It would be ungentlemanly of me to give away my loving mother’s age, but let’s just say that she recently became a septuagenarian. As I have mentioned here before, it is due to her that I have such a passion for motorsport and, at such a ripe, young age, she still shares that same passion and watches each and every Grand Prix just as I do. But there is one subject which is tearing us apart…a man has come between us. A little, Brazilian man, as a matter of fact. My F1B piece following the final race of last season on which I stated that Felipe Massa was the worst Ferrari driver ever very nearly cost me my Christmas. If that was the case then, this piece might just have my maternal parent crossing my name from her last will and testament.

With three races of the 2012 season now complete, a quick scan of the current points standings shows Felipe wallowing in 18th position. Just how bad is that? The only drivers behind him drive either a Caterham, an HRT or a Marussia. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso and Scuderia Ferrari currently sit 3rd in their respective championships. Massa, of course, has had nothing to do with the constructor’s placing as he has scored none of the team’s 37 points. While the Spaniard has scored in all three races, including one victory, his Brazilian teammate has placed no higher than 13th. Sorry to e-yell, but EVERY SINGLE DRIVER, apart from those from the three newest teams, have at least scored one point.

For the second year running, the most successful team in Formula One history seem to be carrying a driver who is contributing absolutely nothing to his employer. I don’t mean to call anyone Shirley, but surely something has to be done soon. I think we all know that Alonso probably gets more out of the car than most if any other driver should, so maybe Felipe is showing the car’s true pace or lack thereof. But if that’s the case, then Shirley…I mean, surely there has got to be someone else that can be given a chance to do just as bad. Could it really get any worse than Massa right now? Someone in Maranello needs to make that difficult decision.

If someone out there can tell me why Felipe Massa should stay in that red car, I would love to hear it. And please don’t give me that sob story about Ferrari feeling bad about the whole spring thing; that team didn’t grow a heart when Enzo died. And if someone could tell me why I’m undeserving of a birthday present from me mum next month, I’d love to hear that, too!

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MIE
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MIE

Well he has shown a significant improvement over the last race. In Malaysia he was over a minute behind Alonso, while in China the deficit was only five seconds. The team really needs to improve the car before they can lay the blame completely at Massa. Not even Alonso can drag that Ferrari around to a top five finish every time. I don’t really think Perez would do better, as I think the Sauber is a better car at the moment.

F1 Kitteh
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F1 Kitteh

Rosberg was also on zero points until yesterday, so I think let’s give him one more weekend, and then yell at him :)

F1Sommelier
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F1Sommelier

We all love the guy, but his stats speak for themselves. I think the guy is mentally fragile and in spite of the car and Ferrari focusing on Alonso, he should still be doing much better. As you pointed out he is getting his arse handed to him, left , right and center.
I don’t think Felipe realizes how bad he looks out there. It’s painful to watch, and even if he’s not, i am embarrassed for him.

mark h
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mark h

I don’t think this is the race to call for Felipe’s head. If Massa had pitted on lap 39 just after Alonso, rather than a full four laps later, he might just have snagged one solitary point. That isn’t much, perhaps, but Ferrari consciously chose to sacrifice his chances in the hopes of improving Alonso’s fortunes – leaving Felipe out long enough to bring his teammate back into the fight for second, along with basically every other midfield runner. Firstly, if he had been really slow, this would not have been possible. Secondly, if you’re planning on doing that whenever… Read more »

mark h
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mark h

Though I should also add that Ferrari’s sacrificial lamb strategy, while disastrous for Massa, made for a barnstorming end to the race. For that I thank them.

Nathhulal
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Nathhulal

On that note what sadistic pleasure did Ferrari get almost every race last season, when Massa used to gain 2-4 places on race start, and Ferrari consistently kept him out for 2-3 laps extra after Pirellis went dodo on his car? This always coincided with his favorite adversary since 2007 would come up behind him and do rear end damage. So the Ferrari pattern was pretty consistent through out 2011 and has remained the same. To his credit at least he didn’t get Kimied after the Pirellis died on him in all those races. But then it doesn’t matter, he… Read more »

The Captain
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The Captain

Until that car gets improved I don’t think any driver in the points right now would have anything to gain by taking Massa’s set anyway. If they do remove Massa I got a bad feeling his replacement would be stepping into an F1 career ending drive.

positiveCamper
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positiveCamper

I agree with The Captain. Sure, all drivers want to drive for Ferrari, but an up-and-coming driver would be crazy not to think long and hard about stepping into the current car. They could end up looking like Fisichella, which would do their career no good at all. From the results so far this season, I think Perez is wise to stay with Sauber if he wants to be in the points. This may change as the year progresses, as Sauber’s development budget pales next to Ferrari’s.

