‘I wouldn’t have kept Massa’, says Horner

2012 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2012Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he would not have made Ferrari’s decision to retain Felipe Massa for 2012.

Commenting in the Official Formula One season review 2012 book, Horner said: “No, I don’t think I would [have kept him].”

“Unfortunately, it’s a tough business, and results-based. You’ve got to look at what the guy in the other car, which we must assume is equal equipment, is achieving.”

Asked if he was surprised Ferrari had decided to keep Massa, Horner replied: “Yes and no.

“They obviously had a good look at other drivers – at least one of ours! – so they were obviously concerned about his form, but their options seemed to become limited.”

“They took their time over Perez who, at the early point of the year, seemed to be a shoe-in [sic] for that drive. He’d shown real progress, he was a member of their junior academy, and then McLaren announced him.

“Then Felipe obviously picked his form up in the last third of the year. They were obviously deliberating – the messages coming out of Maranello confirmed that – and probably when the music stopped they realised that the option they had was best for them.”

Ferrari announced they would keep Massa following the Korean Grand Prix. His points score relative to team mate Fernando Alonso’s has fallen each year since they became team mates in 2010, and is the lowest of all the team mates in the top four teams during that time.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo spoke about Massa during the team’s Christmas lunch last week, saying: “I don?t know where you went in the first part of the year but I am very pleased you came back, both because it meant we were able to finish ahead of major teams in the constructors? classification, but also because it is important for next year.”

Twelve months ago Montezemolo said Massa needed to “prove himself” in 2012 and the team expected “great things” of him.

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118 comments on ‘I wouldn’t have kept Massa’, says Horner

  1. HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th December 2012, 17:25

    I can’t help wondering if Massas return to form is due to either the car or the psychology of a new contract boosting confidence OR if it may actually be physical ie. the brain repairing the damage by growing new connections or developing other areas of the brain to do the work of sensing acceleration and Gforces and speeding up the reaction time that final tenth of a percent that makes the difference between great and mediocre.

    I know brain damage takes a long time to fully recover but have no expertise in this area, merely curiosity. Do we have an expert in neurology amongst us who can comment ?

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th December 2012, 17:48

    Me neither

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th December 2012, 18:07

      On a more serious note: Felipe Massa’s past three years have been unimpressive to say the least. In 2010 he would only have scored one victory if Ferrari wouldn’t have decided to let Alonso through. Still he was beaten that year. 2011 became a year in which it became clear that Alonso was miles ahead of him and then came along 2012, in which he was annihilated by Alonso’s performance. Even if Ferrari’s aim is to be a one-man team, I still can’t see how they would retain a driver with such poor form as Massa. The only thing I can imagine is that Ferrari has already decided to be sure to get the first pick for the 2014 drivers.

      What I find saddest is that Ferrari seems not to be interested in displaying the good drivers and compete with them against the pinnacle of motorsport. A bad driver in a good team simply goes against the unwritten rules of Formula 1. I am disgusted by Ferrari’s decision to let Massa drive a car poorly for one more year, as there are literally hundreds of drivers that would and could get that final Ferrari seat.

  3. muz (@murray1964) said on 18th December 2012, 2:20

    I was getting the feeling that towards the end of the year Massa was getting his confidence back and almost at his ‘old self’. I wouldnt be surprised if he is faster than Alonso next year.

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