kimi where the team was very much around him given Kimi doesn't talk to anyone, drive the sim etc.

I think with Alonso as a clear no1 and the team built round Alonso he has been a bit demotivated.

Also a shame if Kimi moves for me, I like Lotus a lot as a team and they seem to have been good at getting the best out of him like his old Mclaren days. He never seemed quite settled with the Ferrari before.


Kimi, I came to F1 world with you in 2007 when you were in red overalls so come on man, you are the samurai not a pseudo one - do it again - put your helmet on.


Definition of Insanity - To do something over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

That's what Ferrari has been doing with their driver line-up since 2010. That's 4 years of insanity.

Ferrari should get out of their comfort bubble and hire some proper drivers. Get Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg.

Alonso can go back to his fallback team (Lotus). Massa can do the same going back to Sauber. LOL


I don't get the point from Alonso praising Massa of "working in the simulator every day, working here in the paddock every day until late"

Let me explain. You can work as hard as you like but if it does not bring in the result, it is still a fail.

Kimi was given bad reputation by Ferrari because Montezemolo didn't like him. We know now that he is a great character when he is treated with respect and independence.

In the end, you can't beat the fact that Kimi gave Ferrari 2 WCC and 1 WDC. While Alonso has given nothing but complaints.