Upbeat Massa tips “brainy” Alonso to beat Raikkonen at Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Feb 2014   |  9:56 am GMT  |  266 comments

Felipe Massa ended the Jerez test, his first for Williams, in an upbeat mood describing the situation at Williams as “better than expected” and tipping his former team mate Fernando Alonso to have the upper hand at Ferrari over his replacement Kimi Raikkonen.

Asked by Italian media why he he had said Alonso would come out on top Massa said,

“Because he is very intelligent, he’s already worked out the new regulations and he knows what he needs to do to be quick straight away. He combines talent with savvy. He has a lively intelligence
and that is what is needed with this change of regulations.

“Then again the cars are very different and you never know, they may suit Kimi’s style better than Fernando’s, we will see.”

Massa set the fastest time on Friday in the Mercedes-powered Williams, his second day in the car. The 32 year old Brazilian covered 133 laps and his 1m 23.7s lap was the second fastest of the week after McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen. But the times are barely relevant at this stage. Jerez was all about getting the cars to run reliably and learning as much as possible about the new hybrid power train.

After eight seasons at Ferrari, Massa has a great deal of adapting to do to a new environment, but Williams is well adapted to South American drivers with Montoya, Barrichello, Bruno Senna and Maldonado all working there in recent years.

“I’m happy because what I’ve found inside the team is better than I expected. The team is very good people, very professional people,” said Massa.

“Other teams were doing more laps than us but they were also a little bit more prepared than us. Mercedes is one company so they have everything ready and they know it works before us. Ferrari as well,”

One notable point raised by the Brazilian, who will break through the 200 Grands Prix barrier in the first half of this season, is the braking technique; it is different with the 2014 cars and will take some time to adapt to,

“The brakes work in a different way. It’s electronic brakes, brake by wire, and I still need to improve the way I’m braking because it’s different it’s a little bit strange sometimes,” he said.

“We still need to understand how to use the engine. The car has a lot of wheelspin and less downforce than last year. The engine is strong but with less downforce it makes it more difficult to drive.”

Williams ran in plain blue livery at Jerez, but the team is expected to announce a sponsorship with Martini shortly. It’s quite a significant deal and it offers great opportunities for the team on the merchandising side. Get the livery and product range right and they could do very well indeed.

Martini sponsored Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team in the 1970s with some iconic liveries.

It is part of the Bacardi Group, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. Michael Schumacher had an social responsibility association with Bacardi in the late 2000s.

* Pirelli data from the first test shows that the F1 teams this season racked up half the mileage of last season’s first test.

Last year the first four day outing saw 15,364km of running, compared to just 6,509km. Much of this is due to the lack of running by the Renault powered teams.

Mercedes did just 58km less than last year, while Ferrari were only 111km short of their 2013 Jerez mileage.

The fastest time this year, set by Magnussen in the McLaren was five and a half seconds slower than the benchmark time of 2013, set by Massa in a Ferrari.

Pirelli’s real work begins with the two tests in Bahrain later this month, where it will get more significant data on tyre behaviour in hotter conditions and teams can assess the thermal degradation of the 2014 tyres in ideal conditions.

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Doesn’t qualifying count any longer when giving someone the “complete driver” tag.

Alonso’s qualifying record is far below average given the competitiveness of the cars he has driven and praise heaped on him.

What is it? 4 poles in 4 seasons at Ferrari.

Almost as bad as Button at McLaren.


By Massa’s own Admission:

Alonso is by the far the most competitive driver on the grid (which is true)

Kimi is by far the most frighteningly quick driver on the grid (which is true

Anyways, it depends how much technical prowess of Ferrari to which driver and it is obvious that they would back Alonso.

Satandar has paid into Alonso’s arrival in Ferrari and also bore the cheque for Kimi’s exit. There is no way they want Kimi getting better of Alonso… simply a marketing strategy.


filipe , what a nice guy. thank god teams look at the driving and results not all the bile spewed by fans. For a quiet bloke kimi has some over the top fan support. maybe they feel they have to keep defending him cos he is so sleepy.

my overriding image of kimi is when he got the ice cream out of the fridge during the rain hit race. I think massa was a bit faster than him before he got hit by the spring. dunno about now.


