Massa denies Perez performance puts him under pressure

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Felipe Massa denies his place at Ferrari is under threat from Sergio Perez.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Massa: Perez form no added pressure (Autosport)

“I’m happy for him and for his team, but [how] disturbing [is it for me]? Zero. I’m looking more for myself, my driving, my work.”

Whitmarsh echoes Perez speculation (Sky)

“He was a revelation, I imagine he has put a bit of pressure on Mr Massa. I don’t know what the odds are on him switching teams before China, but there must be consideration.”

Malaysian GP Conference 4 (FIA)

Perez: “I was just starting to plan because I knew Fernando was struggling, especially with the rears and I was struggling with the fronts and I was getting quite close to him in the fast section, but then I had a lot of understeer and the fronts were already degrading. I was just thinking where I was going to save some KERS and then I just touched the kerb and ran wide and it was over.”

Peter Sauber denies Sergio Perez colluded with Ferrari to ensure win (Sauber)

“He meant that we needed the result. It’s a misunderstanding. It was because that behind us, all the midfield teams, our main competitors, scored points.”

Button apologises for crash (The Telegraph)

“It was the weirdest race. But the reason I was down there was because it was my mistake when I hit Karthikeyan and I blew what could have been some good points.”

Hunted Bulls join chasing pack for now (Red Bull)

Christian Horner: “We could see the left rear brake going into a thermal runaway and out of control and that’s why we wanted to try and stop the car from a safety point of view.”

Comment of the day

Lin1876 speaks up in defence of HRT:

They?ve paid their dues and they?re under the 107% mark with two respectable drivers. They have as much right to be in F1 as anyone else.

And anyway, in both cases they were minding their own business when they were needlessly hit by other cars. Karthikeyan was in fourth on merit, and had every right to hold his line against Button. The speed of their respective cars has no bearing on that.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Vettel claimed his first pole position of 2011 on this day last year – something that was to become a familiar sight:

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116 comments on Massa denies Perez performance puts him under pressure

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th March 2012, 7:32

    Happy birthday to @alianora-la-canta, @Fallon, Henrique Pinheiro and Jake, I hope all of you have a really nice day today

  2. Horacio said on 26th March 2012, 7:35

    And what do you guys expect Massa to say? He is NOT saying that he he isn’t under pressure. He is saying that the pressure doesn’t come from other drivers’ performance, but from his own trouble undertanding the car. He is saying he is under A LOT of pressure, but from himself. Come on, guys.

  3. Jack said on 26th March 2012, 8:29

    Massa´s days are numbered! Now more than ever I feel he won´t finish this season with the Scuderia… And it´s about time!!!

  4. Lore said on 26th March 2012, 8:29

    hey does anyone else reckon that Rob Smedly is part of the problem for massa? i mean hes patronising and talks to massa like hes a little boy.. if i were an aspiring champion i wouldnt appreciate the “good boy” comments and really probably undermines a lack of confidence…

    probably if massa went to another team with a more professional, respectful and mature approach hell do really well. this smedly / massa thing is past used by date…

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 26th March 2012, 12:58

      I think Rob Smedley is the reason Massa ever became a contender in the first place. The amount of “advice” Smedley has to give Massa over the radio is mind boggling. I think that if Smedley is losing his cool, it’s because he’s stuck with a driver who isn’t improving and can’t get the results. That’s got to be frustrating for a guy who wants to win.

    • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 26th March 2012, 13:19

      Felipe initially had Gabrielle delli Colli as his Ferrari race engineer. As Felipe said in a later interview, “He was very professional, but there was no chemistry”. Then Ferrari transferred Rob from the test team into his current position and Felipe’s performances improved a lot. The way Rob talks to Felipe in 2012 is the way he did so in 2006 when they first teamed up. Different people get motivated through different sorts of talk.

  5. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 26th March 2012, 8:41

    Deny it all you want Felipe…the pressure is very much on you and it is mounting fast!

  6. sid_prasher (@) said on 26th March 2012, 9:15

    Well it is an obvious thing to say from Massa. He said he wants to concentrate on his own performance. There is no point in saying – I am in trouble and I might get dropped.

    He was running 8th till he started having issues with tyre wear and Ferrari have said that they want to understand why this problem is more severe for Massa – probably due to the lack of balance of the car.
    I think everyone should atleast wait till Ferrari bring some updates – maybe in China or latest by Spain.

  7. Thepointis2 said on 26th March 2012, 12:27

    Perez Sponsor is mouth watering look what Sauber was able to build and how Perez has got. But if he gets to good Alonso won’t have him to live Hamilton story again. Massa should be happy Perez does good and he keeps his number two place.

  8. Hairs (@hairs) said on 26th March 2012, 13:00

    Massa’s comments on external pressure remind me of Homer Simpson chasing an increasingly dishevelled suckling pig down the road chanting “It’s still good, It’s still good!”

  9. The Limit said on 26th March 2012, 14:10

    Massa better say nice things about Sauber’s performance, because the way things are going, he is going to be driving for them sooner than he thinks! Anybody that saw Sergio Perez’s drive at Sepang could not help but be impressed, not just by his speed but by the maturity he showed in not only keeping pace with Alonso, but being the only man to offer any threat to the Spaniard. Not even the much hyped Lewis Hamilton could keep up with the Mexican, who lets face it, was driving a Sauber! For me, it was one of the most impressive drives from any driver in recent memory.
    How can the big shots at Scuderia look at this young man, driving for a team basically run off the back of Ferrari, without considering him as a replacement for the lacklustre Felipe Massa. Sepang was a disaster for Felipe, with nowhere to hide and no excuses to offer. A new chassis yet he was nearly lapped by Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard crossed the line to win the race. Every race driver’s nightmare, an arse kicking of huge importance and to add insult to injury, your team mate wins!
    Even Bruno Senna, another disappointment in Australia, had a great drive for Williams to claim sixth. Felipe, poor Felipe, was the one man who lets face it, looked like a condemned man driving the car.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 26th March 2012, 15:21

      While I don’t entirely disagree, I think that a wet weather race that saw FA take an unlikely win (by all accounts as to where the Ferrari really stands these days amongst the teams), and SP challenging and taking a strong second place, is perhaps not the day to be hammering the final nail in FM’s coffin.

