Massa hoping to help Alonso in Korea

Felipe Massa says he aims to be in among the five drivers contesting the championship in the Korean Grand Prix:

As for my aims this weekend, firstly we need to qualify well on Saturday and after that, in the race, I want to be in the middle of the battle for the Drivers? championship, fighting with those five drivers who are chasing the title, which is the best thing I can do to help Ferrari?s and Fernando?s aspirations as we head for the end of the championships.
Felipe Massa

He’s also hoping to get a good result for himself before his home race at Interlagos:

Korea will be the last of a trio of Far Eastern races and I would like to arrive back in Sao Paolo for my home race, with a good result in my pocket.

I know that everyone in the team, at the track and the factory is completely pumped up for the challenge of these last three races and I am equally keen to give them my best shot.
Felipe Massa

Massa believes the F10 should be on the pace at the new Korean International Circuit but says it’s important the team get to grips with the new circuit from the beginning of practice on Friday:

Apart from when the Red Bulls have sometimes run away from the field, Ferrari has been competitive at most circuits and there is no reason to think differently this time.

We have seen this year how important it is to get everything working well right from the start of Friday practice, running reliably to get through the engineering programme without any technical problems. That will also be the case this weekend, but in addition, the first few runs on Friday will be the first time we discover how accurate has been the simulation work we have done back at the factory.

That will also be the time to discover the real grip level on offer from the track surface as this is something that is not so easy to do without actually putting a car on the track.
Felipe Massa

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56 comments on Massa hoping to help Alonso in Korea

  1. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 19th October 2010, 14:47

    Definitely an important few races for Massa as he builds up for 2011.

    He showed in 2008 (Valencia and Singapore) that he seems to be quite good at quickly coming to grips with a new circuit, so that could be useful in Korea, and I think the Ferrari will be very good at the track.

    It will also be interesting to see how he goes (and how the crowd reacts to him) in Brazil. At his other favourite track, Turkey, he was ahead of Alonso, which should make it an interesting battle.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 19th October 2010, 14:58

      I strongly wish there’s no team order in Brazil. It will completely destroy Massa himself and his fans and Ferrari fans in Brazil.

      • Cacarella said on 19th October 2010, 15:07

        There shouldn’t be any team orders at Ferrari in the final races as it should be ‘Known’ that Alonso must finish ahead of Massa. If Massa finished one position ahead of Alonso at any of the remaining races it would be ridiculous and Massa would be destroying himself even more (his future that is).

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th October 2010, 15:17

        You have to imagine, if he was leading and Alonso was second and the order came down… it wouldn’t go down well with the crowd.

        • Steve said on 19th October 2010, 15:25

          Massa would shoot himself in the foot if stayed ahead of Alonso long enough to be told to move over.

          He cant say he is going to help, and then not.

          • Joey-Poey said on 19th October 2010, 22:30

            After giving up what could have been a victory of incredible personal significance in Germany, I don’t have much faith in Ferrari giving a crap whether Massa is driving in front of his home crowd. This is the sort of team that gives you the impression they’d ask a driver to sell his grandmother into slavery if it meant points going to the “right” driver.

        • The crowd would go balistic and riot just like they did when Ferrari used team orders in 2007… oh wait nobody cared

          If Massa has to move over for Alonso anywhere it’ll probably be in Brazil since Massa is strong there. It’d be a shame for his fans but thats just the way it goes. Any other team would do the same at this point in the year with only one of its drivers left in the WDC.

          • “The crowd would go balistic and riot just like they did when Ferrari used team orders in 2007… oh wait nobody cared”

            They could hold Massa up with a dodgy pitstop though and with now generally only one stops it may be harder if say Massa is two places ahead but then Alonso gains one place after the stop and is directly behind Felipe. 2007 wasn’t quite so controversial a season either on the team order front.

            I don’t think it’ll be that bad as it’s so cloe to the end of the season but I doubt Brazil will cheer much if it does happen.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th October 2010, 17:19

            Maybe because it was the only time that season he had to move over. There’s some serious bad blood surrounding the whole incident; Brazilians don’t care about Ferrari, they care about Massa.

