Massa says Alonso needs his support

F1 Fanatic round-up

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2012In the round-up: Felipe Massa says team mate Fernando Alonso needs his help to win the championship.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

On-song Alonso is revved up (The Sun)

Felipe Massa: “For sure, Fernando needs me. In a championship like this, it is very important to have both cars scoring points.”

F1 seeks computer rule change on Red Bull (BBC)

“The FIA is trying to produce a rule clarification in time for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.”

Both Our Drivers Still In Title Hunt, Says Whitmarsh (Speed)

“We’re at the half way point and we?ve got a lot of racing ahead of us, and they can both do it. This season is going to go right to the very end. I believe that we?ll be sat on the edge of our seats in the last few laps of the Brazilian GP, and I hope I?m in deep agony on those last few laps, because it means we?re in contention to win!”

Horner: Hamilton did nothing wrong (Autosport)

“If you look at the rules, I don’t think that there is anything to say that a car can’t unlap itself. It’s frustrating that it cost us a second and it’s unfortunate that he didn’t unlap himself from Fernando as well.”

James Allison: “If the first ten races of the year are a guide then we will be competitive in Hungary” (Lotus)

“We have been pretty reasonable in the wet this year ?ǣ for instance our performance was commendable in the wet conditions of FP2 at Hockenheim – but for some reason the car was utterly lousy once the rain came in qualifying. This mystified us at the time and continues to do so.”

Mark Webber: “I had nothing to fight with” (Adam Cooper)

“I wasn?t quick at any stage in the race, I was just hanging on. We need to look into why we weren?t quick today. Ultimately we expected to get more out of it for sure, after the first lap. The first lap wasn?t too bad, I got Lewis, and after that it was just hanging on. I had nothing to fight with today.”

Analysis – Lotus’s prototype ‘double DRS’ system (F1)

“[Air] exits through the gaps between the endplates and the wing profiles, reducing drag and boosting the DRS effect – a kind of ‘turbocharged’ DRS, as it were.”

2012 German Grand Prix report (MotorSport)

“‘My God,’ said a former Grand Prix winner in the paddock, ‘If Fernando [Alonso] was in a Red Bull, there’d be no point in anyone else turning up…’”

The Tipping Point (GP Week)

“It’s tough enough for freelancers to fork out for a year’s F1 travel without the hotels getting the calendar confirmed to them before we do. Thanks for nothing, [Australian Grand Prix promoter] Ron Walker. If you want any international journalists turning up to cover your event and promote your state I suggest you turn your back lawn into a campsite for us, because we’ve been priced out of the city.”

Setting the example (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “The bottom line here is that there must be a totally new, strong, and consistent initiative to control the use of increasingly generous run-off areas throughout the whole of motor sport. Starting with F1. The drivers, fans and media need to know where it all stands.”

McLaren Tooned – Episode 2: Slicks (YouTube)

Comment of the day

Davidhunter13 sees big things ahead for an on-form Fernando Alonso:

Alonso was flawless, and it?s nice the voting is reflecting that already, huge percentage for him. Most importantly he had a great qualifying lap in very difficult conditions and perhaps not in the best car. As for the race, another great start and despite having two world champions in arguably faster cars hounding him for the whole race he kept a cool head, kept his tires from degrading too quickly and was all round just fantastic. It doesn?t matter how much Massa has lost in recent seasons, he was still in the same car and the difference between him and Alonso is night and day.

Alonso will be a treble world champion, and if Ferrari can keep this up for a few seasons we have a career mirroring Schumacher’s to look forward to, hopefully with a bit more of a challenge from the rest of the field though, don?t want it getting boring now!
Davidhunter13

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On this day in F1

On this day last year Lewis Hamilton scored a superb win in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. He passed Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber to win.

Sebastian Vettel endured a rare off-day in the Red Bull RB7, finishing fourth.

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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135 comments on Massa says Alonso needs his support

  1. Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 24th July 2012, 0:08

    McLaren tooned – I don’t quite know what to make of it.

  2. Felipe’s delusions of grandeur could not come at a worse time, frankly.

  3. matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th July 2012, 0:15

    If Alonso wins this year it will certainly be heading towards a weird Schumacher symmetry. Double championship for Enstone, followed by 5 years without a championship (this was only 4 for Schumacher, although both these periods had multiple new champions and culminated in a new double champion winning in consecutive seasons), followed by a championships(s?) at Ferrari.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 24th July 2012, 1:31

      Woh! Spooky! :/

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 24th July 2012, 1:54

      Yeah, that is weird. Being a Ferrari supporter I wouldn’t mind that!

      Remember to pull that one out for Stats and Facts for Brazil (or before then) if Alonso wins the championship! :)

    • sumedh said on 24th July 2012, 3:05

      Massa playing the role Ervine did back then too. From big a championship contender (1999-2008) to just a number 2 next year.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 24th July 2012, 13:52

        Irvine was much the opposite. He won 0 races between 1996 and 1998, then became a title contender in 1999, only beacuse Schumacher was injured. From the following year he was at Jaguar.
        Massa, on the other hand, started by being competitive, but after his crash he came back against the strongest driver currently in F1, which added to the pressure on his shoulders.

