Ferrari pledge support for struggling Massa

2013 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2013Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo gave his backing to driver Felipe Massa after another disappointing performance in Germany.

Massa spun out of the race on lap four after losing control of his F138 at turn one.

“Felipe is fully aware he can count on our total confidence in him,” Montezemolo told the Ferrari website.

“I hope he will soon secure the results that will show his talent to the full, such as the great starts he pulled off at the last two grands prix.”

The German round was the fourth race weekend in a row in which Massa has spun or crashed.

He had two substantial impacts during the Monaco race weekend at Sainte Devote. The Ferrari driver crashed out during qualifying in Canada and also spun into a wall during practice at Silverstone.

Massa is in his eighth season with the team and came close to losing his seat last season. Montezemolo said the team are not yet ready to decided who will partner Fernando Alonso next year: “We will talk about that further down the line as there?s no hurry.”

Massa lies seventh in the drivers’ standings on 57 points, 66 behind Alonso.

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81 comments on Ferrari pledge support for struggling Massa

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  1. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 10th July 2013, 16:36

    I know Montezemolo has a soft spot for Massa (as do I), but there comes a point where you need to start cracking the whip, and hard. Massa showed what he’s capable of in 2008 – when are we going to see that form return?

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 10th July 2013, 17:04

      SPOILER: We’re not. Ever.

      • Jonathan (@themaninblack) said on 10th July 2013, 22:22

        Sadly, right. Massa is the kind of driver who needs his confidence fully intact to be competitive and each time he shunts the car, he loses another chunk of belief in himself. I can’t blame the guy, he had such a nasty accident that I don’t think anyone would really be the same, no matter how tough you are, if you experienced that. That said, there’s very little room for pity in F1. Let the guy go.

    • tmax (@tmax) said on 11th July 2013, 0:31

      @raceprouk montezemolo has strong reasons to he happy. Looks at this statistics.
      http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/10/vettel-and-massa-make-biggest-gains-so-far/

      Compared to same stage (9th race ) the driver who has made biggest gain is Vettel who has 57 points more compared to same time last year. The second best is Massa who has scored 34 points more compare to same time last year. So by comparing Massa 2013 vs Massa 2012 big Luca is quite happy and expects more improvements in Massa 2014.

      My honest opinion Massa is not the problem here . I guess the problem is Ferrari. The no 2 status, the pressure and all the stuff is not suiting him. If he goes to a Mclaren, Lotus or some similar teams he might be performing much much better.

  2. Mitch (@mwyndo7) said on 10th July 2013, 16:40

    Massa hasn’t won a race in 5 years, if Ferrari want to win a Constructors’ Championship anytime soon they need someone who can score well consistently. Alonso can’t do it on his own.

  3. katmen (@katmen) said on 10th July 2013, 16:45

    LDM Please transfer Massa to AF Corse and test Kobayashi now!

  4. Chad (@chaddy) said on 10th July 2013, 16:52

    Last year Massa seemed to come out of his slump exactly when the team got publicly behind him. I suspect his anxiety both years contributed to his struggles, so once he feels he has the team’s support, he can focus, and be that driver with flashes of real quality. I hope he improves as the season goes on.

  5. Enough is enough and i think its about the right time to part ways with Felipe Massa…The guy has been given chance after chance and we get the same if not worse performance every year as is currently happening right now. I am Sick of seeing Ferrari out of the construction championship because of this guy.

  6. Chiz (@a-flying-toilet) said on 10th July 2013, 17:01

    Hasn’t beaten Alonso in a race since China 2011 (not counting retirements)…………………..
    Hasn’t won since 2008
    8 podiums since 2010 when Alonso joined compared to 38 by Fernando. I do realise Alonso is the greatest driver of this generation and probably top 5 all time but Massa just has to do better. Get Hulkenberg next to Alonso please

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 10th July 2013, 17:10

      There were a few times towards the end of last year where he could have done, but had to make way/play second fiddle

    • Ian (@valkyrassassin) said on 10th July 2013, 22:33

      He would have won a race in 2010 but was told not to….. I wonder how much better he’d be doing if he wasn’t kicked down so much. I think that was the real point he lost any fight, not the accident.

  7. zoom (@zoomracing) said on 10th July 2013, 17:05

    They need a good car, with a good car Alonso will win the championship and Massa will do OK.