“my overriding image of kimi is when he got the ice cream out of the fridge during the rain hit race. I think massa was a bit faster than him before he got hit by the spring”

You have hit the nail on it’s head

Massa was always faster than kimi and Ferrari were right to back him up for 08-09 season. Accident is a misfortune for massa. Yet it has not affected the way he drives F1 car. We can see this with some video footage. Massa was and still is aggressive with his driving style. Pirelli does not help massa though since 2011.


In wich way does the author think South American drivers differ from Asian, European or North American drivers? Why is it relevant that Williams is prepared to work with them? Fangio, Fittipaldi, Piquet, Senna- where did those multiple world champions come from?


i love filipe!! n btw.. doesnt he look like jim moriarty from sherlock (tv series)..


Come on James. Surely you are entitled a personal view on this hot topic. Alonso Vs Kimi……what’s your thoughts.

Last year when you posted re Kimi joining Ferrari, in one of your replies, you said you don’t want to comment now re your view as hell might break loose if you did.

What about now? Could you share what’s going on in your mind….please. Isn’t it time….to take a side and enjoy both ways…whether you are right or wrong. Let loose James…tell us what u think.


I would expect it to be extremely close, with Alonso shading it, but I have also learned never to underestimate Raikkonen. He has been sensational since his comeback and super consistent.

It is a really fantastic line up. The problems will arise if Raikkonen is ahead of Alonso due to a better start or grid slot and Alonso thinks he can go faster and challenge for the win or podium. In the past Ferrari got Massa out of the way, Raikkonen won’t do that (unless it’s the end of the season and his title chances are far worse than Alonso’s)

Qualifying will be crucial this year. Both were a bit dodgy on that front last year, relatively speaking, so if either of them gets an edge there it will probably decide the outcome overall.

It’s going to be fantastic!

NB – this has nothing to do with any preference for either driver, but purely on close observation of their performance and stage of their careers.


Very good point on the qualifying thing James, I agree that qualifying could be the key point. And that’s why I believe Alonso is going to beat Raikkonen by a considerable marging, because he is an stronger qualifier (plus considerably better on the first few corners of the race).

I’ve been reading your opinions (you occasionally give your point of view) and while I agree on many things, I strongly desagree on your view on Alonso’s qualifying skills. I think in 2014 many people is going to be shocked, and Alonso is going to beat Raikkonen by quite a big margin. The key point: qualifying and the first laps of the race.

I would also bet on insiders linked to Renault and Lotus (and probably Ferrari too) telling you on closed doors Alonso will beat Kimi…

This said, F1 is going to change considerably this year, and so is the approaching to racing. So I leave a small door open for possible surprises!


Thank you!

Qualifying is the key! rest are same.

I think mono syllable would be faster than Spanglish!


Thanks James…awesome. Like your style.


Lots of people underestimating Kimi here. The guy is a points scoring machine, is smooth and very quick. If the Ferrari keeps running during the races he is going to score heavily.


Nobody’s asking how Felipe will drive without Smedley !!


What a great insight from Massa. He is actually well placed to make a statement like this as he has raced both Alonso and Raikkonen.

I’d have to agree with Massa. Alonso will have the upper hand because he is fast, smart and cunning. He also has this bulldog mentality of never giving up. He is a samurai 🙂

Having said that. I have never seen Kimi so focused and eager to race. He knows that he is about to write his final chapter in F1. It will be his downfall or legacy. Hats off if he beats Alonso fair & square. He will need to better the Kimi of 2005.


Alonso is a intelligent driver , but Kimi has a point to prove …when Montoya went to Mclaren Kimi raised his game , had it not been for a unreliable Mclaren he would of won the title in 2005 , also he has experience with Turbos in his 2 years of Rally ,which might be to his advantage …. Time will tell , but I think it’ll be a even battle with Alonso getting frustrated that he’s no longer a clear No.1 driver


I had forgotten that Kimi has turbo experience via rallying…….good point.


Clearly then Felipe is not an intelligent racing driver. If he wants to talk about fast learners. He needs to respect Kimi beat him in his first race & won championship at Ferrari- something that Fernando has not done yet.He needs to respect Kimi won races & many podiums at Lotus after 2 years out of the sport. He says Fernando is intelligent etc and would have already worked out the new regs etc.. But then says the new car might suit Kimi – which suggests like all of us – he does not know !. I think like many he puts his personal preferences before his common sense & I think its very unwise to disregard anyone with the talent Raikkonen has. – thats just plain silly because you know he often proves people wrong.


