Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2012

Ferrari retain Massa for 2013

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2012Felipe Massa will remain at Ferrari in 2013, the team has confirmed.

A statement released by the team on Tuesday said: “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its contract with the driver Felipe Massa to the end of the 2013 race season.”

“The Scuderia?s driver line-up for next year is therefore made up of Fernando Alonso and the aforementioned Felipe Massa.”

Massa said he is “very happy to have reached this agreement”.

“Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula 1, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello: I can?t see myself driving cars propelled by anything else!

“First and foremost, I want to thank president Montezemolo and [team principal] Stefano Domenicali, who had faith in me and who have always supported me, even at the most difficult moments. The team and also all the fans can rest assured that I will do all in my power to help the Scuderia reach the targets it sets itself each year.”

Domenicali said: “He has been part of our family for over a decade and has shown, especially in this recent part of the season, that he is once again competitive at the highest level, which is what is expected of every driver who gets behind the wheel of a Ferrari.

“We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career and we are certain of his worth and are sure he will know how to repay the confidence this renewal proves we have in him.”

Yesterday Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo denied claims Sebastian Vettel would join the team in 2014, saying: “I don?t want to have two roosters in the same henhouse.”

“I am so happy to continue another year with Felipe Massa as a team mate!” Alonso wrote on Twitter. “I?m sure we are the best team!”

“After eight different team mates Felipe staying is another example of what I always say: do not believe anything you read unless it?s official,” he continued.

Ferrari’s statement added: “Now that Massa?s situation has been cleared up, maybe speculation surrounding Ferrari drivers will calm down for a few days, but that?s probably a vain hope: the rumour mill works round the clock, manned by people who, having said one thing and then the complete opposite, can congratulate themselves on having got it just right.

“Indeed, this was one of the reasons that pushed Montezemolo and Massa to decide on announcing the renewal today, to put an end to all the speculation.”

Massa will remain with Ferrari for an eighth season. He joined them from Sauber in 2006 to partner Michael Schumacher.

In 2008 Massa finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, winning six races.

But he missed half of the season in 2009 after suffering head injuries during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. He has not won a race since returning in 2010, when Alonso joined Ferrari as his team mate.

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172 comments on “Ferrari retain Massa for 2013”

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  1. Massa needs i win in 2012 so he can start 2013 with good form and he will challenge for the title.

    1. Hahahahahahahahaaha. hahahahahaha. ha…

      Massa’s one shot at the title was in 2008. He did all he could but was pipped at the post. He lost that title in a cruel manner, I’ll agree, but nowadays he isn’t even half the man he was then. With number 1 status firmly in Alonso’s hands, Massa will not get a shot at the title. He struggles to get on top of the car or manage to extract any additional performance out of the car.

  2. Sucks bigtime as a ferrari fan!
    I dont know what Montezemolo sees in him! There should be a liimit of being out of form. Wining just 11 races in 6 years in Ferrari. Even the statistics fail to show how much a dumb-driver he is. If Ferrari needed a number two driver, there are numerous others who would finish 2nd whenever (if) Alonso finishes 1st, but no Ferrari wants a number two driver who will finish in the podium twice a year and rest of the year spin around out of points.

  3. Missed opportunity here. There are many options on the table for Ferrari and some of them I would say are better than Felipe. I wonder his contract has any clauses in it where he can be dropped mid-season next year. It’s not something Ferrari have done for a while, but it must be something they could consider, just to try out a couple of different drivers ahead of 2014 (should Vettel not continue with Red Bull, which is hard to imagine given the success they’re currently having).

  4. Not bad choice. Actually I think it’s quite no-brainer for Ferrari. If he performs next year as recent from, WCC is very possible. of course Ferrari should produce winning car from Melbourne though.

    1. Wishful thinking :)

      Until Luca stops talking/acting in charge of Ferrari F1 team, they always going to be a bunch of chickens, with Santander Rooster telling them what to do :)

      Italian National team run by Spanish money, gotta love to be Ferrari fan lately.

  5. Well now we can be sure Ferrari won’t win the WCC next year either.

  6. No idea what everyone is complaining about here. As a Ferrari fan myself I think it’s brilliant to have Massa back. He is a true team player and when he’s fast, he is seriously fast.

    Just look at the last race, he was probably just as fast as Vettel and had to back off for Alonso. He just needed time to come out of his accident and cope with a new type of car and tyres.

    I wish him all the best for the remainder of this season and next.