    • Cristian (@cristian) said on 10th July 2013, 17:08

      They had a good car all those years

    • Cristian (@cristian) said on 10th July 2013, 17:10

      I have only one answer for Ferrari’s problem : bring The Hulk :)
      From next race onwards

      • Lari (@lari) said on 10th July 2013, 21:17

        Hulk wont flush his career down the toilet signing in as 2nd driver when his career is still hot. I bet he’d rather go to Lotus and actually compete with his teammate. Plus, Alonso might think Hulk is too big threat and don’t want him in to mess with his own plans.

        • Cristian (@cristian) said on 10th July 2013, 21:31

          I think Hulk will beat Alonso. What will Ferrari do if Hulk arrives and is faster than Alonso?
          I don’t think they will not allow him to race if he may seem the better or a close equal bet for the title.
          Ferrari, as any other team in F1, will support the driver they think is most likely to bring them succes. They even forced Schumacher into retirement so they won’t blink for Alonso.
          Anyway, the Alonso as a sole driver for the team has not achieved the results that were expected; they sacrificed any chance at the constructor’s title by keeping only one driver with a real ability to compete and didn’t win the drivers championship.
          I feel sorry for Massa, but when his teammate fights for the championship not only he doesn’t win races, he finds it difficult to keep the car from crashing.
          Formula 1 is full with talented drivers, why keep a place at Ferrari occupied by a driver who should have reitred years ago? Plus a younger driver might be cheaper too!

  8. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 10th July 2013, 17:29

    It does seem as though Massa is approaching his F1 sell-by-date. But towards the end of last season, when he had appeared to have the same problems, he suddenly showed good form again. Was he re-motivated by the vote of confidence from the team as Chad suggests? Or were thare any late season amendments to the car that suited Massa’s driving style?
    Alonso has a special talent for wringing the best possible results from less than optimal cars and situations. And it just seems that Massa doesn’t. I think Alonso’s skill has flattered some recent Ferrari cars, and maybe Massa has shown them as they really are. Would Bianchi or Hulkenberg be able to do better?

    • Jonathan (@themaninblack) said on 10th July 2013, 22:26

      I think the end of last season, he just had enough time without any accidents and his confidence built up to where it used to be. You can see it… every time he’s in an accident (or spin), it affects him for a long time. He needs a shorter memory.

  9. MartyF1 said on 10th July 2013, 17:34

    Sounds like a football managers “kiss of death” to me. Massa will be swapped out for 2014 if he doesn’t secure any podiums and Ferrari don’t come atleast 2nd in the constructors.

  10. Gilles V said on 10th July 2013, 17:34

    Since there is no on track development during the season, I think Massa is doing the research and development during all the week-end which can cause incidents

  11. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 10th July 2013, 17:36

    Thank God none of the crashes he has had so far this year have caused him serious injuries. I hope he bids farewell on a high, as I feel he would be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for next season.

    Btw, oh come on Keith! We are not living in the last year V9s, are we?

  12. M Sánchez (@faulty) said on 10th July 2013, 17:50

    Have the causes that lead to Massa’s retirement been fully explained?

    He may not be the best racer, but he is a damn fast driver, and when he said that the engine seized on the downshift, I believe him. But it might not be the full explanation, all in all it was very odd spin.

    Anyway, the way I red Montezemolo’s comment, is “we’re in debt to you”… it’s been rumoured that Ferrari used Massa’s races in the first half of last year as extended test sessions. Felipe’s taken a good share of hits in his Ferrari days.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 11th July 2013, 2:47

      +1 During the broadcast the spin was barely shown and even less time was spent finding out the reason why. After the race, still not a lot of info forthcoming.

      It does seem likely that Massa has been used as the tester quite a bit for Ferrari. It is also worth noting that we don’t hear a lot of complaining from Massa about the team or his role. Maybe someday after his F1 racing days he will tell all about what really went on during his time there, but I doubt it. He seems to be grateful for the chance to do his job and Ferrari seems grateful to Massa.

      Too bad many people are not willing to learn the facts about why things happen with drivers or even admit that we don’t have all the facts about why performance goes wrong sometimes. It’s easy to say cruel things and bash drivers, as if they could do better.

      • salcrich said on 11th July 2013, 9:29

        Just belatedly read your comments and couldn’t agree more. It’s a shame that other posts don’t recognise that an organisation like Ferrari is not going to employ a driver purely on sentiment. The decision will be hard nosed and based on facts most of which we don’t know. Massa has demonstrated huge ability at times and courageous driving since his accident, so I don’t believe that is still having an effect. Given how quiet everyone is on the subject (other than fans) there could well be a car / development related reason. It’s a shame someone can’t get an analysis from Rob Smedley.

