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. Massa also said at the end of the interview that there was a contact with Mclaren. Hard to believe that it can move forward, but…

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th September 2013, 18:31

    Having one of your drivers saying “I will not race for Alonso from now on” on television and then saying “He will definitely [help Alonso]” is not very convincing to say the least…

    Good on Massa for stepping up for himself. Ferrari have really treated him as garbage since Hockenheim 2010. Normally I don’t like drivers ignoring their teams’ instructions, but in this case I can’t but think “Go Felipe”.

    • If there was a situation in the remaining races where he was infront of Alonso and directly ignored an order to help him, i could see him getting sacked immediatly. LdM wouldnt stand for being belittled like that infront of the world.

      For Massa sake i hope that situation does arise :]

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 17th September 2013, 20:06

        The problem there is that they’ll likely end up with someone far slower than Felipe in the car making themselves look pretty stupid – like 2009 all over again. They need to keep Felipe in the car for the rest of the year and hope he brings lots of constructors points.

        • @jerseyf1 As I mention in a comment below, they could get Kobayashi in. Probably work PR wonders too.

          • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th September 2013, 17:29

            @john-h I agree that it might be a good PR move given how popular Kobayashi is with F1 viewers. Unfortunately being popular isn’t the same as being fast and the risk of having a Ferrari near the back of the grid would be a PR disaster no matter how popular the driver (granted Alonso would probably love it as support to his constant “I’m a great driver in a dog of a car” promotion).

            As they’ve already experienced that situation in the last four years (in which circumstance they had no choice but to draft in a replacement) it could make them look even more stupid to voluntarily do it again.

            The only way I could see it making sense to take this risk is for a driver in contention for a race seat with them in the future as there would be an upside making the downside risk worthwhile.

  3. My memory is Massa once accused FA of costing him the championship, by ‘altering’ the results in Singapore. Apropos this should be the first race after the news that FM is now out. For Massa the man I hope some situation presents itself for him to go out with more dignity.

    • I remember that too. Maybe he might change his mind now he’s leaving and correctly blame his own team for pressing the green light with the fuel hose still attached. That might have had something to do with the Singapore result too.

  4. Other than last races towing that helped FA at times but apparently not at the right time, I don’t see how FM could help FA all of a sudden. I don’t see FM suddenly being up there, unless he is somehow stoked about leaving Ferrari and is NOW going to pour on the after burners…so…don’t quite get what FM can do that he hasn’t supposedly already been trying to do.

    Also, I would like to think that FA doesn’t need the help. I have much less respect for MS, since he needed the most resources any driver has ever had, including contracted subservients to ‘win,’ so I wish FA would come out and say he doesn’t need FM’s help. Unfortunately FA grew up in the MS/Ferrari era and thinks that a team constitutes someone in the pinnacle of racing being there not to race him, and if that can be by team order or by contract so be it.

    I so wish we could just have single car/driver teams to ensure it is every man for himself out there.

  5. I hope that if a team order arises, Massa does ignore it because it would be brilliant entertainment, especially in the aftermath with di Montezemolo.

  6. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 17th September 2013, 21:47

    I really hope we won’t give up 1cm in Alonso’s favour from now on. Problem is if he’ll have another chance this season to be in such position. To favour Alonso in some way, it’s a MUST to place himself in front of Alonso ! That’s not something easy to do for Massa given the last 4 years.

  7. ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 17th September 2013, 21:54

    My dream is for Massa to quit Formula 1 and move to Indycar next year. Montoya is going to be there. Takuma Sato is probably still going to be there. Helio Castroneves and Tony Kannan are cool Brazilians who are going to be there too. He’ll be able to see more of his family because the globe-hopping won’t be as extreme. He may not make as much money, but how much money does he really need? What Massa needs (and deserves) is a Championship, and this is something that he can win in Indycar. After the last few Indycar races, it is my opinion that the series needs better drivers too. Like Filipe.

  8. I actually have some sympathy for Ferrari here. They stuck by Felipe after his injury and I believe at the start of the season, they do give Alonso and Massa equal support. It’s just that Alonso is a better driver, and by half way through the season it is clear that he is the only shot at the championship. I’m not advocating the Ferrari way, just stating the facts as I see it from the outside (whilst blissfully ignoring the sham that is Hockenheim 2010).

    Who knows, Kobayashi could be in the car come Japan ;)

    • I know he has Ferrari ties now, but he hasn’t done any work with the car if my memory serves me right, while de la Rosa has, which makes me think in the unlikely event they drop Massa before the end of the season, de la Rosa would get the drive.
      Ferrari replacing Massa with a driver who wasn’t good enough to be kept by Sauber would show they don’t want 2nd in the constructors’ that badly.

    • I agree. Any other driver would have been fired during 2011. He’s been abysmal, but they showed him a great deal a of loyalty because of how close he came to dying.

      Then you have him needlessly saying Alonso is better than Schumacher. A kick in the teeth to his mentor.

  9. Michael Brown (@) said on 18th September 2013, 0:04

    What if Massa doesn’t help Alonso and Ferrari fires him? Are they going to hire Badoer and screw their constructors’ chances?

  10. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 18th September 2013, 0:55

    One again, the underdog mentality has prevailed.

    Why does Massa find himself in the position that he’s in? Because he isnt good enough. Its as simple as that, and he knows this. Why else would have stuck around for so long? There are many similarities between Alonso’s and Schumacher’s tenure at Ferrari. They share that unrelenting determination to win and extreme work ethic. Their modus operadi is to built a team around them. So, this is a given and any person who is worth his salt would have realized this from day 1.

    So, if Massa feeling as if he was trampled upon, his aspirations stifled, why didnt he walk out? I would have. A lot of the arguments here are pathetic. Its easy to hate a professional athlete who is on top of their game, because it goes hand in hand with a little bit of arrogance and self entitlement, but it does not take anything away from their ability to perform consistently at their best…that is why they are as good as they are.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 18th September 2013, 15:44

      @jaymenon10 – but added to that, you’d have to say Barichello wasn’t good enough either.

      In reality, Massa and Barichello are both very good drivers but they aren’t on a par with to best (Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen). Because of how Ferrari operate, that means Massa has to support Alonso and can’t race for himself which stops him from growing and improving as a driver.

  11. MB (@muralibhats) said on 18th September 2013, 3:19

    What I think is the teams which Massa is having talks with are having some doubts on Massa’s competitiveness and want him to show in the next race how he will drive without team ordering him. That is why he is making this statement before the build up for the race.

  12. Latvian (@latvian) said on 18th September 2013, 8:10

    I feel sorry for Massa. after his big accident he is not a same driver, it’s true. not a same guy who almost won WDC. and when he got close to win again- his team told him that Fernando is faster than him. this surely kills every drivers morale and desire to shine in da race track.

  13. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 18th September 2013, 15:41

    Massa has spent the last few years playing the team game and then Ferrari go and drop him for someone who is faster. Massa now needs to fight for a new job so why would he let Alonso past him?

    If he out qualifies Alonso and finishes the season stronger, it would put him in a great position to get a seat next year but if he trawls around jumping out of the way, I can’t see why anyone would pick him. No other teams are going to care whether Massa lets Alonso past or not – most would probably respect him for not doing so! Any team that signs Massa will probably do so pairing a young, inexperienced driver so they won’t care about his “team-work” skills anyway!

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