        • vho (@) said on 24th July 2012, 17:57

          Massa was also the one with the most experience at Ferrari once Schumy left, but still lost out to Kimi, who was on his first year there. I always thought Kimi would’ve been WDC at McLaren, but it was his first year with Ferrari that gave him the win. But also he was helped by the Lewis/Fernando spat at McLaren the same year. Which of course Fernando did no favours to Lewis at the last race.

  4. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 24th July 2012, 0:18

    Funny picture of Massa :)
    In all seriousness I would love to see him win a race this year, or at least get a podium. I hope he stays with Ferrari, even though it is highly unlikely.

  5. snowman (@snowman) said on 24th July 2012, 0:32

    I wish Massa could go back in time to Hockenheim 2010 and tell Ferrari where to go when they asked him to move over for Alonso. Ferrari would have fired him at the end of the year with his standing in the paddock and mentality in check.

    He would now be in another car doing a Kovalainein beating some other driver in a lesser car but looking great doing it. Instead now we have a pale shadow of a man that virtually no one remembers how good he once was on his day.

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 24th July 2012, 1:01

      you mean that 1, and only 1, good year? and why would his standing in the paddock be any good, because he openly disobeyed orders? yeah, i love hiring people that don’t do what the hell they’re told….

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 24th July 2012, 3:10

      People tend to forget that Massa was never a great driver, and also tend to forget that Lewis beat Alonso. As often as people change socks they also change their minds people say today that Alonso is the best, people that said in 07 that Hamilton was the best, other people that said “how mature is the young double wchampion” are now saying the contrary, we say alot “stuff” we just need to put our preferences apart and analyze the facts, yesterday Massa wasnt great today he isnt great, Alonso was good yesterday and still is and young Vettel was good yesterday and the still young Vettel is good today and so is Lewis, sometimes things dont go the way Alo, Vet and Ham want but they keep delivering, impressing, changing our minds but we cannot change our mind because of the unfortunate events of Hungary 09 and Germany 10, In the end Massa has been blessed with a long F1 career, at first sight no one expected that, so he has been quite lucky.

      • disgruntled said on 24th July 2012, 4:52

        I’ll have to blow your mind and inform you of the notion that everything changes as a function of time. Dont think anyone is forgetting anything Lewis Hamilton achieved in 07, its just that it is 2012 now so 5 years in Formula 1 later and this is where Hamilton currently stands in 2012. Same for Alonso. Also Lewis never beat ALonso on points in 07 as it was 109 points a piece

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 24th July 2012, 14:01

          Thanks for saying what was in my mind and saving me the time to do so!
          Those who compare drivers’ current forms to their forms from 5 years ago clearly understand nothing. Hamilton had a bad year in 2011 and now he has acknowledged that he isn’t the only driver at McLaren like he thought he was before. He knows that to get the #1 status within the team he needs to beat a strong driver like Button. His mentality has changed, however he remains a great driver.
          Vettel has won two world championships; hardly anyone wouldn’t change after such an achievement.
          Alonso has become more and more experienced. He had never met a team mate as strong as Hamilton, after 2007 he knew how to behave in such a circumstance. He has also improved his driving, and now challenges for wins in uncompetitive cars.
          In 2008, no one would have rated Vettel alongside Alonso and Hamilton. Time passes and drivers change their way of driving: some for the better, some for the worse.
          In Massa’s case, I don’t think it was his fault. Schumacher no longer wins races, does that delete the achievements he accomplished before?
          Massa was a title contender, beat Schumacher as team mates on several occasions, beat Raikkonen as well, battled against Hamilton, etc. He wasn’t the best driver ever, nor is he now, but he was amongst the best from those years. Ferrari wouldn’t have signed him now. If Massa was performing the way he is now in another team, Ferrari wouldn’t hire him. They did because he was promising at Sauber, and they are keeping him because he was promising at Ferrari. If they are happy to keep him, why should we not?

      • Girts (@girts) said on 24th July 2012, 9:23

        Massa certainly was a great driver in 2008 and has had many great races in other years, too. Alonso wasn’t that dominant against Trulli in 2003 & 2004 and struggled at times in 2007. Hamilton experienced a pretty mediocre season in 2011. I’m not saying that Massa is as good as Alonso and Hamilton, I think the latter two have higher potential and it’s impossible to deny that they have been performing more impressively on average during their careers. But everyone has their ups and downs and I think that Massa was actually much closer to becoming one of the sport’s all-time greats than most people think. Had Massa won the 2008 title (the 2007 DWC was not that far away from him, too), he might have gained the confidence that Button has since 2009. For sure, it’s hard to imagine he would be beating Alonso at Ferrari but the team’s picture might look much more interesting that it does now.

        • gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 24th July 2012, 11:09

          I agree. Later half of 2006 up to 2008 had Massa being totally unbeatable on his day. The Massa bashing gets on my nerves a bit. The BBC rate Hamilton as one of the top 20 champions – higher in the rankings than Piquet – yet they say that he beat an inferior opponent in Massa. Massa won more races that year and when people wrote him off in Hockenheim that year, he came back – barring an engine failure – and completely obliterated the field in Hungary, overtaking the apparent king of overtaking on the outside of turn one. Brazil 08 was a victory that would have compared more favourably with any of Vettel’s 11 last year. While Webber is my favourite driver, Massa’s presumed replacement has 9 wins with more races, more years experience and more time in a dominant car than Massa’s 11 wins. I just think a little more respect for the guy is due, especially after injury and losing his equal footing in the team.
          And no argument about who is better than who – Massa is teamed up with by far the best driver in the world in the best form of his career.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th July 2012, 11:13

            The ‘he won more races’ argument has the fatal flaw of Spa…

          • gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 24th July 2012, 11:35

            …a fatal flaw possibly negated by Crashgate? As well as fate robbing him in Hungary.

            I’m sure this is Hamilton v Massa smack-talk that is old ground on this forum! Doesn’t really affect the point I was making though.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th July 2012, 14:24

            @girts and @gavmaclean…I completely agree with you two. I think too many people are being too hard on FM for the reasons you have stated.

            I’ll just add this…I actually agreed with their decision to have FM pull over for FA a few years back…I thought the math dictated it as circumstances unfolded in that very race ie. I don’t think they went into that weekend expecting to hang FM out to dry. An opportunity presented itself for FA to gain some important points at a time when the competition was close with the Red Bulls and Macs.

            And at the time, FM was ticked, and even said publicly he was no Reubens…and I agreed and understood that comment too…FM has never had to play the role to the extreme that EI and RB, who had contracts to be subservient, had to. But it has happened nonetheless, in a more ‘natural’ way.

            My point…I find it interesting that now FM is, in my eyes, somewhat having to defend himself verbally amongst the constant rumours of his underperforming and his impending doom at Ferrari, by saying FA needs his help. It has gone from ‘I am no Reubens’ to ‘FA needs me.’ I think we all would agree that FM can help FA by robbing points from the competition, but to actually state it that way makes me wonder if FM is feeling the need to proactively state his function on the team not as someone who is failing to get enough points to keep the team happy and keep him on it, but as someone who is actively, almost ‘happily’ contributing to FA’s WDC. A far different tune than he was singing a few years back.

          • Girts (@girts) said on 24th July 2012, 14:55

            @Robbie I would be careful towards sources like The Sun, I’m not sure Massa really said that Fernando was the one who needed him. It sounds like Massa said ‘Ferrari needs me’ but The Sun changed the quote ‘slightly’ to draw more attention to the article and provoke new Massa-jokes.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th July 2012, 15:46

            @girts…hmmm well that takes the discussion in a whole different direction then…I have always assumed that unless a newspaper wants to get sued (not that that hasn’t happened, especially with tabloidy papers) it has to convey statements made by people, that they themselves have put in quotation marks, accurately. So I am going by the assumption that FM actually said what the Sun has put in quotation marks and attributed to him. Otherwise I would hope they at least are smart enough to take away the quotation marks and make it their own story. I certainly don’t know where to take this conversation based on YOUR speculation as to what FM actually said…ie. then FM could have said/meant SD needs him, LdM needs him, Bernie needs him, F1 needs him. But nonetheless you claim FM means or actually said that Ferrari needs him, and my point stands if you are right, given the context of the discussion. It is a change in tune from a few years back when FM was ‘no Reubens.’ And that is definitely a direct quote.

            Bottom line for me…FA and/or Ferrari may or may not ‘need’ FM to try to take points away from some of FA’s close competitors now that we are where we are in the season and FM has no hope in hell of winning the WDC, but it sure wouldn’t hurt FA/Ferrari to have FM keep a few of the key players behind him whenever possible for the rest of the season. Especially since the talk seems to be that FA’s Ferrari is still not the fastest car, which I think depends on the day and the track and the tires. But if on average FA shouldn’t actually be winning with this car, such might still be it’s inferiority to Red Bull and Mac, only transcended by his talent, then for sure he/Ferrari need FM to help and therefore whatever FM actually said/meant is accurate.

          • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 24th July 2012, 16:49

            @matt90 vettel’s penalty is right, but Spa 08 is not? Massa INHERITED the win indeed, but a win is a win. I can’t score a goal with my hand, but Maradona managed to get a world championship using one!!! ouch, sorry

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th July 2012, 16:56

            The two incidents were rather different. Many thought 08 was incredibly harsh and not the correct interpretation of the rules, hardly anybody felt that way about Vettel’s penalty. And I have no idea what you’re trying to say by referencing the hand of God goal. What do you mean ouch, sorry? Do you mean for bringing up a completely unrelated incident which is in no way comparable and that doesn’t really concern me?

  6. HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th July 2012, 0:54

    So the engine map “cheating” was not related to exhaust gas aerodynamic gain but possible traction control with a possible side benefit of fuel saving or as road car manufacturers call it “driveability and economy”, this is why so many turbocharged cars (diesel and petrol) have flat torque curves to provide a more predictable response to the accelerator. How can F1 claim any relevance to the modern world of motoring and carbon emissions if the teams are not allowed to even try to improve the efficiency of the engines at all even within the fixed parameters of max power, max revs and standard components ?