        • Alistair said on 19th October 2010, 17:55

          And you don’t want to anger the Brazilian crowd or the Brazilian people. The drivers are already ushered into the track with high security. There might be a riot if Massa had to give the win to Alonso – I’m quite serious; we’ve already seen one or more beer bottles being thrown onto the track this year at Hamilton, by the Spanish ‘fans’.

          If Massa did move over, it would destroy his reputation in his home country.

        • tharris19 said on 19th October 2010, 19:12

          Because of the Germany Grand Prix,Massa is already viewed with jaundiced eyes by many Brazilan fans. Some view him as a quitter who is too weak to be a champion. A friend from Sao Paulo told me that his friends saw Massa’s actions in Germany as a stain on the country’s history in motoracing. They have no respect for him and could care less about what he does on the track.

          • Krosh said on 19th October 2010, 22:59

            Totally agreed. Massa has tarnished the reputation of the Brazilian drivers too. However, a problem like that is in almost all sports: soccer, volley, rugby, etc. Finding cases of corruption or scandal is not hard nowadays, any sport watched by millions is, unfortunately, run by money.

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 19th October 2010, 21:27

          Ferrari could try like in 2007 to make Fernando pit earlier and tell Massa to “slow down” so that Fernando will be first after Massa’ stop.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th October 2010, 22:33

            That’s far harder to do now (at least, with any degree of subtlety) than it was three years ago with refuelling.

            To begin with drivers are typically only making one stop. And usually it’s very time-sensitive, pit stops tend to be made in reaction to when other cars have pitted.

            On top of that, it’s much harder to control one drivers’ pace, say by giving them an extra few laps of fuel to disadvantage them relative to the other driver.

            Nor is it very easy to slow down the pit stop. You can’t just turn down the fuel flow rate, you’ve got to tell the lollipop man to hold him there (which is conspicuous) or get a mechanic to drop a wheelnut.

            All of this means doing it without risk of detection or accidentally losing a place to a rival is far trickier than it used to be.

      • Cyclops said on 19th October 2010, 20:47

        Obviously there won’t be any if Felipe is openly declaring he will help Fernando. If anything happens, it will be labeled “voluntary help from a good team mate”.

  2. Eggry (@eggry) said on 19th October 2010, 14:53

    If he could hold rivals and snatch some points, it will be very helpful to Alonso. of course I doubt he could keep up front runners, but it’s not impossible. at Germany he was superior than Vettel even though the car was definitely better than Red bull. but it’s a clue that he still has ability to stand against front runners. If Korea is something like Germany to Massa(not team order!), it would be very interesting.

  3. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 19th October 2010, 15:10

    Least he is not pretending to run his own championship challenge this year.

    I hope 2011 holds better things for Massa, if only to cheer my girlfriend up!

    • Alistair said on 19th October 2010, 18:01

      But Ferrari are just pretending that he’ll run his own championship challenge next year! He’ll either be Alonso’s no: 2 or looking for a new drive.

  4. I’m not sure if we should respect Massa for seeing what happens around him, an ability which Barrichello never quite seemed to have or should we pity him for turning into what most believed he would become one day – a true-to-the-word #2 driver.
    I really don’t know…

    • BasCB said on 20th October 2010, 6:48

      I would say Barrichello knew very well, what was going on. That’s why he cut short his Ferrari contract and changed to Honda.

  5. Steve said on 19th October 2010, 15:27

    Massa was hired to be the number one driver.

    • Steve said on 19th October 2010, 15:27

      I mean number 2. Wish i could edit lol

      • Alistair said on 19th October 2010, 17:35

        Bit of a difference there!

      • Hyoko said on 19th October 2010, 22:06

        You mean 2006 or 2010?

        Felipe was hired by Ferrari in 2006, the last year of MSC in the Scuderia. Maybe he played a bit of a second fiddle there, but what would you expect? There was no TO stuff that I can remember, he was clearly allowed to race, and had a pretty good year, 3rd in the WDC with 7 podiums and two victories, including Interlagos.

        With Kimi there was no clear hierarchy. In 2007 Felipe only had to yield for Kimi in the last moment and I think everybody understood that. In 2008 it was the other way around. And 2009 was such a dismal year for Ferrari, TO were out of the question (and Felipe was KO after Hungary).