    1. Fact is, any other driver in any other team would have been fired long ago for the kind of performance he put in during the last couple of years. And this is, in many ways, the biggest team in the sport we’re talking about…

      1. I’ve got the answer: Alonso!

      2. So does this reflect well on Ferrari for honoring Massa’s contract up to now and not trying to fire him for allegedly underperforming, or does it reflect poorly upon them b/c they should’ve been very ruthless and found a way to dispose of him?

        1. People get fired for not performing everywhere, not only F1. Why is that “ruthless”?

          Yes, it reflects very poorly on Ferrari. You also comment elsewhere: “There is no shame in being a loyal domestique or gregario”.

          When you take part in an extremely competitive sport, being a loyal domestique to another participant is all the shame in the world.

    2. Kimi Räikkönen
      17th October 2012, 9:47


  7. I really can’t believe that there are people who are suggesting Ferrari is knowingly doing the wrong thing here. I mean, are you serious? Why would they do what they did if they thought there was a better option?
    You are seriously suggesting that they wanna screw themselves up?

    1. Slightly confused, Brace. Which post(s) are you refering to about Ferrari knowingly doing the wrong thing?

      1. I don’t think he’s referring to a specific post but rather those expressing the sentiment that Ferrari team is knowingly choosing to go w/ an inferior product as if there was a better choice out there to fill their needs for an Alonso-partner. Obviously, unless you think the fact that Todt’s son manages Felipe was the crucial factor, Ferrari re-signed Massa b/c they think he’s their best option for accomplishing their goals next year.

  8. Sad news. You have to think that this man, who was about to win a championship of Formula 1 in 1998, will never win a race again while Alonso is on track, because Alonso´s ego is so big.
    Massa is a very good driver, he might have played a good role driving for Sauber or Williams.

    1. 2008, not 1998

    2. @jorgelardone

      because Alonso´s ego is so big

      Not because Alonso’s ego is so big… its more because Massa doesn’t stand a chance in hell anyways. How many races has Massa been stronger than Alonso since 2010? 4 or 5 ??? While Alonso has absolutely outclassed him the rest of the time.

      Massa cannot beat Alonso with same machinery and that is why he is demoted to number 2… if he thinks he has a chance of winning a championship, maybe he should leave Ferrari. I do not know how you can feel sorry for Massa when he himself wants to stay at Ferrari despite the situation.

  9. Is OK. I mean, is OK. I don’t care about the rest. Is ok.

    — Kimi

  10. What is the record for most number of consecutive seasons in a Ferrari? Massa must be close to it.

    1. Schuey was what, 96-2006, so 11 seasons? Anyone go longer?

  11. I don’t like Massa, but he is the best option by far. Maybe Hulkenberg could be in the picture, but he would need to adapt to the team, teammate, those kind of things. The other drivers are not quick enough, or aren’t race winners material yet. Di Resta, Kobayashi, Alguersuari, Sutill? Pffff….

    1. They lost their best (only?) option when Webber re-signed for RBR.

      1. Yeap. Webber would be a nice fit to the team.

      2. @gridl0k They also lost Perez after Singapore. That was, for me, I massive loss and has forced Ferrari’s hand to pick Massa.

    2. I would rate most of those drivers above Massa. They are not race winners, mainly because they’ve been in midfield cars throughout their careers. Felipe, on the other hand, has been in a race winning car for several seasons without winning a race.

      1. Constant winners I meant. And no one of these drivers are capable of doing that now. And I believe Perez won’t either (next year), even with Mclaren. Massa already did that, and with confidence he could do it again. But the most important thing is that Massa is what Ferrari needs right now. A competent driver who will what they want.

    3. Just curious but why would Heikki Kovalainen not have been a viable candidate for pairing w/ Alonso? He has, after all, won a GP and he does not yet have a 2013 contract.

  12. Felipe’s form in the past 5 races demonstrated his seat at Ferrari is well deserved. Sure, he had a well sub-par first half of 2012 but the important aspect now is that he managed to find the resources to recover from this dark age of his career. And most importantly, he’s one of the few good drivers out there capable of understanding their place in the team as second drivers. This made him Ferrari’s only option for next year.

    And who knows, if Vettel stays with Red Bull next year and Massa has a good season and brings a solid contribution to a potential WCC title for Ferrari, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari retain him for even another year. Remember what everybody thought about Mark Webber and his place at Red Bull last year? Well, the whole Massa story doesn’t seem far from that now…

    1. @tony031r What about the 35 races prior to that? He has only a few 4th-10th places to his name, book ended by a pair of podiums. His previous 5 races have been good, but over two seasons, he hasnt had the flare or standard that any top team needs if they’re serious about the Constructors title.

