Ferrari “expect change of gear right away” from Massa

F1 Fanatic round-up

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2012In the round-up: Ferrari say Felipe Massa needs to up his game in the next race at Monaco.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Never give up, especially in Formula 1 (Ferrari)

“As for an analysis of the Scuderia?s performance and its two drivers, Fernando has always maintained a very high level (67 points and second place in 2010, 51 and fifth place last year) while Felipe?s drop off has made itself felt. The Brazilian had picked up 49 points two years ago and 24 the following year, while so far this season he has just 2. In Montmelo, Felipe was very unlucky, both in the race and in qualifying, but everyone, he more than anyone, is expecting a change of gear starting right away with the Monaco Grand Prix, his second home race, given that he lives just a few hundred metres from what, as from next Sunday, will be transformed into the paddock for the sixth round of the 2012 championship.”

Peter Windsor via Twitter

“[Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez] has declared today a public holiday in Venezuela in honour of Pastor’s victory.”

Maldonado’s triumph unites polarised Venezuela (Reuters)

“Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado’s remarkable first Formula One victory brought a rare moment of national unity to a homeland bitterly divided months before a presidential vote.”

In Spain I saw real heroes at work (The Sun)

Tom Webb (Caterham): “For a number of those who helped out this was not their first F1 fire. But for me, this was the first time I have been so close to something so potentially life threatening and I am humbled by the way the men and women of my sport responded.”

‘Fire crews in Spain were incompetent’ (The Telegraph)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fearnley: “Incompetent would be a very polite way of saying what these people have done here today. There’s no training, no procedures. I went down to see how my man is, and I had to fight my way in. We need to look seriously at the training of people at the circuits. I’m not impressed at all.”

McLaren regrets qualifying decision (Autosport)

Martin Whitmarsh: “With hindsight I was wrong, but I don’t think I or very many people anticipated that, as a consequence, we would be starting from the back of the grid.”

Gary Anderson on Maldonado’s mature victory (BBC)

“We’ve seen the spotlight on different cars at different times. Is it conditions, is it track type, is it temperature, is it car characteristic, is it the driver? There are so many factors to weigh up and I’m sure these debates are going on up and down the pit lane.”

Taking a starring role in Spain (Sky)

“Almost unnoticed after the race, Michael Schumacher was given a five-place grid drop for the next race in Monaco, of all places. He misjudged Senna’s braking and rear ended him. That one was definitely down to Michael I’m afraid even though Bruno, on very worn tyres, was not exactly arrow straight into the braking zone.”

Comment of the day

More Spanish Grand Prix stats from Andrew81:

Maldonado became the fourth driver to lead his first lap in 2012, after Perez, di Resta and Grosjean. Only four seasons outside the 1950s have seen more drivers do this. We have had ten drivers from eight teams lead laps so far; while ten drivers isn?t rare (the record is fifteen, reached six times including 2008), only three seasons have seen more than eight teams lead, with ten in 1975 and nine in 2003 and 2008. The only established team not to have led a lap yet is Toro Rosso; the highest they have run is third (Vergne for one lap in Malaysia).

And fastest lap stats: five drivers from four teams is fairly average over a whole season, but it looks like they could go to anyone this year, so expect this number to end up among the highest. 2009 holds the joint record of ten different drivers in a season, but only in 1975 have as many as eight teams got the accolade. We?ve also had two drivers set their first fastest laps so far, but this is fairly common over a season.
Andrew81

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Keke Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix today in 1983.

The world champion gambled on starting on slick tyres on a damp track and won with an extraordinary display of driving skill.

Championship contenders Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost were third and fourth.

Rosberg became the fifth different driver/team combination to win in the first five races of the year. This was the only time that had happened in F1 history until Maldonado’s win on Sunday.

Here’s the start of the race – look out for Rosberg grabbing second at the start from fifth on the grid. He took the lead at the start of lap two but the director missed it:

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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140 comments on Ferrari “expect change of gear right away” from Massa

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  1. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 15th May 2012, 0:09

    Ouch! The language at Ferrari is definitely starting to change. Less than two months ago it was “we will help Felipe as much as possible, he will have a good year” etc.
    He has been woeful so far though, so you could understand if they wanted to get rid of him mid-season, but I think that’s very unlikely because he’s been such a long standing member of the team.

    • Mach1 (@mach1) said on 15th May 2012, 1:04

      I had a thought that they [ferrari] were also annoyed Massa moved over so early/easily to let both Maldonado and Alonso through at the same time when being lapped (near then end of the race). I think Coulthard also mentioned he was suprised Massa did not (within the rules) legitimatly wait a few more corners to make Maldonado pressure him a bit and in turn maybe allow Alsonso to get closer. In fact when I saw them coming up on Massa I did think “here we go, this is Alsonso’s chance”.

    • oCTo said on 15th May 2012, 9:25

      Hey, now-now, I have been saying since he got hit with the spring and came back like nothing before. I really did not believe that they would keep him this year. He had hes chance for greatness but lost it to Hamilton. They say that Massa needs more balanced car but hell, when Ferrari was dominating italian paper said the lorry driver could become the champ.
      Now the problem is that Ferrari has to suck it up and get trough this season. Look what happend when Fichichella came to drive Ferrari? You need to get to hold of it off-season not in the middle of it. They have to count their losses and think a head.
      Don’t get me wrong, Massa is a nice guy and Im not hating here but there are so many talented drivers out there who deserve his place. Kubica, Kamui, Hulkenberg, Maldonado and so on not even speaking of the guys in other classes.
      Maybe bit emotional, but I really would like the Ferrari would have a real run at the championship again.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 15th May 2012, 10:14

      Reading Brazilian F1 blogs you notice that “talk of the town” is Brazil risks loosing both current drivers and face a season without a single driver next year. Massa’s current form and Bruno’s seat “already” reserved for Bottas make the case very likely.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th May 2012, 11:18

        I seriously doubt Williams will be dropping Senna early. He did botch his qualifying, but it was not his mistake that ended his race early. And he did get their first points this year only a couple of races back.