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 24th July 2012, 1:07

      because driver aides like traction control are banned. this engine mapping has only 1 main purpose – to enable the driver to plant his right foot down any old time and not spin up the wheels.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th July 2012, 2:16

        @F1yankee, no, traction control is when the driver floors the accelerator and a computer compares various parameters, chiefly speed of front wheels, and decides how much power to apply to the rear wheels. In this case the throttle is wide open but the power at any given rpm remains the same throughout the race so the driver still needs to decide how much throttle to apply.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th July 2012, 3:16

          It is being used as a form of traction control as it manages the natural torque curve of the engine to prevent wheelspin in the mid-range I believe.

        • vho (@) said on 24th July 2012, 18:16

          HoHum, I think you’re referring to extreme throttle inputs. If the driver knows where max throttle is and where half throttle is then there is an opportunity to map the engine’s torque spread to compliment the throttle inputs. All the driver needs to learn is when to go full throttle and when to go half throttle (like half way through the apex) on lower torque to get on the drive earlier without consequence of wheelspin. The engine mapping can then also apply the maximum torque at say 8/10ths of max throttle. I don’t know whether its legal or not, but the team could also put ‘slots’ in the throttle so the driver can feel the pedal is at half throttle. In my car, I have a ‘slot’ on my accelerator that tells me I’m at 9/10ths and when I want to use the full effect of launch control I have to ensure that my pedal goes beyond that slot to get 100% throttle. So it’s not unconceivable that a manual form of traction control can be achieved through the use of clever engine mapping that is coorelated to a throttle pedal that a driver can easily distinguish exactly how much input they are applying.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th July 2012, 23:57

            @vho,@xeroxpt, thanks for the explanation guys, I was aware of F1s role in developing traction control, I was and still am against its use in racing, however even VHOs trick accelerator needs the driver to decide where, when and how much throttle/power to apply and that to me is the essence of driving. If an engine has a very “peaky” torque curve, and I am guessing an F1 engine does, then it makes sense to try and smooth that curve through the useful rpm range, as has been done since the earliest days of motorsport for example the spark advance/retard lever on the steering wheel of vintage racers. I don’t want computers to take the skill out of racing but F1 is a development series and whilst I have fond memories of cars with multiple Webber 42DCOEs and manual gearboxes F1 must be relevant to succeed.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th July 2012, 23:59

            @ukfanatic, see @xeroxpt.

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 24th July 2012, 3:48

      We clash again HoHum. F1 has passed technology to the road car industry not the contrary that’s one reason that put such concepts to shelf, there’s nothing left to discover there nothing relevant to explore especially when F1 has the new 2014 regulation coming, those new turbo engines may help the industry, besides since 1994 that the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) has been widely against electronic aids one of the reasons of the shared standard more economical ECUs, obviously they dont want to sell computers, this new red bull isnt a breakthough in the automotive industry, it is a faked (not tangible) reliability, traction control, driver aid made and controlled by computers. F1 has nothing to do with computer development, despite that it has pushed software development to the limits and i think thats how much the FIA can allow F1 to go eletronic.

    • vho (@) said on 24th July 2012, 18:20

      I couldn’t figure out why the engine mapping would impact aero, and that it was more to do with a manual type of traction control – in the end I was right. Didn’t some team have traction related software in their ECU and got caught by the FIA but claimed they never used it? What’s the point of having the code in the ECU if it’s not going to be used?

  7. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 24th July 2012, 0:57

    Massa’s not stupid, and nor is he slow. Alonso is absolutely awesome right now, to the point where only a few drivers in the world could keep up with him in the same car, so Felipe is probably at the car’s level right now, and that could be handy.

    If he finds himself in a position like Silverstone, running not far away from Alonso, he can and will take points off McLaren and Red Bull, thereby maximising Alonso’s chances of winning the title. F1 is a team sport, and a good 2nd driver is key component in any successful team. Ferrari know this, which is why they a) haven’t sacked Massa and b) won’t.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th July 2012, 1:03

      a good 2nd driver is key component

      Nobody argues with that. Or that Massa himself is a 2nd driver. The issue is that he isn’t actually a good one.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th July 2012, 8:23

      @lin1876

      F1 is a team sport, and a good 2nd driver is key component in any successful team.

      And that’s exactly what Massa isn’t. His under-performing is costing Ferrari badly.

      If he’d only managed to score half of Alonso’s points title this year Ferrari would be leading the constructors’ championship. As things stand he has less than 15% of Alonso’s tally, which is frankly appalling.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 9:11

        @keithcollantine

        And that’s exactly what Massa isn’t. His under-performing is costing Ferrari badly.

        Who could Ferrari reasonably replace him with? Any new driver in the team is going to be a disruption as they settle in. They could do what they did with Fisichella in 2009, and buy someone out of an existing contract, but they consider drivers like Sergio Perez to be too inexpeirenced for the seat, and teams will fight to hold onto the likes of Kovalainen, who are worth a lot to them. Kamui Kobayashi is perhaps the only driver who would be experienced enough for Ferrari to consider him, without his team fighting to keep him (and Ferrari could make it worth Sauber’s while to give him up) – but I just don’t see that happening. The only other option is to get someone like Adrian Sutil in, but he has no experience on the 2012-spec Pirellis, and will take time to learn them while everyone else has come to grips with them.

