Ferrari: Massa runs afoul of kerbs – and Hamilton

2011 Indian GP team review

Felipe Massa had yet another run-in with Lewis Hamilton but kerbs also caused him problems in India.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 3 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’24.519 (-0.603) 1’25.122
Race position 3
Laps 60/60 32/60
Pit stops 2 2

Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Fernando Alonso 97.641 94.618 93.654 93.65 93.121 92.621 92.291 91.912 91.667 91.38 91.494 91.077 91.562 91.316 91.25 93.595 110.561 90.728 90.502 90.677 90.586 90.19 90.246 89.993 90.567 90.767 90.271 89.568 89.806 90.227 89.036 89.635 89.368 89.557 90.448 89.405 90.165 89.763 91.756 108.037 89.397 89.181 88.912 88.887 88.701 89.291 89.391 89.24 88.777 88.41 89.092 88.732 88.715 88.739 88.357 88.15 88.368 87.953 88.004 88.298
Felipe Massa 98.264 94.991 93.843 93.471 93.322 92.626 92.362 91.953 91.702 91.683 91.322 91.35 91.474 92.734 90.89 91.208 93.389 109.977 90.243 90.512 90.51 90.64 92.68 100.202 91.43 90.814 90.806 90.388 90.762 93.278 105.134 114.957

Fernando Alonso

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.873s
Pit stop 2 Hard 21.755s

Alonso said it was “a bit of a surprise” to find himself third on the grid, ahead of both McLarens thanks in part to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty. The team had to fix a problem with his front wing on the grid but it didn’t cause him problems in the race.

But he didn’t make his customary quick getaway, and ran wide at the first corner as he tried to draw alongisde Mark Webber, losing a place to Jenson Button.

Alonso followed Webber into the pits on lap 16 but as they came out Michael Schumacher split the pair of them. Alonso spent his out-lap behind the Mercedes, nearly losing a place to his team mate when Massa came out of the pits, then passed Schumacher the next time by in the second DRS zone.

Alonso closed on Webber quickly as the Red Bull driver’s tyres went off towards the end of the stint.

He stayed out two laps later before switching to the hard tyres, jumping ahead of Webber. There was only 1.2 seconds between them at the flag, Alonso coming out on top and taking the final podium place.

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.848s
Pit stop 2 Hard 27.619s

Massa was surprisingly fastest in the second practice session on Friday as Ferrari continued their evaluation of new parts. At times his front wing was seen flexing significantly at high speed.

But he broke one wing when he crashed at the end of Q3. Massa complained afterwards that the kerb he hit was too severe.

He got ahead of Hamilton at the start but after their first pit stops Massa made a slight mistake allowing Hamilton to close in. On lap 23 Massa covered the inside of turn five as Hamilton got a run on him.

On the next lap Hamilton tried again, Massa hanging left before moving right onto the racing line. The McLaren went down the inside, Massa turned in as usual and the pair collided once more in 2011.

Massa was able to continue without stopping for repairs. But the stewards handed him a drive-through penalty – his first of the year – for causing the collision. He served it straight away.

Despite his penalty, Massa laid blame for the collision at Hamilton’s feet: “It?s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it?s some sort of fatal attraction.

“In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to be interested in doing so.”

Shortly after his front wing began vibrating as it had done in practice. Ferrari responded by bringing him in to change the wing and switch him onto the hard tyres.

Ferrari said the wing Massa ran was the same as that used by Alonso, which did not move in the same way during the race.

On lap 33 Massa had a repeat of his suspension failure from qualifying. This time it was the front-left which gave way when he hit the kerb at turn nine, putting him out.

“There?s not much to say at the end of a weekend like this,” he said. “I am really unhappy that I was not able to finish a race in which I showed I had the pace to fight for the podium.”

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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44 comments on Ferrari: Massa runs afoul of kerbs – and Hamilton

  1. Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 31st October 2011, 16:11

    “Alonso said it was “a bit of a surprise” to find himself third on the grid”

    I think that’s very Modest for Alonso! I really don’t like him much, but I’ve been impressed by his form this season, especially later on. It’s good for F1.