        Lets see how he does the rest of the year, although I think its very likely that Bottas is almost sure to step into that seat for next season.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 15th May 2012, 17:15

          Personally I think Senna and Maldonado are of the same league. Maldonado has shown some skills and is backed by big bucks but we should not forget that Senna is bringing some money into Williams via Embratel and OGX, the latter is controlled by the world’s eighth richest man (Eike Batista)

        • Solo (@solo) said on 15th May 2012, 17:25

          The way Senna was saluting the mechanics was worrisome though, especially after hearing that Bottas has a few more sponsors now.

          As about Massa. It seems although Ferrari initially thought of getting threw the year before changing him now they are starting to think of an imitate replacement. The message is clear. You need to perform and you need to perform NOW.

    • Dragon (@dragon) said on 16th May 2012, 2:44

      We all know Button is a great driver, but I’d be extremely interested to see how he fares in this Ferrari. Massa, like Button, always struck me as the type of driver who needs a super well balanced car – he’s a top notch driver, he’s just not good if the thing becomes twitchy. No grip, sliding & degrading tyres, low on confidence, it all snowballs into a world of hurt for Felipe. There is still proof that his racing talent is there; he’s still a demon starter and he still has good overtaking craft. Maintaining pace over a stint however is not happening, and I think like most of us, I’m really hoping Ferrari can give him something to show he should still be in the sport by the end of the season. Always a shame to lose good personalities, esepcially those who have had success and been in the sport a long time.

    • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 16th May 2012, 19:55

      I think Ferraris’ language is now getting closer to its true nature. All that “we support Massa” felt dodgy. What can they expect from Massa after humiliating him the way they did? They are upset about the fact Massa decided not to support Alonso.
      Massa is a racing driver and I don’t think any sports’ man would do his best knowing that sooner or later he would have help his team mate to his own damage or loss. Massa is on a long unannounced strike.

      Good for him for playing a nothing to lose game. He knows is going to out anyway.

  2. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 15th May 2012, 0:34

    It doesn’t seem to be in any doubt now that Felipe will be leaving Ferrari before the 2013 season starts. But I do doubt Ferrari will drop him mid season for a number of reasons. Ferrari need only think back to 2009 to see how disastrous it can be to replace a driver mid season. The 2009 Ferrari was a dog that year, much like this year so far. Its difficulty to drive was highlighted when Massa’s vacant seat was filled by first Badoer and then Fisichella. While Badoer clearly was not fit to drive in F1, Fisichella was a respectable driver and still couldn’t score a point in a car that Raikkonen regularly put into the top 8.

    2009 showed how important it is for a driver to have time to adapt and grow into the car, especially if that car is a handful, which the F2012 certainly is. When Fernando Alonso calls driving a Ferrari “like walking on a tightrope” you know there are problems! While Felipe is not performing anywhere near acceptable levels he may still come good as a decent points scorer. Kicking him out and replacing him with a possible young replacement (Di Resta or Perez if you believe the rumors) might do that driver and the team more harm than good a la Grosjean replacing Piquet Jr at Renault in 2009.

    • Kimi4WC said on 15th May 2012, 0:37

      Yeah, it would be suicidal for any driver to joining this Ferrari team. Unless they have rock solid contract for 2-3 years.

      • q85 said on 15th May 2012, 0:42

        wouldnt surprise me in kova got a 1yr deal there next year before perez steps in for 2014

        • Kimi4WC said on 15th May 2012, 0:44

          Actually now you saying it, I would love to see Kovalainen getting a chance in top team with Ferrari. I think he could do very good!!! He is ready!

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th May 2012, 13:11

            Just like he did with Mclaren.

            I dont have anything against Kova, but I think he was the most disappointing driver on the grid in 2008 and 2009. We got all the proof required that he isn’t cut out for a top 2-3 team.

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 15th May 2012, 0:46

          I’d never thought about that! Although I don’t think it’d be a success for him, I think he’s a great driver and I’d love to see what would happen.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th May 2012, 0:43

        Adam Cooper has noted Adrian Sutil’s presence in the paddock of late, and has gone so far as to suggest he could replace Massa.

        It does make a bit of sense. Sutil is a solid, dependable driver who can support Alonso. He’s also out of a drive (which I think was a mistake by Force India; Hulkenberg isn’t living up to expectations), so if he wants back in for 2013, a stint with Ferrari would do wonders for his resume.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 15th May 2012, 10:51

          What about Kubica? He’s being linked to Ferrari every now and then. He’s not fit for a Mid-season adventure but maybe full season in 2013.

        • lubhz (@lubhz) said on 15th May 2012, 11:56

          According to Brazilian news and F1SA, Adrian Sutil and his manager were seen in Force India’s motor home. Hulkemberg’s manager Timo Gans was seen in Ferrari’s garage. It might indicate that Sutil will return to Force India, and hulkemberg replace Massa!

      • SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 15th May 2012, 2:57

        In the belgian press Jerome D’ambrosio is been linked with Ferrari for a seat starting from Canada. I think he just might be on the shortlist.
        Would love to see that as a belgian. But whoever gets the seat will have a big task in front of them. Not the best of cars and a World Champ like Alonso to compete against!

