Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2012

Massa believes he is getting closer to Alonso

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2012Felipe Massa says the gap between himself and team mate Fernando Alonso has come down since the start of the season.

In a Q&A published on Ferrari’s website, Massa said: “I think that this year, the only race where there really was a big difference between me and Fernando was in Australia and then, in Malaysia the rain made it more complicated to get a clear picture.

“Starting in China, the difference in qualifying between the two of us was not so dramatic. Even in Barcelona, but for the traffic, my time in Q2 was in line with previous events and on Sunday my pace was not that far off.

“I think we must also take into account that, at the moment, Fernando?s driving is amazing: he is on super form, maybe even perfect.”

Massa lost time in Spain with a drive-through penalty after the stewards found he had gone too quickly while a yellow flag was out. Massa said: “I am bloody p***ed off.

“Even today, I still struggle to understand the reason for the drive-through and that was the point at which my race was ruined.”

“In Spain we made a significant improvement”

Massa admitted he is still finding the F2012 a handful despite the team’s progress with the car: “It?s definitely not a very easy car to drive and it?s hard to find a good balance.

“Many times I have found myself having to fight the car and, in these circumstances, it?s easy to lose a tenth here and there: with my driving style maybe I struggle a bit more, because I don?t manage to find a smooth way of driving.

“Then, it?s well known that we don?t yet have enough aerodynamic downforce and we are lacking in traction at the exit to slow corners, which could be the biggest problem.

“In Spain, we made a significant improvement, which could clearly be seen from Fernando?s performance in the race, but I too, when I had a clear track ahead of me, had a good pace. We also made a little progress in terms of top speed, another area where we have suffered right from the start of the season.”

Despite having only scored two points to Alonso’s 61, Massa says he still has the support of the team: “Absolutely, yes, I feel the whole team stands by me.

“Obviously, they are not happy with the results and neither am I: we all want is to get out of this and return to normal. It?s possible and for sure it?s what I want and I know that with the team?s help we will manage it.”

He also commented on the ongoing debate over tyres: “Their influence varies from circuit to circuit.

“In Bahrain and Spain we had high degradation and then the tyres played a decisive role, but at others, where degradation is more within the norm, then I think the quickest car in absolute terms will have the upper hand.

“Having said that, clearly those who do the best job of managing the tyres, have the best strategy and make no mistakes, will have the best chance of winning.”

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

64 comments on “Massa believes he is getting closer to Alonso”

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  1. Massa believes he is getting closer to Alonso

    Yes it is, that is because Alonso is lapping him.

    Massa, what a funny boy. :-)

  2. I feel sorry for Massa. He should be saying nothing and putting 110% into driving the socks off the Ferrari, even if he crashed at least he would be trying. Pretty sad state of affairs and puts his Hamilton comments into perspective from last season.

  3. His comment about still not understanding the penalty in Spain says it all for me. He’s not willing to accept that he’s in the wrong or made misstakes and so i can’t ever see him improving and getting back to where he was. If you look back over the past 2 seasons whenever there is a crash, a penalty or a poor result he never accepts any responsibility – it’always someone elses fault. Massa seems to be in a state of denial and that’s not going to help him overcome his difficulties. I think this will be his last race and we’ll see a new Ferrari driver in Montreal.

  4. Is Massa racing the races? Come on, I still remember how the TV commentator emphasized the fact that Massa WAS LAPPED in Spain, so I don’t get his point when he says he’s getting closer. Sometimes if you can’t say something good it’s much better to stay shut. It’s time he starts thinking of the next team move he MUST get sooner or later,
    The other thing is if teams (or which teams) would accept Massa, No top team will receive him. Probably it’s a sensible idea, and a shame indeed, to think of retire in Ferrari this year. It would be decent for him and he could avoid the possible falling off deeper in a smaller team.

  5. From these comments it’s clear that Massa is already packing his bags. One can sense a bit of dispair in his words. In Monaco I expect a Barrichello-style speeches about how much he loves racing, how fast he still is, and only needs a good car to show it, a little criticism of Pirelli tyres maybe to explain his struggles… Ferrari of course will back him and firmly state that Felipe’s seat is safe. And after an ‘usual’ (disastrous) race for Felipe in Monaco Ferrari will be announcing their next No 2.

    1. He also blamed the Bridgestones in 2010 for his poor performances…

      I’ll give it until Valencia before he’s replaced by someone… Don’t rule out a Sutil/Alguersuari comeback, though my money’s on Perez.

  6. I seriously think that the Ferrari is only good for the back end of the top 10. Massa has not done a particularly bad job in that car. That he has not finished in the points is probably what goes against him. He is not helped by the fact that Alonso is grinding out those crucial 3-4 tenths which is placing him in the top 5 continuously. That, Williams and Sauber seem quicker on pace than Ferrari should say a lot.

    That being said, Massa may be replaced, although I really cannot see anyone doing a better job than him. Fisichella and Luca Badoer found that out the hard way. Oh and I was one of the 4% who believed Massa would maybe beat Alonso in the team mate challenge :) !

    1. I agree with you. About the team-mate challenge – can’t stop a feeling that it was the only time Ferrari instructed Alonso to give way for Massa so he (Felipe) doesn’t look that bad.

  7. And I believe in unicorns.

    1. But seriously now. I think we should stop thinking in categories of Alonso “outperforming” the car. We tend to forget it’s only a figurative expression and the reality is that a car has some finite level of performance, a limit beyond which it is physically impossible to go in the given circumstances. So, Alonso’s results are the more realistic benchmark of what the car can do. Massa’s are of what the driver can’t (whatever the reason – difficult handling, the car not suited to driving style, different set up etc.), provided of course he is given the same equipment. Alonso is not giving the Ferrari extra horse power or downforce. Alonso is just closer to the limit of this particular car. Much closer. And that’s the reason why Massa should be sacked – he’s just wasting the potential which, as we saw, is in the car. You don’t keep a worker who is not using the tools you gave him properly, do you?

      1. I was going to suggest that Alonso may not be getting his results from sheer speed, but racecraft. Of course that wouldn’t make sense after having done the same thing all season, so I have to concede that your point is fair.

  8. Mark (@marlarkey)
    19th May 2012, 12:41

    Massa believes he is getting closer to Alonso

    Really ? I don’t even…

  9. I don’t think making these comments was a wise idea by Felipe Massa, unless ofcourse he knows already that his career at Ferrari is finished and has nothing to lose. Its obvious that Fernando is wiping the floor with Felipe, everybody can see it even the most loyal Massa fans, and all this does is make Felipe look stupid.
    In all fairness, most drivers who have been paired off with Alonso have had their backsides kicked. It really is nothing to be ashamed of because Alonso is that good, however, I always thought Massa had more dignity than this.
    When he lost the title in 2008 to Hamilton, Felipe earned alot of respect for taking the defeat like a man. To lose in the way that he did, infront of his own countrymen in his home city, must have been a nightmarish experience. Yet he came away from it with his head held high and with alot of respect. He had beaten Kimi Raikkonen, his team mate, and was the only man throughout that season to cause Hamilton any real problems. My how things have changed!

  10. the only time when Massa ever got close to is team mate – it is when they are sitting in the team briefing room on race day

  11. The only thing poor Felipe is closer to is his team exit.

  12. Chris (@limitedslip)
    19th May 2012, 21:53

    And I believe in Fairies.

  13. Williams is missing another spring.

  14. Mr. Massa, it’s time to leave Ferrari;

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