There’s no real way around it. Felipe Massa’s hold on his job seems to be getting thinner and thinner after each race.
After another no-points finish, Felipe is at the heart of today’s summary of the race weekend out of Maranello. That Fernando Alonso is tied for the lead in the drivers title race can’t be helping.
Now, Ferrari is admitting that Felipe’s running into tons of bad luck. But… well, you can only chalk things up to bad luck for so long.
“It’s a shame for Felipe who has been plagued with bad luck all weekend: yesterday there was traffic in qualifying and today, a penalty probably prevented him from finishing in the points after he had made up a lot of places at the start,” Stefano Domenicali said. “We expect Felipe to react and fight back after this unlucky weekend, starting in Monaco: we absolutely need his points to also fight for the Constructors’ title.”
See: Stefano threw in one of those “management speak” words: absolutely. It’s up there with “unacceptable” in terms of suggesting that someone’s actions are, well, unacceptable. (Feel free to toss “Grace” in in place of unacceptable, it works about as well.)
And you can parse the quote from Felipe they included in this piece:
“Today my race was affected by a penalty that I had to take on lap 28. Honestly, I don’t think I did anything wrong and I believe it is better to look into the detail of what happened, because I was in the middle of a group of cars and I definitely did not try to overtake anyone. It’s a real shame, because up until then, the race was going well for me and a place in the top ten was comfortably within my reach. I was in the group with the Red Bulls and the McLarens and I could match their pace. I had a good opening lap when I managed to make up a lot of places. I am happy that Fernando was able to fight for the win all the way to the end, as it shows our car’s potential has definitely improved: we still don’t have the quickest car but it seems we are going down the right road. I want to congratulate Pastor, who is a great friend: the taste of a first Formula 1 win is something amazing and I can understand how he feels right now.”
That’s not the quote I would have OKd if I were Felipe’s press guy, I’ll tell you. I don’t think he can keep claiming that outside factors are the cause of his trouble — he has to begin owning up to his lack of results.
I know we’ve done the “Felipe question” to death already this season. But when Alonso has 61 points and is at the top of the drivers title list and Massa has 2 points and is tied for 17th (with Daniel Ricciardo and Michael Schumacher), well, it is hard to ignore.
But, having written that: What’s up with Schumacher?