These are tough times for Felipe Massa.
His return from injury this year has seen him more often than not struggling for pace compared to new team mate Fernando Alonso. And he’s already suffered a racing driver’s ultimate indignity – being told to get out of his team mate’s way.
He signed a fresh two-year deal with the Scuderia earlier this year. But can he really stand another two years like this one?
It’s hard to make a case for any driver leaving a top team when there are so few race-winning seats available in Formula 1.
Massa only likely alternative might be at Renault alongside Robert Kubica – so that could just be a case of exchanging one devastatingly fast team mate for another.
He should stay put and hope next year’s change to Pirelli tyres works in his favour – much like Schumacher is. And he should keep in mind how the switch from Michelin to Bridgestone unsettled Alonso in 2007.
Massa is no stranger to having a world champion as a team mate. Before Alonso showed up his last three team mates were Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen.
Villeneuve gave him little trouble, Schumacher provided valuable learning opportunities and he and Räikkönen were well-matched in their two-and-a-half years together. But Alonso has beaten him on pace and relegated him to a supporting role.
Massa’s situation now looks a lot like Jarno Trull’si in 2004. It’s time to do what Trulli did: find a new home and let someone else help Alonso win his championships.
Some say that after his awful crash last year Massa will never be the same driver again and his performances this year are evidence of that. Only he can know that for sure.
My interest in this matter is entirely selfish – I want to see the top seats in F1 occupied by drivers who are going to fight to win races. Looking at Massa’s performance at Suzuka and Hockenheim this year, I’m not convinced that’s the case.
In the run-up to Suzuka Massa denied he had made a comment about not wanting to become a new Rubens Barrichello. He may not have said it, but I suspect that’s exactly what will happen to him if he stays at Ferrari.
Do you think Massa should stay at Ferrari? Why? And what do his supporters think? Cast your vote and have your say below.
Should Massa stay at Ferrari?
- Yes (39%)
- No (61%)
Total Voters: 3,209
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