Four 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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