No driver announcement at Monza – Ferrari

2014 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Sepang, 2013Ferrari will not make an announcement about their future driver line-up at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, the team has confirmed.

“No decisions have yet been taken,” the team said on its website. “Furthermore, as happens in the best families, important decisions are taken together at the right moment and not because a certain date on the calendar has been reached.”

Felipe Massa’s future at the team is once again in doubt following another indifferent season so far. Massa has amassed just 67 points so far this year, less than half that of team mate Fernando Alonso.

Last year the team waited until mid-October before announcing an extension on Massa’s contract.

Alonso has a contract with the team until 2016 however there has also been speculation about his future and claims his management team investigated the possibility of a move to Red Bull, where a vacancy exists alongside Sebastian Vettel next year.

Kimi Raikkonen has also been linked to a return to Ferrari, who he drove for between 2007 and 2009.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali told the official F1 site on Wednesday: “Everybody wants to drive for Ferrari. We have to wait and see.”

“My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe because Felipe is a very good guy – very dedicated to the team – and when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver.

“But, of course, we need good results from Felipe, so that?s why we will not rush as we have to make the right decision for the team. As soon as we have made up our minds we will announce it officially to silence the rumours once and for all.”

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84 comments on No driver announcement at Monza – Ferrari

  1. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 30th August 2013, 15:34

    They’re waiting to see if Alonso goes to Red Bull, and if subsequently, Kimi returns home.

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 30th August 2013, 15:42

    An important announcement from Ferrari ” We will not be making an announcement”.

    • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 30th August 2013, 18:03

      Ferrari have announced that there will be no announcement about their big announcement.

    • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 30th August 2013, 19:10

      I’m waiting for a pre-announcement announcement of “an agreement setting out the framework for the implementation of the announcement”.

      That seems to be the FIA-approved timeline for wasting time, money and effort.

    • Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 30th August 2013, 20:13

      Yo dawg Ferrari we heard you like announcements, so we put a non announcement in your announcement so you can dissapoint people while you dissapoint people

  3. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 30th August 2013, 15:46

    Felipe is not good enough any more. They’ve had plenty of chances to dump him since 2010 but instead renewed his contract instead of going for Kubica or Webber. Now they have the chance to sign Raikkonen to partner Alonso and they absolutely have to do it. Next year could be their best chance to beat Red Bull with the new rule changes and the fact it could take Ricciardo a bit of time to get up to speed. Granted the same could be said about Mercedes but I see Alonso and Raikkonen as a much bigger threat than Hamilton and Rosberg.

    Of course there’s the argument that Ferrari need a number 2 driver policy for them to function as a team but I think it’s time for them to take a risk and change it up. Alonso is older now and I think Kimi is probably the only one of the current top drivers that I think could work with him without creating much drama. And perhaps to avoid the drama they should set some rules before the season starts such as focusing on the driver who is ahead in the standings after Monza etc.

    Regardless Massa needs to go, and they need a proven talent to replace him whether it be Raikkonen or a younger number 2 such as Hulkenberg.

    • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 30th August 2013, 15:50

      @davef1 Do you think that if Kimi were to go to Ferrari, that Lotus would try to pick up Hulkenburg?

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 30th August 2013, 15:52

      You’re right, it is time for them to change it up. Surely if they want to get either title, they will need another driver taking points off rivals and adding significant points to the constructors’ championship. Massa has added decent points to that championship but surely not enough, and especially for a team of the calibre of Ferrari.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 30th August 2013, 16:28

      @davef1

      They’ve had plenty of chances to dump him since 2010 but instead renewed his contract instead of going for Kubica or Webber

      That is absolutely false Massa was still having a contract in Ferrari until 2011, and when Santander brought kimi’s contract to let Fernando race in Ferrari there was a clause with Ferrari that oblige the team to have Latino drivers within the team
      After the disappointed 2010 Ferrari revised this clause which led Santander to drop Massa and sign with Neymar in Brazil, at that moment they were considering Kubica who has the support of Alonso and was available in 2012 but unfortunately he was injured
      Last year Ferrari made a serious offer to Mark Webber but he declined it simply because of the strong relationship he has with Dietrich Mateschitz who will continue supporting him in the endurance racing

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 30th August 2013, 16:56

      @davef1

      I’d love to see Alonso+Raikkonen but Scuderia Santander Ferrari needs a number two and Kimi would not fit, but who knows…

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 31st August 2013, 1:49

      I really would like to see Alonso and Raikkonen together at Ferrari. However, since it is Ferrari and they have already stuck with Massa for so long, it would not surprise me to see the same lineup for them next season.

