Felipe Massa joins the F1 title hunt

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2008, 2, 470150

Three races ago I was wondering if Massa had totally lost the plot over the winter. Now he’s bounced back with two victories and a second place and is only seven points behind Kimi Raikkonen in the championship.

Can mount a serious bid for the championship this year?

F1 World Drivers\' Championship Top 3, Istanbul 2008If so he needs to deliver at more than just the venues we are starting to recognise as “Massa tracks”. He needs to be up front at Montreal and Monza and above all he needs to on the pace when the rain falls – a big problem for him last year.

He now lies equal second in the championship with Lewis Hamilton on 28 points (see right), with the useful advantage of an extra victory keeping him ahead of the McLaren driver.

Ferrari have won the last four races in a row and if McLaren can’t beat them in the next two races, at tracks where the British team excelled last year, then Hamiton will be powerless to prevent the title from going to one of the two Ferrari pilots.

And of course Massa has to beat his team mate. He did that today but how much was he helped back Raikkonen’s problems? The Finn touched Heikki Kovalainen’s car at the first corner and blamed the wing damage from that (which he did not consider worth repairing) for slowing him down.

Massa has really turned his season around in the last few races but the hard part now will be not losing that precious momentum.

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