        • THOMF1S (@thomf1s) said on 15th May 2012, 8:09

          This shortlist isn’t so short anymore, Di Resta, Perez, Webber, Now D’ambrosio, I’m surprised Maldonado hasn’t been touted as Ferrari-bound yet!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th May 2012, 9:32

            I’m waiting for someone to suggest Alonso replaces Massa.

          • artificial racer said on 15th May 2012, 17:55

            Sutil and Huelkenberg are apparently in the ring too now. Or they could draft in some rookie.

            Sutil seems like a logical factor given the complications of a mid-season replacement. He will be motivated and should be quick. If I were Stefano I’d probably like to get Hulkenberg as he seems to be a good fit… young, different temperament to Alonso, potentially a good value and low risk investment.

            They should have dropped Massa before this year though, this is just complicated.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 16th May 2012, 8:42

            They’ve made a play on Hulkenberg before – in 2009 – but he turned them down, given that popping in mid-season would have meant he was unaccustomed to the car and how to drive it, guaranteeing he will be off the pace of whoever his teammate is.

            I still think it’ll be de la Rosa though :P

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 15th May 2012, 2:54

      Ferrari have to try replacing Massa, at least. Alonso is co-leading the WDC while Ferrari is only 4th in the WCC. Ferrari should at least be ahead of Lotus, but Massa’s inability to score points is really putting Ferrari’s chances of a constructors title in deep trouble.

    • Kimi Lotusonen said on 15th May 2012, 10:41

      @Colossal Squid ,
      “….how disastrous it can be to replace a driver mid season”

      Which is exactly why I admire Kimi so much. Mclaren blocked him from pre-season testing with Ferrari in late2006/early2007. When Kimi finally came on board Ferrari, he hardly knew the car, and with Ferrari known to build more evolutionary designs plus throw in the michelin-brdigestone grip differenc factor, he was faced with something rather unlike anything he had been used to. But, jump straight in Australia 2007, and he beat the hell out of Felipe who was by then regularly matching/beating shumi.

      Same now at Lotus, 2 years off the f1 scene, and back straight into the game, with fastest laps. Not to mention that drivers with prior Pirelli experience are still finding it difficult to adapt to it, but no sire, not Kimi! Innit!
      And oh, did I forget to mention that Eric Boulier ‘mysteriously’ accomodated Romain Grosjean into the precious new car experience! But to what avail! ;-)

      • herowassenna said on 16th May 2012, 21:35

        Mclaren couldn’t stop Kimi testing for Ferrari as soon as the calender changed to 1st January 2007. Their contracts only go up to the last day of any given year.
        Yes he won the 1st race and Massa spun out, but for the first half of the 2007 season, Massa was stronger. As for 2008 and 2009, Kimi had lost interest, massa raised his game and Ferrari paid him off.
        Kimi’s luck this year is that the Pirellis aren’t anything like they were last year, their fundamental construction has been changed so all drivers are having to learn them again, teams also.

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 16th May 2012, 17:57

      @Colossal-Squid

      I dont think you have a valid point about mid-season driver changes, you give the example of 2009. That car was an absolute dog. At Belgium (the race before entering the Ferrari) Fisi was capable of 2nd in a Force India, yet could get nothing out of the Ferrari of that same year. I agree that a driver must be able to manage the inabilities of a car, but was the 2009 Force India THAT much better than the Ferrari?

      As far a Baoder, I dont think that embarrassment even merits mention.

      • herowassenna said on 16th May 2012, 21:39

        The 2009 Ferrari was terrible, and development had been stopped some time before Badoer and Fisichella ever joined the squad, but one thing that everyone seems to forget which was a major reason why they struggled so badly was KERS.
        It changed massively how the car reacted on the brakes, even today when Kers isn’t working drivers and teams speak of how hard it is to drive, for eg, Button at Abu Dhabi last year, it was causing problems in every braking zone.
        Back in 2009, Kers was very under-developed to what is available now.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 17th May 2012, 0:26

        @javlinsharp I’m sorry but I don’t fully understand why you think my point isn’t valid. I mentioned that the F60 was a dog, and to be honest the F2012 doesn’t seem much better so far.

        You mention that the Force India was driven to 2nd by Fisi at Spa. That also ties into my point: He was able to get the best out of his car that day because he had helped develop and drive the car throughout the season. It wasn’t a great car, but he knew how to use it. My first comment points out that there is a difficulty for both the team and the replacement driver who hops into a difficult car mid season: they have little time to adapt and can severely under-perform as a result.

        • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 17th May 2012, 3:00

          @colossal-squid, yes, I see your point. There is substantial disadvantage when a driver misses the development cycle.

          My own position is that the experience of 2009 is nothing like what Ferrari would do in 2012.

          2009 was caused by unexpected injury, in 2012 they can keep PM in the car and choose a new driver in their own time.

          2009 was expected to be short term, until PM recovered. 2012 is a fulltime job.

          The terms of 2009 are not entcing to top talent, while the circumstances in 2012 are much different, and (I propose) more agreeable.

          Who knows maybe they will call Rubens Barrichello. Who better to take the #2 seat but an ex-Scuderia, most experienced F1 driver of all time. Except for age, who, of the available drivers, has better qualification.

          For thay matter,
          Who could be any worse than Massa looks right now? How long should Ferrari hang on to the “Baoder” of 2012

          • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 17th May 2012, 12:50

            @javlinsharp What you say is true, there are many major differences between the situations in 2009 and today. In that way I understand why my comment may not be as vaild as I think!
            It’s a difficult position Ferrari find themselves in.