        Ferrari’s best course of action is to grin and bear it. Keep Massa until the end of the season, but then find some new blood for 2013. That should minimise the disruption.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th July 2012, 9:43

          @prisoner-monkeys

          they consider drivers like Sergio Perez to be too inexpeirenced for the seat

          Well he’s got more than twice as many points as Massa at the moment in car which has been less competitive for most of the season, so more fool them.

          Any of the drivers in the gulf between Alonso and Massa in the points standings would be a worthy candidate, and so would most of those outside of it.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 9:53

            Well he’s got more than twice as many points as Massa at the moment in car which has been less competitive for most of the season, so more fool them.

            I believe Ferrari see Perez as a long-term prospect – someone who can take Massa’s place at the team and maybe one day lead it when Alonso retires or moves on. They didn’t get to where they are today without being a good judge of talent, so maybe they’re somewhat justified in holding off on Perez for six more months. They always have been conservative like that, but they haven’t made a truly bad driver choice since Ivan Capelli. Even if Massa is in decline at the moment, he does have a pedigree to him.

            Any of the drivers in the gulf between Alonso and Massa in the point standings would be a worthy candidate, and so would most of those outside of it.

            But again, is it worth the disruption? It has to happen sooner or later, but if they let Massa go now, it will probably be worse than if they let him go at the end of the year because we’re in the middle of the season.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th July 2012, 9:55

            @prisoner-monkeys

            is it worth the disruption?

            Definitely. This is a change they should have made at the beginning of this season. Better late than never.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 10:00

            Well, he’s got the support of Domenicali for now, so I guess it’s moot point.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th July 2012, 10:02

            Drivers always do until they get fired, however overdue it is.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 10:19

            Even so, I’d say Massa’s position is secured for now. Getting rid of him might be a necessary evil, but getting rid of him three days before Friday practice is stupid.

          • rahul1810 (@rahul1810) said on 24th July 2012, 10:54

            In my opinion Ferrari could have either took in a young driver with F1 experience for the remainder of the year, someone like Jamie Alguesuari or Lucas Di Grassi, or Jules Bianchi from their own academy who is doing quite good with Force India in his test role. If it didn’t work out they wouldn’t lose much, if it does they have unearthed a big talent.

            Another possibility would be to go with someone like Heikki Kovalainen. He is driving pretty good, has got the experience and played a very good no. 2 driver to Hamilton in 2008 and 2009.

            Ferrari have got a good future line up ready in their academy in Perez and Bianchi, and they should look to phase them in next 2-3 years. No need to go after Vettel, long time since they unearthed their own star like Mclaren did with Hamilton or Flavio Briatore did with Alonso.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 11:06

            Ferrari could have either took in a young driver with F1 experience for the remainder of the year, someone like Jamie Alguesuari or Lucas Di Grassi, or Jules Bianchi from their own academy

            They won’t. They said that Sergio Perez isn’t experienced enough to join Ferrari yet, so why would they pass on him in favour of Alguersuari, di Grassi (who did nothing to justify his time in Formula 1) or Bianchi (who has no Formula 1 experience)?

            Another possibility would be to go with someone like Heikki Kovalainen.

            Do you really think Caterham will give him up?

          • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 24th July 2012, 11:13

            I think Ferrari are very aware of what happened in 2009, where neither Badoer nor Fisichella were able to get to grips with a car which Raikkonen and Massa were flattering. I don’t think Massa is under performing as much as Alonso is over performing, so there’s no guarantee anyone else would do a better job.

            I suspect the Sauber, underneath, is a fundamentally better car than the Ferrari, and that Alonso would be running away were he driving it. Like @prisoner-monkeys I think Ferrari see Perez as a prospect for the future, but there’s no point spending a vast amount of money buying out his Sauber contract (or anyone else’s contract, for that matter), just to see him do the job no better than Massa is able to.

            Perhaps they could draft Bianci in, but again, why? Talented though he may be, he has almost no F1 experience, and I’m sure Ferrari would want to farm him out to another team to gain said experience rather than risk a race seat.

            In short, Massa’s not going anywhere because there’s little point in replacing him now. Next season is a totally different matter though…

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th July 2012, 11:25

            I think Ferrari are very aware of what happened in 2009, where neither Badoer nor Fisichella were able to get to grips with a car which Raikkonen and Massa were flattering. I don’t think Massa is under performing as much as Alonso is over performing, so there’s no guarantee anyone else would do a better job.

            That’s a reasonable view but if Ferrari are considering who’s going to be in the car next year after Massa’s contract expires then it would make perfect sense to get them in the car right away to give them the maximum time in preparation for 2013, given the lack of testing.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 11:46

            @keithcollantine – But there is a championship position at stake here. Ferrari have a points buffer over Lotus and McLaren right now, but the Lotus drivers are fairly strong, and if Hockenheim is anything to go by, McLaren is at the beginning of a resurgence. Ferrari can’t count on Alonso to carry their title challenge single-handedly, and swapping Massa for someone else might leave them vulnerable to both McLaren and Lotus, and that’s the last thing they want. At least in Massa, they know what to expect, however underwhelming he can be. No doubt they’ll be looking for him to produce more performances like his Silverstone race and less like his Hockenheim showing. They’ll drop him the moment they feel he becomes a liability, but until then, they’ll back him as their second driver.

          • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 24th July 2012, 11:47

            That’s a reasonable view but if Ferrari are considering who’s going to be in the car next year after Massa’s contract expires then it would make perfect sense to get them in the car right away to give them the maximum time in preparation for 2013, given the lack of testing.

            It’s likely next year’s Ferrari is going to be very different to this year’s model, so again, what’s the point? Why shove Perez into a car which looks like a handful, only to then say “here’s a new, different, car to learn”? They’d be as well keeping him at Sauber.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 24th July 2012, 12:46

            It’s likely next year’s Ferrari is going to be very different to this year’s model, so again, what’s the point? Why shove Perez into a car which looks like a handful, only to then say “here’s a new, different, car to learn”? They’d be as well keeping him at Sauber.

            Joining a new team is about much more than learning how the car behaves, though. Pretty much everything about Ferrari will be different, procedurally and culturally. By joining this year, it gives the new driver time to adapt to the new environment, and gives the engineers time to establish a good working dialogue. It’d also mean that the driver may have some input towards next year’s car, which they may not have had otherwise. Even if it’s just dimensions – look at how Button struggled in his first year at McLaren, in a car which was clearly designed for a much shorter driver.

            There are many reasons why putting a new driver into the car midway through this year would make sense. Although my personal feeling is that Ferrari will simply let Massa see out the rest of the year then won’t renew his contract, while at the same time contracting a driver for next year on the quiet.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th July 2012, 16:36

            Just some points that I consider as I lean towards PM’s stance on this debate…it is well within Ferrari’s way to have designed this current car with only FA in mind. ie. they may have known from the getgo that FM would likely struggle with it, but certainly have hoped otherwise. Turns out it was a handful for both drivers initially, but if I’m right it only makes sense that given the time they asked for when everyone was hounding them for having come up with a dog, even before the season began, that FA would have a much better handle on it as things have progressed. I just think it should be no surprise if the team sounds like they need more from FM or he is gone, but they themselves are the ones that have set him up to be where he is now. Perhaps they hoped just not quite as far back and as far out of it in quite as many of the races than has happened.

            Also, if there was more testing like in the past then I would be leaning more toward them perhaps replacing FM mid-season, but as it stands there is absolutely no guarantee that parachuting someone in to replace FM would be a benefit, and I think the odds are exactly the opposite…a newby to the team, barring a fluke, would need the rest of the season to adapt to what I suspect is FA’s car. Unless Ferrari has it in mind to hire someone who’s style is akin to FA’s. I do take Keith’s point that it would give the new guy a head start into next season, but I think given the closeness of this season they can’t think that far ahead right now. They don’t intend on hiring a WDC level driver anyway, so I don’t think they are that concerned about a new guy doing better at the start of next season than FM has done at the start of this one.

            eg. Perez may be doing twice as well in his car as FM in his, but that is no guarantee that the Ferrari would suit him and he could just jump in it and immediately outperform FM. Or maybe he would but I think the odds are against that and it may not be a crapshoot that Ferrari can afford to take.

            It has to be a fine balance for Ferrari…they have not acted in the last number of years (or two decades) like they care to have two WDC’s on the team, and at the same time they claim they want more from FM…but I’m certainly not convinced they want WAY more than FM is providing. They don’t want someone robbing points from FA…they’d just have to make ‘the call’ if that were to happen. And we all know what happens then…

            I think the odds are in Ferrari’s favour that FM will continue to improve his average finishing spots as they have improved the car, and potentially take some points away from some of the key players that can bother FA, and given that FM has now stated it almost like he is happy to help FA and feels needed, I think they would be making the wrong move to replace him now. They have a compliant number 2 who is engrained on the team and with the car. In a new hire they would only have a compliant number 2 but not someone engrained with the car and team so it would be a big gamble that they needn’t take, imho, and would more likely leave FA alone to fend for himself, which may be enough…except for the crapshoot that has become this season, and the concept that FA’s Ferrari is likely still not the best car out there.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 24th July 2012, 10:35

          I don’t see them ditching him before the end of the season, but I don’t see him still being there next year. He’s effectively costing them a constructors’ trophy at the moment, and that’s a very serious thing, even to a team which will usually receive more in prize money than the team which does take the title.

          Plenty of drivers I’d rather have in that second seat. Even if you look to the back of the grid, why not someone like Timo Glock? he wasn’t too shabby for Toyota and he’s doing a fair job now.

          Massa is in a situation where virtually anyone would be doing a better job than him in that car.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th July 2012, 16:57

            Just one more point…if FA’s Ferrari is still not the best car out there, then is the lesser driver FM really doing that badly given the tenths of seconds, not multiple seconds, that seperate the cars/drivers these days? That to Lin1876′s point. And given the uniqueness of this season with it’s cliffy tires and it’s multiple winners? Slotting someone in between what FA has achieved and what FM hasn’t seems rather like splitting hairs and Ferrari would be better off working with the devil they know than the one they don’t. Imho, Keith, they can’t afford to think about next year right now. They don’t have the luxury of the assumption that FA is just going to keep increasing his gap in the WDC. This season is night and day to last season in that regard, so Ferrari must only consider this year’s fight for now. Sure…if they were pulling a Red Bull 2011, or were so out of it like it seemed they would be at the start of the season, then maybe a move away from FM would work to their benefit in the long run, but for now I think they need to be very much in the moment by the way this season has and is shaping up, and they need to run with FM’s conviction that he can help, as opposed to him a few years ago being ‘no Reubens’.