        It is unfair to pretend that ALO was hired as a No 1 driver leaving the No 2 for Felipe. They were allowed to race for the first half of the season. It was only after the awful results of Felipe in Montreal, Valencia and Silverstone that he was demoted to No 2, by then it was unrealistic to pretend that he could still win the WDC.

  6. Title of this article should be: “Ferrari says Massa hoping to help Alonso in Korea”

  7. It probably means nothing but I do like how he actually names Fernando and doesn’t just say he’ll help Ferrari. It seems a tad more nice.

    I’m not getting carried away as I really doubt it would happen given how mad this year is but if Massa won at Brazil I’d be ridiculously happy. I think that little story would mean as much as a title for Ferrari but then I have always paid more attention to the story than stats in the past.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th October 2010, 16:15

      I’m not getting carried away as I really doubt it would happen given how mad this year is but if Massa won at Brazil I’d be ridiculously happy.

      If Massa won a race this year I would be equally as happy, but the likelihood of this happening is slim given the PR and contract influenced vibes I am hearing throughout this statement from Felipe… I really hope that Massa is leading in Brazil, with several drivers between him and Alonso because that’d be the only way to ensure team orders do not rob him of a victory. Surely Rob couldn’t say, “OK, so, Lewis, Mark, Jenson, Sebastian and Fernando are faster than you. Can you confirm you understood this message?” – Or could he?…

      • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 19th October 2010, 16:32

        Its definitely not impossible that he could get a car between him and Alonso in Brazil – he’s been the best driver by a long way there in all of his Ferrari years.

        If Massa’s 1st, Kubica (or someone else not in the championship battle) 2nd and Alonso 3rd – that will be the big test for Ferrari – do they flick the switch then and tell Massa to let both through?

        • Alistair said on 19th October 2010, 17:47

          By definition, Massa can’t win. He’s almost always too slow to win on his own; hence the team orders being introduced when he’s not too slow! Either way, Massa is not going to win. He can’t refuse to move over at Brazil, because it’s brazil; because if he does so, it will undo all the bonus points, and more, that accrued to him from Ferrari for his having moved over at Germany. Ferrari would be apoplectic!

          Massa doesn’t seem to understand his situation. For, having moved over once, he’s set a precedent which Ferrari is bound to follow: he will always be Alonso’s no: 2. As Rubens found out, Ferrari’s word on such matters is not worth much; and excuses will always be found for why Massa should get out of Alonso’s way at Ferrari.

          Morover, Ferrari can sack Massa whenever they want, pretty much. We’ve seen that contracts in F1 aren’t worth very much: look at Button with the Williams/BAR situation. So he should be on his guard.

          If I were Massa’s manager, I would advise him to go to Renault. Many people think that the Renault is not very good; that Kubica is one of the very best drivers in F1. I see no evidence to support either of these statements. If Massa went to Renault, he would not be expected to beat Kubica; though, in fact, he may well do so. Such a move would rebuild his reputation somewhat. However, since he’s been beaten by Alonso and moved over for him to boot, his days at one of the top teams (McLaren, Ferrari, RBR) are most probably over.

      • Hyoko said on 19th October 2010, 22:22

        “Surely Rob couldn’t say, “OK, so, Lewis, Mark, Jenson, Sebastian and Fernando are faster than you. Can you confirm you understood this message?” – Or could he?…”

        Of course he wouldn’t. It would only increase their rivals’ advantage in points. The team strategy there would we holding them down a bit so that ALO would have a chance to overtake, like BUT was trying to do in Singapore until HAM had gearbox trouble.

        Only if the drivers between them were not in the fight for the WDC would they consider that move, but it’s still a bit too much.

  8. nikhil said on 19th October 2010, 16:19

    massa hoping to help alonso in korea… i guess he will bang webber dis time… out….

    • Alistair said on 19th October 2010, 17:51

      Give Webber a taste of his own medicine? I’m all for that. He’s taken Lewis out of the races several times this year; in Australia, it actually took Webber two attempts. He’s a menace on the track.

  9. Electrolite said on 19th October 2010, 17:08

    Although it’s not in the rules that he can’t ‘help’ his team mate in this way…it still doesn’t sit well in my stomach how Alonso has a handy man to sort of help him out and how Ferrari can release press coverage on it at all.