  3. Kimi4WC said on 15th May 2012, 0:35

    Public holiday for Venezuela, good job Pastor!!! :)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th May 2012, 0:38

      If Chavez is willing to declare a public holiday to celebrate Maldonado’s victory, then he can’t be all bad.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 15th May 2012, 1:29

      In light of the report that Pastors win has bought “unity” to Venezuela ahead of the presidential election should the CIA be suspects in the Williams garage fire? I love a good conspiracy theory.

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 15th May 2012, 17:14

        Hadn’t you heard that the U.S. stopped sabotaging Latin American leaders like in the 80s? Anyway, I heard someone spotted a Predator drone in the area round 5pm local time.

  4. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 15th May 2012, 0:41

    Speaking of the 1983 Monaco Gp, Sky will be broadcasting highlights of Monaco 1982/1983 this Sunday from 9am. 2007-2011 Monaco Gp’s will be shown in full throughout the rest of the day.

  5. Massa has never been the same since his accident in 2009. I dont think he will ever return to top form. Its sad because he is a championship contender but consistantly makes mistakes. Ferrari will always support him but for how much longer can they keep making excuses for him????

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th May 2012, 0:58

      I wonder what had more affect on Massa’s form. Hungary ’09 or Germany ’10?

      • Myron said on 15th May 2012, 1:15

        I suspect Germany ’10. I think if he had won that race, we might being seeing the Massa of old today.

        • q85 said on 15th May 2012, 1:34

          but if he is that mentally weak in the head that he cant get over that nearly 3 seasons on, and in a team that has given him chance after chance…then well its a poor reflection on him and his future in the sport.

          sad times.

          • Dorian said on 15th May 2012, 3:53

            Absolutely agree!!!

            If Germany 2010 has ANY residual psychological isses for him then he’s not mentally strong enough to be in F1!!!

            It’s either a) his accident or b) has simply lost it!

        • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 15th May 2012, 5:24

          Compare Massa’s form in early 2010 uptil Germany. He was on par with FA. This is immediately after his return.
          Now with FA not running away with the Chmpnshp he gets asked to move over. what ya expect?? Massa is a kid and that is his weak point. But it is fair to say that
          Santander/Ferrari/FA killed the Killer belief he had in himself.
          FM knows he is on his way out. Its only a matter of when. And dont be surprised if Ferrari hire another mediocre driver.

          • THOMF1S (@thomf1s) said on 15th May 2012, 8:14

            Felipe has definately dropped since Germany that year, you only need look at his qualifyinf performance from that start of that year; In Bahrain, his first race back after his accident he was second on the grid, which would be unheard of for Massa nowadays!

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 15th May 2012, 10:57

            Solid point.

          • Klaas (@klaas) said on 15th May 2012, 16:50

            @ascar2000us Utter rubbish. Before Hockenheim 2010 Massa had scored an average of 6,7 points per race. After Hockenheim he had an average of 7,3 points per race. So you can’t say that he suddenly dropped his performances because of the infamous team orders that shook his confidence. He also gave away his home grand prix win for Kimi in 2007 but didn’t get any mental scars from it.
            Massa used to boast in the media (around 2008) that despite him being always considered more inferior compared to his illustrious team-mates (Schumi and Kimi) he managed to equal and even beat them – so he’s been in the No 2 seat before but got out of it. With his good performances in 2008 he was able to convince the team to back him for the WDC and not their champion at that time Kimi. The same can happen again with Alonso but it seems Fernando is just to good for him.
            I think the main problem to Massa’s weak results relies in the car. Not only the last 2 season’s cars are difficult to drive but they are “moulded” on Alonso who has a different driving style so Felipe doesn’t stand a chance. Plus the competition is much fierce compared to 2008 when Ferrari had the best car but now there are at least 4 teams capable to fight for victory.
            I never believed Massa was WDC stuff. In 2008 he was just lucky. Ferrari had a good car, their direct rivals McLaren had only one competitive driver who was constantly ruining his championship chances by making mistakes and collecting penalties, Alonso was stuck in an uncompetitive Renault + a little help from the FIA in Belgium and voila – Massa was championship contender. Today’s style of racing tends to reveal more the driver’s talent than it did in the previous years so it’s not a surprise to see Massa where he is.

          • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 16th May 2012, 15:49

            @klaas his performance relative to FA dropped. Stats will lead you nowhere.
            in 2007 the WC was at stake and he was not in the running. besides any Kimi team-mate will agree that kimi don give a damn about No.1 status as long as he is not No.2. That gave FM space.
            I agree that FM is not WDC material and he boasts more than he drives and he got lucky in 2008.
            But he is not a mediocre driver. Confidence goes a long way in achieving results.

          • herowassenna said on 16th May 2012, 21:53

            What a load of rubbish!
            Massa is one of F1′s elite, he is a GP winner. He has proven his worth over the years by beating Schumi and comprehensively out-pacing Kimi in their 2 1/2 seasons together.
            Yes, as written he boasted when Alonso joined that at this level you were always proving yourself and he had already proved himself.
            But he under-estimated Alonso massively.
            Anyone stating they were close on points at mid-season has forgotten Australia that year, Massa found himself ahead of a faster Alonso and defended to the point that Webber and Hamilton passed them both. Alonso was livid, he felt he could have won.
            Malaysia, Alonso had a gearbox problem all race, with downshifting etc and the car’s engine blew 2 laps from the end, yet he had looked racier than Massa in a healthy car.
            Alonso paid heavily for his Monaco FP3 crash, yet still finished 6th, Massa? Finished 4th after starting 4th.
            If anyone dislikes Alonso and Ferrari that much, that they have to keep mentioning Germany 2010, is completely naive about what F1 is really. Team-mates are there for the manufacturer.
            Look at how many times Red Bull have instructed Webber to not race, or Mclaren with DC countless times or with Kovi and Hamilton.
            What was that famous expression, “Heikki, Lewis is faster than you” 2008.
            Was it simply because it wasn’t Ferrari that it was ignored?

