Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2012

Who should Ferrari replace Felipe Massa with?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2012Felipe Massa’s poor start to the season has fuelled speculation he will be replaced by Ferrari at the end of the season, if not sooner.

Ferrari themselves highlighted the gulf between Massa and team mate Fernando Alonso on Monday:

“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 two.

“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.”

Ferrari continue to rubbish rumours that Massa will be replaced any time soon, writing the following on Twitter yesterday:

“What was published on our web site Monday evening just reflected what [Stefano] Domenicali said Sunday night about Felipe, nothing more than this!

“Anyway, someone has found a good opportunity to promote the umpteenth candidate to replace Felipe: this time is [Jerome] D’Ambrosio…”

It’s an inescapable fact that Massa has woefully under-performed so far this year. He has been out-qualified 5-0 by Alonso and out-raced 4-0 (Massa retired in Australia while running well behind his team mate). He’s been behind Alonso for all bar 13 of 280 racing laps.

Nor is this atypical of Massa’s performance since the pair became team mates. He was out-qualified 15-4 by Alonso in the last two seasons. In the races, he was beaten 13-4 in 2010 and 13-2 in 2011:

This has inevitably prompted rumours about his future, and plenty of spurious headlines tipping all manner of drivers to take Massa’s seat. But the bottom line is it’s surprising Ferrari have put up with such poor performance this long and inconceivable they would be happy for it to continue.

With that in mind, what should Ferrari look for in a replacement?

Should they follow McLaren’s lead in pairing up two world champions? Should they settle for a safe ‘number two’ driver alongside Alonso? Or should they keep the faith with Massa for another year?

Being Ferrari, they could take their pick of practically any driver on the grid. For the purposes of this poll I’ve omitted those who are known to have contracts for next year with top teams (Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen). I’ve also included a few options of drivers who have recently left F1 and are looking to enter the sport.

Who do you think should be Alonso’s team mate next year? Select from the options below and explain your choice in the comments.

Who should Ferrari replace Felipe Massa with?

  • Mark Webber (7%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (4%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (1%)
  • Paul di Resta (8%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (6%)
  • Sergio Perez (28%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (1%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (4%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (2%)
  • Timo Glock (2%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Robert Kubica (12%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (2%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (2%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (2%)
  • Adrian Sutil (8%)
  • Someone else (2%)
  • They should keep Massa (4%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (3%)

Total Voters: 797

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

207 comments on “Who should Ferrari replace Felipe Massa with?”

  1. No love for Alguersuari?

    1. Not sure a completely Spanish lineup would be the thing for Ferrari. Although having an Alonso cloned and into the car might do miracles (if he doesn’t fall out with the original Alonso over who comes first).

      I think that if Webber wants, he might fit right in at Ferrari. Taking Sutil could be a solution as well, they might start giving him a few FP3 sessions, although preferably they would put him in the car for some of the races this year to get him up and running then.
      And if Hamilton would fancy a go at the prancing horse they should grab him with both hands (same would go for either Vettel or Button, probably for Rosberg as well). Maybe a Heikki or a Timo might be interested?

      For the rest, I think its still a bit too early to call for the likes of Hulk, Di Resta, Perez and others without a win under their belt, as Ferrari clearly needs to have potential or even better proven GP winners in the team to even think of the constructors title.

      1. thekingofspa (@)
        17th May 2012, 16:36

        I think we have a COTD…

      2. And if Hamilton would fancy a go at the prancing horse they should grab him with both hands

        I think a certain Fernando might have a say about this! No chance in a million years.

        1. @john-h I wouldn’t be too sure about that. It’s pretty well publicised that Hamilton and Alonso now get on pretty well; although granted, them being team mates again might be a stretch.

          I went for Sutil, as I don’t think anyone currently with one of the other teams should leave. But if I had to pick one of those drivers it would be Kovaleinen 100%.

        2. @john-h ummh not so sure. I think they’d get along alright now that Hamilton is a established top tier driver.

          And it would be interesting as heck!

      3. i’d say bring back Badoer, just for the fun of it. He can’t do much worse then Massa! :P

        1. disgruntled
          18th May 2012, 1:29


        2. I was going to say just that but you beat me to it! Well done sir.

        3. Massa will not be replaced this year. But if he was, Badoer is the perfect choice. Ferrari have no ambitions to win the WCC: it’s far more importance to keep Alonso’s ego inflated by serving up a sacrificial victim in the second car. It doesn’t matter who the second driver is: ‘Fernando will always be faster than you’.

      4. As you say Webber would probably fit well with Ferrari and provide the solid back-up points Ferrari need, he seems to get decent results from all level of cars and maybe just maybe in a Ferrari he might even make some good starts.

    2. Yeah, Alguersuari is not here as an option but I found quite more sad not to have KUBICA.

      Have you loose all hope here Keith?

      I would love to see the Polish recovering his form in a Ferrari, helped by his very close friend Fernando.

      We have very short memory.

      1. Why the hell I do not have a second look just to check?

        Forget about all I said!!!

      2. Especially as Alguersuari is Pirelli test driver of course. Any avantage with these crazy tyres has to be a bonus for Ferrari. I think its a good shout. Perez is the obvious choice I suppose though.

        If I were Ferrari though, I would go for Sutil because personally I think he still has bags of potential in the right environment.

    3. @pwaa I’ve added Alguersuari (and Buemi), but I can’t see Ferrari being all that eager to hire Red Bull’s cast-offs.

      @idr Kubica is already on there, though it’s gone very quiet around him at the moment. Not a good sign.

      1. If I were Ferrari, and Kubica turned out to be capable of racing, I would give him a one year contract with a potential extension. If he is capable of racing, and that is a big if, I cannot see him performing worse than Massa is at the moment. I am fairly confident he would have scored 2 points by now. If, on the other hand, it turns out that he is just as or nearly as quick as he was, Ferrari have got their hands on a phenomenal driver for a fraction of the price and before the competition has become aware of his return.

        Perez is good, but I would not put him in a Ferrari just yet. Firstly, I do not think he has not shown all that much (he has had some good performances, but let’s not get carried away) and I hardly think Alonso will be a good teammate for him. Alonso could help Kubica much more – they have a similar attitudes, a similar driving style, and are, at the end of the day, friends. For how much that counts in Formula 1 I am not too sure, but considering Kubica is handicapped, I cannot see Alonso being ruthless towards him.

        Either way, they need some fresh blood.

        1. jimscreechy (@)
          17th May 2012, 21:13

          Kubica! give it a reat. I bet you still harp on about when you could get a loaf of bread, a stick of butter and a newspaper for 3 and 6.

      2. Apparently he is testing rally cars at the moment: http://robertscomeback.blogspot.com.au/

      3. Keith, you forgot JARNO TRULLI!
        Ferrari has somewhat become the Italian driver graveyard! A place where Italian drivers can retire in honour!

    4. xeroxpt (@)
      17th May 2012, 19:31

      look at the Force Indias probably the slowest car of the mid teams but one of the strongest line-ups both Di Resta and Hulk seem to make no mistakes, I would love to see one of them at Ferrari or perhaps Bottas, Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso guys still make too many mistakes, I cant think of any other guys that could match Alonso both technically and Mentally.

    5. Ben (@gogolf03)
      18th May 2012, 1:00

      I would make Alguersuari my dark horse pick for Ferrari in 2013. What has been the single most tumultuous element of the 2012 season? Pirelli tyres of course and driving within the threshold of maximum performance. Who better to have driving for your team but the principle Pirelli test driver? Alguersuari is young (22) and could be a good compliment to the experience of Alonso without crowding his influence within the team. Alguersuari also scored 11 more points than Buemi in 2011 but politicking the wrong way with Marko proved fatal.

