Felipe Massa granted Ferrari test – could he make a comeback at Abu Dhabi?

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Massa has been out of the Ferrari cockpit for three months

Felipe Massa has been given permission to test a 2008-specification Ferrari using GP2 tyres.

The reports in Brazilian press raise hopes he could make a surprise return to F1 before the end of the 2009 season.

Luca Colajanni confirmed to Globo that Massa will drive the Ferrari simulator at Maranello this week and a time will be arranged for him to get back behind the wheel of an F1 car:

Ferrari made an official request and the FIA agreed. Felipe can test a car last year, with no parts or tyres this year. The date will be decided this week.
Luca Colajanni

Stefano Domenicali had earlier refuted suggestions Massa could return at his home race at Interlagos, which is two weeks away:

He is doing now some karting activity and everything is running very smoothly and he should be back in Europe next week in order to do some activity on the simulator and then we will see after that what will be the next step. But at the moment to make something clear, I saw some speculation that Felipe could possibly come back in Brazil, but I can exclude it categorically.
Stefano Domenicali

But the Abu Dhabi season finale is a month off, which could give Massa the extra time he needs to recuperate.

He drove a kart in Sao Paulo last week for the first time since his crash during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Do you think Massa should return to F1 this year?

Thanks to @lookingspiffy on Twitter for the tip

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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46 comments on “Felipe Massa granted Ferrari test – could he make a comeback at Abu Dhabi?”

  1. well done the FIA. good news

  2. What a team Ferrari are?? They get rid of a champion & spoon feed this hothead kid. I mean, why would they want Massa to do the last race? Wouldn’t it be good for their own sake that they let Massa recuperate fully? Sometimes Ferrari take emotional decisions that are not always correct.

    1. In F1 everyone takes risks either with their heart or a gamble with their head-05 Nurburgring and keeping Kimi out on tyres? Or 07 Hamilton and tyres I think it was in the wet (similar to Ferraris in 08 at Silverstone in the wet). But obviously this is more serious as is with regards to help.
      I can agree that this could do more damage if he is not ready, but I can’t help but love the passion and desperation to come back. Just as long as they manage it right.
      I’m not too sure Stefano wants to rush things but if the test goes well they could get carried away, but might be worth it.
      Though I am very biased!

    2. who knows, it is possible that they want Massa to prepare early, or maybe they feel Massa will do better than Fisi – and they are still fighting for the constructors against McLaren, so any extra points will be quite valuable for them. I think Massa should be able to get up to speed quick, unless he had same major Brain injury we dont know about. ..

    3. remember, this is their 30 second champion. lol. Rediculous that Massa will be in Ferrari for 5 years next season…Kimi wins the title in first year, yet Luca feels Massa is more deserving yet he hasn’t won anything, nor will he.

      1. Who are you to say will Massa will never be champion.

        1. There is an implied “in my opinion” when anyone says anything that has no ‘evidence’.

          When people talk they don’t always say “in my opinion” because there is no need to – similarly there is no need for people to always write it, it is given by the fact they have said/written it without substantiating evidence.

      2. i know, what did kimi have to do yo stay at ferrari?, the team see’s that he is getting the most of the car but they still give him the boot!

    4. Wouldn’t it be good for their own sake that they let Massa recuperate fully? Sometimes Ferrari take emotional decisions that are not always correct.

      Oh..you mean like when Niki Lauda came back from the “dead” to win the WC?

      Massa is a contracted driver. If he can pass the FIA physical required before receiving clearance to race why not? I’m sure he can show up and put the car higher up the grid and higher up the points than Fisi is doing.

    5. I think you are being a little harsh on massa. I didnt give him a chance after kimi took the 2007 title but he fought hard last year and damn near won the wdc(I am not going to argue aboout spa and sinapore as as usual the stewards got it wrong) He ran last year better than kimi and this year he came to terms with the car and was getting more out of it sooner, so he is ok.
      I still think it is a mistake for ferrari to discard kimi for alonso regardless of what the pundits say. I dont know where kimi ends up but I hope it is mclaren.
      If he is up to the task and is testing well it would be in ferrari and massa’s interest to get him driving as soon as possible and maybe start development of the new car for next year while fisi is finishing up the year for him.

      1. How do we know that it is Ferrari doing all the pushing with Kimi exiting? How do we know that the Finn didnt want to leave as well? Plus I thought Kimi had a really bad attitude at the start of the season (although he has picked it up) and although there is no doubting his raw talent is he really a team player at Ferrari?

