Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Spa-Francorhamps, 2010

Massa supports Eau Rouge DRS ban

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Spa-Francorhamps, 2010
Massa heads into Eau Rouge during the 2010 race weekend

Felipe Massa has endorsed the FIA’s decision to prevent drivers from using the Drag Reduction System at Eau Rouge this weekend.

Writing on the official Ferrari website he said: “I have been following the discussion regarding the use of DRS at the Eau Rouge corner and I think banning its use there for the whole weekend is the right decision.

“As racing drivers, we would always try and use DRS there and that could lead to an accident, because of the particular nature of the corner. So, just as was the case in the tunnel in Monaco, I think this is the best solution.”

Massa also added his voice to the growing call for more testing in Formula 1: “I see there has also been talk about re-introducing some testing during the F1 season and I have to say I would be in favour of this.

“All drivers and teams want to be as well prepared as possible for each race and, as the top level of motorsport, some testing during the year should be allowed.

“Of course, we will never return to the way it used to be, with testing almost every day in between races, which was incredibly expensive. Maybe, we could do what they sometimes do in Moto GP and stay on at some circuits on the Monday after a race, which would reduce costs.”

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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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60 comments on “Massa supports Eau Rouge DRS ban”

  1. Wow, can you believe this guy? Why is he even in the sport? If you dont have the sence To not use DRS going through Eau Rouge then maybe you shouldnt be in the sport. Its like suggesting the cars should automatically start braking before a corner.. Grow a pair Massa!!! What a #2 driver!

    1. I wonder if your insightful comments would be equally directed towards Alonso or Hamilton if they had echoed similar sentiments. Would they by default become a #2 driver?

      And by the way, if you do not have the sense to correctly spell sense, then maybe you shouldn’t post ridiculous things on forums.

      1. I think if Hamilton or Alonso came out with these comments, people would be more respectful. Massa is a tier 2 driver, nothing more and therefore I would not listen to what he says.

        1. Well if we’re talking about driver safety, Massa’s I think one of the most relevant voices, considering what happened to him at Hungary 2009.

          1. I wondered if someone would bring that up. Of course, Massa was hit in the head by a spring. Going off the circuit isn’t what injured him.

          2. Yes, but someone crashing at full speed at Eau Rouge might just lead to some debris flying through the air!

            Of course the two are only indirectly related, but I was just pointing out that its ridiculous to ignore Massa’s point of view like that, particularly in relation to safety.

          3. Again I think Massa’s view is no more significant than any other driver just because he had a totally different accident. Remember Hamilton blowing a tyre a few years ago and hitting a barrier at 180mph? That is more relevant, and still barely so.

          4. I’d argue Massa’s incident makes his opinion less relevant because it has affected his objectivity. It’s like asking the survivor of a massive plane crash on aviation safety. It won’t be objective.

        2. To be honest, if Hamilton came out saying this it would really upset my view of him, I would think he has really lost the plot. Alonso, I cannot imagine saying anything then confirm this is what was decided, so they stick with it. That has been his reaction to just about anything considering the rules this year.

          For Massa its just staying with the popular view/team view. I guess he is also close enough to Rubens to support him.

          1. That about sums up my thoughts about this too, although a small part of me wonders if perhaps Ferrari were one of the teams worrying their drivers with uncertainty about the reattachment of airflow after DRS use

            But they might as well be thinking this can only hurt Red Bull – little reason for the team to make it a big deal, and better to agree then.

      2. But they haven’t come out with these comments

    2. Not managing risk would simply leave F1 as negligible. The job of the stewards is to ensure safe behaviour on the track, by allowing something with high inherent risk does not make f1 softer, it makes it more professional and safer for participants. F1’s history is blighted with avoidable accidents and unnecessary deaths, the year is 2011 and we have the benefit of hindsight to make informed decisions, personally I applaud decisions made on grounds of driver safety, even though they may appear to err on the side of caution, I would rather that than see another driver hurt or worse. By removing the ability to deploy DRS through Eau Rouge, the temptation is removed and so is the risk.

      1. Risk is excitement.

        1. Bigbadderboom
          25th August 2011, 9:22

          I watch F1 because of the skill, the technology, sometimes the politics and always the excitement. However I do not watch it to see avoidable accidents and people (Drivers, marshal or fans) get injured through lack of foresight. Imagine the outcry if someone got killed!

        2. Yes but there is a fine line between risk and as Bigbadderboom skillfully wrote, negligence.

          Crashes and incidents are exciting, and for most people it puts them on the edge of their seats (me included).

          But to ignore or criticize a driver when he speaks of a safety concern? Ha! We might as well be back in 974. Because clearly we have learnt nothing.

          Drivers are not immune to danger, and there is a very real chance that a driver could be seriously hurt or even killed. It’s something I think we should avoid even at risk of harming our precious excitement.

          1. woah, you are going way back, right into the middle ages to the 10th century! I agree life was a lot more risky then, but its not really comparable, is it ;-)

    3. This comment about the DRS ban is nothing, I just read in Autosport and had a big laugh – Felipe still thinks he won at Spa.