      Farrari have all their eggs in one basket with Alonso. Take Alguersari for a driver with unique experiences and enough heart to co-commentate BBC radio just to be engaged with formula 1.

      1. Ferrari operate on a number #1 driver system, so you can safely dismiss Ferrari considering anyone with talent to compete with Alonso, and somebody who would accept to be the number #2 driver.

        Mark Webber offers the inside information of the magic behind the RedBull barn house, and he has reached that understanding of being a number #2 driver last season (although making his intentions to be considered to be a #1 driver this year as you would expect every year at the start of the season). And then you would expect Webber to retire after his one year stint and to be replaced with a younger more talented driver such as Sergio Perez, or even a Ferrari bred rookie like the McLaren born and bred Hamilton.

        If we were to see Massa drop out this season I think we might see Alguersuari or some novelty Italian Drivers young or Experienced, the Kubica link that has also been mentioned a bit is another very sound option, to sign a contract for next season and do Friday sessions instead of Massa to warm back into the sport.


        1. If I was choosing, it’d be Webber like I voted.
          But it is too early to make a perfect pick but too late to dismiss Massa.
          They’ve gotto do it after the next race if he finishes behind Alonso even with .100s gap.
          Among the top teams, Only the Mercedes have sort of similar unbalanced driver lineup with MS underperforming.

  2. I think Sergio Perez would be a great pick, I absolutely loved watching him fight in Malaysia and think he is a good young talent on the grid!

  3. Sergio Perez. But Romain Grosjean is also good.

    1. Jayfreese (@)
      17th May 2012, 15:13

      Heikki Kovalainen

      1. That would be Alonso’s choice.

        1. Because he has a thing for firemen?

  4. Slight glitch in the poll their, Keith. The poll allows you to vote to replace Felipe Massa with Felipe Massa.

    1. @pianoshizzle Maybe that’s for the pre-2009 version of Massa?

      1. good call. I wouldn’t mind having the pre2009 Massa back. A lot less of the ‘whiney and blame Hamilton and everyone else’ attitude wouldn’t go a miss

    2. @pianoshizzle Thanks, I’ve consolidated the two options into one and combined their votes (1+5 of them at the moment).

    3. I’m guessing that Felipe Massa got no votes anyways. It’s amazing how I look at that long list of potential Ferrari drivers, and all of them deserve that seat more than Massa. (and that includes Nick Heidfeld :) )

      1. I actually voted for Heidfeld, what Ferrari needs in their number two car right now is consistency and a good benchmark, both of which he can provide

  5. I’d go for Webber simply because a young driver would have their career ruined by Alonso.

    1. very true. he clearly need a SECOND driver.

      1. I’d better say that Alonso always MAKES second drivers. Except for Hamilton.

    2. Like Hamilton’s career was ruined by Alonso? ;)

      1. Would like to see Lewis try that at Ferrari ;)

        Without Ron backing him up, he will do about as well as Massa.

        1. James (@goodyear92)
          17th May 2012, 20:43

          I don’t think so. I think Alonso and Hamilton would easily be the best driver line-up on the grid. I would love to see them as teammates again and it might be possible. Stefano was making a point of mentioning how well Lewis did in Spain to both BBC, and Sky F1. Maybe he’s interested ;)

      2. @driftin A good point; however, Hamilton is a phenomenon. Moreover, Alonso was new to the team and Ron Dennis’ empire never felt like the perfect environment for him, while Hamilton had grown up there.

        1. But it Mclaren is obviously not more heaven for Hamilton. He just might love to try at prancing horse. I would like to see it eventhough I voted differently.

      3. Ron Dennis ruined Alonso´s career at McLaren..

        1. Totally agree. One of the most shameful scene was when Hamilton’ s father denounced alonso and ron Dennis allowed that

  6. Perez for me.

    I don’t feel entirely comfortable voting for him now, I think he still needs to put in some more consistent and good performances to be seriously considered, however, I really can’t see Ferrari putting up with Massa for another year.

    I’ve argued in the past that it serves them well to have Massa be in the team, he knows his place and that seems to suit Ferrari’s often-employed philosophy of a clear number 1 and 2. However, new teams like Lotus and Mercedes are starting to become very competitive so Ferrari can’t afford to drop off everyone’s radar. They need a shake-up for the fans and certainly one for the constructors championship, especially if the Concorde Agreement multiplier is to be reset and they can no longer ride on the tails off former glory when it comes to the end of season FOM payout.

    1. I agree that Perez looks good for the future, but Ferrari need good points right now and maybe Perez is looking good because the Sauber is good (probably better than the Ferrari), he may not be so impressive driving a dog.

      1. Soon we’ll hear that Catheram is better than Ferrari. Seriously, I know that people like to glorify Alonso, by saying that he’s doing wonders in a mediocre car but this is getting really old now. More importantly, I don’t think it’s true. Ferrari has one of the best cars on the grid. They are not 100% happy with it, because it’s not a dominant car. However it’s a very good machine, capable of podiums and GP wins in the hands of a good driver. The problem is, that Ferrari only has one good driver now.

        1. *Caterham

          Sorry for the typo.

        2. 1 of the 3
          18th May 2012, 7:56

          Agree with this %100. I was actually wondering if anyone else thought the same and, well, you’ve said it.

          I feel that the environment of Alonso being a clear #1 at Ferrari helps him even more than having the perfect car. In other words, he does have the perfect car because of the atmosphere – I feel some people underestimate the atmosphere for Alonso. But it seems that at least %50 of Alonso being Alonso is indeed that Ferrari atmosphere and the team environment at Maranello.

          1. We’ll never know how the Ferrari is if Alonso performances so good and Massa so bad. Is Alonso so good? Is Massa so bad? I think Ham and Alo at the Ferrari would show the real performace. I’t would be great but I think Ferrari will support Alonso as McLaren did with Hamilton.

        3. Mercapecih
          20th May 2012, 1:41

          I think Alonso is that good..I respectfully disagree wit you. Almost every F1 analyst and almost anybody on the grid would tell you that he is probably the best driver; the best in terms of most complete, his ability to make the car faster is quite famous. I prefer LH driving style, Alonso reminds me to Prots (a calculator, driving to perfection without mistakes getting the maximum possible points without risking a DNF)

  7. I think there’s just one obvious choice: Sergio Perez. He’s Ferrari’s future, really, and he has showed great speed in the Sauber.

    But if they feel it’d be too soon to get him in the Ferrari, then they could keep Massa going? why not? Afterall, Felipe’s been sucking badly in recent seasons, so it’s obviously not “urgent” for them to drop him off, otherwise they’d have done it, like they did with Raikkonen back in 2009, paying his contract but getting someone else.

  8. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    17th May 2012, 13:49

    Paul di Resta.

    Because he isn’t Sergio Perez. (Don’t go Checo!)

    1. Please keep that Resta guy away from Ferrari. He is annoying enough.

      1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
        18th May 2012, 8:00

        @egsgeg That is a spectacularly good point.

      1. Can’t see Di Resta going anywhere else than Mercedes. If Michael retires and Mercedes doesn’t, that is.

  9. I voted Kamui (only because I want to see him in a top team) but I think they will go for Perez.

    1. Kamui is teh real deal. My pick.

      Does Stefano Domenicali follows F1 Fanatic?

    2. Yes but he has a better car now at Sauber.

    3. Shane (@shane-pinnell)
      18th May 2012, 4:31


  10. I do think Massa should be replaced but what good would it do? Giancarlo in 2009 did a horrid job albeit the Ferrari wasn’t great, but still…an experienced current driver came in and couldn’t adapt. Even after a 2nd place at Spa.

