Massa: ‘Alonso would support me if I were leading’

2013 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 2013Felipe Massa says Ferrari would require Fernando Alonso to support him in the drivers’ championship if he was leading it.

Massa has sacrificed points and positions for Alonso on several occasions in recent seasons but he says if roles were reversed Alonso would have to do the same for him.

Massa said: “We are fighting for two titles and I am sure the team will help me if it turns out that my situation was the same as the one that meant Fernando was a contender these past years.

“I remember when Kimi [Raikkonen] was my team mate and how much we helped one another from one season to the next. It?s the same with Fernando, it?s team work, while the harmony between us is a help, as it would be in any job.”

He added: “I can?t imagine a team not wanting two competitive drivers.”

Last year Ferrari chose to deliberately incur a gearbox change penalty on Massa’s car at the United States Grand Prix, relegating him five places on the grid and moving Alonso forward one. In 2010 Massa was ordered to hand victory to Alonso in the German Grand Prix.

Massa believes his opportunity to compete for the championship will be decided by his performances: “In Australia we start over from zero and it will all depend on my ability and on the way the championship pans out<" he said.

"I hope to get off to the best possible start and my aim is always to carry the Brazilian flag onto the highest step of the podium.

"This year, I am the only Brazilian in Formula One and it was an emotional time on the podium in Interlagos last year, hearing the fans cheering my name: it?s a sign of the affection and closeness I feel from my country and that is fundamental for me."

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54 comments on Massa: ‘Alonso would support me if I were leading’

  1. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 17th January 2013, 14:05

    I would look up and point at the pigs if they were flying.

  2. Kanman1 said on 17th January 2013, 14:09

    HAHAHHAA, the team will pit you to behind while you are leading Felipe.

  3. Arijit (@arijitmaniac) said on 17th January 2013, 14:10

    “This year, I am the only Brazilian in Formula One

    So does that mean Senna doesn’t get a race seat this year??

    • That was my question too!

      Does Massa know that Bruno won’t be there?

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th January 2013, 18:40

        From what I know Massa and Bruno are quite good friends. In fact, all the Brazilians are, or at least seem to be. During the 2010 Interlagos GP I remember Massa, Barrichello, Senna and Di Grassi joking around in the press conference.

        Therefore, if Felipe believes that he is the only Brazilian on the grid, it seems likely that he knows Senna isn’t going to be there next season.

    • Gabriel Fernando (@gabrielfernando) said on 17th January 2013, 18:50

      He is probably guessing, Caterham didn’t show anything, but I think Senna is the favourite to be there

    • wsrgo said on 18th January 2013, 4:05

      @arijitmaniac I had that question too. I’m not sure if Massa knows already that neither Senna or Razia will get the Caterham seat. I think he’s only saying that by looking at the confirmed seats, not the ‘TBC’ seats.

  4. Kanman1 said on 17th January 2013, 14:12

    “I remember when Kimi [Raikkonen] was my team mate and how much we helped one another from one season to the next. It’s the same with Fernando, it’s team work, while the harmony between us is a help, as it would be in any job.”

    According to michael, the development path deviate from Kimi because he didnt work hard enough which benefitted Massa in 2008.

    Alonso is 100times determine and workaholic than Kimi was, same thing would not happen with Alonso onboard.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 16:11

      Yeah I’m convinced that the only reason FM had some success at Ferrari with KR there was that KR didn’t turn out to be the one rooster Ferrari assumed they had hired. Not taking anything away from KR here…I think the team philosophy didn’t suit him either. I actually had started to think that things at Ferrari were getting back to normal post/MS, and that they were allowing genuine racing between the two teammates, but now I’m convinced that all that happened is KR didn’t gel with the team and didn’t prove to be their rooster, which only then opened the door for FM.

  5. Tango (@tango) said on 17th January 2013, 14:19

    Oh boy did I laugh.

  6. Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 14:21

    It’s a lovely thought, FM, and I would love it if it were so, but they didn’t hire FA so you could win the WDC. Did you not read the same stuff the world has read? Ferrari is only interested in one rooster. You will be driving FA’s car again in 2013, and you will somehow have to absolutely trounce FA, in his car, from race one, for any chance whatsoever of them favouring you over FA. Anything else, and even early season strength vs. FA will not be enough to dissuade them from their philosophy. They’ll just tweak things to ensure FA has the upper hand, moreso than he starts the season having. And you know that is the case. But we understand, for your fans and yourself, you probably should say what you are saying.

