Massa ‘will definitely help Alonso’ in championship

2013 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2013Ferrari have responded to Felipe Massa’s claim he will not support team mate Fernando Alonso during the rest of the season.

After news broke of his impending departure from Ferrari at the end of the season Massa told Brazilian television he will be working for himself and not his team mate from now on.

But president Luca di Montezemolo rebuffed the claim in an interview for La Gazzetta dello Sport: “They say he won?t help Fernando? Please!”

“He will definitely do so, giving us a hand for the constructors’ and Alonso for the drivers’”

Massa has been called on to assist Alonso on several occasions during their time as team mates. He surrendered his most recent chance to win a race to Alonso under orders from Ferrari at Hockenheim in 2010. Last year Ferrari deliberately incurred a gearbox change penalty on Massa’s car, moving him back five place on the grid and moving Alonso forward one place.

“The team will support Alonso until the very last metre,” Montezemolo added, “and on top of that, I am also expecting Massa to have a great end to the season. Felipe is an exceptional guy and a wonderful person.”

However Montezemolo admitted Massa had lost his place in the team because his results weren’t good enough:

“The relationship was clear. He needed results and so did we. He did get some, but he was inconsistent, having some good races but not on a regular basis.

“In 2012, we felt the lack of his points in the constructors?. It will be good for him to have a change of scenery.”

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103 comments on Massa ‘will definitely help Alonso’ in championship

  1. As Massa says: “I will not race for Alonso from now on.”
    “Right from Friday at Singapore I’ll be working for myself.
    “I will attack all the time, every lap. It’s come the time to look after myself,” from TV Globo.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 17th September 2013, 13:09

      Good on him!

      Although I highly doubt it will happen, I really hope Felipe can get 1 last win before his Ferrari days are over.

      • kowalsky and imaginary friends said on 17th September 2013, 16:01

        what could happen is that they are close in qualy, and he cuts in front of fernando. If alonso is in front of him at the first corner, felipe won’t see him for the rest of the race.

    • Go Felipe!! Hope that you get another win which would show your potential suitors that there is still life left in you!

    • Hypocrite Massa, at it again this is not the first time he goes on public rants. He admits he is slow and he claims he understand team’s interests but he goes on globo basically saying that he didn’t signed his contract knowing that he wouldn’t beat alonso and on that instance he ought to be professional.

    • Nicolas Todt, Massa’s manager, told the Brazilian press that the exit from Ferrari was planned but they were keeping it in very low profile, but Massa decided to jump off after the Qualifying in Monza. When he arrived to the box after grabbing the fourth place on the grid, one position ahead of Alonso, not one of the engineers who came to him was did to say “good job” or anything like that, but to ask what happened that he didn’t tow Alonso. According to what Todt said to Brazilian reporters, at that moment Massa decided it was the time to say good bye for good.
      Probably the story is not 100% right, maybe it is. But I believe that Massa’s statement needs to be seen in that context, after Alonso himself admitted that he could only be champion if Vettel has a series of DNF. So, if Alonso admits that the championship is basically over, what’s the logic in racing to help Alonso?
      Note that Massa didn’t say he won’t help Ferrari, but a guy who more or less spent the last couple of month saying that the car is way to rubbish for him to be champion.
      From that point of view, Montezemolo’s statement is just PR nonsense. Massa will help Alonso to do what, exactly? The only way that Massa can help Alonso now would be to take points from Vettel, but for that BOTH Ferraris need to be AHEAD of Vettel, not behind him. Not only Massa, but the whole grid had been failing miserably to take points from Vettel, really, Alonso included.
      So, all this is just the good old beatin’ to a dead horse, if you ask me.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 17th September 2013, 17:33

        As far as I know the garage is pretty much divided in three teams: the one supporting each driver and on that tries to keep things going. Massa’s fourth wasnt a bad qualifying, it wasnt good either for someone who is supposed to show results. Furthermore, if he had already decided to leave, I’m sure everyone already knew (gossip spreads like wild fire).

