Alonso: They’d better be ‘better than Felipe Massa’

If Ferrari are going to replace the beleaguered Felipe Massa, they’d better make sure that the replacement is, indeed, better than the Brazilian they will replace. These are the words from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso as he told the press:

“If the team decides to change Felipe, anyone who arrives has to be better than Felipe.

“I’ve seen a lot of names written, and I don’t know if they have been written with the head or the heart.

“With all the names you hear, if you compare what Felipe has done in Formula 1 and what these little names have done in Formula 1…”

If Alonso is reading names written, then one must assume he means in the press and the few names being bandied about are Sergio Perez, Heikki Kovalainen, the obligatory Raikkonen or Schumacher return to the Scuderia. In that light, perhaps Alonso is considering these names and his words aren’t that flattering to the likes of Kovalainen or Perez or Di Resta or any myriad drivers that are younger and in Formula One.

Fernado learned quickly that you race FOR Ferrari, they don’t build a car for you. That notion has been lambasted for years but I submit that McLaren are no different. Ron Dennis takes pride in his empire and he should. A driver may come and go but the team remains. No matter who the team chooses, they had better understand that message as well as Alonso said:

“I think we need to respect the decision the team will make,” said Alonso.

“In my opinion we need to have a driver that respects Ferrari, that respects the tradition that here we work for the team, for the red cars, and this is the first priority.”

If the litmus test is to find someone better than Massa, an argument could be made that Perez is fully capable of besting Massa as the Brazilian has struggled since his accident back in 2010. It could also be argued that the bigger names like Webber (who stayed with Red Bull) or Schumacher, Raikkonen, Hamilton or Vettel are all planted but then you never know what could transpire.

Is this a hint form Alonso that Massa could be staying? For Massa’s sake, let’s hope so. For Ferrari fans, let’s hope not…the team need a driver to be right on the tail of Alonso and regularly in the points.

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