            My last point, how often does Smedley have to tell Massa how to drive the damn car? It’s a laughable situation.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th May 2012, 6:06

            @herowassenna – Massa did not beat Michael Schumacher- Schumacher won 7 races and ended up on 121 points, Massa won 2 and was on 80 points.

            Massa was one of F1′s elite up until and including 2009, when he got 22 points to Kimi’s 10, but now? When all of those 11 wins and 15 poles were before his accident? When he’s finishing a lap down on his teammate? I wish he would show some spirit and return to that 2008-09 form, but he hasn’t shown it.

          • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 17th May 2012, 14:35

            @herowassenna
            very convenient mate… Alonso must accept blame for Monaco and you left out other races that Massa finished ahead of Alonso. The point we make is simple. Just when he was finding his rhythm he was sidelined.

      • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 15th May 2012, 11:18

        I suspect it’s both. I think what happend at Germany 2010 happened just at the time when his confidence was being rebuilt, and just compounded any residual doubts he had. Remember that Massa is still a great driver, the problem is that he is with 23 other great drivers, and any lingering doubts, even ones which he is not aware of, could well be what’s causing that half second drop.

    • OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 5:10

      @Tony Dunn.
      Massa has never been the same since his team robbed him of a win on the anniversary of his accident.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2012, 15:02

        @klaas…I think that is well summed up.

        @OOliver…you may be right but let’s not forget that FM was already lagging behind FA in points enough so that the team had to make what was imho a mid-race decision that suddenly came up unexpectedly for them…both Red Bulls were looking to not score points that race and a win by the already higher point Ferrari driver FA would give him a leap upwards toward competing with SV and MW for the rest of the season. I don’t believe Ferrari started that race weekend expecting to have to make this decision, and even though it sucked for FM, FM hadn’t earned it up until then by being closer to or ahead of FA in the points standings.

        So the team may have robbed him of the win, but FM had already robbed himself of the chance for that call to have not been made. Had he been closer to FA or ahead in the points, they probably would have let things play out on the track and hoped SV and MW were actually being allowed to take points off each other too. With concerns that Red Bull was for SV, and with FA’s higher points count, FM’s fate was sealed that day.

        • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 16th May 2012, 17:35

          @robbie SV was third in that race.. so not sure what ya mean both redbulls were not scoring points.
          To be fair to Massa he was only outraced in Spain by Alonso. He finished 4-5 races ahead of Alonso in the others. Canada ofcourse Liuzzi ploughed into him ruining the race. And china Alonso almost took him out overtaking him en route to the pits.
          Ferrari simply made a mess of it..

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2012, 19:35

            My bad…wasn’t quite remembering it clearly…it was the fact that SV had pole and didn’t retain that position at the start of the race that gave Ferrari the idea they could put FA up much closer to the Red Bulls and particularly SV with a win. After the race and in spite of FM’s still respectable 2nd place, FM had 85 points to FA’s 123 which was 13 behind each Red Bull driver. My point remains FM hadn’t done enough to look to be their go-to guy by that point in the season with 2 macs and 2 red bulls ahead of FA once the dust of Germany settled.

          • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 17th May 2012, 14:45

            @robbie To be fair again. With results reversed(i.e. No Team Orders) FM would be at 92 and FA at 116. That’s 1 race win between them. I don’t think it was that big a difference. Mostly exaggerated by the new points system.
            IMHO he was doing very well uptil then.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th May 2012, 15:58

            Yeah, ok…I take your point, but I still say that given that they indeed made the team order, I think it is fair to say Ferrari saw FA ahead of FM at that point and needed to decide, given the standings of the two Macs and the two Red Bulls, that the 116 that FA would have had after that race would only be chipping away at those 4 drivers’ lead over FA (the leader at the time with 157 after Germany), so at that point I think they had to decide to start letting FA have the lion’s share of the points at Ferrari as their only answer to the two Macs and RBs.

            I won’t disagree with you that FM was doing very well, but I also don’t think Ferrari could just sentimentally let the points be split amongst their drivers any longer, and they saw an opportunity in Germany where it wasn’t going to be a Mac or a Red Bull that was going to take the big points for a change, so they needed to react.

            It sucked for FM but it was the reality of the situation at the time…the opportunity presented itself at that race and I think they correctly needed to stop splitting points and decide on one driver for the lion’s share. ie. I don’t think it was a blatant disregard for FM’s feelings, or a lacking of confidence in FM…it was just a math decision. One they wouldn’t have needed to make if it weren’t for 2 Macs and 2 RBs being ahead at the half way point of the season.

            I do take your point that 116 to 92 isn’t a big difference, and no question FM earned for it to get to that by leading the race at that time, but the team had to look at the greater picture, beyond the inter-team competition, at how to get a driver further up in the standings…giving FM more time to try to catch up to FA, let alone the other 4 drivers ahead of them, just didn’t make mathematical sense even if FM had 92 points instead of 85 at the end of the day. I’m sure they felt really bad for FM but they were looking at the Macs and Red Bulls as a constant threat of taking the bigger points in the coming races, thus limiting both FM and FA’s chances of stemming that tide. I think they had to ask the question, is FM going to win us the WDC this year? Given that they had to have had concerns as to whether FA was even going to do it, they sure couldn’t have had a lot of faith that FM was. Nothing personal, just how it worked out based on circumstances out of their control, namely the points tally of their competitors.