  8. SD (@sd) said on 24th July 2012, 1:30

    The over-confidence from Lotus annoys me. They may be fast but they do not seem to have that winning attitude. Romain has had some good races and Kimi has been ok but nothing spectacular so far. I guess they should get a win under their belt before boasting off about their pace.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 7:24

      Yeah, Lotus are proving to be one of the biggest disappointments this season. They started out with plenty of promise, counter-balanced by a little misfortune, but they’ve so far failed to deliver what so many people have expected from them for most of the season so far. And they may have missed their opportunity, too – the season is quickly shaping up to be Alonso racing the Red Bulls, and the McLarens may join the fringes of the fight if Button’s pace in Germany is anything to go by.

      • Julian (@julian) said on 24th July 2012, 8:31

        It typical of the lotus/Renault team of late. Start strong and fade away as the top teams out develop them. Has happened the last 3 years. But they are doing better this season, just not good enough

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 24th July 2012, 9:24

      Grosjean must work on his first lap! That boy can’t have two trouble free first laps in a row.

  9. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 24th July 2012, 1:57

    What kind of support does Felipe think he’s giving Alonso? He started 14th, and ruined his race on the first lap. The only time he has a chance to affect Fernando’s rivals is when he’s being lapped. One decent race (Silverstone) doesn’t justify him being consistently useless.

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 24th July 2012, 2:54

      He has given some support to his teamate. The fact that he isnt fighting for the lead grants Alonso always priority when pitting.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th July 2012, 8:13

      He helped though, because it was probably his wing’s bits that caused the puncture for Hamilton, making one rival unable to score :-)

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th July 2012, 9:28

      @ciaran . Couldn’t agree anymore. Felipe seems to gloat in the fact that Fernando could use the help of a number 2 driver in securing the WDC. What Felipe doesn’t realise is that he is the most useless number 2 driver on the grid.

      In 2010, Felipe’s lack lustre performances resulted in Felipe taking zero points off either of the Red Bull drivers in the 2nd half of the season. It was constantly Alonso vs the Red Bulls and Felipe battling the backmarkers. People might argue that he gifted Alonso 7 points in Hockenheim, but I would argue that his rubbish performances gave the Red Bull drivers atleast 30-40 points in return.

      This year I cannot think of one incident where Felipe has been of any use to Alonso, and yet he seems to be proud of the fact that he could help. What Alonso needs is a good support driver or a number 2 driver… not Felipe Massa

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th July 2012, 18:45

        While I understand your sentiment, I think FM will have better days in the second half of the season as the car improves and he understands it better, a car that may well have been built with only FA in mind. I do understand that he has been nowhere for the most part up until now but I think on a weekend where rain doesn’t throw a curve ball into things I believe on average FM will perform better and be of more use to FA. At least we know this…at this point there is no phone call needed…FM knows his role and sounds ready and willing to help where he can, unlike two years ago when he grumbled ‘I’m no Reubens’. And at least the field is very tight, so he may only need to find a few tenths here and there to get in front of a few key players and take some points off them. I would also like to think that FA goes about his days not hoping for and depending on the help of FM to achieve his goals. And I think FM is probably feeling a little down, a little defensive, and might be feeling the need to stake a claim amongst all the rumours on his role on the team, to make his lack of performance thus far a little more palatable. I certainly take your point about him being of little help to FA, but he has also not been a hindrance, and perhaps that is all FA can or should ask for.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 2:57

    I see Dani Clos will be driving in Narain Karthikeyan’s place for FP1 in Hungary. I’m surprised the team hasn’t put Qinghua Ma in the car yet, given that he’s done enough to qualify for a superlicence (indeed, they elected not to run on the second day of testing at Silverstone because Ma had met one of the conditions for a superlicence). Then again, he only qualified for it two weeks ago, and I have no idea how long it takes the FIA to process and approve a superlicence. I suppose they’ll want to save his on-track debut for the return to Asia, given that it would get them considerably exposure, even if the Chinese Grand Prix took place months ago. It wouldn’t surprise me if HRT intend on using Ma to find some investors in Asia, and maybe give him a race seat in 2013.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 6:02

    Bruno Senna says his pace is “worthy of more points”, which naturally begs the question of why he isn’t scoring anything.

    Am I the only one who thinks it would be worth Williams’ while for the team to put Valtteri Bottas in the car for the entire Hungarian Grand Prix, and then assess their options over the summer break? I don’t know what happened to Senna during the race at Hockenheim, but he ended up making an early mistake and finished behind Vitaly Petrov in a much slower car, failed to make Q3 when Maldonado was fifth, and (I believe) he is one of only two drivers – the other being Narain Karthikeyan – to have been out-qualified by his team-mate at every race (the only times Maldonado has started behind him have come after penalties have been applied).