  3. Gets him back in a car straight away to adjust rather than the start of a new championship season, and is more mileage in an f1 car.
    I’d say one step at a time, depends on how this test goes, if he is ok then I’d say it’s best to get him in an F1 car for Abu Dhabi, if not the race then at least for some of practice (I know Fisi will miss out on mileage on a new track but this is one of their main drivers).
    Very happy we are even talking about a return this season though!

  4. Keith, are some kind of alien? When do you sleep? Nice work.

    1. When do you sleep?

      This weekend, not so much…

  5. he should make a comeback in 2010, he can spend the hole winter testing in the new car and get back upto speed, then comeback realitvly the same as when he left.

    i think he will be off pace if he comes back at abu dabhi, why not let fisco finish the season off in a ferarri and also finish off his career.

  6. I’m sure Massa has a point to prove before the season break. Knowing Alonso is coming only motivates him more. He needs a war-psy-op to show everyone he’s still the man. His comments about Singapore ’08 shows his emotional state. He feels he should’ve won the WDC 2008 and now his future opportunity to do so is threatened with Alonso’s arrival. If given the chance at Interlagos, he would go balls out, just for the effect. At Ferrari, there will be blood.

    1. what point will he be proving if he is not on pace?

    2. Got it in one…. ! If F1 is about anything, F1 is about Pressure. Buckets of pure, unadulterated, 150proof pressure !

      Ferrari are under tremendous pressure now that the Schumaker years have gone and they are simply not producing the goods like they used to. Either in a successful driver line-up or a car that’s anywhere near good enough to keep on being top dog.
      In fact the car has been, for most of 2009 simply a dog. So Ferrari look around for the magic bullet. It doesn’t exist, but they talk themselves into believing that their new magic bullet is called Teflonzo. So they decide they must have Magic Teflonzo at any price, even if it means dumping one of their current very good driver line up.

      Then the dice roll again, and Massa has his horrific encounter with Barrichello’s suspension spring. Suddenly they have some very serious problems which even Magic Teflonzo cannot solve.
      Well, not immediately anyway as the guy is currently working for a team principal who has none. Principals I mean.

      Meanwhile Kid Felippe is sitting in his little tin hut in Brazil and starting to fret…..what is going on ? Will I be forgotten ? Kimi is starting to pull up trees, and that’s bad for me !…what’s all this about Magic Teflonzo ? …what ? He’s coming to take over MY team ??? But….but…. I must get back to Italy and damned quick….this is trouble big time…

      Yep….it’s all about pressure…..

  7. wong chin kong
    4th October 2009, 10:38

    M Schumacher had a neck injury from a motorcycle incident which take such a long time to heal, he did not pass the fitness test for F1 drive. Do we realistically expect Massa to recover so fast from a head injury to drive the F1 Ferrari? It is madness.

  8. A raw deal for Fissi if you ask me… What was he thinking, leaving Force India in the first place?

    1. Well, he knew he wasn’t getting a drive for next year and he would fulfill his childhood dream of driving for Ferrari.

      1. “What was he thinking, leaving Force India in the first place”

        I think the answer is $$$$$$$$$$.

        1. I’m as ready as anyone to spot greed anywhere, but I doubt any Italian would turn down a chance to drive for Ferrari in F1.

  9. Seems like a knee jerk reaction from Felipe to counter Alonso’s arrival at Maranello. Let the mind games begin :D :D

    1. Whenever you have an accident that keeps you out of the sport you always want to come back as soon as possible otherwise you end up thinking about it too much and it can make it very difficult to get back up to speed.

      Although there’s an obvious difference I can back this up from my own experience. I’ve been knocked off my motorbike twice since I started riding, the first time my bike & body weren’t damaged too much so I just picked it up and rode it home and I had no problem doing so.
      The second time my bike was a write-off and I had to wait three weeks for a new one before I could ride again, it took me several weeks of riding before I got my confidence back up after that accident.

      The psychological aspect of this is more important than any mind games he’ll want to play with Alonso.

      If I was in Massa’s position I’d want to get back into the car as soon as the doctors told me it was safe to do so and I’m glad the FIA & the other teams are allowing him to do so.

  10. Beneboy thanks for that insight and glad you are ok

    1. Thanks Steph !

      And a big thanks to Shoei & Nolan :-)

  11. If Massa comes back for the final race, he won’t be on the pace. That will eat on him the whole winter before they can actually test again.