  10. CNSZU said on 19th October 2010, 17:31

    Massa has always been a number two driver. I don’t understand people who support this loser.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th October 2010, 18:10

      I’d love to get you and Steph into a room together…

      I hope that didn’t make it sound like a snuff film.

      • Lol Icthyes! It did sound like that a bit lol!

        I imagine it would go something like

        Me: Massa is not a loser [reels off impressive stats]

        CNSZU: The title show down, Brazil 2008.

        Me: *lip wobbles* but…but… *bursts into tears*

      • Nathan Bradley said on 20th October 2010, 10:06

        Lol! Everyone knows not to get on the wrong side of Steph when the subject is Felipe Massa, I’d like to be a fly on the wall in that room!

        Nathan

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th October 2010, 17:31

    The most interesting scenario is if Massa is leading with Alonso in 3rd. It would be worse points-wise to let them both through, since Alonso would gain only 3 points to his rival’s 7 extra. But would they do it if it was a McLaren in between them? They’re far enough behind for Alonso to lose more points to them in exchange for gaining more over the Red Bulls; but would they really give McLaren, their nemesis, a win (especially if it was Hamilton)?

    • Alistair said on 19th October 2010, 17:57

      Ferrari and Alonso would ‘happily’ give Lewis a win if by doing so it gave them the WDC; probably, also, even just for a much better shot at the WDC.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 19th October 2010, 19:44

      Everyones assumptions here are based on Massa leading Alonso… come one.. thats probably not gonna happen. By ‘help’ Alonso meant to be a buffer between him and the following car… or to take Mark Webber out. :)

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th October 2010, 20:00

        Everyones assumptions here are based on Massa leading Alonso… come one.. thats probably not gonna happen.

        Let’s not forget it happened in Melbourne, Sepang, Shanghai, Monte-Carlo, Istanbul, Hockenheim and Spa. Seven out of 16 races isn’t bad.

        Granted, he generally needs Alonso to make mistakes for it to happen but Alonso has made quite a few this year.

        • The question is, was he ahead of Alonso / did he outscore Alonso in ALL of these races.

          And did he end ALL of these races ahead of Alonso ?

          • BasCB said on 20th October 2010, 6:54

            A bit of a strange question, the only one of those Massa did not end in front of Alonso was Hockenheim, you know, THAT race.

  12. I´m very bored with Massa´s PR this year, but I’m too curious to see how our “passionate” Brazilian crowds will behave towards Ferrari and Alonso here, in Interlagos. Ferrari uses to disgrace our drivers, so maybe we can see a little protest or some banners dedicated to Fernando and his team…

    I remember how they treated Hamilton in 2008 and how they threw some tomatoes in Balestre in 1990. Maybe Ferrari could be a good target this year (at least they will have something to their sunday “Pasta”)

    Ah, BTW, Felipe always perform well in anticlockwise tracks. We have three in a role for him to show that he can beat Fernando or maybe be a factor in the title hunt.

  13. I wonder what would happen if massa was first towards the end of the brazilian grand prix and had Kubica, Rosberg behind him in 2nd and 3rd with alonso in 4th but infront of the other title contenders. Would massa take the order “fernando is faster then you”? forfeiting top spot but helping alonso close the gap by another 5 points.

    Now that would be a day for brazilians to “let loose”

  14. qazuhb said on 19th October 2010, 22:46

    If at Brazil Alonso doesn’t get help from his teammate (I don’t think this is gonna happen, by the way), he should remember he could have helped his own teammate to get the WDC back in 2007, and he didn’t. At the last turn, with no hope to win the championship himself, he could have “gone too wide” in one of the last curves… Not that there was the slightest chance of him doing something like this, but he always seems to believe he is entitled to the support of his team, while not prone to give anything himself.

  15. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 20th October 2010, 1:53

    Now Massa himself is cmong forward to help Alonso, I hope he is listing, if a situation come will Alonso ever in the future will pay him back? He helped Kimi in 2007, I don’t but I feel that if Massa was to become the WC for Ferrari he lost his opportunity back in 2008.

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