    • In an interview with Autosport some time ago, Kubica revealed that Ferrari did approach him in 2009 as a potential substitute for Massa after he was injured in 2009. He then revealed that BMW absolutely refused to release him from his contract and made it clear that any attempt by either Kubica or Ferrari to break that contract would result in legal action, thereby forcing Ferrari to back off.

  4. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 30th August 2013, 15:48

    Felipe should preserve what’s left of his dignity and announce his retirement from F1 before Ferrari do it for him. He had his championship chance and Ferrari threw it away on him and then treated him like a toy.

    Just be realistic, go now and find employment with an organization that views you as more than an also ran.

    • I’d love to see him racing in IndyCar.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 30th August 2013, 16:02

      Ferrari threw it away on him

      actually I think after Spa 2008 Ferrari did everything they could to keep Massa in the title hunt. There were races like Australia, Monaco, Silverstone and Monza that kept Massa from clinching the title in 2008.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 30th August 2013, 16:18

      then treated him like a toy

      You misspelt ‘showed faith in him when no-one else did’.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 30th August 2013, 18:12

      I think Ferrari will just tell him to retire instead of not offering another contract, at least that’s what they should do if Massa truly isn’t interested in driving for another team.

  5. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 30th August 2013, 16:05

    I still believe that Massa even if he leaves Ferrari will not struggle to find a seat next year, any Technical director would dream to have a driver like Felipe in his cockpit especially Adrian Newey and i’m not joking!!!!!!!, they would love to have him not for his driving abilities but for his morphology, Massa is the lightest driver on the grid he could easily fit in any car & with the 2014 regulations, Turbo, ERS ….. the packaging inside the car will be absolutely on the limit, for example Ricciardo who according to Speedweek is making his seat fitting at Red Bull has the problem of having a bigger “waist” (i hope i translated the word correctly) than both Vettel & Webber which would cause some headache for Adrian Newey , maybe that is the reason why they are still waiting to announce their drivers line up

  6. Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th August 2013, 16:11

    I just realised it’s the Italian GP next. I knew it, but I did not realise it’s race 12 of 19. The race where Michael Schumacher announced his first retirement and his replacement, Raikkonen, was confirmed. Alonso was confirmed after the 2009 Singapore GP, the race following Monza.
    Although Ferrari have not always announced their new contracts at their home event, by this point in the season the choices should have been made. It seems yesterday to me that Massa stood on the podium in Catalunya, but the truth is he has been going downwards this season. Monza last year was the start of Massa’s renaissance, and hopefully this year will be the same. But even more hopefully, Massa won’t be a driver who has a couple of good races per season, but rather one consistently performing to the top of his abilities. Which, I’m sure, are better than what we’ve seen for most of this season. He’s had his ups and downs, and his ups should be enough to secure him a Ferrari future, if only they weren’t so few.
    In this situation, I clearly see Ferrari as the evil guys tryign to use any excuse to get rid of Massa, but when I think of it for a few seconds I see a team who does not want to get rid of one of its longer-serving members, a team who does not have the courage to give its driver a sorrow, but one that is trying to convince him before it’s too late. Massa is devoted to Ferrari and I’m sure he does not want to continue after losing his seat there, but he also feels his F1 career is not yet over. He does not realize, though, that although he still might deserve a spot in F1, his performances have fell below the level Ferrari expect from him, and that he must either retire before being sacked or look onto another team. Or – best option of all – he should catch back up on his ealrier performances and start being a serious podium contender.

    My love for Massa has made Alonso even worse to my eyes, and I say often that if he weren’t at Ferrari I wouldn’t be cheering him. I hope he leaves for Red Bull or some other team so that Ferrari can seriously start lookign at Raikkonen not as a replacement but as a team mate for Massa. The two were one of the most balanced pairing and were both quick, and I feel the return of the Finn could help Massa improve.

    • Eamon (@eamon) said on 30th August 2013, 16:33

      Honestly, if Ferrari were to take your advice and hire Raikkonen simply as a means to improve Massa’s performance, I’d really be questioning their management more than I already do!