        • Imre (@f1mre) said on 17th September 2013, 18:41

          If Massa’s fourth wasn’t good then fifth for a “championship contender” is what?

          The best way to show your worth is beating your teammate. He beat his teammate then got TO-ed in the race which perhaps cost him podium. Alonso could’ve finished 2nd anyway but no, they thought he had a chance to beat Vettel. Haha.

          • Andrew Simmons said on 18th September 2013, 13:58

            So why did Massa lose the podium to Webber? If he was on par with Alonso but forced over yet he was the better driver at Monza, why didnt he stay infront of Webber? Considering Webber was nursing an issue for half the race, Massa STILL didnt finish ahead of him.

            I love it when people bemoan about Massa having to give way to Alonso. Id love to know where Massa lost just under 500 points because of team orders…..

        • Rambler said on 18th September 2013, 5:40

          By that logic Alonso’s 5th was horrible for someone who’s clearly the best driver in history of F1.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 17th September 2013, 18:02

        Both sides of the Ferrari/Massa issue are attempting to place themselves in the best light. Massa trying to reassert himself after years of being perceived as the willing accomplice to prop up Alonso. Ferrari now saying Massa’s results are not good enough after years of complacency. While the PR for both sides plays out what happens on track could be interesting. Massa should race hard and not doing anything foolish that could further damage his future chances with other teams. Ferrari would be wise to not put Massa in a position to make them look bad.

        Speaking of which the tow incident at Monza qualifying was a ridiculous distraction that hurts both drivers. Just go out and do the best lap possible and don’t hurt the chances for both drivers while trying to put the chosen one ahead. Can anyone remember the tow in qualifying tactic ever working as planned? It may have, but it seems like it nearly always ends in a bad way for both drivers.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 17th September 2013, 20:20

      he should – here is a fun fact (note, not a serious stat):
      Massa and Alonso have the same number of race wins (11 each) and WDC wins (0) – but Massa won 2 WCCs. So on my book Massa is still the more successful Ferrari driver

  2. Pedro Pires said on 17th September 2013, 12:58

    Montezemolo is so stupid in thinking that Ferrari could force Massa on helping Alonso on the current season! First Montezemolo dump Massa from Ferrari for 2014, and after that he thinks Massa will harm himself for Alonso, when the Brazilian doesn’t have a guaranteed seat for next season.

    • It’s so funny reading all these “Montezemolo is stupid because [insert reason here]“. He is the president of Ferrari ! I’m sure he got there because he is really really stupid. Here is a link for you http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luca_di_Montezemolo , read it and see how stupid this guy is…
      Now, we may not agree with his opinions, this is perfectly fine, also the people in these positions know much more than they say public…

      On the other hand, Massa should be very careful what he says and does for the rest of the season. The team pays the bill. I like him and I really hope he will not do something stupid. He is searching for a new team, doesn’t he ?

  3. chris sz said on 17th September 2013, 13:03

    Ferari slaved out massa since alonso.its going to be fireworks next year with raikonnen. I expect that at least one of them wont make it till the end of their contract.

  4. Aww really Massa? But Fernando make you a photo collage and everything! :P

  5. Of course he will. It’s not like he can do much else these days.

  6. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 17th September 2013, 13:25

    I’m sure we can all expect to hear Massa being booed by ‘fans’ when he ignores team orders, right?

  7. I think its great is Massa has made this stance and will put himself first for the first time in a long while!!

    But lets put this into perspective a bit more- some will see this as a Felipe dummy spit as he has been ousted. Not so. He is fighting for his F1 future (in a top car at Lotus or mid at Sauber anyway) so needs to look after himself for sure. Also Alonso is not close enough in the championship that it matters. I am sure if it were 2010 or 2012 and Alosnso was that close that Massa could make the difference he still would- if Massa has an issue with anyone (not saying his does) but surely its with Ferrari and not Fernando.