    I really don’t see what they have to gain here.

    To be honest I don’t really care either. Massa has to be the most annoying driver “in” F1. I can’t stand his whining. He’s even worse than Barrichello and Piquet.

    1. yea, the I’d be faster than Kimi stuff while he’s not racing is very annoying. “oh Kimi is getting podiums and a win with a car I couldn’t do anything with? I’d be faster.” This even though Kimi outqualified him. Don’t worry 30 second champ, you’ll be put in your place next year AGAIN.

      1. Technically, a car that Massa managed to squeeze over double the number of points out of than the 2007 champ before his qualifying accident.

        1. A full 100% more points!

  12. That’s sensible from the FIA.

    I had thought they were asking permission to ride an F60 (which would have been unfair IMO), but this is great news as Massa could be back for Abu Dhabi.

    Pleased he’s so keen to get back racing – the right approach.

  13. Do you think Massa should return to F1 this year?

    Yes, I think he should and, slightly off topic, an interesting video with Fernando asking Lewis to join him after Lewis car broken down in the Driver´s Parade at Suzuka:

    Video [HERE]

    1. Very nice – maybe this will mellow out some people here who root for a certain team and foam at the mouth at any mention of Alonso.

    2. Fantastic find! ALO still got that charm in him!

    3. Whatever happened of those HUGE MCLAREN Fans.
      I am no fan of the Spaniard,but can applaud these gestures. I still remember the Spontaniety in which he had broken the standard park ferme protocol in Monza’08 to Congratulate Sebastian Vettel. But alas the myopic zealots won’t see these things…

      1. I still remember the Spontaniety in which he had broken the standard park ferme protocol in Monza’08 to Congratulate Sebastian Vettel.

        He have done the same with Lewis in Brazil/08…

  14. Why would Massa drive this year? McLaren is 2 points off Ferrari’s third place in the constructor’s championship, and Fisi has been almost as big a bust as Badyouare.

    What is the finacial difference between 3rd and 4th places? Millions, I would guess? Let alone the ego beating they would suffer.

    And it will also give Ferrari a preview of Massa’s ability to be competitive without waiting until next year. Putting Felipe in a the car this year is really a no brainer, as long as his health is cleared.

    1. You are assuming that Massa will be on the pace straight away.

      He’s been through a lot though.

    2. I think Ferrari has written off this season. Ferrari is not looking for the couple of millions extra from 3rd to 4th. This is a team that’s been beaten fair and square by Brawn and RedBull this season. I doubt if they care whether they finish third or fourth.

      The easiest way for them to get a third place is to develop a car bit further rather than to risk Massa’s health.

  15. I think it’s good let him have some feeling because there will be no testing until 1st January so let him test & stay fit.

  16. Don’t see any problems with him getting back into the car. Also you guys do realise because it’s compulsory he has to pass a fia medical check. If he passes the medical check then their isn’t really any health issues with him jumping back into the car.

  17. I’d like to see Massa back and fighting next year. He needs to add some results to his name.

    His problem is that he doesn’t actually have much to his name in an absolute sense. Everything he has accomplished is relative to another racer (losing to Lewis by just one point, beating Kimi in the same car). When you look at absolute results in the F1 books:

    Alonso: 2 WDCs, 29 mentions in F1 drivers records [1]
    Raikko: 1 WDC, FLAP records, 26 mentions in F1 drivers records [1]
    Massa: … 3 mentions in F1 drivers records [1]

    And he’s Alonso’s and Raikkonen’s contemporary, to boot.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Formula_One_driver_records

    And he needs to stop whining and get a little more classy.

  18. I also suspect that Ferrari want to see if Massa’s faculties are truly back with him before losing the chance at getting a decent replacement for next year, i.e., Robert Kubica, or at getting more talent signed up for ’11, should Mass prove too slow now. It would be interesting to plot the performance of drivers after major, sidelining accidents and see who has truly come back to top form. Beside Schumacher.

  19. He’s back in Maranello now. If he isn’t on pace though, he hasn’t got long left on his contract anyway. Do people think he will be signed up again?

  20. Hey, within the event you’ll be able shoot me an e-mail. I learn that BE is producing some excellent modifications to their operation and as a fellow BE blogmaster I used to be curious to know when you will have heard one thing about it.

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