      I’m really surprised that any Ferrari supporter would say they hope Alonso leaves and Massa stays…

    • I loathe Alonso, but Ferrari would be stupid to rid of him in favour of Räikkönen. He’s almost the sole reason Ferrari were in contention until the end last season and I doubt Räikkönen could’ve done the same. Massa especially could not.

      I doubt Massa will improve somehow: he’s been getting steadily worse since 2009 and so they really need to replace him. He definitely doesn’t merit a seat in arguably the second best team in F1 at the moment. I’d argue he barely deserves a seat at all.

      I don’t believe in loyalty when it comes to driver choices – teams should always be fielding the best drivers that are available to them. Massa certainly doesn’t come under that category but Alonso does, so they should do all within their power to retain the latter and improve upon the former. I’m sure Hülkenberg wouldn’t turn down a contract to drive for Ferrari, so they have a fantastic option in him if Räikkönen is an unrealistic proposition.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 31st August 2013, 8:36

        He would have scored more points than Alonso, that is the fact :)

        Now how many more points Alonso needed to clinch two titles? The day Ferrari put money ahead of Raikkonen they doomed them self, there is no excuse.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st August 2013, 1:11

      @fixy – New driver signings aren’t confirmed the moment they put pen to paper. Have you ever actually seen a driver physically sign a contract at an announcement? It doesn’t happen – the teams just put out a press release to news outlets with an embargo forbidding them from publishing it until an appointed time. The contract itself may have been signed days or even weeks in advance. When Alonso joined Ferrari, for example, the announcement was made at the Italian Grand Prix, but Alonso had actually signed the contract on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the race.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 3rd September 2013, 9:24

        @prisoner-monkeys I can only see Ferrari postponing the announcement to make it coincide with the Italian GP, I think after that they’d announce it within the week after the contract was signed because they don’t like speculation about their drivers and perhaps to show that being an important team they aren’t waiting until the last days of the season and choosing only amongst who’s left. They have the power to kick-off the silly season, if they have signed a good driver or even re-confirmed Massa they’d have no reason to wait to spread the news.

        Ferrari said two weeks before the GP that no announcement was going to be made. In the meanwhile, they could well have signed a contract, but as I said they’d announce it at Monza if it were available, so I read Ferrari’s message as: “No contract will be signed before Monza”. I may well be wrong, but that doesn’t change the meaning of my previous comment: it is late in the season and Massa should step up his game.

  7. tmax (@tmax) said on 30th August 2013, 16:23

    Massa is the best No 2 Driver on the grid. I mean who else is ready to break gear boxes or move over each and every time when the Team mate is seen in rear view. He has no Motivation at this point. For him getting to Podium itself is a big deal. Ferrari will just keep him. Massa will be obligated the whole life. Ferrari needs someone loyal to do the support job. Drivers who are in the grid today are all having motivations to win. So getting a No 2 driver like Massa will be difficult to come by. Massa is the perfect fit.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st August 2013, 17:28

      Massa is the best No 2 Driver on the grid. I mean who else is ready to break gear boxes or move over each and every time when the Team mate is seen in rear view.

      You just mentioned the only 2 occasions Felipe has been of use over the past 3-4 seasons. Other than 4 races – Hockenheim 2010, USA 2012, Brazil 2012, Felipe has done absolutely nothing to help the team.

      You want to talk about good number 2 drivers?? Lets talk about Webber. How many points has Webber taken off Alonso in the past 3-4 seasons? Now lets compare that to how many points Massa has taken off Vettel in the past 3-4 seasons

  8. Klaas (@klaas) said on 30th August 2013, 16:25

    Keeping Massa would be absolutely unacceptable from a team like Ferrari. I don’t think it suits Alonso either because he’s not really helping him by finishing constantly behind Fernando’s rivals.
    Felipe doesn’t seem to have the mentality of a racing driver anymore. His main purpose is to finish a race in front of Alonso not fight for wins not to mention championships. And that I think is unacceptable even for a No 2 driver. For 4 years now, Felipe’s performances were below par, he only seemes to wake up and push for 2-3 races when it’s time for contract extension.
    Personally I would be very disappointed if Ferrari were to sign him for another season.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st August 2013, 10:21

      Completely agree. Massa has been rubbish since 2010, and he is only getting worse.