  8. Chad (@chaddy) said on 17th September 2013, 13:53

    Why doesn’t Alonso realize that he’s not going to be considered one of the sport’s greats if it takes a teammate to tow him around racetracks in order to have a chance to outqualify some of his rivals. It’s been a little pathetic how much help he has needed the last few years. A real champion takes matters into his own hands. I hope Massa goes solo, and then maybe Alonso can focus on himself and his own pace

    • svianna (@svianna) said on 17th September 2013, 14:40

      Chad, Michael Schumacher is considered one of the greatest F1 drivers and has the numbers to show for. He demanded Ferrari to have CONTRACTUAL arrangements with the #2 driver to enforce his ” rights” to team orders (when team orders were banned).

      Ferrari will dismiss Massa and claim breach of contract if Massa disobey team orders in the remaining races of the season.

      Ferrari’s decision to bring Raikonnen alongside Alonso next year shows a little bit of desperation, unable to win constructors nor drivers championhip under the RBR/Vettel reign. They got tired of attending to Alonso’s ego without championship. Unfortunately, the answer to Ferrari’s woes lies in wind tunnels and aerodynamicists they don’t have.

      • Chad (@chaddy) said on 17th September 2013, 14:54

        Interesting reply, but I don’t see how Ferrari could fire Massa in the end of the season– who could take his place?

        Also, Alonso isn’t winning the championship, so Ferrari is only fighting for constructors, and Massa’s selflessness for Alonso has only benefited Alonso and not the team– like dropping a car 5 spaces to moderately help the other: it’s hard to argue this benefited the team who knew its place in the constructors.

        This year, they need to beat Mercedes, and Massa can do his part by simply being fast on his own.

        • Steven (@steevkay) said on 17th September 2013, 15:44

          Luca Badoer? =)

          Fisichella? =)

          If they do, they can kiss 2nd place, possibly even 3rd in the Constructors’ goodbye.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th September 2013, 20:14

            The Alonso-Fisichella partnership actually yielded 2 constructor’s championships.

          • Steven (@steevkay) said on 17th September 2013, 22:31

            @david-a Yeah that yielded good results; I was thinking back to the time where Massa had his injury and they tried to replace him with Badoer/Fisichella, but they were way off the pace (from what I remember, anyway). If I recall correctly, Badoer was way off, Fisichella less so, but throwing in a driver who was unfamiliar with the car really didn’t work in their favour (though I suppose it’s better than no driver).

            I have a short memory, so that’s my recollection.

        • I don’t think it will happen, but it would definitely be Pedro de la Rosa, he is their reserve driver and was racing in 2012.

      • Chad, Michael Schumacher is considered one of the greatest F1 drivers and has the numbers to show for. He demanded Ferrari to have CONTRACTUAL arrangements with the #2 driver to enforce his ” rights” to team orders (when team orders were banned).

        Hamilton is number one driver at Mercedes, Alonso is number one at Ferrari.

        Fact is, Irvine, Barrichello, Massa, teammates in Benetton days couldn’t get close to him qualifying or races for any of this to matter. He comprehensively beat every teammate, year after year. Austria 2002 was basically a one off and no different to Massa pulling over for Alonso at Monza, Rosberg being told not to pass Hamilton at Sepang. A championship was at stake in 2002 and Ferrari had missed championships by the skin of their teeth in 97, 98 and 99. You’d look pretty stupid if you lost a championship because you didn’t move Barrichello over. Anyway, Schumacher gave Barrichello the win back at Indy. Also, no-one brings up the fact Schumacher moved over twice to let Irvine win at Sepang 99.

        • Fact is a big part of the reason MS comprehensively beat every teammate is because the cars were built for MS and he got to see their data and they didn’t have the benefit of his. It simply was never an apples to apples comparison between MS and his teammates, by design. Most drivers with the same treatment MS got at Benetton and Ferrari would have had the same amount of ‘success’ as MS did against his teammates. Of course, post Austria 02, RB said he was just obeying his contract, so it’s kinda hard to give MS any credit for beating RB when it simply was a contractual thing. Wonder how MS would have done in a car build for RB, with 80% of the team geared toward helping RB, not to mention a contract for MS to be subservient.

