We mentioned the fact that Ferrari had lost out on millions of dollars due to Felipe Massa’s pit lane entrance infraction during the Brazilian Grand Prix last Sunday on our review podcast here. He even garnered Fake Charlie Whiting’s “Donkey of the Race” award for the penalty.
Sure, Felipe is a really nice guy and the team do like him a lot but that. among other things, is why we’ve advocated the parting of ways for Massa and Ferrari for the last two years. This isn’t a “hindsight is 20/20” type of deal either- he’s been costing the team millions for a while now.
It’s unfortunate that Ferrari’s president, Luca di Montezemolo decided to lash out at the race stewards for the grand prix in Brazil given the regulations were quite clear and Massa had been warned. AUTOSPORT has the story:
“If Felipe had stayed in fourth place, we would have been second in the constructors’ championship,” di Montezemolo said in an interview with Italian television.
“I think [his penalty] was disproportionate and unjust, as was Hamilton’s.
“Every so often, the gentlemen who come to the races to act as stewards make decisions that are a bit ridiculous and anachronistic.
“One needs to be careful that we maintain credibility, for the work of the teams that invest money and for the drivers who risk their lives.”
Felipe is no longer a Ferrari driver and I am not sure, other than a great relationship and being a nice guy, why Ferrari feel compelled to continue to make excuses or offer apologetics for a guy who clearly cost the team 2nd place in the championship. even more strange that the team would be critical of Fernando Alonso’s 2013 performance rated as a “8 out of 10” when Massa clearly was the reason the team didn’t score 2nd place or even mount a better opposition to Red Bull Racing.
Understandably, Massa nearly lost his life back in 2009 and one has to be sensitive to that situation but time has passed, Massa has had a chance for redemption and it did not occur. Ferrari, in my mind, owes little else to the Brazilian. They’ve carried him when any other driver would have been sent packing. Why, now, Luca feels compelled to tee off on the race stewards is beyond me but then again, Felipe sure is a nice guy.
Look, I guess I’ll come out and say it. Massa had a chance for recovery and redemption. It didn’t happen., The guy has a ride with Williams F1 now so let’s stop defending his lack of performance and the penalty in Brazil and realize that Fernando is arguably the best driver on the grid. Let’s get behind the guy who can win titles and give him a car to do so. Move on.