      1. maybe he’s recovered after a few seasons in the wilderness? obviously he’s still got the capacity to fight for the podium, and becoming consistent again is the challenge. not you personally, but I think some fans are being downright cruel/disrespectful of Massa and snarkily-dismissive…

  13. “Indeed, this was one of the reasons that pushed Montezemolo and Massa to decide on announcing the renewal today, to put an end to all the speculation.”

    Oh, Ferrari. We stopped speculating about 2013 weeks ago, once we figured out your plan. Haven’t you heard all the talk is about your 2014 lineup now? ;)

  14. Imagine Massa keeps his form from Korea. Now go a bit further and up his quali pace. Fast forward to the last 5 laps of Rnd.1 of the 2013 F1 world championship. Massa leads and Vettel alternator has just failed promoting Alonso to second.
    What would Ferrari do? :D

    Now multiply by 20.

    1. Maybe watch Australia 2010 or China 2011 again!

  15. @jamesf1 – Maybe Ferrari know something we don’t, or they simply trust Massa with the job. I don’t know. You’re right in what you’re saying but there’s no other driver on the grid now who has less to demonstrate than Massa and who is more capable of keeping up with Alonso without passing him, accepting to be the lab rat for all the updates and doing it all without creating any tension in the team. Perez wouldn’t have been able to do it, Hulkenberg wouldn’t have been able to do it. The only guy that would have been up to the job is Di Resta. And he is without doubt slower in essence and more inexperienced than Massa.

    Actually the only guy better than Massa at this job would have been Kovalainen. I don’t have a clue why they didn’t get him…Maybe because they didn’t want to waste the time he would have needed to adapt and get to know the team.

    Anyway, I’m glad they kept Massa at least for another year. He clearly loves Formula 1 and he is trying. Hard. He reminds me of Barrichello in a way. He deserves a seat.

    1. Oh, dumb me! I replied in the wrong place…sorry about that…

    2. @tony031r I agree about Kovalainen. Personally I would have said he would have been the best man for the job. His performances have been outstanding in the Caterham/Team Lotus donkeys over the last three seasons.

      I guess the deciding factor is that they know Massa would be willing to back down to Alonso. He’s also a know quantity for the team. Given that the regs arent really changing much this year into the next, they probably assume that Massa should continue as he is now in his results. Ferrari would be wise to never asssume though, as it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.

  16. I really thought Massa was due up for an HRT seat next year. He may have his moments but he hasn’t been the same since he was hit in the head. It would’ve been nice to see what some of the other talented drivers could’ve done with the red car.

    IMO, better picks: Kovalainen, DiResta, Hulkenberg, and Kobayashi. Seriously, who even knows how talented Pic, Ricciardo and Vergne really are when they’ve been in cars that were well off the pace this year.

  17. I’ll just hope that he can beat Mr. I’m so special cry baby Alonso next year. I mean Alonso is one of the fastest drivers out there, and so was Schumy, but it takes something else to be a hero in my eyes.

  18. You ‘re not a fan of Ferrari if you don’t like this piece of news. Massa has been associated with Ferrari for almost a decade now and it will be a sad day when he leaves.I know that he has cost lots of WCC points but I never want him to leave Ferrari.I am sure the team feels the same way and that’s why they keep him.Plus, he was the protagonist of the race that got me hooked in F1 (Interlagos 2008).
    Besides all this, Massa was the best choice for Ferrari in 2013. He knows the team and the team knows him.A new driver would take too much time to adapt and he wouldn’t be as a good team player as Massa is .
    Anyway, I ‘ll be watching him closely in the remaining races.If he continues to bring good results,2013 will be his best year in F1 since 2008.

    1. I agree 100% w/ you. It might be irrational, defy logic, or be an emotions-based decision, but I like Felipe w/ Ferrari and am not ready to see him go!

    2. Massa also speaks Italian which is an advantage at Ferrari


      Due to limited testing, Ferrari need one car to do in-race testing and this is what Massa has been doing until the last couples of races when they needed to show that Massa still has it so they can justify this decision.

      Congratulations to Massa and I wish they sack his engineer who always takes a dig at both Massa and Ferrari if you listen between the line. He is the rottn apple in the cart.

      God > infinity

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