  2. “I am really unhappy that I was not able to finish a race in which I showed I had the pace to fight for the podium.”

    What podium? You were battling with Hamilton and he finished 7th, the last guy on the lead lap.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 31st October 2011, 16:39

    Massa’s suspension problem was very well deserved. As almost all of us said yesterday, the fact he was hitting that orange thing, shows how much of that corner he was cutting.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 31st October 2011, 18:38

      @fer-no65 he was aggressive, which is a welcome thing for Felipe considering his lack of results. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one to have hit the orange kerbs, perhaps he did so more often. The crash was unnecessary but he had the pace to keep up with Alonso, but he’d have finished 5th at best.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 31st October 2011, 19:12

        a suspension failure because of a kerb is a rare thing and it happened twice for Massa, so he clearly was doing something wrong!

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 31st October 2011, 19:36

        @Fixy (not to make a lame joke, but just stating the facts) My wife said the same:

        all the others drive the same as he does

        After that we watched for it and we saw nobody taking that line. That doesn’t mean no one did it, but Massa did it at least one time too much.

        Having said this, I want to emphasize the most important part of this comment: my wife was actually watching the race for about 15 minutes with me!!!

        I wish my recording of Monza was succesfull. I later watched the race – paid – online, but it’s now removed.

        The Hamilton/Schumi fight is something I wanted her to see, to understand this sport. Instead of another DRS-borefest.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd November 2011, 12:50

        @Fixy Well said! I, for one, am loving the aggressive Massa of late. I have Hamilton to thank for that ;)

        Seriously though, I don’t think drivers should be so heavily penalised for cutting corners as marginally as Massa was trying to do so. If he at any point gains an unfair advantage, the stewards will deal with it accordingly.

    • I doubt he was the only one to clout the curbs like that. In any event, such curbs are part of track design. So why has the FIA not asked Ferrari for an explanation of these faults? If it happens twice in a weekend, then it is not a freak failure, it is a design fault. This is a safety issue for the other drivers, not just a reliability issue for Ferrari.

  4. BBT (@bbt) said on 31st October 2011, 17:26

    Where has the love for Massa gone?

    • David BR (@david-br) said on 31st October 2011, 17:54

      In Brazil, it seems to have evaporated at Hockenheim 2010. I’d say 80% of the comments on Brazilian blogs are critical or even scathing of him. I think he should have refused to cede and bailed out of Ferrari while his reputation was still fairly high – though clearly his accident came at a bad time, just when Alonso was due to arrive, putting him onto a back foot when he needed all his resources to compete with a top driver and a top team manipulator (not meant negatively: Button is another, Massa himself doesn’t seem bad either). Either way, he should give it a rest about Hamilton, stop obsessing about penalties and collisions, and try to beat Alonso. It’s far from impossible.

  5. Ragerod said on 31st October 2011, 17:51

    Alonso was superb, Massa not so much.

    I’ve felt for Massa this season when he’s been on the wrong end of some of Hamilton’s moves but this time I think it’s his fault. When everyone I was watching the race with were confident the two would collide, there’s a problem.

    But what really disappointed me was Massa’s curb incidents. Once is acceptable, twice is unforgivable. Granted the track needs changing for next year because a curb shouldn’t be capable of breaking a suspension but Massa needs to be more precise.

    • I’d say Monaco was even worse than India, on Massa’s part.

      In India he just took the racing line (he should have gave room, but at very least, he stuck to the line). In Monaco you can see he clearly dives into the apex early, going off the normal line, causing them both to collide (and for himself to swipe at Webber infront).

      And then after the inncodent, just like India, crashes out of the race of his own accord and then blames it on Lewis.