          • Mayank (@mjf1fan) said on 17th September 2013, 23:03

            Dear @robbie

            Could you please show some proof as in links or something else to proove MS’s data was not shared with his teammates. I would be really happy to read them as I couldn’t find them. Or else you might have been working with Ferrari that you know such inside information. Since I joined this site, I have always seen you as anti MS, disregarding his achievements every now and then. You are saying ferrari made their cars to suit MS, I agree with you but could you tell me if from 2010 to 2013, ferrari ever made their cars to suit FM more than FA ? Never..the fact is every team make their cars around the driver which they feel will give them a chance to win WCC/WDC. So MS had better chances of winning WDC according to Ferrari and they made their cars around his style just like they are making it around FA.

      • You seem to know a lot about driver’s contracts, which are normally kept secret. Could you please provide us with the details of Michael Schumacher’s contract with Ferrari, particularly how it reflected the ban on team orders, which was introduced for 2003 season. Did MSC revised his long-term contract with Ferrari in 2003, specifying that he should still be able to use team orders, which became illegal? I would really like to see the data you based your statement upon. Because, you know, in 2002, unlike, say, 2010, team orders were perfectly legal.

    • zoom (@zoomracing) said on 17th September 2013, 16:36

      They have done it one time this year, how is that worse than taking wings or multi 21 earlier on the season?.

      • @mjf1fan Back when Johnny Herbert was MS’s teammate at Benetton, he said he was treated like a second class citizen, and that he had to give up his data to MS’s side of the garage, but there was no data coming back to him from MS’s side. I’ll extend that to Austria 2002 when RB admitted he was obeying his contract when he let MS ‘win’ with metres to go. I simply do not believe for one second that MS’s teammates have had an apples to apples fair shot at competing against him.

        So of course I realize that sometimes teams make a car to suit one driver over another, but I would like to think that if a top team were to hire 2 WDC level drivers they would not hang one driver out to dry to favour the other. But I know that it not always the reality either.

        I reject any notions that MS had it the same as any other designated or perceived number one. You may suggest that FA’s Ferrari is ‘his’ Ferrari and FM has to drive FA’s Ferrari too, and I would suggest 1) then everyone should get off FM’s back because he is driving FA’s car and 2) nobody as ever had all the advantages added up for such a sustained time span as MS…designer car, tires, unlimited testing, and a contracted subservient, which RB admitted to being. Can you prove to me that FM in contracted to be subservient like RB was? Or is it just implied with FM? My point is not that MS/Ferrari were the first or last to favour a driver, it is the degree to which lengths were gone, not just by Ferrari but by F1, for MS to compile numbers post-Senna. And on top of all the advantages hand over fist that MS had over the rest of the field he was a boor and a bully on the track, and I lost respect for him long ago due to that as much as anything else. Some people just look at the numbers…I look at how the numbers were gained…MS had illegal Benettons, and contracted non-competing helpers on the track in the name of teammates that were there to give it up for him at Ferrari. I prefer my WDC’s to win their trophies in a more honourable and fair way. If MS (read FA, SV etc) is so great, why did he need the help? They should be able to win by talent alone against teammates in equal cars, without contracts or team orders to give it up for them. I hate, in the pinnacle of racing, when decisions are made in a boardroom as to who will come out on top on any team in any season.

        • OK, if Johnny Herbert, and not, say Ross Brawn, is the best source of information on how things were in Benetton, then, perhaps, we should take this cue and base our opinion of Lewis Hamilton on Heikki Kovalainen’s remarks how he was treated like a garbage in McLaren during his stint with Hamilton. Jarno Trulli also had some interesting things to say about his treatment in Renault during Alonso year. Even Alain Prost had (and still) has a lot to say about how he was mistreated in McLaren whrn he was losing to Senna. Do we really want to go there?