Not an alonso fan, but did he not win the opening race of the 2010 season? Similar to what Kimi did in 2007


Yes but did he win the season or did he choke at the last race behind Petrov


People who say Alonso will clearly ahead of Kimi could just please look at the last two years of WCH standings? Kimi was 2. and 3. all the way and the most (record breaking) consistent driver with a Lotus, that was a good car, but still not Ferrari, Mercedes or RB.


Totally wrong mate

Lotus 2012 and 2013 are way better machine than F2012 or the F13. Lotus have had some very good scraps and fight with Vettel in RBR at many points or races during both seasons.

Lotus had better tyre management which gave them edge easily over the mercedes and Ferrari. Lotus was only 2RBR in 2012&2013.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Even grosjean did well once he sorted out his erratic drives and mistakes. Lotus drivers should have finished above the Ferrari pilots which they failed to do


I think Kimi deserves credit. He is a brilliant driver, probably the the most straight-line thinking and precise. He is a different personality for sure, which is wonderful, however I believe he is as smart as Alonso. He is also a well adjusted man and comfortable with who he is. Respect for being one of the only drivers willing to go into the same team as a rival/peer and put his reputation and skill on the line and to the test. His desire to win is obviously still there. I am super excited for this year. Ferrari have put together a team to be feared!!


Best post.


Can anyone tell me any news on Rob Smedley? Will he join Massa at Williams? I heard Kimi gets a ‘new’ race engineer, so I guess Rob is ‘out’ of Ferrari?


It’s all good, and Filipe should have left Ferrari couple years ago. But I don’t see him perform any differently from what he always done.

Sometimes VERY fast in qualy, very fast at certain parts of the races. But eventually too many mistakes. He just pushes too hard be fast, while Alo/Rai type are way more natural at being on the edge. So I expect Bottas to beat Massa comfortably as long as he doest not start doing crazy stuff and crash all the time.


It’s all good, and Filipe should have left Ferrari couple years ago. But I don’t see him perform any differently from what he always does.

Sometimes VERY fast in qualy, very fast at certain parts of the races. But eventually too many mistakes. He just pushes too hard be fast, while Alo/Rai type are way more natural at being on the edge. So I expect Bottas to beat Massa comfortably as long as he doest not start doing crazy stuff and crash all the time.


Only time will tell, may the best man win. Respect both the drivers.

One thing I know for sure, Kimi is an amazing racer who does not fear anybody or anything! James’s words. Not mine. Kimi is not the type of driver who manipulates the team for his own interests. So fair fight expected from there.

So yeah, if he is beaten in a fair fight or an unfair fight, he’ll say.. “Well that’s because I made a few mistakes” he’ll admit where he went wrong!

So yeah, Fernando Alonso earlier talked about missing Massa, while Kimi, be it Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso was up and ready to join each of them as team-mates not even thinking twice. Proves my first point (not being afraid of anybody)

He has been with High Profile Team-mates like David Coulthard and Jauan Pablo Mantoya and made minced meat out of their challenges!

A true team player who admitted he had problems with setting up the cars in 2008 and immediately agreed to help Massa on his championship campaign. So if he beats Alonso, well and good. If not, what’s gonna happen? Nothing!


Well said. I couldn’t say it in a better way

Valentino from montreal

Use to like Massa and WAS a supporter *until* he came out with the “Alonso better than Schumacher” quote last November …

Now he’s on my blacklist for life !



Schumacher Is Número Uno Massa ?

Did I guess right ? 🙂

Valentino from montreal

Sorry but this time your impressive psychic abilities are’nt exactly right , a bit close though ..

Sempre Il Numero Uno Michele

( always number one Michael )


You know what modern F1 drivers are like……..always trying to score brownie points over one and another, whether its direct talk or some cryptic conversation. Its a bit tedious and rather immature and it makes you question whether they’re adults, but being a modern day F1 driver is a somewhat selfish and primary occupation so I guess we’ll have to grin and bear silly quotes from the drivers.


Im appalled by him honestly.. Kimi who was Ferraris world champion gave him way when the car did not suit in 2008. Fernando/ Ferrari treated him like dirt since 2010– he should respect that Kimi always played fair- even when everyone around him didnt. Yeah good luck Felipe when Bottas beat you- very easily Im betting.


Seems logical to assume some preference for Hamilton over Rosberg and Vettel over Ricciardo.. Leaves the Ferrari pair to butt heads over the fact there will be no “favouritism” till one driver has the upper hand over the other.. It will be an interesting first half of the season..