      • Blog_Raider said on 1st November 2011, 5:52

        I knew in 2008 that that graceful acceptance of defeat was too good to be true, he should have just wept it out on stage and be over and done with it. Now it is subconsciously biting back, not to mention sublime suggestions from Smedly to “…destroy Hamilton’s race…” lol

        All this drama is because to Massa, Hamilton is that guy to whom he probably lost his only chance to be F1 world champion…

  6. marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 31st October 2011, 18:37

    Massa said “umpteenth”? Seems quite colloquial for a Brazilian. It was such a shame he couldn’t get it together, he seemed quick over practice, but then it just evaporated come qualifying.
    Impressed with Alonso to, to beat Webbers RBR is impressive.

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st October 2011, 19:27

    I think its great to see Massa is doing better speedwise in the past couple of races. But he has to start keeping out of incidents like this one really.

    Alonso probalby did the best he could to get that podium place.

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st October 2011, 22:01

    I forget that the the Felipe Massa now is the same guy as the one in 2008. Like I’ll think back to past seasons and be like ‘oh yeah! That guy so nearly won it. Wait a second…’

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 1st November 2011, 6:43

      @Electrolite He’s getting better. I still think he has a win left in him. I was so gutted for him in Brazil 2008. Now I’m even more gutted for him, because everything that’s happened since has not been his fault. He’s a real underdog and I’ll continue to believe in him and support him until he retires.

      He has a lot of my respect for even coming back to the sport that tried to kill him, especially now he has a family.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st November 2011, 7:13

        Now @damonsmedely, I really feel for the guy. But to say

        everything that’s happened since has not been his fault.

        is a bit rich.

        Some errors made in 2009 at the start, errors made in 2010. Going with team orders in 2010. Some minor incidents with hitting this and that this year. All things where Massa himself could have acted differently

        And even getting cought up in accidents far too often this year is not completely without his fault either

      • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 10th November 2011, 17:33

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but I think a certain Spaniard might have something to say about him winning again…

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st November 2011, 2:55

    Massa need to use more of his brain on the fact that how could you stay cool even under the worst of situation? People like Button & Alonso who also had their moment never seem to crack which Massa does,he was doing good but until the point he hit Hamilton or vice-verse all hell broke on him.He cracks & starts to make silly mistakes,apart from his driving this is something that he needs to work for 2012.

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 1st November 2011, 4:03

    Recent form of Massa is a good sign. It’s shame he hurt himself by aggressive kerb approaches.

  11. boundary layer (@boundary-layer) said on 1st November 2011, 8:00

    What if Massa’s suspension failures were nothing but that? Failures. Ferrari has promised an aggressive approach to 2012 and we’ve already seen their front wing fluttering. So maybe Massa’s suspension is just a new part lightened a bit too much.

  12. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st November 2011, 9:04

    Well, good job by Alonso once again; Massa did have good pace this weekend, which is a good sign he can fight back and show more. But he needs to concentrate on that rather than on Hamilton. I do think that at the start maybe HAM gave him some extra bit of space, to not again hit someone and finish a race – maybe Massa should decide to let HAM go too, it’s better than crashing. And check your curbing please, 2nd time is too much.

    I do think Massa can do more, and I hope he finds it in himself again. Not sure that his team is the best to help him bring it out though.

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st November 2011, 12:45

    Johnny Herbert, one of the three stewards this weekend, explains the reason for Massa’s penalty:

    Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was”

  14. Alonso is quietly becoming the vice driver of the year. No one can topple Vettel’s achievements, but Alonso is taking what is distinctly the third best car, and one stricken by persistent weaknesses, and putting on the podium. This race was typical. Monza was another exhibit. He could well finish second this year if Button stubs his toe.

    Massa is right about his fatal attraction to Hamilton. Both of them have managed to find, or be caught idle in the path of trouble far too often, often generated by the other. They are spending a purgatory together. Sadly for Massa, as they go forward, at least Hamilton can put some brilliant turns of speed and two victories in his briefcase. Massa just carries his lunch. (Which Alonso eats.)

  15. daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 1st November 2011, 23:37

    felipe lewis is approacing :do u understand this message

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