          • Mayank (@mjf1fan) said on 19th September 2013, 8:07

            Adding to what Manule has said does it really looks like FM is not being treated like FA subservient? Gearbox penaltt at austin 2012, the famous hockenheim 2010, monza toeing ?
            Regarding 2002 austria, I think @anon had perfectly described the situation in his comment above.

            You consider MS a bully on track. Well I think you havent watched Senna racing ever coz to me he also had few antics on track which according to your judgement is bullish, thus making him also a bully.

            I am not everybody and I never got on FM’s back because of his lack Lustre performance against FA. I certainly hope that for the remainder of season FM actually drive for himself and not help FA for his title bid.

          • Don’t have a lot of time at the moment to respond but I will just say a few quick things. RB admitted at Austria 02 that he was just obeying his contract. Therefore I reject any notions that MS was a great driver because he always beat his teammates. It’s a silly thing to give MS credit for that when RB admitted to having a contract to not compete and to hand MS positions and points whenever possible.

            I was a huge Senna fan, and I was very disappointed at his behaviour sometimes, although I do believe he had some different motives at times, not that I condone it…eg. a Championship deciding race, he gets pole, and Saturday night Balestre, the French head of FISA at the time, decides to put Senna on the dirty side of the track, thus helping Frenchman Prost, at which point Senna then takes the attitude that whatever happens happens then, because he’s not the one that changed the circumstances. Not excusing it, but there were extenuating circumstances.

            So I don’t condone what Senna did, but at least I could understand it a bit given that he was put on the dirty side of the track after getting pole, but then when MS hit JV in 97, he tried to lay the blame on Senna by saying Senna was a hero of his and he learned it from him. I lost a ton or respect for MS for not taking the higher road, and instead saying basically well he did it so why shouldn’t I.

  9. “The relationship was clear. He needed results and so did we. He did get some, but he was inconsistent, having some good races but not on a regular basis.

    seems to me a fair and fitting asessment of Massa since mid 2010. So why did they keep him on for so long?

    • kimrogue (@kimrogue) said on 17th September 2013, 14:40

      @bascb At the risk of repeating the views expressed above: ‘To fiddle with a perfectly good gear box and to tow a perfectly fine Ferrari. They couldn’t find anyone else to do it’

    • One of two things have happened:
      - Clearly there were some long term effects from the horrible Hungary 2009 incident that didn’t eliminate his ability, but definitely it blunted the sharp edge of the skill that he enjoyed before the incident.

      - The other possiblility is since the arrival of Alonso, the car was designed around him and it has been determental to Massa driving style.

      We can’t go back and rerun the 2008 season to see if he still has “it”, and his only path as driver from here is back to the mid-field teams at best, so we will never know.

      The truth is that Ferrari have generously given Felipe four years after the incident to try and refind his form, and it unfortunately it never returned.

      Here are a few “if” statements that certainly remain ifs but I like to use my imagination:
      - If only Massa’s engine hadn’t expired while leading at Hungary 2008 with a couple laps to go
      - If Ferrari had just kept using a pit lollipop instead of using pit stop lights when he hit the pit lane while leading Singapore 2008
      - If only Renault had not fixed same said race with Piquet
      - If only the FIA hadn’t allowed the blown diffuser loophole at the start of 2009, then two things – 1. Maybe Ferrari would faired better throughout the season and 2. The Brawn team might not have even survived to Hungary for Barrichello to lose that suspension spring in front of Massa. An incidental third thing out of that would have been likely is that Seb would already be a 4 time champ today, as Red Bull had great pace without the double diffuser.

  10. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 17th September 2013, 14:07

    I say Felipe, go grab that trophy in Interlagos.

  11. I wish he would have had those balls back in 2010 Hockenheim.
    It always bugged me how Massa now and then was able to be as, if not quicker than Alonso, especially during the end of the season when his contract was in danger. I wonder how much his lackluster performances are due to motivation and how things might have turned if he was allowed to race Fernando fair and square.