      People keep saying that he is a the only driver on the grid that will play second fiddle to Alonso, but the fact is that he doesn’t know to play the fiddle properly. He is amongst the poorest drivers on the grid today, and I cannot think of any driver who would do a poorer job of taking points off Alonso’s rivals.

      Ferrari and Fernando deserve better… and so do the fans.

  9. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 30th August 2013, 16:28

    So, Kimi Raikkonen has been given a mention here, but no Nico Hulkenberg despite Die Welt reporting talks between Hulk and Ferrari…Hmm..

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 30th August 2013, 16:54

    “My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe because Felipe is a very good guy – very dedicated to the team – and when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver.

    There are not so many drivers keen on accepting gearbox changes and team orders when they start to finally bounce back.
    Massa has had some great drives at the beginning of every year, but then I think it’s 50% getting nervous and 50% seeing his team will do whatever it takes to relegate him to a “chicken status” in a “one rooster” team

    • I don’t remember Massa having great races at the beginning of an year since his comeback from injury ( mostly he performs well when the time comes for his contract renewal and I expect the same this year too)… There is no doubt that Massa has been compromised a few times to aid Alonso’s push for the title.. But the fact is he is nt helping the matters by performing far worse than his team mate bar a couple of races here and there…

      I do not think any of the drivers waiting for their big break(like Hulk, Paul DR etc) will refuse an opportunity to drive for Ferrari if they are offered the drive.. And Also I think if a new driver were to join Ferrari and outperform Alonso, Ferrari would probably support him over Fernando…. Ferrari’s philosophy is very simple they always support the driver they think will most likely win them the title.. now whether that’s fair or not is a total debate altogether…

      • @puneethvb

        now whether that’s fair or not is a total debate altogether…

        I don’t think it’s fair if both drivers can still win the championship. If say there was a Red Bull 2010 situation, I wouldn’t support Ferrari using team orders. However, their choice to support Alonso in 2012 was sensible (even if some of the means were sightly sickening from a spectator’s perspective). That’s my side of the debate anyway ;)

        • @Vettel1

          Agreed ,ideally the team should not be supporting one driver when both are in contention for the title ..

          The point I was trying to make though was that I dont think any driver who joins Ferrari will have to play second fiddle to Fernando no matter what.. if the new guy is good enough to beat Fernando (which undoubtedly is gonna be very tough) Ferrari might ask Fernando to play the second fiddle…

          • @puneethvb oh absolutely, Ferrari just need to have the “courage” to field two top drivers I think! Hülkenberg would be a good choice IMO – even if he did end up as Alonso’s support, he’d make a far better job of it than Massa is currently.

      • Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 30th August 2013, 18:45

        err, not sure with that @puneethvb
        on early 2010, Massa looked solid. you can see his form up until Turkish GP that he’s there driving as the old Massa. his points against Alonso up until that moment was 67-79 (solid enough, huh?). Leading with 4-3 in front of Alonso at finish line (Alonso retired on Malaysia, and start from pitlane in Monaco, though), 3-4 on qualy (including Monaco).
        up until that point Massa was still delivering, but yes Alonso was better.

        after Turkey, Massa had bad weekends, three in a row (contact in opening lap at CAN, caught in safety car chaos after Webber crasing in EUR, tyre puncture in opening lap at GBR) left him out points and title contention.

        and the next race? Germany (Hockenheinring), when he was told “Fernando is faster”. Since then, Ferrari favouritism is clear and it hit Massa psychologically for a long long time. It’s not the crash in Hungary that make him like he is now, IMO.

        Why do Ferrari keep him? Old romanticism maybe. he was very good driver on 2006-2009.

        • @vettel1

          Could nt agree with you more.. They should get rid of Massa and hire someone like Hulk … Actually I think Massa is a very nice guy but then you don’t get to drive for Ferrari or any other top teams just because you are nice… you have to be a great racing driver first…

        • @adityafakhri

          Massa may have had a solid beginning in 2010 still Alonso was better.. I guess it’s fair to say that Massa never had an upper hand over Alonso in their time together in Ferrari…
          Anyway if Massa is so ill treated as many people claim , why did not he walk away from Ferrari? IMO Ferrari has supported and been very patient with Massa so far.. It’s time for them to get rid of him..