  7. tmax (@tmax) said on 17th January 2013, 14:35

    Felipe knows very well that Kimi and Fernando are not the same people. They are in fact the extreme ends of the character spectrum of the F1 grid today.

  8. Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 17th January 2013, 14:40

    Highly unlikely, but it’s not like it’s impossible. He did outperform Alonso in the second half of 2012, after all.

    • Francuis (@francuis) said on 17th January 2013, 15:09

      Tell me again how FM out performed FA in the second half of the session? Were we watching the same championship, call Formula 1 2012? FA was on 7 Podiums and twice was taken out in the first round. In the same time FM was on the podium 2 times. How can any one call it out preformed? Are you saying to out qualify your team mate 2 times in 10 races as out performing your team mate? Then he must have out preformed his teammate with at least a 10 sec gap in 2 qualifying rounds and lost out to FA with a gap of 0.00001 Sec in 8 rounds to say he out preformed him

      • babis1980 (@babis1980) said on 17th January 2013, 16:02

        In F1 anything can happen. I wish Felipe would get a chance again for a world championship but his chances are veeeery very slim. If there was a Carlos slim in the picture things could be very different!!!!!

        In the past there were only a few people who won the title without having the “rooster” role in their teams. The south african Jody Scheckter pops to mind or Keke or even Piquets last title. But many times people were there because of other people misery such as Irvine or Hill in ’94 or even Vettel in 2010. So never say never.

    • JB (@) said on 17th January 2013, 15:25


      He did outperform Alonso in the second half of 2012, after all

      Sir… FA didn´t finish 2 races… and just because Felipe outqualified FA 2 times… I wouldn´t call that outperforming him… just saying….

      • Gabriel Fernando (@gabrielfernando) said on 17th January 2013, 18:41

        Yeah, but this shows that Fernando isn’t an unbeatable guy, Felipe showed that he can be faster than Alonso.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th January 2013, 19:11

          Everyone is beatable .. Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton… heck, even Senna was beatable.

          Its how often you get beat that determines your stature… and with Fernando it doesn’t happen often

      • Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 18th January 2013, 0:37

        Final difference from Belgium onwards: 17

        Spa – Alonso was unfortunate, but considering Hulkenberg’s pace and his immense top speed it is unlikely that Alonso would’ve fared much better than Massa. +10 to Alonso, -2 to Massa. (+29)
        Italy – Massa without a tow was faster than Alonso without a tow in qualifying. In the race, however, Massa was ****, so this goes to Alonso. No change, as Sauber had a better car than Ferrari on race day. (+29)
        Singapore – Massa was taken out in the first corner, but after that he had far more pace than Alonso, who even lucked out twice in a row due to the safety cars. It is unlikely that he would’ve beaten Button though. +15 to Massa, -3 to Alonso. (+11)
        Japan – Alonso took himself out, Massa maximized his points. No change.
        Korea – Massa was a million times quicker than Alonso on race day, and even in qualifying he had to slow down immensely in S3 in order to allow Alonso to outqualify him (his first 2 sector times alone put him on pole). Had he been allowed to go past, he would’ve beaten Webber, so he gets P2. +6 to Massa, -3 to Alonso. (+2)
        India – Massa did not have Alonso’s upgrades, but it is impossible to see Massa’s true pace because of this. Unchanged.
        Abu Dhabi – See above.
        USA – Massa, once again, outpaced Alonso on race day, but this time he also outqualified him. Were it not for the penalty he would’ve finished ahead. +3 to Massa, -3 to Alonso. (+5)
        Brazil – Massa was screwed over by Ferrari’s terrible strategy, dropped a full lap behind and still went miles ahead of Alonso at some point. This, coupled with Alonso being outqualified once again, gives Massa the advantage. +3 to Massa, -3 to Alonso. (-1)

        Therefore, even with Massa not having the same car as Alonso in India and Abu Dhabi, were it not for misfortune he would’ve outscored Alonso in the second half of the season, which makes him the better driver.

        • Francuis (@francuis) said on 18th January 2013, 11:25

          To answer (@pamphlet)

          Firstly the second half of the session started in Hungry.

