Massa criticises Silverstone

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2006Felipe Massa criticised the Silverstone circuit after F1 testing there last week. Here’s what he had to say:

It is very bumpy everywhere. I think it is a much worse situation than the last year, so they really need to resurface it straightaway otherwise we will have trouble.

Massa’s remarks disappoint me for a number of reasons.

First of all, I walked around Silverstone last week and I’ve seen bumpier pool tables.

Admittedly there are a few ripples here and there – largely caused by the gigantic grip and downforce of F1 cars wearing out the racing line.

But you know what? F1 is supposed to be challenging. Yes, there’s a line to be drawn between making tracks safe and making tracks difficult. Large bumps can be dangerous – but I don’t believe Silverstone’s are.

I certainly don’t believe they any worse than those at Massa’s home circuit Interlagos. Its facilities are also much better. Sao Paulo is never threatened with being chucked off the calendar – but Silverstone gets a slagging off every year.

Massa cannot be serious when he says he wants the track resurfacing straight away. Re-laying a 5.1km track is not the work of the moment and not something that can be turned around in time for the race – which is just two weeks away.

John Watson, McLaren-Cosworth, Detroit, 1982Last minute re-surfacing of circuits always causes problems – it happened at Detroit in 1982, Dallas in 1984 and Spa-Francorchamps in 1985 – the latter causing the entire event to be postponed. That’s why Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t let it happen any more.

Fernando Alonso has had a kicking in the press lately for perceived whingeing. Massa’s recent remarks strike me as being worse – not just this, but his constant complaining about being disqualified at Canada earlier this month.

Massa reckoned it was someone else’s job to point out to him that the pit lane light he illegally passed was on red. If I ever get pulled over by the police for that sort of thing I won’t be trying Massa’s defence…

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