    • @gearhead_brazil said on 17th September 2013, 17:08

      This thought comes to me as well.
      Felipe was never the most constant performing driver in F1. Even in 2008. But he was always fast. 5 years later and you would think the acquired experience would make him better. This recent performance form his is a clear sign of his lack of motivation.
      Remember Lewis last year? And Kimi in 2009?
      And Webber, who used to put Vettel in his place back in the day?
      He old Felipe is still inside there. Just giv

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th September 2013, 20:17

        And Webber, who used to put Vettel in his place back in the day?

        What days? Vettel beat him in 2009 and 2010, despite a higher car unreliability rate.

      • “Remember Lewis last year?”. He was driving really well last year, but bad pit-stops, a couple of incidents and the car’s poor reliability cost him massively.
        “And Webber, who used to put Vettel in his place back in the day?”. Webber has only very occasionally been better than Vettel whilst team-mates. Generally Vettel has always been much better.

  12. Pete (@repete86) said on 17th September 2013, 14:19

    What are Ferrari going to do if he ignores them? Fire him?

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 17th September 2013, 14:27

      @repete86 It’s not as if Ferrari don’t have any drivers with F1 experience at the moment.. Kobayashi, Fisichella, Gene, De La Rosa..

      • Yes, but they tried that in 2009 and Fisichella was a 1 sec slower than Kimi. It’s not easy to just plant a driver in a car and expect him to run with it (It sort of worked with Mika Salo in 1999, but then there was unlimited testing so Salo could get up to speed quickly).

        • RAMBOII said on 17th September 2013, 16:10

          And even then the results were rather mixed up. He had some real good races, but he was poor in the other half of the races as well.

      • I hope Massa decides to ignore team orders ,would love to see how alonso reacts to that..

        • Breno (@austus) said on 17th September 2013, 17:36

          You’re assuming Massa will pull pace out of nowhere after four unimpressive years. If he, the so regarded as loyal and friendly, chooses to ignore the team, I fully expect him to be gone before the season ends.

          • @austus

            it’s not that i expect Massa to suddenly start beating Alonso… But I think it’s fair to say he could find Alonso behind him once or twice in the remaining races…and as I said i am interested in Alonso’s reaction if massa were to ignore the team’s request to let Alonso past(if the team does so as Vettel seems to be out of reach)… I fully expect Alonso to take matters in to his own hands and pass him on merit(Like Vettel did in Malaysia , Kudos to Vettel for that)… I would’ve preferred the same in Germany 2010 as I sincerely believe Alonso could’ve gone past Massa without the team order (he was the faster driver that day)… BTW I am a fan of Alonso …

          • Motivation to impress. I think Massa has had a hard time motivating himself in a team dominated by Alonso. Maybe we will see the Massa of old who was blindingly quick by any ones standards.

  13. scuderia_fan85 (@scuderia_fan85) said on 17th September 2013, 14:51

    I wonder how LDM gonna force Massa to help Fernando…? or what they would do if he ignores team orders..? go for it Felipe. forget Ferrari, these last 7 races will be a massive help to where he drives next year. he can drive now without any consequences…we will see if Ferrari are stupid enough to punish Felipe and hurt “the team”.

  14. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 17th September 2013, 14:54

    The only issue I can see with this is Ferrari ‘doing an Irvine’ and accidentally forgetting to bring 4 tires out for his pit stop…

  15. Presumably it wouldn’t make a difference anyway, such is the formidable position in which Sebastian Vettel finds himself in. If he has anything like as successful a period now in the flyway season as he did last year then it’s done and dusted – 53 points is a big lead at this stage in the championship (bigger than Alonso’s was)…

    • agree completely… It looks highly unlikely that Alonso or someone else will catch Vettel unless a few DNFs for Vettel( I know I am going to get a lot of stick for it but it’s the truth, is n’t it?)

      • @puneethvb It is the truth, I agree. Doesn’t mean one should wish for it though ;)

        If there’s no real chance of Alonso winning the title though I don’t see why Felipe couldn’t (if he has the speed to do so, that is) race and beat Alonso. If it were the case, then it’s really all about consolidating second place in the constructors.

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