            I too felt bad for FM, and I sure took heart with his vehement response after the race insisting that he was ‘no Reubens’ meaning he himself felt he was given the opportunity on the team and was no bootlicker. Again…it was just the math, and at least FM had a shot from race one, unlike Reubens. If he was a Reubens he would have expected the call.

  6. David-A (@david-a) said on 15th May 2012, 0:55

    Felipe’s drop off has made itself felt. The Brazilian had picked up 49 points two years ago and 24 the following year, while so far this season he has just 2.

    Wow, almost a linear regression. I just don’t know what to say. I thought after 2011 that 2012 would be better on the logic that it could hardly get any worse, but here we are.

  7. disgruntled said on 15th May 2012, 0:58

    Massa’ s stocks will just keep decreasing the longer he stays at Ferrari. Will there be any interest from the midfield teams when he finally gets pushed? I mean if he had left last year he probably could have walked right into a race seat at Force India or Sauber. Seat are hard to get these days…he must show something soon or else he’s gonna slip right off the grid

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 15th May 2012, 11:10

      That’s true. Massa should know that his chances of getting an new contract at Ferrari are a long shot and should start thinking about his career options. The way Alonso he’s trashing him kinda makes it silly coming up with an excuse for every failed race and makes he looks inapt for an F1 seat, with so much young talent out there his experience will not be favored over skilled youngsters with potential worth investing on. Massa risks starting 2013 without an F1 seat and find asylum in Indy or worse, Brazilian Stock Car series…

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 15th May 2012, 1:34

    DAFUQ with that blue flag at the start of lap 2 there!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th May 2012, 9:22

      When I read what Keith wrote

      He took the lead at the start of lap two but the director missed it:

      I though about how not much has changed in TV directing either. Still missing important moves!

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 15th May 2012, 15:32

        @bascb thought the same! nothing has changed!

        I was thinking the other day about inboard cameras. You know they position them on the wing and stuff and in previous years they used to show them sometimes. Now they don’t…

        They even put some pointing to the front tyres, so it showed the movement of the tyre and suspension. It was very cool, and they don’t show that either anymore :(!

        To think last sunday they put a camera inside a carburator here in Argentina: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip7YZKcLiGk&feature=related

  9. Julian (@julian) said on 15th May 2012, 1:39

    I’ve seen this floating around a few sites now and figured I’d copy paste it here.
    Its a small gif of Alonso’s pitstop on the weekend.
    Its beautiful, almost completely symmetrical.
    http://i.imgur.com/mJcSj.gif

  10. xeroxpt (@) said on 15th May 2012, 2:08

    I was pretty sure that the HRT guys in general did little to help so did the spanish crew, today I read the exactly same thing from the bbc but who can blame them, this is pretty rare but as, I said before this experience should prepare F1 for more serious events and prevent silly mistakes, we dont know the cause of the fire yet but no one can argue that Sennas car was damaged and so should be Schumis conscience and the guy working unpacking Bruno Senna Lallis car, fortunately this was nothing no big damage done jut a big scare for some brave guys.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th May 2012, 6:53

      Loads of the pictures I saw had HRT personnel helping out.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th May 2012, 10:58

        Exactly, the guy some saw walking away then quickly returned with a fire extinguisher and helped put out the fire.

        In various pictures I saw a lot of Williams, Force India, Caterham (at the back of the pits), and some people from Toro Rosso, HRT, and Mercedes. And a couple of others as well.

    • bobo (@bobo) said on 15th May 2012, 9:31

      Why would you assume that the HRT staff wouldn’t help?

      My problem with the article is that the criticisms are damning but ambiguous. We are told that “incompetent” is a nice way to put it, but then all he says is that he had to “fight is way in” to see his employee. I for one I’m not convinced, and I felt that the firefighters took far too long to get to the fire…

      • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 15th May 2012, 12:00

        Incompetence by the FIA, simple as that. There were spectators, staff and personel at the track, there duty is to provide a safe environment. As the organizer of the event, they are responsible for making sure emergency procedures are implace until the close of proceedings.
        Next they will be pulling down the grandstands with people still in them.

  11. MjatNaz (@joebravo) said on 15th May 2012, 2:14

    Good.It’s about time..sooner the better..

  12. Maybe someone can help me out, here, because everything that has come out of Whitmarsh’s mouth since Saturday has sounded like a steaming load of BS to me, but maybe that’s just my ignorance. Is it even possible that they would not have realized Hamilton’s car was underfueled until he was “part way through that last qualifying lap”? I mean, for real? The quotes from Whitmarsh in this article are especially ludicrous.

    We didn’t know exactly what had happened, frankly. The data told us we had less fuel in there than we would have liked and we didn’t know whether the data was right or wrong. You then have to take a view and I took the view that I wanted to give Lewis the opportunity to be on pole.

    Hahaha! Okay, dude. I don’t even want to ruin the rest of it for you if you haven’t read it, because it’s comedy gold.

    What he’s really saying, it seems to me, is yeah, we knew full well he was light on fuel all along, but we figured, hey, what’s the worst that will happen? When we’re caught, we can just start babbling about force majeure, and maybe someone will buy it. Worth a try! What’s a couple of places on the grid?

    Well, looks like it ended up being worse than he thought. But that’s not anything anyone doesn’t already know. I guess my basic question still stands: Wouldn’t they have known immediately that Hamilton didn’t have enough fuel in the car? As in, down to the nearest milliliter? This is telemetry on an F1 car, not the fuel gauge on my dad’s Jeep.

    (Forgive me if this has already been discussed to death in another thread; if it has and you would point me there, I would be grateful.)