          Hungry – Alonso was 5th and Massa 9th. Thus +10 Alonso, Massa + 2 (8)
          Spa – Alonso was unfortunate and even with Hulkenberg pace I would have given Alonso at least his average race result of 3,5. Then give him +12 and Massa +10. But let’s keep it like it is. Thus 0 Alonso, Massa +10 (-2)
          Monza – Alonso in my opinion should have been on pole if not for the fault in suspension and won the race. But keep the result as is. Thus +15 Alonso, Massa + 12 (3)
          Singapore – Thus +15 Alonso, Massa +4 (12)
          Japan – In my IMO Alonso did not take him self out. He then would have finish in front of Massa. 18 extra points that was not. But keep it like it is. Thus 0 Alonso, Massa +18 (-4)
          Korea – Massa was not faster than Alonso. A million times faster equate to years faster. Not milliseconds or even seconds, but years. That said, just because massa was faster then Alonso in parts of the race when Alonso was managing his tires and fuel loads, does not make him faster over all. I massa was faster and wanted to prove a point he should not have finished 7 seconds down the road at the end. Thus +15 Alonso, Massa +12 (-1)
          India – Alonso did not race the upgrades. When Massa races the upgrades Alonso haters accuse him that Massa is his guinea pig or worse. So thus it is +18 Alonso, Massa +8 (9)
          Abu Dhabi – See what above? There is no explanation? Thus +18 Alonso, Massa +4 (21)
          USA – Lets keep your explanation and say they let them race as they qualified. Alonso on average makes up 4+ positions in a race a Massa only 1. Say then Massa end up in front of Alonso and we swap positions. Thus +12 Alonso, Massa +15 (18)
          Brazil – Lets for argument we keep your explanation, that IMO is ridicules and keep your score, Thus +12 Alonso, Massa +15 (15)

          Then Alonso still OUT PREFORMED Massa and that does not include Alonso Excellent first half of the session and Massa Utterly disappointing first half. I have hope for Massa and believe it will be his strongest performance yet this season. Alonso does need a Massa on form to win the Championship, to come in second to take away point from the opposition, something Massa has not done thus far in 3 sessions.

    • wsrgo said on 18th January 2013, 4:10

      @pamphlet You are missing the point as you are wont to. Like you, I am no Alonso lover, but I don’t go distorting facts on the way.
      Since Hungary, Alonso outqualified Massa 7-3, and outscored him 125-99. Cheerio!

      • Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 18th January 2013, 16:52


        Qualifying doesn’t matter. Senna vs Prost ring any bells? Massa also did not have the same car as Alonso for much of the second part of the season.

        Also you’d have to be pretty dimwitted and simple-minded to discount the existance of misfortune in a sport like F1.

  9. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 17th January 2013, 15:22

    It is equally likely that Massa beats Fernando in the first few races . We can never rule out any possibilities . Meanwhile , If he does so , then I think Ferrari will remain neutral ( I don’t think they will favor massa at the same time ) towards both drivers . We must also not forget that Massa was once very quick in 2008 and almost won the title . I think he has shown flashes of his past exuberance in the last few races ( even though the US and Brazilian grand prix were counter clockwise circuits meaning he normally does very well ) and could compete with Fernando easily .

    The question arises to whether Massa will receive equal backing from Ferrari with respect to Alonso in receiving updates to the car which will also determine how successful he continues to be if he does surmount Alonso in the standings . This is crucial for Felipe as it will determine his future with the team . Unless he finishes in the top three next year , Ferrari will be turning elsewhere for the future . Can’t wait to see how this battle pans out in 2013

    • wsrgo said on 18th January 2013, 4:19

      @hamilfan Massa wass always quick, but extremely erratic. He isn’t really championship material. The F2008 was the class of the field, and despite being backed fully by his team, he failed to win the title. His mistakes in 2008 were too many. The ones I remember:
      Malaysia: Inexplicably spun off from 2nd and beached the car on the gravel.
      Monaco: Shot off at the first corner whilst leading, effectively losing 2nd to Kubica.
      Britain: Finished dead last, making an embarrassment of himself along the way.
      Germany: Should have pressurised Piquet, instead fell asleep and was passed by Hamilton and almost passed by Heidfeld.
      Italy: Should have done better than only 6th. Failed to beat slower cars like Heidfeld and Alonso.
      Singapore: I know, he was deprived of a certain win by Renault’s backhanded tactics and team’s inefficiency. That does not explain his insipid drive thereon, finishing dead last, again.
      Japan: Should have qualified better, reacted to Hamilton’s pressure better, and not tangled needlessly with Bourdais.
      China: Again, should have qualified better.