    • Girts (@girts) said on 24th July 2012, 8:49

      @prisoner-monkeys Your link leads to an F1 Fanatic article from 2006, called ‘D-Day for Ide’. I’m sure the latter one also thought his pace was worthy of more points though…

      Bottas looks like a potential star of the future, he seems to be a typical Finn with sisu. But I think Williams would be wise to give Bottas some more practice before giving him a race seat, not because I would expect him to perform worse than Senna but because a too early F1 debut could possibly damage Valtteri’s future and testing is worth more than gold these days.

      I think they’ll replace Senna with Bottas in 2013. Bruno’s days in F1 seem to be numbered although who knows.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 8:58

        Your link leads to an F1 Fanatic article from 2006, called ‘D-Day for Ide’.

        It does?

        That’s just weird. it’s supposed to link to this, which is on the front page over at Autosport.

        a too early F1 debut could possibly damage Valtteri’s future and testing is worth more than gold these days

        He’s got to make the leap sooner, rather than later. If Bottas were to race this weekend, it would be at the Hungaroring, a circuit he knows. If he were to make his debut in the first race of 2013, then it will likely be at Albert Park, a circuit he does not know.

        I think they’ll replace Senna with Bottas in 2013.

        I think Bottas will almost certainly be in the seat in 2013, but I also think there would be merit in giving him a one-off drive in Hungary, and going from there. If he impresses, keep him in the seat for a while. If he doesn’t, the team could have Senna see out the season and come back to Bottas in 2013.

        • I think they’ll replace Senna with Bottas in 2013.

          To be honest, I think Bottas will drive at least a couple of races for Williams this season as well.

          I don’t see any reason for him not to. He is faster than Senna, he brings a serious infusion of capital into the team as a bonus, Frank Williams has stated repeatedly that Valtteri belongs in the races and that “it won’t be long” until he takes his place in Senna’s seat, Valtteri’s manager just got promoted to executive director inside the team and so on.

          Bottas is definitely a potential race winner and as Williams surely expect him to capitalise on that in 2013, I’m sure they are aware of the fact that putting the finn in a racing seat for at least some full events this season can only help.

          It’s only a matter of “when”. I for one expect him to swap seats with Senna after the summer break.

          The more delicate question is: once he’s in a racing seat, will he outperform Maldonado? :)

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th July 2012, 17:11

      @prisoner-monkeys
      In Canada Senna was ahead in qualifying on merit (Maldonado got a penalty on top of that). In Germany he was involved in a collision with Grosjean which meant he had to pit for a puncture and new front wing.

  12. Girts (@girts) said on 24th July 2012, 6:49

    Would like to wish a very happy birthday to @Younger-Hamii !

  13. Eggry (@eggry) said on 24th July 2012, 6:51

    I think now Massa gets better than last couple of years. I’m not sure he can win this year but certainly he has pace. We will see he would do what he couldn’t in 2010…

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th July 2012, 7:37

    I thought that the questionable ECU settings altered the amount of air intake when off throttle, thus providing an aero advantage? That BBC article refers to reaction control.

    The E20 double DRS sounds interesting but maybe too complex when it comes to altering the airflow at higher speeds.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 8:05

    “The FIA is trying to produce a rule clarification in time for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.”

    Simple solution: if it’s possible, standardise throttle maps.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th July 2012, 8:17

      I think the trick is, that each engine needs its own mapping, leaving it in the hands of the Renault engineers who helped Red Bull come up with this mapping to make theirs for all the Renault engined teams. Surely it will make more of them happy, but not the ideal solution, I guess.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th July 2012, 8:39

        I can see how each model of engine might need its own map – ie Mercedes would be different to Cosworth, which would be different to Ferrari – but my idea still works. I admit that I don’t know too much about the nuances of engine mapping, but I think it would be easy enough to force the teams to submit an engine map before each race, which the FIA will then analyse and approve. If that engine map does not meet the rules, the teams would be forced to submit another engine map. If a car or team uses a different engine map, they are disqualified.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th July 2012, 12:20

          The simple fact Bauer had time to have a good look at the engine mapping shows these are already being handed to the FIA to check on iregularities, so that is no solution.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 24th July 2012, 9:29

      It’s impossible because we have 4 engine manufacturer. Do you remember last year, in Silverstone, Mercedes said they need off throttle blowing in order to protect their engines? Renault said similar thing. Only way to apply standard map is forcing all teams to use same eninge, probably Ferrari’s, I guess.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 24th July 2012, 9:54

      As others have said, standardising throttle maps between engine manufacturers, or even between different cars using the same engine, wouldn’t work because of the individual requirements of each car.

      However, the FIA could ask for one engine from each manufacturer to be supplied to them for bench testing, where the FIA establishes the exact torque curve of the engine under different throttle positions to produce a 3D overview of the power against engine speed and throttle position, then require that each team submit its maps prior to the season or to the race, where these maps are independently tested to ensure that the power delivery is within a certain percent of the mandated original, or at least that the torque curve is consistent. Maps could then be fixed for the season. They could even be preloaded onto tamper proof ROMs on the ECUs prior to the race, making it impossible for the teams to change them.

      Or you could just accept that it’s Formula 1, and let the teams do what they like with mapping. And if you don’t want teams blowing things with exhausts, just mandate an exhaust position at the very rear of the car which will make this impossible. It’s not rocket science, and I don’t know why they’ve made such a fudge of it this year.

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