      • “Ferrari’s philosophy is very simple they always support the driver they think will most likely win them the title..”….

        Eddie Irvine would laugh at that sentence….

        • That’s a rare circumstance thought and actually still holding true to their philosophy: Schumacher couldn’t win the title because he missed 6 rounds.

        • @cole

          I don’t quite understand what you are trying to get at… Let’s be honest Irvine was no Schumi… his best chance came in 1999 when schumi broke his leg and Salo and Schumi both supported him for the title..

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 30th August 2013, 19:46

      @omarr-pepper

      There are not so many drivers keen on accepting gearbox changes and team orders when they start to finally bounce back.
      Massa has had some great drives at the beginning of every year, but then I think it’s 50% getting nervous and 50% seeing his team will do whatever it takes to relegate him to a “chicken status” in a “one rooster” team.

      Because Alonso is so much better than Massa, that’s why. Unlike Raikkonen, who could not even beat Massa when they were together as teammates, Alonso has earned his #1 spot at Ferrari.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 31st August 2013, 8:44

        Look at the stats for three years of Raikkonen at Ferrari and Alonso. You might be enlightened, considering that Alonso was getting handouts.

        Of course Alonso is not his best with Massa around, he was at his best in 2007, where he had to give his best at every session.

        • Kimi won 9 races for Ferrari in his 3 years and Alonso won the same amount of Races in his first 3 years with Ferrari… If anything the stats actually favor Alonso as Kimi and Massa were fairly evenly matched (arguably Massa was better than Kimi from 2008).. And Alonso has thrashed Massa every season so far in his Ferrari career… In 2007 & 2008 Ferrari had the best or equal best cars , which was not the case in Alonso’s time in Ferrari so far… There is no doubt that Kimi is one of the best drivers out there but did he perform better than Alonso in a Ferrari, well I don’t think so…

          By the way I distinctively remember Massa moving over for Kimi on more than one occasion towards the end of 2007 .. So Alonso is not the only driver who have received favoritism from Ferrari…

  11. Haizan (@haizan) said on 30th August 2013, 17:18

    why not make a deal with red bull, replace alonso with vettel and partner with raikkonen at ferrari. I can not wait see Vettel in ferrari .. I think he’s got what he wants in the redbull

    • @haizin if I’m honest, I actually agree. If they stayed relatively constant in terms of where they’re at in performance, I’d like to see what Vettel could do in not-the-best car and Alonso in the-best-but-not-by-much. Straight swap now is highly unlikely though due to contractual clauses and simply because Vettel is happy at Red Bull.

      What I’d be really interested in though (and what I’m placing my audacious bet on) is that Vettel will partner Hamilton in 2016 and Mercedes will rule the galaxy.

      • *haizan

          • @Vettel1

            I actually think Vettel will be driving for Ferrari in 2016 or 2017 as Ferrari would want to replace Fernando by that time as they did with Schumi… I would really like to see what happens if a straight swap happens between Alonso and Vettel immediately and the relative performance of the teams remain the same…

          • I forgot to add that Vettel has expressed his desire to drive for Ferrari at some point in his career more than once… but it all depends upon how the pecking order is goin to be in the new V6 turbo era… Though it’s a lovely prospect to see Vettel and Hamilton competing each other in the same team, I fear it’s probably not going to happen.

          • @puneethvb Vettel to Ferrari at some point is the likely eventuality, but I’m just being audacious – anything can happen in Grand Prix racing ;)

  12. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 30th August 2013, 19:19

    Felipe is a very good guy – very dedicated to the team

    So was Fisichella. And they found a use for him elsewhere in the “family” (bleurgh)

    In fairness to Massa, he was bang on form late last season and early this year – so I think he deserves another chance to shine, away from Alonso. I’d like to see Ferrari place him at Sauber alongside an up-and-coming driver: Bianchi, Nasr (that’d be one less thing to remember) or if it has to be Sirotkin, then him.

    • Rigi (@rigi) said on 30th August 2013, 20:03

      @tomsk the sauber link is pure nonsense. sauber can’t afford him with all their financial troubles.