    If they did plump to find a replacement, realistically I can’t really see past Perez, I don’t think he will do much better than Felipe but he will end up at Ferrari at some point anyway, so for him to get used to the Maranello outfit (I mean as an actual GP driver) will be very valuable to him. I think his quality is exaggerated though, especially after Malaysia but undoubtedly he will be a race winner in a capable car.

    But if this Ferrari turns out to be a genuine title challenger for the rest of the season (I’m not saying Perez couldn’t deliver but he wouldn’t score big points), they will need a driver that can deliver results every race. I don’t think Massa will score big points for Ferrari this year even if Fernando ends up winning 6-7 races over the season so they need an experienced capable driver.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say Barrichello but it is unlikely to happen.

    1. I agree it is unlikely but I want to see him on the podium again or better yet win at Brazil, he definitely deserves it.

  11. matthewf1 (@)
    17th May 2012, 13:57

    Heidfeld lol – did you have a smerk on your face when you added him to this list Keith:-)

    Kovalainen would be a good choice. As many people have said, Perez could have his career ruined by joining Alonso now. Heikki is older, and would be a better fit at this point in time. He has been very solid for Lotus/Caterham for 2.25 years, and I think he deserves another go in a non GP2 car.

    A question – do you thin Ferrari would consult Alonso about whether to replace Massa, and if so, also ask Fernando who he would like as a team mate?

    1. they are very much discussing everything from the car to the daily meals with him. he’ll be making a big influence on that decision

    2. I’m not laughing. Heidfeld makes a lot of sense. He wants to get back in the sport, he is good, and he is available. Ferrari should go for Perez or Kobayashi, but it’s not like they have standing contract options. I should say, unless they have those options, becuase who can know. But for Perez at least he should not be so keei. He has a car that could develop into a race winner. He has the personal backing of the richest man in the world. And he is still very young. Ferrari is Ferrari but not everyone necessarily views it as the most important thing in a career to wear red. Fisi fulfillled his life long dream, but left the sport looking slightly vanquished after grappling with that unruly car. And this year we sense that the Ferrari is not exactly the easiest to get along with. If Perez decided to leave the Slim fold for Ferrari, and ended up looking foolish like all of Alonso’s teammates, bar one, it would have been a massive career error. Look at who Alonso has left bloodied and creeping away looking to repair his reputation. Piquet Jr., Kovalainen, Fisichella, Trulli. All of those guys were very highly rated before they landed on Planet Alonso.

    3. If you can laugh at NH being included in that list then I wonder that you do admire NK, coz you seem fine with NK rather than NH!

      Common man, it’s just a list!

  12. I wouldn’t wish Ferrari on any of the current drivers, especially my favourites. But for those out of the game and needing to get back in, it must surely be a good option. I voted for Sutil – I’d like to see him back in F1.

    1. i see sutil as an option to replace MS next year. #german

    2. I went for Sutil as well. He has displayed very good race pace, qualifying pace and experience. He would be a perfect match for Alonso as I rate Sutil in the top 7 or 8 drivers which would give them the Championship points they need without interfering with Alonso’s race position.

    3. Yeah, Sutil would be my second choice after Kubica.

      1. I was going to vote for Kubica but I am a bit concerned with the lack of news this past month. If he returned I am sure he would still be one of the best but I would like some news on how he is doing at the moment.

    4. I voted for Sutil as well. There have been far more undeserving drivers who have gotten a shot at top teams, instead Sutil has battled it out at the back of the field, and was clearly the class of the midfield in 2010 and 2011. He deserves at least an opportunity to test for Ferrari

    5. Absolutely Sutil, i tipped him for a ferrari seat while he was in his second season (first year of FIF1), and i think he’d make a good driver there. He did pretty well last year as well, despite setbacks.

  13. malaysia was a wet race. lets not forget that. is there is one young driver most consistant, its kaumi. but then again, who ever goes will be a side kick to alonso till the time takes career retirement.

  14. Everyone thinks Perez will be a threat if paired with Alonso simply because of what happened five years ago with Lewis Hamilton. For me, that situation will not happen again because Fernando is too powerfull at Ferrari and has the teams backing. He has, lets face it, made their dog of a car look respectable this year and Ferrari and wise enough to realise this.
    Alonso ran foul of McLaren because Hamilton’s success was at the time in Ron Dennis’ best interests as Hamilton was Ron’s up and coming driver. It had nothing to do with Lewis being British but everything to do with lining Ron Dennis’ pocket.
    Personally, I would put Perez in the sister Ferrari.

    1. Totallly agree mate!!

      2007 wasn’t Alonso’s or Hamilton’s fault – it was Ron Dennis’!!!!!

  15. I’ve voted Heikki Kovalainen. I’d say Perez, but in my opinion it’s too soon for him as he’s still making some mistakes. He needs to earn his apprenticeship in a lower team where he can improve his driving before the spotlight of being a top team is turned on him.

    I’d love to see Kubica back, but who knows if he’s going to be fit, and he hasn’t driven a wheel in anger in two years now. With the best will in the world, it’s not a chance I would be taking, personally.

    Heikki, while not immediately an obvious choice, has really shown some promise while driving for Loterham. He’s consistently outperformed his teammates, and shown a really solid consistency. He’s also managed to put in great performances despite not being in a good car, in a manner frankly not that unlike Alonso himself. If he’s able to show that level of motivation driving a car which has no hope of driving for points, imagine what he might be able to achieve in a car which could fight for wins. It’d make or break him one way or the other, but I think he’s driving much better than he ever did for McLaren or Renault, and deserves to get a chance at the sharp end of the grid. Let’s face it, out of the options available, he’s one of the few proven race winners.

    1. matthewf1 (@)
      17th May 2012, 14:06

      Loterham lol

    2. He’s also managed to put in great performances despite not being in a good car, in a manner frankly not that unlike Alonso himself…

      …Let’s face it, out of the options available, he’s one of the few proven race winners.

      Yes, one race win where Felipe Massa’s car broke down and Hamilton had a puncture, versus Lewis Hamilton’s 7 race wins in the same car. Basically, I see him as a bit of a Fisichella unless he proves me wrong. Great when there are low expectations, goes missing when there are high expectations.

      1. Perhaps, although I don’t think you can look at the lower points of a driver’s very early career as examples of how good their ultimate potential may be. Some drivers are brilliant out of the box, while others need time to improve. I’d say that while driving towards the back of the field, Heikki has done a lot of maturing and has improved immensely as a driver. He’s taken one of the most useless cars on the grid and generally made the absolute best of it. There’s the possibility that he’d lose that consistency if put into a better car, but I think at the least he’s earned himself the opportunity to show what he can do.

      2. It is imho fair to say the Kovalainen’s results at mclaren and renault are not really saying he is top class driver. But his more recent performances at loterham have kind of cleared his name. While at mclaren heikki was constantly beaten by lewis at caterham heikki has done as well as he could have. He has grabbed every opportunity with both hands and is clearly getting much more out the car than his team mates.

        Looking at kovalainen’s future the loterham is clearly a dead end. At best that team can fight at the tail pack of the mid field next year. Scoring points in some races is a possibility. But at the same time the next year could be yet another “not there yet” year. Heikki definitely needs better car and has proven he earns it.

        The ferrari seat is not the dream seat either. You are clear number 2. I do not want to put perez, kamui or kovalainen into that seat. Sutil could do it better and is more inclined to accept such offer as well. Perez and kamui have good car at sauber and lots of years ahead of them. Heikki has really bad car but less years as well. Number 2 driver might pay well for kovalainen but it is also career suicide. I don’t really know what Kovalainen should do but I don’t see ferrari a good option.

      3. I think in Renault Kovalainen suffered a very bad car. And in McLaren he suffered the Ron Denis way to understand equality and mates racing. Kovalainen left McLaren saying the same bad things that Alonso argued.