      • falken (@falken) said on 12th July 2013, 21:05

        BBC feed said it was a gear box sticking.

  13. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 10th July 2013, 17:51

    I do think they should look at other options for 2014 (Bianchi or Hulkenberg). Massa’s form did improve at the end of last season until this year’s Spanish GP, but having so many incidents lately must be testing the team’s patience. Even if his form improves and he consistently gets decent points, I think it is the right time to release him. New regulations, new young driver for the long-term.

  14. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 10th July 2013, 17:59

    my opinion on massa is so torn, on one side of the coin i think he’s a proper nice guy, i supported him so much and was heartbroken when he lost out in 2008, i even liked him when he drove for sauber and was delighted when he joined ferrari. On the other side of the coin its clear something is missing since his accident in 2009, he’s shown flashes of old form but he needs to perform every weekend! not just at the end of the year to save his job. I dont know who i’d want to replace him, i always wanted kubica to join ferrari before he had his accident. Im not sure how great hulkenberg is. Bianchi is doing a brilliant job in the marussia, either that or chilton is doing a terrible job. Ferrari thought perez was too inexperienced to join so i dont see bianchi joining anytime soon. I like kobayashi but i really can’t see him taking that seat some how.

    • Vic (@hendrix666) said on 10th July 2013, 18:25

      I agree wholeheartedly. none of us really want to see a driver fall on hard times or look like they are washed up. But again, comparing to Alonso, its not even a close match. The numbers speak for themselves, he doesn’t seem to measure up to Fred which, again, is a shame as he seems like a good enough lad. But he is first and foremost an F1 driver, and a driver for Ferrari. Does his performance meet those expectations?

      • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 10th July 2013, 20:20

        @hendrix666 i think theres no doubt he isnt performing at the level ferrari would hope, but ferrari obviously have their faith in him and he is a strong team player in terms of helping out alonso when he gets the chance. We all know ferrari like to have a distinct #1 and #2 driver and right now thats what they have, but massa is further behind alonso than they would like no doubt. Honestly..i dont think theres anyone really catching ferrari’s eye, if there was i think they would have replaced massa already

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 10th July 2013, 18:54

      I also wanted Kubica to join them. I’m not a Ferrari fan in the slightest, but Alonso and Kubica would have been a brilliant driver line-up and they get along well. I agree that Kobayashi is unlikely. Hulkenberg would be my pick.

      • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 10th July 2013, 20:16

        @deej92 yeah the idea of Kubica & Alonso together is/was amazing, if it happened and kubica had never had his accident it would be arguably the best line-up in f1. Kubica is a huge loss to f1. Im not sure about Hulkenberg, its not like he’s really impressed, at the same time he’s never had a great car, finished with less than half of barrichellos points in 2010, scored 18 more than diresta in 2012…is he really that great? or is there just no one else

  15. Jay (@j-rva) said on 10th July 2013, 18:05

    I was not surprised when Ferrari signed Massa for another year last season, but I will be absolutely floored if they keep him on for 2014. In 2008 he was as good as anyone, and his performance showed, however I don’t believe we will ever see Felipe return to that form. Occasionally he shows a glimpse of brilliance, like his killer starts of late, I still think it is time Ferrari moved on. Ferrari are a top team, and at the very least should be fighting for podiums; unfortunately Massa is usually found fighting in the lower half of the points positions. I just think it’s time someone else got a shot.

    As to Massa’s replacement, I can only speculate. I always liked Kobayashi, and he does have several ties to Ferrari; he tested their 2010 car earlier this year, he will apparently run it again in Russia later this month, spent 3 seasons in a Ferrari engined Sauber and is currently driving for AF Corse. It’s doubtful Hulkenberg will be returning to Sauber, and there’s always Bianchi.

    • Toncho said on 11th July 2013, 8:32

      Blaming the accident, Germany 2010 or evil Alonso all are very convenient explanations. i have a better one (not a very popular one i guess): He was never so good. If you think about it even at his best year (2008) he made a poor start of the championship. I recall him spinning in Australia, Malasia, Silverstone (five times!!)… A lot of non forced errors. He is not in the same league as Alonso. Ferrari AND Alonso need a strong second driver.

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