Interesting about the new brakes. What about ERS? Can drivers still decide when to deploy it? Or is this now all done with the throttle pedal only and via engine maps etc?


No more push to pass button – all done via the throttle and the electronic controls.


Martini livery-I’m excited.

Anyone know the McLaren lead sponsor?


I honestly can’t tell who will come out on top – these current Pirelli tyres make it almost impossible to judge the drivers maximum capabilities due to them having to drive TO lap times set by their respective teams.

However, all these comments about how Massa is feeling obliged to favour Alonso because he himself was destroyed by him need to remember that Massa hasn’t lost it – its just that the current formula does not favour aggressive drivers such as Massa, Webber, Hamilton etc. This is also partly why I think Massa beat Raikkonen in 2008 (the set-up of the cars favoured aggressive styles).


On Kimi v Alonso.

These are two of the drivers who make the current four top drivers in the world.

It’s great to see two of them in the same equipment.

Regardless of the fact that I think no. 7 will come out in front, in a fair fight, even at the same team, is there ever a ‘fair’ fight?

I’m hoping for decent Red machinery, so that we can really see two top tier racers head to head at the sharp end of the results.

Don’t count Red Bull out!

Foolish is as foolish does.

It’s a long season, and don’t forget the final race offers double points; I wonder aloud how this ‘rule’ came into the equation, so late in the season?!?

Nothing as it seems in this ‘sport’.

It’s nice to see Filipe looking relaxed, but he also looks like a man on his last legs.

If Bottas comes out ahead, at the chequered flag in the last race, this will be it for Filipe.


Personally I’m not a fan of either of them, but they are both great drivers. Having said that, I think that Alonso will have the upper hand over Raikkonen. Having said that though, if the car is half decent I would expect Kimi to be on the podium with Fernando and give him a real challenge.


Really, you wait Kimi to be on the podium? Oh, how sweet compliments from you ? Hahahaaaaa :))) you all will be in shock when season starts and how Kimi become superior in this car. Just listened James Allison and he has praised Kimi to the skies 😀 Everybody should take a note and do not underestimate neither the intelligence of Kimi or his incredible talent and I am not only one saying this. Last year Martin whitmarsh said the same thing.


Whitmarsh did pointed out the Mclaren made a mistake in 2007. Where they let alonso go. Heck even Martin confessed the Situation could have been handled a lot better. Whitmarsh did proved he is better at conflict management when there were issues between jenson and Lewis

YOu know what behind the scenes Whitmarsh already started the work to hire back alonso for 2015 ? why is it so ? Why did they signed jenson and Ignored kimi for 2010 People here know the answers.

Whitmarsh did accepted it will be dream come true for any team to have a super talented pilot like Alonso.

Open up and see the reality rather than biased posts and hatred opinion towards alonso.


We don’t hate Alonso… Oh for God sakes, we don’t even hate Vettel… We just don’t want Our Kimi to be badmouthed…. Leave him Alone… He knows what he’s doing.

On behalf of all Kimi fans world wide 🙂


I laugh at these statements.

“When Kimi Wants it, nobody is faster”, when he wants it, he should always bloody want it.

He won his championship when McLaren had no brains, the year after he got blown in the weeds “as the defending world champion” by Felipe!

I like Kimi, but it is a disgrace for people to say when he wants it, and frankly it is an joke that he has that opinion of him. He should have raced the last races with lotus, then gone through legal challenges to obtain his money. I along with plenty of others would have driven the lotus for free. They made a mistake and hired perennial tugger kovalinen.

I just want to see a competitive season. Early days it is shaping up for Merc factory and Lewis Hamilton to be the champ! All the Merc teams in front of Ferrari and Renault does not bode well. As much as Ferrari and Renault will try to recover, Merc won’t stand still.

Silver Arrows gents, place your bets. I have!


Do you forget Kimi at just 23 was 16pts off MS and his car had 3 mech failures when he was in the lead.

Do you forget he was 2 pts behind Alonso in 2005 when his car had several mechanical failures. Kimi is easily the equivalent of a triple wc- he has nothing to prove to anyone with some knowledge if F1-certainly not you.


…He was only 2 points behind schumacher in 2003.


Sorry yes the wrong way round I think, 2 to Michael 16 to fernando. He was certain to win both times


You can say the same about Hamilton who won his WCH by one point.


So you been laughing all the way to both Alonso’s titles? I know Alonso did, when engine blew up on that Ferrari or McLaren.

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