        1. @raulz – Alonso was strong enough to match Hamilton. Kovalainen, as I said, could only win 1 race in a championship winning car. How is Heikki supposed to do well alongside Alonso?

          1. Do we have to remind you why we even have this conversation?

    3. @mazdachris I also think that Kovalainen is capable of much more than he can realistically achieve with Caterham but I don’t want him to join Ferrari. I’d rather like to see him with Lotus or Mercedes. I firmly believe he can become a world champion but not with Alonso’s Ferrari. And, even Heikki is never going to reach the DWC heights, I still agree with the saying: It is better to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.

    4. Yes Heikki is also an excellent choice, for the reasons you state.

  16. to be honest I think Glock would suit Ferrari better than Perez…at least right now…

    1. Agreed. Glock is the most experienced and competent driver at the back of the grid at the moment, with the exception of Kovaleinen, who was a disappointment at McLaren.

  17. As much as I am an Alonso fan, I for one, would love to see Lewis in that Ferrari.
    1. 2007 is long past, both have changed enormously, and fortunately in a positive way
    2. I would love to see how does Lewis perform in that ferrari
    3. More than anything else, lets face it, these two are definitely the best from the current grid, and they even as team mates provide ample excitement in terms of pure wheel to wheel racing

    And the way Lewis greeted in the post-quali press conf in Barcelona, I wish this line up could be true

    1. That dovetails I suppose with the talk about Hamilton storming away from McLaren if they keep up their pathetic pit work and strategy. Hamilton and Alonso never had a beef. That is an urban legend. To the contrary, they probably have the greatest mutual respect on the grid. They might very well race well together in a Whitmarsh McLaren team. However, I’m not sure that things would be so smooth in the ultra traditional Latin-focused, TV-smashing, Luca-run Ferrari squad. Hamilton would be on the outs from the board room on down and this is a team philosophically devoted to having a lead driver.

      1. True, Hamilton would be received now at Ferrari as bad as Alonso was in McLaren. The problem with 2007 is that these traumatic things brake something that never again get repaired. Alonso said too mach about McLaren to come back and also Hamilton spoke too much about Ferrari in the past. Fans don’t forget when they say something bad.

  18. Voted D’Ambrosio. Don’t really know why, he impressed me last year even when he was driving a car that makes it VERY hard to make an impression at all. But if you consider how quickly people forgot about Di Grassi while still talking about D’Ambrosio, I think it’s fair to say he did great last year. He’s probably not the greatest racing driver to have ever lived, but I’m sure he’ll do great. He comes across as a very nice guy in interviews too.

  19. My poetic nature screams for el Rubino to return. The #2 seat at Ferrari has a permenant imprint of his a$$ already :-)

    1. I agree – they need someone – THIS YEAR – that will be able to get the best out of this car – and RB has driven many different cars in his illustrious career

  20. If it was to be a young driver, then it would no doubt be Perez. But that would be risky for his career and for Ferrari. Webber is an experienced option but the Toro Rosso drivers won’t be ready for RBR yet so Red Bull will keep him.
    I voted Sutil because his career can not be ruined by Alonso because he is currently without a seat but he is experienced, dependable and consistent. A perfect number 2 for Alonso.

  21. Fisichella was supposedly an underrated driver and championship material, until Alonso buried him in 2005, and even deeper in 2006.
    Piquet Jr. had a lot of potential until Alonso buried him in 2008-09.
    Grosjean looked very promising based on his junior F1 achievements, until Alonso buried him in 2009. He came back to the sport 3 years later and finally has a bit of credibility.

    Don’t go to Ferrari Checo, he’s evil!

    1. Yes! Take care, Checo!

    2. This is why Ferrari needs to take a driver with nothing to lose, but who still has the skill to avoid embarrass the prancing horse. A professional who will come in, shut up, do his job, and collect his pay.
      Any career asperations will wither in the bright sun of FA.

    3. Well, you have to see it as an oportunity. Imagine how it would be if you win Alonso. hamilton did it. Everybody wants to success in a good car and if you beat Alonso then it’s perfect.

  22. Jules Bianchi

    1. I agree, he damn quick, I think there’s a lot of potential in the Frenchman – but I really want to see more of his FP1 drives before I’m fully certain.
      As for Ferrari though, bringing a new driver to the team, could do Ferrari great credit, showing more confidence in the whole team than they have done for the past few years.
      To me, bringing in an experienced driver alongside Alonso seems silly since even the top drivers would struggle to achieve near his standard straight away, possibly reflecting badly on the driver, the car and/or the team (unlike a new driver who is more like a clean slate).
      Fernando is a clear leader character and I think bringing a new young, quick driver that can learn at that level is key. If he starts too quick we could have a repeat of the ugly McLaren/Hamilton episode and if he isn’t ready it could be the unfortunate Renault/Grosjean situation. I think that level is where Bianchi could be by the end of the season, so it could be a solid move for the short term and long term.
      The seasons still young though and a lot could change between now and then, but at this moment that’s who I favour.

  23. if I were running Ferrari I would seriously consider putting Sutil in there for the rest of this season, possibly kicking him out if he doesn’t perform since many drivers wouldn’t leave mid-season.

  24. I don’t know who they have in mind, whether it be for sometime this season or for 2013, in terms of if they already know they want the best driver they can get to try to challenge and push FA, or they want a relative newby that will be a natural number two to FA. It feels to me like they like FM too much to cut him loose mid-season, and would rather see him starting to do better at Monaco and beyond than have to make a tough decision mid-season. But stranger things have happened. I hope they will seek out a top driver and not a natural number two to FA. I always hope for that on all the top teams. Hated the MS/Ferrari philosophy which was the most extreme example. If they replace FM mid-season it won’t be with a top driver.

    My fantasy option, which I think would be huge for Ferrari and for F1, which struck me when I saw these two drivers having a laugh together at the Ferrari tribute to Gilles, would be to see a return to F1, ala MS, of none other than Jacques Villeneuve.

  25. I would’ve voted for Perez but I don’t think it would be such a good idea at the moment. I think he should stick with Sauber until the end of this year and then consider a move to a bigger team. This is because the Sauber has shown it has clear pace anyway and has the potential to get good results on its own, so moving to a new team and having to adjust to a new car, mechanics, engineers etc would do him more harm than good in my opinion. We’ve seen in the past that drivers who have moved to Ferrari mid season (Badoer and Fisichella being the two most recent examples) have struggled to get used to it in the time needed, so maybe it would be best for him to stay put for the moment, and consider a move in the next year or two.

  26. Paul Di Resta can be a likely candidate. Force India Reserve Jules Bianchi is another Ferrari protege who has performed very well and whome they have publicised well too. To buy Di Resta out of his contract, they may sweeten it for Force India by offering some compensation for Bianchi. Vijay Mallya having a financially embattled airline would be more than happy with this. Though there is a possibility of a Maerceds clause in Di Resta’s contract. Another thing that goes for him is experience of winning championships and moreover beating Vettel as team mate.

    Heikki is OK, but I don’t think he will be in contention considering how woefully short he fell off Hamilton. There chance at top of championship is bleak, but they would want a driver who with Alonso can atleast take them to 2nd or 3rd and not be leapfrogged by French or German teams

    A cheap and effective but temp solution would be Sutil if they want to go there. They may offer him a contract till end of the season. He has been good in a fast car, but may be a little rusty and that may not go in his favor.

  27. Tough one. I really don’t want to see a driver I actually like go and race for Ferrari. Partly because they’re Ferrari, but mainly because I don’t want to see Perez playing second fiddle to anybody, especially Alonso. Genuinely don’t know who to pick.

