Massa deserves the spot

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    Profile photo of magon4

    I have been the first to attack Felipe and say that he hadn’t even deserved this year’s seat in Ferrari, even less a contract extension.
    But this was his 4th positive race in a row, and today he was as good as he ever was. The continuity causes me to say that he deserves the 1-year extension by now. I don’t know if I would give it to him, or if someone deserves it more (probably yes), but he has earned it and probably will get it.

    Profile photo of TheJudge

    Yeah ,while Alonso’s not on track,he looks pretty strong,but all other ocasions,he’s so weak. I do not know amnymore now,if it is on purpose or not.

    Profile photo of Pamphlet

    It’s like they switched places this weekend. In most sessions Massa was faster and he (in his own words) only failed to make it into Q2 due to a problem with a very specific set of tyres (the one he used for his second run in that session).

    Alonso, on the other hand, had a brain fade, pushed Raikkonen off the track, ruined his championship hopes and pinned it all on his rival in the end. Disgraceful.

    Massa has been the better of the two recently, which really surprises me.

    Profile photo of Aditya Banerjee
    Aditya Banerjee

    When did Alonso push Raikkonen off track?? Or did you not see the race??

    Profile photo of Ben

    Kimi was clearly on the grass at the start

    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine

    his 4th positive race in a row

    He made a couple of good passes in Singapore (though on considerably weaker rivals) but you can’t overlook how he was thrashed by Alonso in qualifying. When you qualify a Ferrari so badly you get hit by a Caterham at the start that does rather suggest you’ve not got the most out of it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari do use his Japan podium as a pretext for keeping him but I think they’re looking for an excuse rather than a reason at this stage.

    Profile photo of bag0

    I think Michelisz said it in the best possible way. He said if the two Ferraris would have raced without numbers and the two drivers had the same helmet, everyone would have tought that it was Alonso running second.

    Profile photo of infernojim

    The thing is though that massa should be in the top 5 at 70%+ of races this year and have at least 4 or 5 podium with that car this year. I like him and he has improved lately but its hard to imagine that hulk or Di resta wouldn’t have had better results in the same car….

    If i were them i’d take hulk and massa can go off to sauber…

    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    Why do people have such short memories? Massa might have had four good races, but it doesn’t make up for the thirty-two bad ones before it.

    Profile photo of xbx-117

    No he doesn’t.

    Profile photo of Piotr Koteryl
    Piotr Koteryl

    I am split over Massa – I think he has been a good driver, but the last few seasons have been very tough for him. I would love to see him succeed, particularly as he was effectively robbed of the 2008 title by a spurious bit of ‘luck’ for his title rival, but I think perhaps he may not be likely to find that success at Ferrari – especially as Alonso is there for the long haul.

    Should Ferrari replace Massa with one of the Force India drivers, I would definitely hope for Hulkenberg – he believes in racing on merit, rather than because of the sponsorship one brings to a team, and given some mentoring from a more experienced driver (Alonso, in the manner of Schumacher and Massa) I think he could make quite the impact with the Scuderia.

    Massa himself, though, has been steadily improving his results, and on current form, keeping him looks like a safer bet than hiring a more unknown quantity – can he be consistent, though?

    Profile photo of dot_com

    I can’t believe this is still being discussed. Massa scores his first podium in 36 races, and suddenly deserves to be in a top flight team. I’m surprised he would even want to stay for another season, his reputation gets worse and worse with each season he spends getting thumped by Alonso.

    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari do use his Japan podium as a pretext for keeping him but I think they’re looking for an excuse rather than a reason at this stage.

    I think this is ultiamtely going to be the case. Unless David Croft’s comments about a surprise in the driver market refer to Ferrari making a change in their line-up.

    A lot of people believe that Vettel has a pre-contract with the team to race in 2014. That would make signing for Ferrari an unappealing prospect to anyone but Felipe Massa. However, just as many people seem to think that putting Alonso and Vettel togethe will be like mixing water and electricity.

    If that pre-contract exists, then the only way Ferrari would be able to get someone other than Massa would be to guarantee their second driver a continued seat with the team provided they met certain conditions. And that’s going to be a huge gamble for all involved. It’s not just the fans who think Alonso and Vettel is a bad idea – Ferrari like to take a strong lead driver with someone who can back them up all season long without challenging them, contribute to the team’s WCC campaign, and be ready to take over the championship fight if the lead driver is removed from the equation (ie, they have a string of mechanical faults or are injured, etc.). And – it’s a little hard to tell, because this has only really happened once in the last 20 years – they would want that driver to take over as the lead driver once the original lead retires.

    There are only a few drivers on the grid who fit this role. Massa can do it, but his slump in form makes him the big unknown. Webber could do it, but he’s already re-signed with Red Bull, and so it would probably be very difficult to get him out (especially if they want Vettel in 2014 as well). Of the remaining drivers, Nico Hulkenberg is probably the only driver who could fit that role. Kobayashi and Kovalainen might be able to, but they’d also have big question marks looming over them. Grosjean is another maybe, but he’s too wild. And maybe Paul di Resta could, but I find he is very good at spreading the blame around at the same time as he distances himself from it when things go wrong, and I think that clashes with Ferrari’s philosophy. The only other alternative would be to take Jules Bianchi, but if they thought Perez was too inexperienced after two years in Formula 1, they’re going to look like fools if they take a total rookie.

    But if that pre-contract exists, it’s a question of who outside Ferrari would be willing to spend a year with the team and no sure promise of a future in 2014. It might jsut be the one thing that saves Felipe Massa (unless Red Bull can convince Vettel to stay, at which point all bets are off).

    Profile photo of raymondu999

    Actually @prisoner-monkeys I can see the seat as appealing (from the driver point of view, not necessarily team point of view) to a young hotshoot looking to prove himself, and believes that a year is enough for him to prove himself – for someone else to pick him up at the end of the year. That is, I hear, one of the factors that has been touted as a drawing factor for Nico Hulkenberg.


    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    Perhaps, but it’s still a risk – losing the seat after a year could be a disaster for any young driver.

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