Niyoko
Member
Niyoko

I agree as well. The car is a mess! Any driver that goes to Ferrari is going to have the same troubles as Felipe. He is not the problem to fix first. The car is. Any driver from the now fastest teams that chooses to “take the call” and come to Ferrari at this point is throwing away his career for the season. I say wait, be patient, score the points, make a sponsor worthy name for yourself, then when Ferrari have a good car say, “Yes.” Be smart and stay in school, or be smart and stay in you… Read more »

Nathhulal
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Nathhulal

“The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything: the young know everything.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Last2.LateBrake
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Last2.LateBrake

Hes there to lower any ones suspisions of the reds not being cold to there drivers I.e. schumi and Kimi

Mario Carneiro Neto
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Mario Carneiro Neto

Let’s look at some facts before we make foolish assertions such as “Felipe Massa is the worst Ferrari driver ever”, shall we? Why don’t we look at Felipe’s win in Turkey, as team mate to Michael Schumacher, or to the several races that year he was faster and more consistent than the 7 time world champion? Or we could talk about 2007, when he fought for the title for at least 3/4 of the championship, if not more, and where a few equipment faliures like his suspension in Monza cost him important points? Perhaps his impressive year of 2008 means… Read more »

Tony Greene
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Tony Greene

Great comments, Mario, but if you would, please go back and read that piece and it’s context. Felipe is quickly creaping up on having the longest tenure of any driver in Ferrari’s history since his last win. The drivers you mentioned, for the most part, had very short periods with the team. Felipe did have a great run previous to his very unfortunate accident. But it has now been 50 races since his last win. Alesi went 67 races before his sole win with Ferrari. If Felipe finishes the season without a win, then he will surpass that number and… Read more »

Changing_conditions
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Changing_conditions

Massa is out, we know, the team knows, the whole world knows, Well apart from Tony Greenes mum. The only reason he is not out yet is because Ferrari doesn’t have anyone to fill his seat, well know one they want. If Massa has not worked this out speaks for it’s self, because if he did, you would think he would try to do everything to prove why he should stay and if what he is delivering now is all he has got. Well sorry but no matter what he has done in the past, does not entitle him a… Read more »

th3chainrule
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th3chainrule
Tony Greene
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Tony Greene

Priceless.

Mario Carneiro Neto
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Mario Carneiro Neto

All I’m saying is that “worse driver” is simply incorrect when you compare to certain drivers that were truly awful, and brought nothing to the team. I truly hope Felipe leaves Ferrari because I want to see him win again, and I am also eager to see Perez in a (competitive) red car. It’s too easy to blame it all on him, but he’s simply not a bad driver. Not the best, no, but certainly not the worst either.

Mario Carneiro Neto
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Mario Carneiro Neto

Also, as I’ve commented here before, I see Massa and Domenicali’s fate inside Ferrari go hand in hand. I still have the strange feeling Stefano is vouching for Felipe inside that organization, trying to save his own ass in the process.

F1 Kitteh
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F1 Kitteh

Seems like a risky strategy to bank on Massa as a human shield ? Think it make more sense for Alonso to vouch for Massa because he doesn’t cause as much problems as say, a Perez might. And I doubt Alonso cares much about the constructors championship as long as he’s got the best shot at the WDC.

JTW
Guest
JTW

F1 is a business. and it doesn’t matter the business, when you’ve only got half the team functioning you’re in trouble. Yes, the car may be, at present, a dog but Alonso is scoring points, and Massa isn’t. And last year was hardly banner for him either. Massa, for whatever reason, has lost his edge, and while I agree there is little point in keeping him, there is a major problem. Who do you replace him with? Perez is staying with Sauber for this year, so let’s not go there. Where at one time Kubica may have been possible, I… Read more »

BazL
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BazL

I’m nearly in total agreement with Tony and also in agreement with his mum. I Think he’s been pretty mentally fragile since coming back from his freak accident and I don’t think that he can recoup his skill or drive at Maranello. It’s just the wrong atmosphere for him due to the strength of his teammate and the pressure of Ferrari. Thinking of Filipe I’d be all for a season long swap between Sauber and Ferrari. If there’s any team which could nurture him back to his best by instilling the love of racing into him its Sauber under Peter.… Read more »