      1. The record book is all that matters.

        Don’t forget most the drivers at the time thought Lewis gained an advantage as well, so it wasn’t just some conspiracy to make the championship more exciting.

        1. True, otherwise by Klaas’s logic, Alonso finished on the podium at Silverstone in 2010.

        2. Technically he won, but he must see it as a bit of a hollow victory compared to his others.

          1. Well I maintain that the penalty was fair, but yes, because he never got to even celebrate the win on the podium, it probably doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as his other wins.

          2. if we’re talking about hollow victories and having massa involved …

    4. this guy actually races f1 cars for some time as opposed to you sitting in a sofa and making smart comments

    5. That’s a great comment, @zim1. Certainly, we need to have injured drivers, crashed cars, bruised marshals, etc.
      “This is Formula 1” – could be the new logo, with some naked tough guy, like “The Rock” or whatever wrestling star is currently trending.

      Risk has to be managed. The rest is suicidal.

      1. Would you watch F1 if there was no risk? Personally the danger is part of the excitement but I know many don’t agree with me. Where you draw the line is the question, and for some of us banning drs through eau rouge and not letting drivers decide for themselves is a step too far. But no, I don’t want deaths in F1 either.

        1. Bigbadderboom…I find it hard to argue your case for preventing avoidable accidents…I think that in a way all corners of all circuits carry risk, ie. there’s risk enough in F1. At the same time I understand the argument about letting drivers drive according to the risk they feel at the time, so if DRS is dangerous at Eau Rouge they just shouldn’t use it…FM seems to be arguing drivers will be drivers and will not be able to help themselves from trying to go flat with DRS employed.

          What this discussion highlights to me is that they need to learn from this race and from Monaco, and ban DRS for next year and forever. It is obviously dangerous at times, so they need to consider limiting risk brought on by an add-on gadget and get rid of it.

          And then we won’t have to have these debates nor will we have to see passes made to look artificial either.

          1. I kind of agree that the compromise to get DRS to work through managing risk is bordering on managing the race. And that this false, synthetic racing doesn’t fit well with many of us, but I want exciting racing with overtakes and daring manouveres, but safety must be paramount. I have read here some people are pro ground effects and some are against it because of safety concerns. The truth is that F1 racing is contradictory in many ways to safety. My opinions on DRS seem to vary, and i’m often swayed by peoples arguments, but I agree the more they modify the deployment rules then the less valid the pro arguments for it seem, equally allowing it’s deployment through Eau Rouge and the Monaco tunnel is reckless, so perhaps your right Robbie, maybe the removal of DRS is the way forward.

  2. Fair point from Massa regarding the testing – staying on for the Monday – but I’ve always thought that special test session weekend’s (aside from the preseason tests) should be replaced with Grands Prix.

  3. I like the implication that Eau Rouge and the Monaco tunnel sit just above a line that all the other places on the calendar don’t. For example, the DRS wasn’t banned on the exit of Turn 8 because drivers would be too tempted to open it up too early, thus risking them spinning off into a barrier.

    But then again Massa managed to crash in the tunnel just fine without the DRS, trying to drag-race Hamilton on the marbles, so maybe he has a point that some drivers need to be saved from themselves ;)

    1. Well it’s not as easy to have a massive accident at Turn 8 Turkey due to the huge run-offs.

      It’s not just the safety of the crashing driver that must be considered, but any marshalls or other drivers that could be hit by debris.

      1. Tarmac is no use if you’ve lost control, we’ve seen that before. Look at Vettel in free practice, he spun because it was wet but if someone had done a Sutil-Australia that would have been them in the dry too, endangering the marshalls like you say.

        1. Yes, but I think part of the issue is cars crashing then bouncing back onto the track, and that’s more unlikely to happen at Turkey than Monaco or Spa.

          1. But then surely, as Keith has said on this issue, the problem then is actually Eau Rouge? We saw crashes at Monaco without the DRS in qualifying, we might see one here (though it is much less likely than Monaco), after all.

            Last year we had the F-Duct, whose effect was not that much smaller than the DRS is now, but we saw no ban and they only had one hand on the wheel, with the cars much heavier than they will be on Saturday afternoon.

            I could understand if they had come out and said, “look the wall is quite close to the track so we just want to be extra extra cautious” and they had done more to highlight the risk to other people other than the drivers, but they seem to want to dress it up as a near-inevitable calamity to justify doing it and from the releases so far it’s as if it was only for the drivers’ benefit.

            I do have to laugh at myself though, because in the end this isn’t going to change the result of the race or qualifying and I wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference from an on-board shot so I have to ask myself why I care so much!

    2. I don’t think that your point has a basis. I would excpect that from a GP2 driver or a Formula 3 driver. I believe every driver of Massa’s range is mature enough to know the limits of his car and his too.
      As I read somewhere(I believe it was Button’s quote) in GP2 you see a lot of overtakes and a lot of crashes, when in F1 you see fewer crashes on overtaking attempts cause drivers anticipate and plan their move. That’s I don’t think that they need someone to “save” them from themselves.

      1. But Massa is openly admitting/claiming that the drivers need to be stopped from hurting themselves, in the quotes given above.

