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

  1. Sam Gibson (@samgibson) said on 10th July 2013, 18:12

    Massa seems to need the team’s reassurance to perform well. He upped his game last season once his contract extension had been signed, and in my opinion his drive in Brazil was one of the best performances of any driver throughout the year.

    However, when you’re working at the highest level (whatever the industry) the expectation should be that you deliver, regardless of whether you feel a bit insecure or not. I work to targets, if I don’t hit my targets on a consistent basis then I lose my job. It’s that simple. Ferrari aren’t even asking for a huge amount from Massa. They don’t seem to care whether he wins races, they don’t seem to want him to push Alonso, they just want him to be a half-decent second driver.

    I’m afraid that if Ferrari sign Massa for another year they’re signing on for more of the same. A couple of months when his confidence is sky high, a short run of good form, and then silly mistakes aplenty while he waits for Ferrari to tell him how much they love him.

    It’s frustrating. While some may doubt whether the likes of Hulkenberg and Di Resta could win the Drivers Championship, I think most would agree that they could at least equal what Massa is doing at the moment. The difference is that they’re still young enough to get better.

  2. FanatikosF1 (@fanatikosf1) said on 10th July 2013, 19:24

    I think I can hear Di Montezemolo answering questions about Bianchi : “He is too young and inexperienced to drive for Ferrari” That’s his moto and he may as well say that Hulkenberg or Kobayashi don’tt have the experience to drive a Ferrari…
    Drive it where? In to the barriers, tyre walls or spin it around the circuit like Massa does…
    Hey why don’t you

  3. FanatikosF1 (@fanatikosf1) said on 10th July 2013, 19:27

    I think I can hear Di Montezemolo answering questions about Bianchi : “He is too young and inexperienced to drive for Ferrari”, and he may as well say that Hulkenberg or Kobayashi don’t have the experience to drive a Ferrari too…
    Drive it where? In to the barriers, tyre walls or spin it around the circuit like Massa does…?
    Personally, I think Kovalainen is a very good choice too!!

  4. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 10th July 2013, 20:20

    Maybe Luca had a few more glasses of wine before giving this statement as he is playing the rewind button!

  5. Fixy (@fixy) said on 10th July 2013, 21:32

    They have always backed Massa, and they feel like they’d be the “bad” ones if they let go of him now. So either he does something worth a race ban, does not score for half of the season or he himself decides to leave. I guess Ferrari are hoping the latter becomes true, so they’d get rid of the underperforming guy and it’d be only his choice. I think Massa though is planning to retire after leaving Ferrari rather than change teams (unless Ferrari drop him – either they put him in another seat or he, upset by the circumstances, decides he hasn’t had enough and changes team) and he thinks he could still wait a few years for that (which is true, but Ferrari can’t keep him for so long unless he improves). Ferrari is Massa’s family, and if he left now it would feel more like Alonso’s won the team over and Massa had to leave, whereas he wants to decide his own future.
    It’d be all so much easier if he just repeated the performances he’s hinted at recently (out-qualifying Alonso in Germany, jumping ahead of him in Britain) but that he’s never fulfilled.

  6. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 10th July 2013, 22:26

    The only support Massa needs is travel arrangements back to Brazil.

    Massa is just there because Alonso wants to be the lead driver and doesn’t want intra team competition. They should knock that nonsense down too. Ferrari is a team and it’s been proven that Alonso cannot pull the team forward alone. They need a second driver who can actually contribute something to the team rather than just driving his obligatory laps slippng down the order every race.

    Unless you have a dominant car like Red Bull, a team needs two good drivers moving the team forward.

    • yuya (@john-locke) said on 11th July 2013, 0:21

      Like Lotus Grosjean. Grousjean has been ordered a lot of team orders by the team to let Raikkonen go through. But Raikkonen only got 2 wins so far. Alonso can not pull the team forward alone?
      In last 4 years Red bull is the only “Winning Team”.
      So, Not only Alonso but also, Hamilton,Button,Raikkonen,Schumacher(3 years in mercedes),Rosberg, etc. All drivers without Redbull drivers can not pull the team foward.

      Like Raikkonen said, drivers is not the main factor,but technical team is the biggest factor.

  7. I think massa is a good driver, he has just not been at his best recently. But after all Alonso is an incredibly quick driver maybe one of the fastest in f1. If someone had to replace him i think it should be Bianchi

  8. yuya (@john-locke) said on 11th July 2013, 0:10

    If Ferrari had been as fast as Redbull in last 4 years…..