  10. infy (@infy) said on 17th January 2013, 15:36

    I dont see why people doubt him. Ferrari’s history supports his claim and Alonso himself that if he was out of the Championship race, he would support his team mate.

    • infy (@infy) said on 17th January 2013, 15:37

      You could doubt Alonso, but he’s never been put in a position where he is out of the Championship hunt. 2007 cant even be used an a example of this because neither driver was sufficiently ahead.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 16:25

      Ferrari’s history does not support his claim. Ferrari’s history since MS/Ferrari is to support the designated rooster. FM is not that. So the odds are extremely against FM usurping FA from the rooster position. It’s FA’s car. FA is the better driver, as in, the team intentionally does not hire drivers to challenge their rooster. So it is easy for FA to say (and it makes for a postitive sounding sound byte, and sounds like there is fairness on the team) that if he was out of the WDC race he would support FM. In reality, he knows there are greater odds of him being hit by lightning. Far and away well before FA would have to support FM for a WDC fight, Ferrari would take the fight out of FM by ensuring more effort than ever go toward their rooster.

      • Asanator (@asanator) said on 17th January 2013, 16:57

        Actually Ferrari’s History since 1996 DOES support this claim, they have always supported the drive fighting for the World Championship, they just haven’t had 2 drivers fighting for the championship at the same time!

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 17:16

          “they just haven’t had 2 drivers fighting for the championship at the same time!”

          Right…by design and by contract. They do not WANT two drivers fighting for the WDC at the same time. The drive is to support the designated number 1, designated in the boardroom before the season begins, not earned on the track by both drivers being allowed to duke it out until the math dictates which one has the better WDC shot as the season enters it’s final third of the races.

  11. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 17th January 2013, 16:49

    Even Massa knows that this wouldnt happen.

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th January 2013, 18:03

    Am I naive or something or are you lot just far too cynical?

    No team in the right mind would not want the other driver to support the leading driver…that’s just ridiculous. Massa is right, it’s up to him to put himself in a position where he can actually challenge for it and both drivers jobs to do what they’re told.

    Prove to me that he’s contractually a number two driver, a la Barrichello.

    • Gabriel Fernando (@gabrielfernando) said on 17th January 2013, 18:44

      That’s right, the people think that Alonso is bigger than Ferrari.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 18:49

      I think you are being naive and the rest of us are simply going by what Ferrari themselves have said and proved with their actions. Ferrari is a one-rooster team. Do you really need proof that he’s contractually a number two, ala RB, to know that FM is not their rooster? Isn’t what LdM admitted last year enough?

      So contract or not, we know from LdM’s quote that FM likely doesn’t start off the season with the same equal opportunity that FA does. So how can you suggest that the scenario is simply that all FM has to do is outperform FA and he will get the support of FA, because after all ‘no team in the right mind would not’?

      All teams want one driver to support the leading driver as the season winds down. Ferrari wants their non-rooster to not challenge for the WDC, starting from Race 1 of any given season, and rather him do just enough to take points away from the rooster’s competitors to help him win the WDC, and hopefully enough to help them garner the WCC to boot.

      And furthermore, again contract or not, since FA is the rooster on the team, the car is likely designed with his style in mind, not FM’s, hence no doubt FM’s big struggles for most of last year…and yet you claim ‘all’ he needs to do is challenge for it and best FA. Tell you what…if FM can take FA’s car, dominate him with it, and reverse the team’s boardroom decision as to who is the team’s rooster, it will be one of the biggest all-time stories in the history of F1 and will elevate FM to the level of one of the ‘Greats’ of F1.

      Anyone believe that’s within FM, or within the team to see happen?

      You are right about one thing though…I am cynical when it comes to the one rooster philosophy…I am against it in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing. In the pinnacle of racing I expect to see all teams give both their drivers a fair chance until the math dictates a direction they may have to go as the season winds down. It is the only philosophy that respects the sport and the spirit of racing and the intelligence of the viewing audience.

      • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 18th January 2013, 0:05


        You make some good points. However, Ferrari as an organisation have an operating philosophy that stipulates the now proverbial “one rooster”. So it is clear to us and the rest of the world that this is Alonso..and hopefully to Felipe Massa as well. If Massa is unhappy at the scenario, if he felt he deserved better, why didnt he just go? If he isnt upset, why is everybody else?

        I dont know why people have such an issue with them supporting their best driver, it only makes sense to put your best horse forward. And is it a surprise? really? Massa is not as good, for those of you who are basing his ability on performance at two races last year on the back of a horrendous season of results, please, get real! Felipe may be quick at times, just like Mark Webber, but the guy doesnt have the mental resolve like Fernando and Seb to be on it all year.

        I dont see what the issue with the car being designed around Fernando either. The RB is designed to Seb’s liking and the previous Mclarens were designed to suit Lewis, thats hards confidential now is it?

        I doubt this argument will ever end.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th January 2013, 17:00

          @jaymenon10 My point is not about whether FM is happy or not, could leave or stay, is or isn’t upset. I think everybody should be upset when in the pinnacle of racing the decision between the two drivers at Ferrari is decided in a boardroom. Yes it is their reality. But I think it sells F1 short and harms the game and takes something away from what the paying viewing audience are paying for. I have no problem with F1 working the way it always was supposed to. Two drivers on each team fight for the WDC until as the season winds down the math dictates which drivers has the better WDC shot at which point the other driver doesn’t rob points from him…doesn’t mean he has to help…just not hinder.

          And rather than see a bunch of contracted (or implied) number 1’s and number 2’s (from race 1 of each season) I would prefer to see fairness amongst the drivers as described above (until the math directs the team in the last 3rd of the season) or failing that single car teams so that we know that every driver out there is there to race every other driver in the pinnacle of racing. Decisions about the drivers status in the boardroom before the team has turned a wheel in a season, is not to me representative of the pinnacle of racing. It’s race fixing. And it degrades the show.

      • Francuis (@francuis) said on 18th January 2013, 12:10

        To answer (@robbie)

        I have been watching F1 since the 1980’s. And I am not naive. If for some other reason the roster don’t perform, the Ferrari policy is, that the no: 1 driver or roster supports the no 2 driver in winning the championship. This Happen in 1996 when Schumacher (the rooster, world champion and no: 1 driver) supported Eddie Irvin in his championship bid.
        It happened again in 2008 and when Kimi after winning the championship with Ferrari was not putting in any effort and was up late partying to much and Ferrari made there diction to support Massa all the way. Kimi was clearly the no: 1 driver and rooster. If Alonso for any reason do not perform and Massa does, Ferrari will support Massa‘s championship bid and will expect from Fernando to support Massa. If not they will, like Kimi, buy Fernando out of contract and replace him. I don’t think it will be pleasant or essay for Fernando but Ferrari will enforce it. If Fernando does not, the same will happen to him as with Kimi.
        I don’t think this will ever happen, as Fernando is to good a driver and hard worker for this to ever happen. If there is a possibility for Massa to win the championship why would they hamper Massa and give Fernando the support. They will be shooting themselves in the foot, dump money, effort and time in the water, lose millions and loose credibility. Even the tufosi will turn against them. They have won championships, the most in history on this philosophy and have always kept this philosophy all through there racing history. This was Enzo philosophy. Why change it just because the Brits do like it.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th January 2013, 17:09

          @francuis MS supported EI in a Championship bid in 96? Don’t think so. You might be thinking of 98 when MS broke his leg and wouldn’t come back to support EI until he was forced to?

          And again, to say IF for some reason FA doesn’t perform etc etc. There is no IF. It’s FA’s car. Right off the bat FM is at a disadvantage. And if somehow FM flukes it and outperforms FA in FA’s car, they’ll just work harder to see that in the next race FA has the upper hand again. He’s the chosen rooster, hired as such. They aren’t going to change their mind on who their rooster is. They’ll change the car to ensure FA stays on top.

          I think you better check to see if in fact this was Enzo’s philosophy. I have a feeling he felt much more honour amongst the drivers and I’m certainly not convinced he would have been fine with things like the MS era of contracted subservients, there to not race.

  13. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 17th January 2013, 18:40

    And each year I comment the same: surely wouldn’t that be something!

  14. I didn’t know this cold snap we’re having extended to the bowels of hell.

  15. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 17th January 2013, 22:04

    Massa: ‘Alonso would support me if I were leading’

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