    1. I’ll vote Perez though, based on who Ferrari should take rather than who I want them to take.

  28. The more fundamental question Ferrari need to ask themselves here is just what sort of team do they want to run?

    Are they intending to build themselves around Alonso with a strong, reliable but generally unthreatening number two as back up? If so, Mark Webber, Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock and (maybe) Vitaly Petrov would fit the bill. As would Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello, but I just can’t see Ferrari bringing back two drivers so clearly past their F1 sell-by dates. Webber has been the subject of recent speculation and he would probably be the best choice for the Scuderia, subject to him being able to rub along with Alonso.

    Are they intending to pick an up and coming young driver, who can be groomed to become Ferrari’s next lead driver after Alonso retires/moves on? If so, the main options would be Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Paul Di Resta or Nico Hulkenberg and, of those, Perez would be the obvious candidate. The only question mark being whether being launched into the spotlight so early in his career would do more harm than good.

    Or are they intending to field the best two drivers they can lay their hands on and give them completely equal treatment, as is the policy at McLaren or (in the glory days, at least) Williams? If so, the main candidates would be Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton. The problem here is that Kubica still hasn’t returned from injury, let alone been able to prove that he’s still something special, and there’s previous between Hamilton and Alonso which makes that pairing highly unlikely.

    1. matthewf1 (@)
      17th May 2012, 14:47

      Petrov lol – hey Fernando, remember the guy who cost you the 2010 title…well….surprise!

  29. I just hope Massa doesn’t read this site. How dispiriting it would be to read a poll nominating your successor!
    @Keith, could you put my name on the list please? It’s the only hope I’ve got!

    1. I imagine he’s pretty inured to it by now. After all how many headlines have there now been linking different drivers to his seat in the past two years? Off the top of my head I can think of Perez, Rosberg, Webber and Button. And I didn’t see this D’Ambrosio one Ferrari mentioned.

  30. I read the question wrong – I thought it was for this year, so I chose to keep Massa. However, I want them to keep him for 2013 (if he performs well this year).

  31. I think it will be perez but I don’t agree with that. I would prefer to see him stay with sauber until at least the end of next season before he is put into fernandos team. In the mean time I think mark webber would be a good fit for a year or so.

  32. Voted Kubica. It’s so obvious for someone from Poland but this the one who I would like to see there and deep inside my I believe that this is already agreed. Of course that’s just me and everyone knows how the situation looks like.

    If Kubica’s return wouldn’t be possible then I would go for Lewis or if not possible Perez.
    In some extend his 2nd place in Malaysia was very similar to Kubica’s first podium at Monza. He really has something special which was obvious in his last GP2 year.
    Felipe needs to be dropped. Ferrari deserves for proper racing driver in that second Ferrari and Massa has lost it two years ago.

    1. I think in a perfect world Maranello would be stupid to not pick up Kubica. Poland and Italy have had long historical ties that would make it a natural choice. Kubica also lived his entire early motorsports life in Italy so again that would make a natural choice. Both 2008 and 2010 were banner years for Kubica taking cars to positions in both qualifying and on Sunday they should have been nowhere near.
      But on the other hand what Massa’s post Hungary rehab period proved that it takes a long time for a driver to gain his confidence back. You can argue he still hasn’t got it back. But since the second half of last year he seems to have given up like Raikkonen in 2008. He feels the team has given up on him.
      But ultimately I don’t Ferrari, both the F1 side and the business men (Di Montezemolo) can afford to wait for Kubica to rehab and hope, I stress HOPE he becomes the same driver again.
      But again in a perfect world it would be awesome to see Alonso and Kubica in the same team its the only combination that can stand up to HAM/BUT, VET/WEB, ROS/DIR and the future Raikkonen, Feliipe Nasr combo.

  33. Massa is managed by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari F1 team principal and current FIA president Jean Todt. So he was not fired in 2011. Nicolas also manages young driver (and Ferrari Academy test driver) Jules Bianchi, who raced in GP2 for Todt’s ART team. Bianchi is currently reserve driver for Force India. Force India recently did a seat fitting & “aero test” with American F3 driver Conor Daly. Maybe Force India have something to do with “Plan B”.
    Ferrari are never going to swap Massa for a back-of-grid driver like Glock. As for the other ‘fantasy’ ideas: Lewis H will never be in a team with Alonso, Kimi R will never drive for Ferrari. Why anyone thinks Adrian Sutil, who assaulted Eric Lux (who bid for the Saab car company with Bernie Ecclestone) will ever turn a wheel in F1 again is a mystery.

  34. marc512 (@)
    17th May 2012, 14:52

    Perez as a young driver, Webber as an experienced driver. both of them would be better than massa.

  35. If Ferrari were/are going to replace Massa they should have done it in the close season, or wait until the end of this year and replace him for 2013. Changing drivers in the middle of the season never works, Fisichella was driving great for Force India in ’09 and then he could barely get out of Q3 in the Ferrari. Last year as well, was Bruno Senna really an improvement on what Nick Heidfeld could have done? If they do parachute someone in they have to give him at least 2013 as well otherwise the entire thing will be pointless. I quite like the idea of Sutil, but he would be at best a stopgap so unless someone like Webber becomes available as an experienced hand for a season its the question of whether they feel Perez is ready. Kubica would be great but its the same issue as with Massa, surely they won’t take that chance again that he is not the same driver.

    I’ve no idea why they didn’t replace Massa for this season. His confidence is shot and he’s never going to be the ’08 version of Felipe again, at least not with Alonso in the other car so they might as well have cut their losses and put someone else in. The sad thing in my opinion is that I think Massa could still do a decent job for a middle team, maybe Williams, Force India or Sauber as he has a lot of experience now, but he just looks tormented at the moment at Ferrari. And the longer he stays there and performs like this the worse his future job prospects will become.

  36. Nick.UK (@)
    17th May 2012, 15:00

    Sutil as soon as possible for the rest of 2012. Perez next year.

  37. Another question is, where would Massa go after Ferrari?

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      17th May 2012, 15:08

      @carbon_fibre Fair point. Maybe a Sauber… they could well have an open seat if he is replaced…

    2. On current form I seriously doubt Massa will be able to find another seat in F1. There are plenty of good drivers who are performing for there not to be a space for him

      I think the best F1 related offer he will receive is that Ferrari will offer him the same sort of test driver role that Badoer and Fisichella currently have, then the question would be would he accept it or instead go and seek a race seat in another series.

      1. I agree with this. Can’t really think of a team who would pick Massa after his recent performances, other than maybe a backmarker.

        McLaren is out of the question, Red Bull is out of the question, Lotus is out since Kimi and Grosjean will probably stay for 2013 as well, Mercedes is out since their future in the sport is uncertain and if they decide to keep going in 2013, Michael will probably retire and they’ll bring Di Resta in, Sauber have Kamui and if Perez goes to Ferrari – Gutierrez, Torro Rosso is an academy driver establishment, Williams have Bottas ready to take a seat next to Maldonado and Force India will probably keep Hulkenberg and throw Bianchi a seat if Di Resta heads to Mercedes etc.

        Maybe, just maybe he would have an option at Caterham as they could use an experienced driver alongside Kovalainen who can help with the development of the car OR he could take a test-driver role at Ferrari and do his part in endurance racing – follow Fisi’s path. However, I don’t think the Ferrari vs. Massa affair will be a good break-up in the end and Massa will run as far away as possible from the Scuderia.

  38. I think if they want two strong drivers they can pick from the following:
    Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez, Kobayashi,Rosberg, kovalainen Kubica

    Whereas if they want a 2nd “support driver” they can pick from:
    Schumacher (sad to say), Webber, Heidfeld

    The rest are either not ready yet, past it or not good enough..
    My pick would be Kubica, they may be fearful of selecting another driver recovering from injury though..