    Massa would have got a lot of podiums and wins….

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2013, 3:43

      @john-locke – I doubt it. Massa has underperformed the car much more than Webber has, and Webber “only” has 9 wins, and just 3 since 2010.

      • yuya (@john-locke) said on 11th July 2013, 6:33

        Lool at Webber.

        He has been having a lot of minor trouble (Start trouble Kers trouble and so on)
        and he is not good at completing race or being race craft.

        But that Webber could get 9 wins that means Massa can get more wins at least.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2013, 16:05

          @john-locke – “Being race craft”? Massa in his current state has only looked like winning 1 race in 3 and a half years. He’s been even worse than Webber in terms of race craft or getting to the end of races. The driver we are seeing in 2010-2013 wouldn’t suddenly get double figure wins in any car.

    • anon said on 11th July 2013, 7:28

      They were in 2010.

      2012 the Ferrari was fast from Barcelona onwards. Not only that but the Ferrari had far superior reliability to the Red Bull.

      • yuya (@john-locke) said on 12th July 2013, 3:06

        How can you say that?
        Alonso and Massa were in third row all the time. Race pace was not bad ferrari, but nothing to compare the way to RB8…..

  9. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 11th July 2013, 2:11

    Some of his problems this year have been odd, like somehow stalling the car in the middle of the track in Germany. Or the near identical lock-ups/crashes in Monaco. Those are rookie (or even sub-rookie) errors, and leave me wondering if there is not something to the rumors of Ferrari using his car as a test bed. I don’t believe he’s suddenly forgotten how to drive an F1 car. It would also explain why Ferrari are so firmly supportive of him when his results would seem to suggest they should looking to get rid of him.

  10. Mark McDonald said on 11th July 2013, 4:10

    Massa has had a good run in F1. Ferrari have acted honourably in keeping him. It is time for Felipe himself to call time on his career.

  11. anon said on 11th July 2013, 7:22

    The reason he has stayed after being uncompetitive for so long is because Alonso likes the situation.

    • zoom (@zoomracing) said on 11th July 2013, 11:39

      Do you realize that it makes zero sense, right?, Alonso want someone that can help him and get points from his rivals all the time, imagine 2010 and 2012 with a stronger Felipe, just a little stronger, Alonso will be now WDC x4.

  12. MG421982 (@) said on 11th July 2013, 8:29

    I’m a Ferrari fan, so I support every Ferrari driver… but Massa looks pretty much finished as an F1 driver if he doesn’t improve his game significantly.
    Also, lets’ cut the NO.1 and NO.2 STATUS ******** ! As long as Alonso is fighting for a podium place like every race while Massa DNFs or battles for lower points… where’s the NO.1 and NO.2 order ?!??! Nowhere, because it’s not needed ! Team orders surface when the drivers are following each other on the track.

  13. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 11th July 2013, 9:45

    Things like Felipe being a helluva nice chap, the good a job as he did pre-Hungary 2009 and his close relationship with the powers that be at Ferrari and seemingly every member of the team don’t matter from a pure sporting perspective. He is being well and truly thumped by Alonso and the longer he stays in the team the more he will tarnish his reputation (and unfortunately for him, swell Alonso’s). we all know how good he can be, but it has to be his time to go. What Ferrari need is some fresh, hungry, young blood in the team to come into the team and shake things up…much like Massa did when he replaced Barrichello.

    It is time to move on Felipe, for your own sake and for the sake of the Scuderia.

  14. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 11th July 2013, 10:03

    The reason for making public statements is just to keep the situation cool. Just like their colour, Ferrari are going red about Felipe’s performance which are significantly rocky to say the least.

    If Ferrari indeed had so much confidence and faith in Felipe then they wouldn’t have approached Mark Webber for 2013. In fact, they never even talked about it. Since Mark is an honest guy, he made it public about Ferrari’s offer otherwise we would have never known. Also they signed Felipe only for 1 year and not on a multiple year basis if they truly had the confidence.

    It’s a public secret that Fernando has a say in his team mate’s selection and Felipe is like a puppet who would only make some weird faces when told to give Fernando the preference and that’s all. Hence he finds no better driver than Felipe.

    I think this time though, Ferrari will run out of patience and will start hunting for other drivers and in my opinion it is about time they do so irrespective of Felipe’s performances

  15. kcarrey (@kcarrey) said on 11th July 2013, 11:30

    Massa will drive for Ferrari in 2014. It will be his last chance saloon.

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