      FA and SP had great drives yesterday…anyone willing to bet they are now the likely winner and second place finisher in the next wet race, let alone dry one?

      I know yesterday doesn’t help FM’s cause, but at the same time we don’t even know if there is one iota of truth to the concept that he might be replaced mid-season. Perhaps for 2013. Do we even know if in fact Ferrari wants a better challenger for FA? They have certainly shown in the past that they are perfectly happy having the team revolve around one driver. Why does everyone think Ferrari wants FA challenged more? Not saying I myself wouldn’t like to see it and that we the viewing audience don’t deserve it…just saying Ferrari has a history of being about one driver. So while Ferrari may sound like they are disappointed with FM, it might just be that…sound bytes to make themselves look like they are all about racing at Ferrari…MS/Ferrari showed that they can also be all about one driver to the extreme.

  10. The Limit said on 26th March 2012, 19:32

    To an extent that is true. Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine were both seen by Ferrari as ‘number two’ drivers to Michael Schumacher, however, there is one big difference. I am struggling to think of two back to back grands prix inwhich either Barrichello or Irvine were so poor whilst driving for Ferrari. Were so poor that its almost cringeworthy, embarrassing beyond belief. In the main, both men scored points, and on occasion, wins. You are right about Ferrari tending to put all their eggs in one basket, and there is no doubt that they favour Fernando over Felipe. However, for them to win the Constructors’ Championship they need ‘BOTH’ drivers performing and scoring good points race in race out. That is not happening with Massa at the moment, and make no mistake, the Constructors’ title is pure gold to these teams every bit as much as the Driver’s Championship.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th March 2012, 15:48

      Fair comment…WCC points to me might be the only reason they might be thinking of a better driver than FM…that said, I would still like to give FM the benefit of the doubt that this car just doesn’t suit him for now, and that they may yet find some solutions for him to do better…I’ll not go so far as to argue that they need to hang on to him for dear life, but I also think he deserves a little more time with a car that they themselves have admitted has given them more headaches than they had hoped for, and a new driver mid-season will also need time to adapt and shouldn’t be expected to hop in that thing and start bettering what FM will be doing with it in another 8 races, which to me should presumably be better results than we have seen so far from him.

      For now I say let’s excuse FM for Australia because it was the first race in anger for that car and he found it feeling foreign to him…let’s excuse him for Malaysia because it was a wet weather race and those are always going to make for a bit of a crapshoot…let’s give him the half a season that many are speculating he may only have left at Ferrari, and see where he is then…of course if the following races show that he just can’t seem to get liking this car, and FA is badly outdoing him, then maybe they have to look at options, but in general I don’t believe FM suddenly sucks as an F1 driver, and I’m not yet convinced that his head injury still haunts him and has changed him as a driver. He seems as eager and anxious as ever to prove his worth…ie. the fight seems to be in him. The car just doesn’t seem under him. And drivers get coloured by their car.

  11. Ben C-M said on 26th March 2012, 20:53

    Does anyone else think Grosjean’s attitude about the collisions he’s been in is pretty arrogant? Both have been pretty clearly his fault and he’s been very quick to lay blame with others.

  12. Colm (@colm) said on 26th March 2012, 20:55

    The odds are stacked against Felipe though, I agree his performances are woeful but the team are treating him as a second driver to Alonso no matter how good or bad he’s driving (hockenheim 2010 which would have hugely dented Felipes confidence in ferrari) and no doubt the car is set-up to suit Fernando more than Massa. From the day he was brought into Ferrari his role was to replace Barrichellos role as the Second driver

  13. As i’m reading this thread,i see that no one is considering does Sauber wanna let SP leave,even if they are in great relationship with Ferrari.I guess they have a say in this to.Does FA want a strong challenger in the team,i think he can’t really handle a strong competitor.We all know how 2007 vent.

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 26th March 2012, 23:18

    Whitmarsh is just taking the opportunity to poke a bit of fun and embrace a wonderful race from Perez.

    I do think we should get too carried away. It would be foolish of Ferrari to plonk Perez in the seat based on one outstanding result. Let’s see how the rest of the season goes. This game is all about consistency. Ferrari are consistent, Alonso is great, Massa not so much. However, they need to ensure that their consistency is competitive as a team.

  15. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 27th March 2012, 12:24

    To be fair to Massa there are very few drivers capable of driving a bad/average car well. Obviously Alonso and i’d add Vettel and Hamilton. Maybe Raikkonen and of course MS mk 1 was brilliant at it, but its not a deep pool and these are all WDC.

    Massa for very sure cannot drive a bad car well, in fact it seems to unsettle him more. All drivers reach a tipping point where talent and desire lose out to age and lifestyle. Add to this Massa losing a WDC on the last corner of the last race, a near fatal accident AND having Alonso, famous for his chew and spit out style with no 2 drivers, as a team mate – and its not surprising the poor old boy is struggling.

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