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      17th May 2012, 15:11

      @mw Kubica has openly said though, that if HE himself doesn’t feel 100% as good as he was before his injury then he won’t bother trying to compete in Formula 1 again.

  39. I think Lewis may go there, unlikely though so my guess would be Mark Webber on a 2 year contract which they will buy him out off after 2013 and put Perez in the car. It’s only Sergios 2nd season and i personally think another year at Sauber would do him good. Too soon to jump into all the chaos and pressure of Ferrari next year.

    As for Di Resta, he’s a Merc man isn’t he? more likely to replace Schuey at Mercedes.

  40. I would absolutey love to see Kubica in those red overalls.However with Alonso in the other car it could compromise their strong friendship! In my opinion ,the best option would be Kovalainen.He is fast but bot fast enough to keep up with Alonso and he’s got experience from another top team.

  41. Webber, its not the best choice… but they want Alonso to be the next Schuy so why would they want a young up coming driver who’s going to ‘hamilton’ Alonso again… that’d be the last thing you’;d want to do… so going with someone who can perform, but is more mature and relaxed would only help Ferrari win more constructors titles

  42. Brian @clustr1
    17th May 2012, 15:26

    I have to say, to date I have been really impressed with how Ferrari have handled this. After Massa’s accident in Hungary, I was fearful he would never be given ample time to get back into the seat and get comfortable again. At this point though, he has had plenty of time to recover and find his confidence again, so they cannot be faulted for that. I would love nothing more for him to find his form again and challenge for wins, but if they make a change , I cannot be critical of Ferrari.

  43. I’m thinking Glock wouldn’t mind playing second fiddle to Alonso, as long as he gets to drive a car that has a bit of go. He’s looked more frustrated with his current situation than Kovalainen has, so that’s why I voted for him.

  44. Barrichelo. They need another obedient driver alongside king Alonso (remember what happen at Maclaren with Hamilton, Alonso was furious because a rookie was better than him and that cost 100.000.000 millions to the team).
    Marrichelo was obediente when Schumacher was number 1 driver, but is a very good driver and can get many points for Ferrari.

    1. McLaren and Barrichelo.

    2. 100.000.000 millions…. waaaau… thats a huge amount..i dont think whole this planet has as much :)

      1. I think the same…I think my finger was a little crazy with the mouse…

  45. I picked Kubica, but it’s just my wish. I think Alguersuari or Kovalainen or Glock or Webber or Sutil are much prefered. I think what Ferrari want is interim solution so it shouldn’t be very young gun or very talented one. I think older one would be favored. I guess Sutil or Alguersuari for the rest of the year and in 2013? I don’t know. I’ll buy Kubica if he’s available. I’m sure he would not this year but who knows?

    Also I think Ferrari should hurry to change Massa ASAP. I mean as fast as Canada if not Monaco.

  46. I’d have Kovalainen if I was Domenicalli – been in a top team, had a good season last year even if it didn’t show. Far more experience now and I reckon he’s quicker than Massa

  47. I am not so sure about Hamilton going to Ferrari. One thing is for sure, McLaren and Hamilton have both suffered since Martin Whitmarsh took over. I have always felt that if Ron Dennis had stayed on at the helm, Hamilton’s career would look alot brighter than it does now.
    Whitmarsh in my eyes is the complete opposite to Dennis. I cannot remember McLaren looking so disorganised as they do now, especially regarding their pitstops. If anything, Red Bull’s pitstops are more McLarenesque than McLaren’s. Red Bull look organised, polished, and know what is needed of them. The same cannot be said of McLaren. Even Jenson Button, a direct result of the Whitmarsh era, has voiced his concerns following recent pitstop woes.
    Pairing Hamilton with Vettel would certainly only increase Red Bull’s profile, Christian Horner has always publically admired Hamilton, and Webber joining Button to me would not be a bad thing. It may well suit all concerned.
    What we must remember is that Ferrari have obviously staked their future on Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa to them is nothing more than a points getter just as Rubens Barrichello was. Hockenheim 2010 springs to mind, and I doubt many of the other drivers have forgotten that in a hurry.
    Red Bull also have Adrian Newey, without doubt the best designer of racing cars alive today, and someone who looks set to stay there. Ferrari don’t have him, just Alonso signed up to a contract that will pretty much end when he is bus pass age.

    1. Yeah I think Hamilton to Red Bull makes sense, if, that is, Red Bull is interested in two WDCs on the team, thus challenging SV. It would be great but I don’t know that I’m going to hold my breath for it. And JB and MW at Mac? Sure… I can see that.

      I still say Hockenheim 2010 was not reminiscent of RB at MS/Ferrari. I believe FM had every opportunity to match FA up until that point, and simply hadn’t done so by the time Ferrari had an opporunity in Germany to see one driver try to reach the 4 cars that were in front of him. Unlike MS, FA was not in a designer car on designer tires with FM contracted to not compete. It just came down to the math. That said, sure I’ll buy that drivers will have not forgotten what they saw at Ferrari in Germany 2010. But I think they will remember it as what can happen to any teammate that lags behind while the other driver has the better chance as the season passes it’s half-way point. If they have Hockenheim 2010 in mind they’ll also remember FM’s vehement response that he was no RB.

      I think the question remains, does Ferrari want to hire a challenger to push FA, as in a WDC level driver, or do they want to hire a potential but unproven WDC, either of them able to help in the WCC, or do they hire someone who is simply there to learn and not make waves under the guise of a young, developing, up and comer that has never been near the front end of the grid and is just honoured/lucky to be in F1 let alone at Ferrari.

  48. The best choice for the future of Ferrari – Perez.
    The best choice for calm stability – Kovalainen.
    The most entertaining choice for the rest of us – say it loud, say it strong – Lewis Hamilton.

    1. Well said…relates to my last paragraph just above.

  49. Hey, whilst we’re throwing every possible name about , Casey Stoner has just announced he is retiring from MotoGP at the end of the season…maybe he could jump into a Ferrari!

    1. I think Valentino Rossi has more possibility even he said he won’t retire from MotoGP soon.

  50. I echo the sentiments of Jackie Stewart and Nigel Mansell – get Paul in the Ferrari!

  51. thekingofspa (@)
    17th May 2012, 16:41

    I now wish I hadn’t blinked while casting my vote.
    I think Ferrari will give Massa a deadline till Hungary, just before the five-week summer break before Spa. If their assessment of Massa is poor, then it will be Sutil in the Ferrari till the end of the season. And for starters Perez needs to begin learning Italian.

  52. I think Perez is the obvious choice but I have to wonder why Kimi is somehow less of an option than the likes of Karthikeyan or de la Rosa? He got sacked from an under-performing Ferrari before but he certainly proved his worth since then. Not that I think it would ever happen but I don’t see why he would be the very last option.

    1. simple. they want a “second” driver and kimi or lewis or seb wont like to be there.

  53. i was thinking about the possibilities of sutil filling in for MS from next year on.

  54. If Kubica can come back, he gets my vote in a heartbeat.
    Otherwise, for the rest of the season, Ferrari needs a decent, experienced placeholder with nothing to lose–since the midfield is so competitive this year, most of the talented young drivers are better off staying where they are. So that leaves the drivers recently pushed out: I think Alguesuari would do best, he might not be a Ferrari-grade driver, but he’s good enough. Sutil might be the better driver, but he’s rarely really shone and he’s had enough chances.
    For next year, I think Perez should stay at Sauber–Ferrari doesn’t need to snap up drivers early, they wait till the youngsters have worked out their problems and established themselves, then sign them up. Webber or Rosberg, just for a season or so, would be more likely.