        Not that I agree with him, but if most drivers did, well I guess it’s up to them at the end of the day.

        1. Completely agree with Icthyes on this subject. These are the top drivers, they all know way better than to try something completely reckless. We’ve seen people go off at Eau Rouge before at crazy speeds (Both BARs did it in 1999 iirc) and they were able to run DRS say for example, through Copse corner at Silverstone, IF they had the downforce. They ban DRS because drivers may have to lift off the throttle through the corner? If that’s the case, then why don’t they ban every single corner which is not flat out? Stowe corner at Silverstone is another one, big run-off area, but still didn’t stop a certain German bloke braking his leg.

          1. I agree with Icythes totally and similarly, i don’t really care about DRS…

            Maybe it’s this mindset that’s denying Massa the crucial few tenths each lap and why he can’t keep up with Alonso?

        2. I agree as well on this, as with your comment above Icthyes

    3. Excellent point. It’s all well and good saying how it’s the drivers responsibility etc etc but it only takes a moment to make a mistake with potentially awful results.

      1. Same could be said for every corner and most straights. The problem is Massa and Rubens think the ban is good because of X and the FIA have banned it because of Y.

    4. Harsh, but true Icthyes.

      I still don’t get how they’re allowed to use it through Blanchimont though. There’s no more run-off there than there is at Eau Rouge.

  4. Sorry Massa but I completely disagree although he is obviously in a far better position to comment than me but the way I see it is as racing drivers they should explore the limits and use their own judgement. It’s not that different to the one handed F-duct last year after all.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Steph.

      I find the whole DRS ban to be ridiculous; if a driver can’t decide when and where he can use DRS safely then he shouldn’t be in F1.

      Eau Rouge isn’t a dangerous corner to have a high speed crash at; as Villeneuve and sveral other drivers have proven in the past. A modern F1 car is far stronger and safer than the cars Villeneuve & Zonta crashed there in ’91 so I see no reason for DRS to be banned on safety grounds.

    2. I agree with the Massa sentiments but having heard Charlie Whiting’s comments their concern is with the reliability of DRS, not with kamikaze drivers which is fair enough. Although I’d still like them to conduct a test because theory isn’t always right.

    3. Just admit it. You’re not a Massa fan anymore! Alonso has won Ferrari over, and in the process of doing so, you’ve been converted into a fully fledged Alonso fan. What a shame :P

  5. Wow, can you believe this guy? Why is he even in the sport? If you dont have the sence To not use DRS going through Eau Rouge then maybe you shouldnt be in the sport. Its like suggesting the cars should automatically start braking before a corner.. Grow a pair Massa!!! What a #2 driver!

    I think if Hamilton or Alonso came out with these comments, people would be more respectful. Massa is a tier 2 driver, nothing more and therefore I would not listen to what he says.

    I’ll tell you what, why don’t we appoint you guys as the safety commitee team for the race and see how we get on with it.

    We didn’t even have DRS at last years Spa, and it was hardly a bad race. I’m sure we can survive this one race (as can some of the drivers by not using DRS!).

  6. With Rubens, that makes two.

    Pretty much expected out of these two guys I suppose, as they are not exactly personifications of courage and dogged determination are they?

    1. no balls. But then they’re both terminal losers really…

      Could you imagine Nando/Lewis/Schumi/Vettel/Jenson ever saying this??! They would relish it!

  7. I slightly disagree using DRS through that corner would have been something spectacular & would separate the men from the boys.They say that corner isn’t a challenge anymore in the dry well they lost a opportunity to make it spectacular.

  8. Its times like these I really miss Jacques Villenueve

    1. He crashed at eau rough and he was world champion??????

  9. Fernado is faster than you can you confirm you will be replaced next year

    1. My desire to see Kamui Kobayashi driving a Ferrari gets stronger every day !

  10. Yes, I too miss Jacques at times like this. Seems Massa wants F1 to be scalextric.

    Although, Keith are you sure you don’t mean Rubens? This is classic Rubens Barrichello safety moaning…

    1. No, the quote is from Massa.

  11. IMO this is ridiculous. Next he’ll be suggesting they are limited to a lower gear through certain corners to male them safer.

    They are professional racers and it’s up to the driver to decide if he has the necessary grip to use drs at that point just as they do at all the other corners.

  12. The lack of respect for legitimate safety concerns voiced by those who actually take the risks is shameful. Absolutely shameful. This isn’t a safety issue, it’s a respect issue. Unless a safety concern is voiced by a driver, mechanic, marshal, or someone else who is actually taking the risk, that opinion is completely worthless. It’s a good thing that, in the modern F1 era, opinions such as some of those voiced above have always been ignored, and those of the drivers are taken very seriously. It is because of this utmost respect and concern for safety that we have gone so long without a driver fatality. Long may that continue.

    1. The lack of respect for legitimate safety concerns voiced by those who actually take the risks is shameful. Absolutely shameful.

      Well said.

  13. Anthony Davidson just mentioned he thought Eau Rouge was such an easy corner that using DRS through it wouldn’t have been an issue. No surprises there.

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