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 15th May 2012, 4:45

      I’m actually very happy that Mclaren shot themselves in the foot. Love it.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 15th May 2012, 8:09

      @aka_robyn An F1 cars fueltank is not a box, or orb, not a regular idom, it is a very complex, “shapeless” frame, so you can not measure the content that easily. They cant use a simple floating gauge for measures, the telemetry can show them approximately how mutch fuel they have, they dont get an exact number until they drain the tank. MW said they tought it might be less than enough, and he had to took a chance. If the data is correct, they have to stop the car on track, and the obvius penatly would have been a fine, or cancelling that lap, on the other hand if the data is incorrect, they have enough fuel to make the lap, and he doesnt let Hamilton to do his last lap, they would started from P6.

      So in hindsight everyone is clever, but they had to make the decision in a few seconds. And I think they did the right thing. He gave Lewis the chance to get pole, informed him about a problem, but they did not have enough time to discuss it nor to bring HAM back to the pits fill him again and do another flyinglap. But it seems to me everyone is attacking Whitmarsh for anything that goes wrong, I know it is his responsibility as a team principal, but it is very rare that he actually make a decision about the race.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th May 2012, 11:02

        But @bag0 there was still enough time on the boards to call Hamilton in right after his warmup lap, top up fuel and get going again. And its not as if the penalty for failing to return to the pits is unknown to McLaren, so keeping 6th in the worst case would have given Hamilton a lot better a race than starting from the back.

      • Thanks for addressing my question about the fuel gauge, @bag0, although I have to say I find it astonishing that in a sport as technologically sophisticated as F1 there would be so much (or even a little) guesswork involved in something so important.

        Personally, I don’t attack Whitmarsh for every little thing that goes wrong on his watch. Human error happens, and it probably even happened every once in a while when Ron Dennis was in charge. What drives me crazy is the way he answers questions about it. Sometimes he reminds me of a particularly inept politician. That’s what I liked about that ESPNF1 article I linked to in my previous comment: four paragraphs of direct quotes illustrating what I mean.

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 16th May 2012, 18:14

        Hmmm Im not convinced.
        They know full well how much fuel they put in.
        They know full well how much fuel flows through the injectors. Any large recreational boat has an electronic flow-meter, and they are very precise.
        So, with that data, and a bit of subtraction, the information would have been known.

        For my perspective, they knew what they where doing, knew it was wrong, and took the calculated chance. Though it seems stupid to take such a chance when their current luck has been so crappy already this year.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 15th May 2012, 8:11

      @aka_robyn it has been discussed somewhat, but this is new information from Whitmarsh, so the story continues.

      Whitmarsh’s initial reply to the media, right after qualifying was obviously a load of rubbish, saying there was some unknown problem with the car. On Saturday evening, he was interviewed by the BBC, and he said something along the lines that it was difficult to be sure how much fuel there was in the car during the qualifying lap. And now, he at least admits that they knew Lewis was short on fuel on his flying lap.

      The real question is, indeed, when did they find out? Apparently, a mechanic made a mistake by initially draining the fuel tank, then realising his mistake and filling it. In case that mechanic was too embarrassed about his mistake to tell anyone about it, then it is possibly they only found out during the flying lap – I don’t know if there is someone (or something) monitoring the fuel levels at all time. In case the mechanic did alert the team, then they should have known before Hamilton had been able to complete the first sector of his outlap.

      As a Hamilton, and by extension McLaren fan (not a necessity, of course, but that’s how it worked for me), I am pretty disappointed, and I wonder what McLaren must do to shape up. One thing that was said about Williams this weekend was that the team had always had a great sporting ethic. Perhaps that’s not a bad place to start improving for McLaren.

      • The real question is, indeed, when did they find out?

        @adrianmorse Yeah, I really find it difficult to believe that the guy fuelling the car made that mistake, quickly tried to correct it, then sort of stood there whistling innocently, hoping no one would notice. I’ll bet everyone in the garage knew what had happened, and then it became a matter of taking a chance based on how underfuelled they thought the car might be.

        And I’m still amazed that there could be so much guesswork involved in determining fuel levels. They have some pretty smart engineers working on these cars; maybe they could set a couple of them to work on figuring out a way to get fuel level data they could have some confidence in?

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 15th May 2012, 17:38

        As far as what he knew and when. No, they don’t have fuel floats in the tank. But I believe they know with great precision the suspension loading of the car. They would easily know the difference on the scope of a kilogram or two. And in qualifying, they would be working within very precise windows of fuel load and the engineers would be watching that telemetry on suspension loading and on fuel-consumption like a hawk throughout the outlap to make sure the fast lap would begin with the ideal amunt of fuel. From the second Hamilton turned out into the pitlane they could have known. I even believe he said the figured it out on the outlap. So yes, all of Whitmarsh’s subsequent comments have been like the thirteenth chiming of the clock.

  13. Mike (@mike) said on 15th May 2012, 4:35

    @Bob Fearnley

    I wonder if they were volunteers?
    F1 rarely pays marshals and various other groups.

  14. OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 4:57

    Withmarsh’s confession has shown us who the real architect of liegate was. Making Dave Ryan take one for the team when he himself made the decision.
    He probably assumed wrongly the worse was Hamilton and Button starting 10th and 11th.
    Now this goes to show Hamilton’s race engineeer
    gets his decisions made for him by Withmarsh which explains all those strange strategies that drops Hamilton in traffic. Because Withmarsh can overule his engineers.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th May 2012, 5:45

      Withmarsh’s confession has shown us who the real architect of liegate was. Making Dave Ryan take one for the team when he himself made the decision.