  55. It might be good for Ferrari, but I doubt it would be good for Perez or Di Resta. Being mentally dominated and told to move aside is not where they want to be while they’re still on the way up. Schumi, Vettel, Hamilton etc. never had to endure that, never had their confidence broken. Give Sutil a one year contract, he’ll be fast, but grateful and obliging, then bring Perez in when he’s more ready to take the fight to Alonso. Di Resta should stick with Mercedes

  56. Is Massa really doing as bad a job as the results suggest?

    He’s been fairly consistently within half second of Alonso & considering how good Alonso is I don’t think thats too bad.

    I also think there is an element of Alonso simply outdriving the car while Massa is showing how bad the car really is. The very best drivers often do this & it often makes there team mates look worse than they actually are.

    I also still hink its a bad idea for both team & driver to change drivers mid-year, We saw it in 2009 with Ferrari/Fisichella & Renault/Grosjean.
    If they want to replace Massa then wait untill next year & go with Webber, Perez or Di Resta.

  57. Although I didn’t think that Ferrari would keep Massa for 2013 I didn’t think they would replace him before the end of the 2012 season, however with some of the latest comments from Ferrari and Massa’s continued poor performances I am not so sure he will see out the year with Ferrari.

    Considering what happened with Massa’s replacements in 2009 Ferrari will be wary of changing drivers mid season and I think if this was to happen the most likely candidate would be someone who doesn’t have a race seat at the moment but who has recent F1 experience, such as Sutil or Alguersuari or even Kubica if he was fully fit.

    In this situation I think unless the driver impressed, which would be unlikely given the circumstances, it would only be a short term deal until the end of the year, and in the case of Kubica the main reason would be to see how good a recovery he had made with a view to a contract for next year.

    Waiting until the end of the season to change their line-up makes more sense in that there will be more drivers available to choose from and they can make a better long term decision.

    Ferrari will probably want someone who is a top driver and able to push Alonso but who is also comfortable taking a supporting role and be a team player if they decide to focus all their efforts on one driver.

    Depending on how well they perform this season a number of drivers could find themselves on the shortlist such as di Resta or Hulkenberg but I think the most likely choice will be Perez.

  58. Timo Glock, no doubt! I do have my reasons which can be seen here.

  59. It would be interesting to replace Massa with Michael Schumacher so to have a chance to listen to a radio message saying “Alonso is faster than you”. Just joking, of course.

    My choice to replace Massa would be Adrian Sutil.

  60. Since Kubica seems to be out of the picture, then I would go with either Perez or Kovalainen. If Kubica was fit, then it would be no contest.

  61. Massa shouldn’t have been there as long as he has. He has constantly failed to deliver results since 2008.

  62. Jaime Alguersuari.
    Young enough to mould into their preferred shape, experienced enough but not too much, invaluable knowledge after testing pirelli.

  63. While I believe that drivers like Perez, Kovalainen, Glock and di Resta deserve to be with stronger teams and while I would love to see Sutil back in F1, I doubt if a Ferrari drive would be the best option for any of these drivers. It’s Alonso’s team and Ferrari are happy with that. No matter who replaces Massa, he will most likely need to cope with being the team’s number two driver. I don’t want to see Kovalainen or Perez in that situation so I picked ‘somebody else’.

    I believe Giancarlo Fisichella deserves a second chance as he first joined Ferrari in the middle of an unsuccessful season when the car was a dog. Fisico is unlikely to set the world on fire but I believe he might do a decent job, which is what Ferrari expect from Alonso’s team mate.

  64. Ferrari needs a pair of safe hands that does not crack under pressure either from Alonso or the Ferrari team.
    Heidfeld or Barrichello would probably be the best solution. With Ferrari in a downwards trajectory (with only Alonso there to save their face) ever since Schumacher, Brawn etc left it would be the kiss of death for any young drivers career.

  65. Jenson Button is the only sensible option.

  66. I still hoping Massa can turn the table around, imo he isn’t the same driver after the accident. But if the result still the end till the end of the season, Ferrari will run out of passion. I picked Kobayashi

  67. I’m divided between Perez and Kubica; Perez would be good at Ferrari but then again he’s already settled (and quick) at Sauber. Kubica would be a welcome return to the grid though, and if Ferrari are a top team next year (which I hope) it will be very interesting in the championship.

  68. I’ve Gone for Timo Glock. I think in his final days at toyota he showed some real potential but his move to manorGP/virgin/Marussia was practically suicidal for his career if there was even a sniff anywhere else. I think if you threw him in a ferrari he would surprise you.
    Second choice would have been Kubica, if he is ever fit enough to come back i’d love to see him in a top team.

  69. If this season had been more predictable so far I think Ferrari would simply stick with Massa and avoid having to buy out his contract. But with Alonso leading the championship even in supposedly a dog of a car, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to mount a serious challenge for WCC. Alonso would want to be no. 1 driver, and the team might not want to be rushed into making a long term commitment to a younger driver, so I think they should go for a tried and tested no. 2 at the mid to end of his career who will reliably score points and not rock the boat should they chose to revolve him out at the end of the season. So, Sutil, Heidfeld, Glock, Trulli….

  70. Stoner.

  71. Talking about a replacement driver, anybody remember what Salo did in the Ferrari?

  72. Ferrari currently have 9 drivers signed to their F1 team:

    I think if they are to replace Massa this year, (which I doubt), Davide Rigon will get the seat with Perez (or Webber) taking over next year.

  73. To everyone discussing whether Alonso would accept Hamilton as a team mate in Ferrari: Why on earth should Hamilton consider becoming 2nd driver in a “not so top team” when he is currently the lead in a real top team?

    1. they should stay in current teams and have a brave fights for many times to come..
      it seems there is respect between two but stil they are racing nemesis to each other…and really enjoyable to watch

  74. Who “should” replace Massa? There’s a long list.
    Who “will” replace Massa? There are only two options out there. It’s gonna be either Perez or Bianchi.

    Ferrari has been all about rank between their drivers since forever now. They don’t need a championship contender. They need a good second driver, someone who can keep up with Alonso’s pace but still be able to get out of the way just in case. Irvine, Barrichello, Salo, Fisichella, Massa – they’ve all served the same purpose since the ’90s.

    I really don’t see Hamilton, Button or any of the top drivers dragging themselves into that role. Maybe Webber could be a potential replacement, but quite frankly, I think if he’s ever to leave Red Bull before his career ends, he’ll have a better option than Ferrari.

    But, to answer the question on point. Sergio Perez. He’s the only reasonable option for them at the moment. Plus, it’s a mutual benefit move. Ferrari needs a fast but containable driver, Perez needs a launching pad and a climate where he can grow, gather experience and win races in order to prove himself. Everybody wins. :)

  75. As for Kubica and Sutil – I don’t think we’ll ever see them in a Formula 1 car again…as much as I’d love to be wrong about it, I’m afraid all signs point into that direction.

  76. Perez will be the one. He is part of their driver program. It might be a bit early but there’s no unlimited testing anymore so they can’t follow the same route as with Felipe.
    All others are either temporary solutions – because Ferrari Has something to prove with their young driver program, which means: Perez – or just as good as Perez.

  77. rayhart.z99@gmail.com
    17th May 2012, 22:18

    There is significant history of drivers who have suffered head injury just not being right again. Sterling Moss springs to mind, but he had the very good sense to realise that the game was up and retire before things became embarrasing. Kobayashi would be my fun choice for the second Ferrari seat

    1. “springs to mind”

      You’re a natural comedian

  78. I voted Kubica on the proviso he manages to get close to his pre accident ability, otherwise I’d like to see Heikki in that seat (or any other top drive).

