Massa to help Raikkonen

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2007 | Ferrari MediaFour drivers are mathematically capable of winning the world championship but it looks like the fourth of them – Felipe Massa – will now be working to help team mate Kimi Raikkonen. On the Ferrari website Massa said:

As usual I will do my best to get the better result for the team. In Ferrari, our main priority is the interest of the team. However, there is a lot to do, but you never know what might happen. In Formula 1, there can be surprises sometimes and I am hoping for the right sort of surprise.

Translation: ‘I’m so far behind in the championship now Ferrari have told me I have to support Kimi’s title bid. I will, but I’m still hoping Kimi and the McLaren drivers somehow take each other off at the first corner.’

Massa is 20 points behind Lewis Hamilton with 30 available over the final two rounds. If he loses one point to Hamilton or three to Fernando Alonso at Fuji Speedway this weekend, he is out of the hunt.

Massa’s fans might be disappointed that his team have apparently chosen to favour Raikkonen even when Massa can still win the championship. But it’s heartening that Ferrari have let their drivers have an equal shot at the championship for most of the season – something that didn’t happen in Michael Schumacher’s 11 years at the team.

Raikkonen, 13 points behind, certainly needs some help to win the title if McLaren’s bulletproof reliability continues. Hamilton’s tyre failure in Istanbul is the closest the team has come to a retirement this year.

How Ferrari will get Raikkonen ahead of Massa in a race where the Brazilian is leading, without contravening the rules against team orders, remains to be seen.

Photo: Ferrari Media

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11 comments on Massa to help Raikkonen

  1. Massa and his fans may not be 100% happey about this, but they need to be realistic…

    Getting a driver ahead of his team mate will be piece of cake for Ferrari. Pit stops can hide anything if done smart…

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2007, 10:54

    True – but after McLaren’s experience in Hungary, surely they’d lodge a protest?

  3. McLaren did not do it exactly smart in Hungary :-)

  4. Vittorio said on 27th September 2007, 11:27

    Actually it seems that Felipe will be out of Title battle after this race. It’s mathematics…

  5. journeyer said on 27th September 2007, 13:17

    That’s very true. Ferrari have every reason at this point to give 100% support behind Kimi. He will have a hard time winning the title as it is with help, but at least Kimi (and Ferrari) will stand a better chance.

  6. Robert Mckay said on 27th September 2007, 13:46

    As I keep saying, three more 1-2′s for Ferrari with Kimi up front will almost certainly be enough to win him the WDC, unless Hamilton finishes ahead of Alonso all three times. If Ferrari play the team game right they still stand a very good chance of pipping the Mclaren drivers.

  7. As a Massa fan (am I?), or at least as a brazilian, I must say that I don’t have any reason to be upset with Ferrari for favouring Kimi. Both drivers have had equal chances until now, and Raikkonen got the better of them (even though I’m pretty sure that Massa is faster than him).
    Yes, we need to be realistic, and notice that, unless the three of them take each other out of a race, Massa won’t have a chance anymore.
    Still, if Kimi’s frequent misfortune hits him once again, both will be out of contention and hopefully we will see Massa win his second Brazilian GP in a row…
    As far as team orders are concerned, McLaren will have to put one of their cars between the Ferrari drivers, blocking their possible strategies, just like Alonso did in Turkey last year, when Massa ended up winning his first race, unable to give Schumacher the first place…

  8. Number 38 said on 27th September 2007, 22:53

    My two pence worth? I believe Massa ia a better driver than Kimi esspecially when he’s out front and running away. Unfortunately that suspension failure at Monza cost him at least 6 points, had he finished 3rd and Kimi 4th they would both be tied at 83 points even. These two are more evenly matched than
    Alonso and Hamilton although the points don’t show it.

  9. True, but Raikkonen lost plenty of points at Catalunya and Nürburgring to reliability as well.

  10. Robert McKay said on 28th September 2007, 9:57

    ” I believe Massa ia a better driver than Kimi esspecially when he’s out front and running away.”

    Can I amend that to ” I believe Massa ia a better driver than Kimi ONLY when he’s out front and running away.” Felipe is a different driver if he starts in the lead and maintains it through the first few corners. If he’s not on the pole and has a few cars in fron of him he’s nowhere near as good.

  11. John J Ferry said on 28th September 2007, 20:00

    I think that both drivers are equally talented enough to win. Massa being a team player will take alot. Remember that we are dealing with Massa’s ego. He would love to win the championship and he has everything he needs. I feel that during the first half of the race he will go for himself. If he is not P-1 he will then become the “team” player. This race means everything for Massa for the championship of 2007.

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