Video: Has Felipe Massa been found out?

Two races, two DNFs for Felipe Massa.

There were plenty of people speculating that the Ferrari driver would struggle without traction control and electronic engine braking – and they appear to have been proven correct.

At Melbourne when the field turned left at the second corner Massa shot off to the right having got on the power too hard and too early. He was fortunate to get away with only a damaged front wing.

And he pirouetted out of the Malaysian Grand Prix in a spin that bore all the hallmarks of a driver asking too much of his rear tyres. His Ferrari team admitted afterwards they couldn’t see anything obviously wrong from the car’s telemetry.

Massa made his F1 debut in 2002, the year after traction control was legalised in the sport.

Is he struggling without traction control? What should he and Ferrari do about it? Would it have been better for them to give Michael Schumacherr’s winter testing mileage to Massa to help him acclimatise?

Felipe Massa biography

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63 comments on Video: Has Felipe Massa been found out?

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  1. Toncho said on 23rd March 2008, 10:16

    I said it after Australia and I would say it again: Massa should be paying for driving a Ferrari and no the other way round. I  see at least six drivers that deserve his seat more than him. I guess Nicolas Todt’s phone is receiving a lot of calls these days.

  2. Maybe Ferrari should use the fortnight gap to Bahrain to give Massa a big stretch of laps at Fiorano to make sure he knows exactly where the limit is without TC. I think he is still deserving of a Ferrari seat, as he has the speed, but he’s beginning to look as reckless as he did when he first drove for Sauber.

  3. Rikhart said on 23rd March 2008, 10:31

    Im waiting to see if there was any problem, or driver error.

  4. Yes, he is rubbish.

  5. michael said on 23rd March 2008, 11:05

    It’s disappointing for Schumi’s protege to be circling the dirt in such an important phase of the 2008 season but heh this way Kimi is the definitive Numero uno. B the way, my question why is Ferrari using moveable aero wings. Massa’s onboard clearly shows the front wing moving up respectively down on long straights. is that legal???

  6. If he went out racing under pressure like Kimi in Australia (chasing good result starting from P16) one could forgive such an error. But to go out when he was clearly behind P1 Kimi and clearly ahead of whoever was P3 at that moment is unexcusable … Eight sure points lost for the team … He will have to do better than this. Otherwise his 3 year contract may only be good for few years of compensation … Even if Ferrari use him as number 2, they need number 2 that can finish races ahead of competition … Very disapointing …

  7. Fred B said on 23rd March 2008, 11:41

    As Rikhart says, let’s wait until we know the cause of this most recent off.

    But I remember Massa was reckless back in his Sauber days and regularly threw the car off the track.  Though he is undoubtedly fast I was very surprised when Ferrari offered him a drive.

  8. Journeyer said on 23rd March 2008, 11:43

    I’ll give him a couple more races, but yes, he’s gone down a couple of notches in my book.  I’ve been thinking, actually: has Felipe been overdriving in response to the rumors that Ferrari are looking at Vettel or Alonso?  It might have more of a negative than a positive effect on him.

  9. Phil said on 23rd March 2008, 11:44

    He’s the Andy Murray of F1. All the speed,  but no consistency and a world class excuse maker. It’s never his fault…

  10. Rikhart said on 23rd March 2008, 11:46

    We dont know if he had some car problem yet, dont diss him that much now

  11. As Milos stated, Ferrari don’t need him to win, but they need him to finish well if they are to take the constructor’s as well as the driver’s titles. If he finished second they would be tied for 2nd place with BMW at 19 in lieu of third at 11 points.

    I think they’ll give him one more race to see how he handles the pressure before considering other driver options.

  12. Anthony said on 23rd March 2008, 12:07

    As soon as I found out traction control was banned this year, my first thought was of Massa spinning off on corner exits; and so far I’ve been right. It’s fairly clear that he is a rubbish driver that needs a computer to do the thinking for him.

  13. SoLiD said on 23rd March 2008, 13:03

    I never tought he was good enough for Ferrari, but as Milos said, he is a good number 2 if he finished…but if he even fails to do so, he won’t be driving that car next year..

  14. I agree that Ferrari really want to win the constructors title so need both cars to get to the finish in the points at every race if possible, so I can’t see consistent driver errors going down too well.

    Melbourne showed Massa wasn’t thinking about the lack of TC and was clearly caught out – as the team later confirmed.  This time I’m not so sure, the way the car spun looked really strange, not like a normal slide due to too much power being put down as he did at turn 1 in Melbourne.

    I’ll reserve judgement until we know one way or another for sure, but it’s strange that the team have come out and said they can’t find anything wrong so far as normally the teams stick up for their drivers.

    Imagine this had been Hamilton, McLaren would have been jumping on their sword to take all the blame away from him!

    Does this show that Massa has fallen out of flavour with his team?

  15. Let us go back in time. A year to be precise. This was the same last season. 2 races and 2 bad results for Massa. Nothing has changed so far. People said many things about him. One man, he went about his job, as if nothing had happened. Massa was back in contention with a thumping victory in Bahrain. He claimed pole, won the race and set the fastest lap by some margin. Massa does have some talent(duh…). He has natural speed and ability. However, he tends to overdrive(tsk, tsk). More human than human. That is, compared to some other drivers he gets flustered and tries to make up for things. Which is exactly when the things go wrong.

    No excuse though, he better pull up his socks and not let the things to get to him. He does not need to win all the races(he i think was baffled by pace of Kimi in the race), but he needs to finish races and competitively. He needs to learn a few things from his compatriot Piquet Snr. He won 3 championships with a low tally of wins(he fully deserved all of his 3 championships).

    About race seat with Ferrari for next year and beyond, he just needs to get some consistent results, that is all.

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