  79. Was so impressed with Hamilton in 07 thought he got worse year on year since (got title in 08 though) but this year seems like 07. As a big Ferrari fan above all I say Hamilton. If he beats Alonso then we have someone even better so bring it on.

  80. Hi Keith.

    I`m a big fan of your blog, and always been positive with my comments. By no mean my point is to bring a discussion, but even if I fully agree that Massa is not having his best time in F1, and most likely will loose his seat, I think a debate like this and specially with that headline as if he was already fired is disrespectful in some way.
    I can say that the first guy dissapointed with this situation is Massa himself.
    As a sportsman myself, I know sometimes things don`t go your way and it`s really hard to turn the momentum around, so the best you can do is try as hard as you can. I think Felipe deserves that respect.

    Sincerely, and looking fwd to many great articles and enjoying my time with your wonderful site!

  81. Ken (@myxomatosis)
    18th May 2012, 0:12

    This is a very mean-spirited exercise.

    1. To be fare this is what alot of f1 fans are thinking since the last race. Rather than sitting twiddling thumbs thinking this in our heads it makes sense for everyone to let it out. It’s entertaining and thats what F1 is about. Massa is well compensated for this to the tune of 8 million a year. Its part and parcel of being an elite sportsman.

      1. ^^This

  82. In the end, I voted to keep Massa on. The fact that Ferrari has stood by him and kept him on this long has given me a lot of respect for the team that I might not have had otherwise, and I’d really like to see them continue in that vein and let Massa stay for the rest of this season. If, at the end of the season, he still hasn’t shown improvement, I think even Massa himself might question what he wants to do next. And no one could conceivably accuse Ferrari of not giving him ample chance to recover.

    (At which point, by the way, it might be time to give Perez a try.)

  83. Voted Heidfeld.

    I don’t think he’ll be the best candidate for next season, that goes to either Perez or Sutil, but if Ferrari were looking to replace Massa after Monaco, there isn’t too many people they could turn too to replace him and Heidlfeld is one with all the experience.

    He wasn’t as bad as everyone thinks he was last season, his qualifying performances were shocking, yes but his race craft was as good as it ever was.

  84. The powers that be in F1 keep saying they need an American driver in the series, and with Austin and Weehawken coming up, now may be the time. Ferrari and Americans have usually worked out well (Hill, Ginther, Andretti). There are plenty to choose from but a combination of relative youth, name, experience, a cool head, and talent is required…Graham Rahal.

  85. Whoever the replacement may be, they better do it NOW for any chance to win WCC. Ferrari should’ve dumped Massa before Mugello so the replacement would have proper track time before the race.

  86. I don’t think anyone with a midfield or greater race seat would like to drive alongside Alonso. So the best way would be to continue Massa’s endless suffering until he does something about it. With all these different winners it could be his moment as Ferrari predicts any next race.

  87. Adrian Sutil all the way. He might even give Alonso a challenge. And he’s not young anymore.

  88. I feel bad for Massa, i know he’s not the best driver but he’s definitely not the worst, but i guess that’s what happens when you drive for Ferrari and have Fernando Alonso as your teammate. You just have to live up to the will of the Scuderia or they will replace you faster than their cars can drive.

  89. Since it’s a poll of who do I think they should take and not who I think they’ll really take I chose Timo Glock. Him being stuck in a pathetic car is a huge waste of talent.

    To those who say Kubica, if you’re Ferrari and after Massa’s performances as they are since his return from injury, would you really take that risk at the moment?

  90. If you were really, really mean, you might bump poor old Massa out part way through this season (its more or less written of for him and constructor already) and put Kubica in the car for a trial run. If he’s any good, then great, but if not they’ve probably not lost too much for the rest of the year.

    Otherwise, I can imagine Pastor Maldonado being drafted in. Spanish speaking, aggressive and hot-headed at times (Irvine?), ambitious… That money he brings with him would increase if the sponsors thought there was a chance he’d be at Ferrari, and Ferrari wouldn’t just be happy to have that money for themselves: they’d be happy that no-one else had it.

    As for Massa? I have a feeling he’d be offered drives in Ferrari’s sportscar campaigns, alongside Fisichella.

  91. KOV has really improved his form at Caterham and I think is much more suited to moving up the grid, and was placed at McLaren too early in my opinion, now i really recon he can shine through and deserves another shot at the top, plus i’m sure he would be a ‘good team player’ willing to be a #2 (as shown by his time at Mclaren), which is what you need if you want to drive against Alonso.

  92. Spanish media 2 weeks ago said Casey Stoner was retiring, he announced his retirement today, they also said Webber has signed for Ferrari for 2013….

  93. themagicofspeed (@)
    18th May 2012, 10:57

    My first choice would be Kubica IF he is well enough to be at his best if he ever returns. But that is far from certain, so instead i went for Sergio Perez, who is getting some fairly solid results and probably would not cause friction with Alonso.

    Really can’t understand the calls for Timo Glock and Kovalainen. He’s had a stint in a top team, and was pretty lacklustre to be fair, and ended up being dumped by the team. McLaren only hired him because the fallout from the Alonso/Hamilton spat in 2007 left them without a No.2 for 2008. The only significant thing Glock has ever done is unwittingly interfere in the outcome of the 2008 Drivers Championship, an act of total stupidity i will not forgive, deliberate or not. He cost Massa the title, so i suspect he won’t be all that welcome at Ferrari. (Same goes for Petrov, but Kermit the frog will be top-team standard before him anyway) All three are driving a backmarker car for a reason.

    To summarise:

    Kubica, Perez, Webber or Rosberg would all be good choices.

    1. He lost Massa the title by gaining one place by not changing to wet tyres. Last time I checked, using strategy to gain places was allowed in Formula 1.

  94. Voted for Sutil. He deserves a race seat. His exit from sport was very unfortunate.

  95. scuderiaexxon
    18th May 2012, 13:15

    Who voted for Karthikeyan!!! :DDDD

    1. I did. And I did it for the lulz.

  96. How about Nelson Piquet Junior? He’s already got experience of handing wins to Alonso.

  97. Casey Stoner :)

  98. i think they should take a risk and go for jerome dambrosio. it was hard to judge his performance in the virgin car but i think hes got great potential

  99. Conservancy@MHR
    19th May 2012, 0:13

    … even at Ferrari, money’s tight. Last of a dieing breed, Felipe is not a pay driver. Felipe advanced to Ferrari on the basis of talent, alone. Not so, Fernando. A pay driver, via Santander Fernando brings a cool 50 million Euro, per annum, to Ferrari. Felipe, nothing. When Luca could otherwise put another pay driver beside Fernando, it’s a cool 14 million Ferrari must pay Felipe, out-of-pocket. Luca Di Montezemolo lothes Nicholas Todt. All the worse for Felipe, Santander execs do not like him. Viewed upon as a freeloader, and a nuisance, Santander want Felipe replaced, with one of their people. Ferrari’s gravy boat tilted toward Fernando, Felipe is in an impossible predicament, trying to show loyalty, to a team unable to afford him equal status — asj.

  100. …perhaps one of the MotoGP riders will one day make the switch ;)

    Massa to stay!

  101. Alonso and Hamilton act so strange lately. Like good old friends. I suspect possible Hamilton move to Ferrari. I know it sounds unbelievable but who knows what the true power of money is.

  102. This made me think how I would NOT choose Maldonado. Man he really screwed up big time in Monaco with his childish antics. I would never hire him due to immaturity and volatility. Shame since after Barcelona my mood towards him was totally opposite now.

  103. Phil Hill…

  104. ferrari mentioned they want a more experienced driver than perez. i really would give sutil the chance he showed some great races last year and also great performances in the wet. i really think he is out because he attacked lux.
    people should get over it and give him a second chance!

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