Rarely at a loss for words, Russian Vitaly Petrov told Ria Novosti that he reckons Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has until summer break in August to turn his performances around. The Team Caterham driver allegedly said:
“I don’t think they’ll fire Massa just now. At least not until August,” Petrov said.
As we mentioned here, Ferrari are starting to suggest they’d like to see a resurgent Massa sooner than later but Petrov figures that isn’t really like a final warning or chance on the struggling Brazilian:
“I wouldn’t say that Ferrari are criticizing him that strongly. They’re not saying he has one more chance or anything like that.”
“Yes, he’s under pressure, but they’re letting him do his job.”
The performance gap between Massa and his teammate Fernando Alonso is significant and Felipe has struggled to come to grips with the Pirelli tires that exemplify a degradation curve along with standard tire wear. Some suggest he hasn’t been the same since his accident in which he suffered a head injury but it’s our opinion that is just speculation. Many drivers have struggled with the new tire format including Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber and Jenson button. Since Vitaly is waxing poetic about fellow driver Massa, what does the Russian think is holding the Brazilian back in 2012?
“It’s possible that this year the car doesn’t suit Felipe as he would have liked.”
Possible? Yes. Is it likely? Could be. Does Vitaly have the inside line? He’s better positioned than us to predict but I humbly submit that only Ferrari knows if and when…the rest is just pure speculation regardless of the mouth it falls from.