      I don’t see any proof of that. At all. just because Whitmarsh admitted responsibility for one mistake, it does not make him the guilty party in every mistake that follows.

      • OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 9:34

        @PM.
        What is all this talk about proof. Withmarsh lied immedately it happened what other proof do you need that this man is not the gentleman we assume he is. The fact he was the one who took the decision even shows his hand. He is in control, nothing happens without his knowledge.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th May 2012, 11:03

          Correlation does not imply causation. Just because Whitmarsh admitted a mistake in one situation, that does not automatically put him in the wrong for every situation before or afterwards.

          You clearly think Whitmarsh is unfit to run McLaren, and you’ve rushed to judge him on one situation, holding up an unrelated incident from three years later as proof of your claims.

          • OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 16:07

            Well I’ve had the whole of 2009 – mid 2012 to come to my conclusion. Things that didn’t make sense via his comments after Button won for Brawn became clearer in 2010. And some things which happened in 2010 and 2011 have cemented my opinion. 2012 is for him to expose himself and he has been doing a good job of it.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 15th May 2012, 17:30

      I can’t sign on to conspiracies about race strategy, but his comments are quite disappointing. He still continues to suggest that his decision to have Hamilton complete an out-lap and a qualifying lap, knowing he was short-filled, was based on the theory that the penalty was not going to be that bad. This of course is exactly whty the stewards threw the book at him—for trying to “game” the rules. It shows disrespect for the stewards and for the sport. He was lucky McLaren were not told to load up their trucks. Furthermore, his explanation makes him look pretty daft. Even if he thought the penalty would be 10 places, Hamilton was in position to be on row 2 with just his first lap. So his cost-benefit analysis of risking the penalty was just dumb. It would be one thing if this were not a pattern. Keith pointed out the debacle at Singapore when they messed up his fueling and left Hamilton short of time (even when Hamilton controversially squeezed past Massa on the out-lap). Then were was also the Suzuka debacle where they left it razor-close on time. Then were was the fueling issue in China last year where Hamilton was released for the formation with literally seconds to spare, with the engine-cover off and fuel-soaked towels everywhere (which also led to a new rule on having all your body work on before leaving for the grid, that McLaren will probably run afoul of soon enough). Sure, stuff happens, but Whitmarsh’s comments suggests to me that his decision-making process has problems.

      • OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 20:46

        A very fair and unbiased opinion. Your observations when combined with the pit stop strategies, underline a very calculated pattern that suggests something beyond incompetence.
        If he jut did his thing and left it at that, it would be fine. But he then goes on to give a great speech that contradicts every of his actions.
        It is just ridiculous to see Vettel and Alonso leading the drivers championship, while Mclaren is close to dropping to 3rd in the constructors. All these while Ferrari are struggling to up the pace of their cars. Ferrari would give an arm to have the speed of the Mclarens and they would use it wisely.
        This is what he had to say about Hamilton, and I have no idea what he means..

        Asked if Hamilton might be persuaded to leave the
        team following the hiccups, Whitmarsh replied: “No,
        I don’t. He has got to build the support of the team,
        he has got to feel comfortable doing it, he has got
        to want to drive and he is in good shape. I look
        forward to working with him for a long time to come.”

        http://www.planet-f1.com/driver/3213/7758100/Whitmarsh-Gaffes-won-t-affect-Lewis-talks

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th May 2012, 15:21

          @dmw…I highly doubt Mac was lucky they didn’t have to load up their trucks…my goodness if that mistake was worthy of being barred for the weekend, how the face of F1 would look so so different. If Whitmarsh is to be accused of trying to pull the wool over the stewards eyes and showing disrespect as you call it, then all teams are guilty of the same on very many occasions and at least one team per race weekend would be barred.

          @OOliver…let’s not forget that last year LH admitted to having too much fun, which cost him training time, which he admits cost him performance on race weekends. I think Whitmarsh is keeping that in perspective when he says that as of this past race LH has elevated himself in his eyes visa vie the way LH handled the unfortunate circumstances this weekend and so far this season. The onus has been on LH to prove he is worthy of the ride after throwing it away last year with mental mistakes and the admittance that some of it was self-inflicted which must have been very disheartening for the team and it’s sponsors to hear. I think at this point Whitmarsh is being extremely fair and generous to LH to have given him the opportunity to redeem himself and then to admit now LH is seen in a much better light by him.

  15. OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 5:02

    Regarding Massa, he was denied points by stopping way too early for his drive throught.
    Massa was ahead of Hamilton with Vettel behind and closing up.
    Massa stopped at least 2 laps earlier than Vettel even though Vettel’s penalty was announced first.
    Vettel was then able to make up more ground in those 2 laps and came back out well ahead of Massa and crucially, ahead of some heavy traffic.
    Timing is everything.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th May 2012, 5:49

      Massa stopped at least 2 laps earlier than Vettel even though Vettel’s penalty was announced first.

      Actually, they were announced concurrently. When the graphic informing viewers that Vettel had recevived a penalty disappeared, it was immediately replaced by one informing us that Massa had a penalty. And the teams are informed before the television audiences.

      • OOliver said on 15th May 2012, 10:20

        I agree with that. But Massa stopped too early still. He may not have finished 6th but 9th or 10th was a possibility.

        • Solo (@solo) said on 15th May 2012, 17:46

          You are wrong. Massa would have gained nothing by delaying his drive-threw. Vettel delayed it as much as he could because he just changed to new tyres and could make fast times so he can open some difference and not lose too much after the drive-threw.
          But Massa was already on worn tyres, he wasn’t gaining any time by staying out. He couldn’t make fast laps and fighting with Hamilton made him go even slower.

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