      • tmax (@tmax) said on 30th August 2013, 22:18

        @rigi I am little surprised to hear Massa is a high priced driver in the F1 market today. Honestly why would anyone pay a lot of money to hire Massa ? I am sure none of the top teams would prefer having him, Mid Tier teams like Torro Rosso, Force India and Williams (Ouch !!!) wont find any need for him. I dont think he has much options other than Sauber. Otherwise he will end up like Heikki looking for seats in Caterham and Maurissia. or Follow Barichello into Indy car racing.

        So his 2 options are 1) Ferrari and 2) Sauber Ferrari . even that looks bleak now. Hulkenburg is set to move from Sauber , there is a fair chance that Sauber might be faster team next year with those new found money from Russian Sponsor. So they might find it hard to fit Massa there since they might be able to get a faster & consistent driver for the same money.

        So I don’t exactly understand why anybody cannot afford Massa or to say why anybody would need Massa. To put in perspective Massa used to drive for Sauber and he had a horrible time there Crashing the car a lot !!!!

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 30th August 2013, 22:57

          Honestly why would anyone pay a lot of money to hire Massa ?

          7 years experience at Ferrari and missing out on a championship by only one point?

        • Cole (@cole) said on 31st August 2013, 14:04

          Is not that sealing a sponsorship makes you faster inmediately. Look at Mercedes resources and the time has taken them to close the gap with the front runners.
          I seriously doubt that Sauber will have a fast car next season given they have been finnancially struggling till now.

  13. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 31st August 2013, 0:05

    I like Massa, but I really hope Ferrari replace him for next season. His form has dipped and for a team as big as Ferrari, it just isn’t good enough anymore. Drivers such as Rosberg and Webber are capable of taking more points off the main driver’s rivals and contributing more significantly to the constructors’ championship than Massa.
    I hope Hulkenberg is picked if Massa is given the boot. I really want to see what he can do against Alonso. If only Kubica didn’t get injured, he would have been an excellent choice for Ferrari.

  14. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 31st August 2013, 3:44

    “My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe because Felipe is a very good guy – very dedicated to the team – and when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver.

    “But, of course, we need good results from Felipe, so that’s why we will not rush as we have to make the right decision for the team. As soon as we have made up our minds we will announce it officially to silence the rumours once and for all.”

    To me, when you cut through the media and political BS, it reads;
    “Look, Felipe is a great guy and a good team member, but at the moment he simply isn’t cutting the mustard and we will look elsewhere if he continues to struggle. Kimi is certainly a viable option if he decides to leave Lotus.”

    • dimitris said on 31st August 2013, 6:59

      Domenically actually spilled the beans regardinmg whom he wants to replace Massa. He wants a driver who could deliver points immediately. Neither Hulk nor Bianchi are ready to step in and deliver. So, the obvious choice is Button or Kimi. Whitmarsh sent the message to Button in his last interview who hurriedly announced that he will retire at Maclaren, so that leaves Kimi. But I also think that the Ferrari brass are also having doubts about Alonso. Nikki Lauda’s remarks that Alonso’s constant complaining has driven a wedge between him and the engineers, thus Alonso has lost its effectiveness as the leading driver, he who provides the feedback for the development of the car, by blaming the engineers and by standing apart from the team, should not be taken lightly. He said in effect that the technical staff need someone other than Alonso to look up to. They know Kimi and they know what he can do. Lauda was an advisor for Ferrari, he knows how the team operartes and he knows how a driver-technical staff relationship evolves.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st August 2013, 9:01

        Neither Hulk nor Bianchi are ready to step in and deliver.

        I’d definitely back Hulkenberg to do better than Massa is doing at the moment. I wonder if the reason he’s not got the gig already is Ferrari think he’d be too good, and that’s not what Alonso wants.

        As for Bianchi, it’s still early days. He’s clearly quick but in his pre-F1 career his racecraft was found wanting quite a bit. It would be fascinating to see how he stacked up against Alonso in qualifying,

        • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 31st August 2013, 9:40

          @keithcollantine

          I also hope Hulkenberg gets the Ferrari seat if Massa is dropped. He has proved himself worthy of a top end drive.

          He’s incredibly smart in the car, and he’s very quick, not to mention he is much younger than Raikkonen so he has years of potential to deliver. I think Ferrari would be silly to pass him up.

        • dimitris said on 31st August 2013, 9:59

          I like the Hulk and I think he will become champion one day. Rumour has it that Ferrari are already talking to him. But I doult that if he stepped into a Ferrari in 2014 he would deliver 70 to 80% of the points of the lead driver. I think Domenicalli is thinking along these lines. I also think that Ferrari are considering the possibility that Alonso may leave the team if he does not win this year, or that the rift with the technical team cannot be bridged. Lets not fool ourselves. His remarks before the break and Montezemolo’s public rebuking show clearly that all is not well between Alonso and the team. There were rumours at Spa that he was considering to take a sabbatical next year. So, Ferrari have a difficult decision to make, especially if Vettel is Ferrari bound in 2015.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st August 2013, 10:46

        Nikki Lauda’s remarks that Alonso’s constant complaining has driven a wedge between him and the engineers, thus Alonso has lost its effectiveness as the leading driver, he who provides the feedback for the development of the car, by blaming the engineers and by standing apart from the team, should not be taken lightly.

        While I agree with a lot of what Lauda is saying, especially regarding the sensitivity of Ferrari’s management and the team as a whole, he should really look at what other top drivers have done in the past -> Lewis has been way more critical of Mclaren than Alonso ever has been of Ferrari. Lewis would call the car a boat to the whole world, he would publicly display classified information and make his displeasure with the team very apparent to the world. Kimi does pretty much the same. He can be rude to staff, complain on teh team radio and openly admit to looking at other teams. Vettel doesn’t have any reason to complain .. does he?

        I can sense the frustration of a driver like Alonso. He’s been the class of the field over the past 3-4 seasons and has been let down by the team on numerous occassions. Its only a matter of time before his frustratios surface. Honestly, I think Ferrari need to grow up and realise that isn’t possible for a top drawer driver like Alonso to keep a cheerful and motivated attitude all the time.

        Lets face it, with Vettel in one top team, and Hamilton in the other, Ferrari should be grateful to have a driver like Alonso working for them. I think Luca and Ferrari’s management should be more careful about what they say about Alonso than the other way around. Right now there isn’t a single driver on the grid that would do what he is doing for Ferrari

        • dimitris said on 31st August 2013, 11:53

          The criticism by drivers has to be placed in the context of the team culture. Ferrari pride themselves as being a family, a team where everyone works for the good of all, and no one is above the team. Alonso acted as if he was on one side, separate, and the team on the other, and that the team on the other side was there to serve him, and was obliged, but failed, to make him a champion. The team had to work for him, not he for the team. Enzo would have fired him on the spot.
          Lewis displaced classified info, which is unforgivable, but he was already going to Mercedes. Kimi is much more of a team player than Alonso. He is very polite with the staff, of course there may be tension in the heat of the race, do not forget that Alonso once turned off the team radio, but he stands up for the staff and is always supportive of their efforts. When he was at Maclaren, one of the mechanics made an error that cost him the victory. The team wanted to fire the said mechanic, but Kimi objected, telling the team that he was indispensable to his team of mechanics and that if one was fired for one mistake, then he, Kimi, ought to have been fired many times because he had made many mistakes. He was treated like garbagge by Ferrari and yet he has not to the present criticized the team, he has not even named the person with whom he was not getting along. It is a different thing to pinpoint weaknesses of the car, e.g. we lack downforce, staightline speed, I could not get the balance right, but when he says that he immediately adds, the team is working very hard to remedy the situation, we have new parts, he has never put the team down. Alonso’ comments were somewhat different. You simply cannot say I want to drive someone else’ s car, at least in public, when you drive a Ferrari.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st August 2013, 16:35

            Kimi is much more of a team player than Alonso. He is very polite with the staff, of course there may be tension in the heat of the race, do not forget that Alonso once turned off the team radio, but he stands up for the staff and is always supportive of their efforts.

            Kimi refused to get in the car for a practice session once because the steering was ‘rubbish’. A lot of teams in the past have been upset with his lack of effort and motivation.. (Ferrari being among the 1st to bring it to our notice).

            Maybe the Mclaren incident has clouded your judgement about Kimi’s ability as a team leader. Overall, Kimi has never attached himself to the team and been as committed to working off track with the team as Alonso. Ferrari hired ALonso for that very reason… and that is why they let Ferrari go

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st August 2013, 16:45

            let *Kimi go

  15. anon said on 31st August 2013, 8:21

    Massa has no business driving in F1 let alone for a team challenging for the championship. He’s simply there to appease Alonso.

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