Ferrari: Massa runs afoul of kerbs – and Hamilton

2011 Indian GP team review

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Felipe Massa had yet another run-in with Lewis Hamilton but kerbs also caused him problems in India.

Fernando AlonsoFelipe Massa
Qualifying position36
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’24.519 (-0.603)1’25.122
Race position3
Pit stops22

Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Fernando Alonso97.64194.61893.65493.6593.12192.62192.29191.91291.66791.3891.49491.07791.56291.31691.2593.595110.56190.72890.50290.67790.58690.1990.24689.99390.56790.76790.27189.56889.80690.22789.03689.63589.36889.55790.44889.40590.16589.76391.756108.03789.39789.18188.91288.88788.70189.29189.39189.2488.77788.4189.09288.73288.71588.73988.35788.1588.36887.95388.00488.298
Felipe Massa98.26494.99193.84393.47193.32292.62692.36291.95391.70291.68391.32291.3591.47492.73490.8991.20893.389109.97790.24390.51290.5190.6492.68100.20291.4390.81490.80690.38890.76293.278105.134114.957

Fernando Alonso

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 21.873s
Pit stop 2Hard 21.755s

Alonso said it was “a bit of a surprise” to find himself third on the grid, ahead of both McLarens thanks in part to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty. The team had to fix a problem with his front wing on the grid but it didn’t cause him problems in the race.

But he didn’t make his customary quick getaway, and ran wide at the first corner as he tried to draw alongisde Mark Webber, losing a place to Jenson Button.

Alonso followed Webber into the pits on lap 16 but as they came out Michael Schumacher split the pair of them. Alonso spent his out-lap behind the Mercedes, nearly losing a place to his team mate when Massa came out of the pits, then passed Schumacher the next time by in the second DRS zone.

Alonso closed on Webber quickly as the Red Bull driver’s tyres went off towards the end of the stint.

He stayed out two laps later before switching to the hard tyres, jumping ahead of Webber. There was only 1.2 seconds between them at the flag, Alonso coming out on top and taking the final podium place.

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 21.848s
Pit stop 2Hard 27.619s

Massa was surprisingly fastest in the second practice session on Friday as Ferrari continued their evaluation of new parts. At times his front wing was seen flexing significantly at high speed.

But he broke one wing when he crashed at the end of Q3. Massa complained afterwards that the kerb he hit was too severe.

He got ahead of Hamilton at the start but after their first pit stops Massa made a slight mistake allowing Hamilton to close in. On lap 23 Massa covered the inside of turn five as Hamilton got a run on him.

On the next lap Hamilton tried again, Massa hanging left before moving right onto the racing line. The McLaren went down the inside, Massa turned in as usual and the pair collided once more in 2011.

Massa was able to continue without stopping for repairs. But the stewards handed him a drive-through penalty – his first of the year – for causing the collision. He served it straight away.

Despite his penalty, Massa laid blame for the collision at Hamilton’s feet: “It’s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it’s some sort of fatal attraction.

“In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to be interested in doing so.”

Shortly after his front wing began vibrating as it had done in practice. Ferrari responded by bringing him in to change the wing and switch him onto the hard tyres.

Ferrari said the wing Massa ran was the same as that used by Alonso, which did not move in the same way during the race.

On lap 33 Massa had a repeat of his suspension failure from qualifying. This time it was the front-left which gave way when he hit the kerb at turn nine, putting him out.

“There’s not much to say at the end of a weekend like this,” he said. “I am really unhappy that I was not able to finish a race in which I showed I had the pace to fight for the podium.”

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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    44 comments on “Ferrari: Massa runs afoul of kerbs – and Hamilton”

    1. Trenthamfolk (@)
      31st October 2011, 16:11

      “Alonso said it was “a bit of a surprise” to find himself third on the grid”

      I think that’s very Modest for Alonso! I really don’t like him much, but I’ve been impressed by his form this season, especially later on. It’s good for F1.

    2. “I am really unhappy that I was not able to finish a race in which I showed I had the pace to fight for the podium.”

      What podium? You were battling with Hamilton and he finished 7th, the last guy on the lead lap.

      1. Well in the first 20 laps his pace was equal to Alonso’s, who got on the podium, so I guess that’s where he was coming from.

        Of course he wouldn’t have made it due to the fact that his front wing would’ve started flexing.

        1. …and he ran into the big bright orange concrete blocks that every other driver missed all weekend.

          1. @Heskin-Radiophonic

            …and he ran into the big bright orange concrete blocks that every other driver missed all weekend.

            Did he? I think this picture would suggest otherwise…

            1. Which might be why Mercedes told Schumacher what had happened to Massa, and to steer well clear of them in the rest of the race …

            2. Which is why Mercedes told Schumacher to steer clear of those after informing him of what had happened to Massa.

      2. @ajokay It’s all too easy to claim potential race victories or podiums when you’re out of the race. You know that no one can categorically say you wouldn’t!

    3. Massa’s suspension problem was very well deserved. As almost all of us said yesterday, the fact he was hitting that orange thing, shows how much of that corner he was cutting.

      1. @fer-no65 he was aggressive, which is a welcome thing for Felipe considering his lack of results. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one to have hit the orange kerbs, perhaps he did so more often. The crash was unnecessary but he had the pace to keep up with Alonso, but he’d have finished 5th at best.

        1. a suspension failure because of a kerb is a rare thing and it happened twice for Massa, so he clearly was doing something wrong!

        2. @Fixy (not to make a lame joke, but just stating the facts) My wife said the same:

          all the others drive the same as he does

          After that we watched for it and we saw nobody taking that line. That doesn’t mean no one did it, but Massa did it at least one time too much.

          Having said this, I want to emphasize the most important part of this comment: my wife was actually watching the race for about 15 minutes with me!!!

          I wish my recording of Monza was succesfull. I later watched the race – paid – online, but it’s now removed.

          The Hamilton/Schumi fight is something I wanted her to see, to understand this sport. Instead of another DRS-borefest.

        3. @Fixy Well said! I, for one, am loving the aggressive Massa of late. I have Hamilton to thank for that ;)

          Seriously though, I don’t think drivers should be so heavily penalised for cutting corners as marginally as Massa was trying to do so. If he at any point gains an unfair advantage, the stewards will deal with it accordingly.

          1. Exactly @AndrewTanner, the time Felipe earned was so marginal that a suspension failure is an excessive penalty.

      2. I doubt he was the only one to clout the curbs like that. In any event, such curbs are part of track design. So why has the FIA not asked Ferrari for an explanation of these faults? If it happens twice in a weekend, then it is not a freak failure, it is a design fault. This is a safety issue for the other drivers, not just a reliability issue for Ferrari.

        1. @dmw At any other circuit I guess some serious questions would have been asked. However, the FIA may put it down to the ‘exploration’ of a new track.

    4. Where has the love for Massa gone?

      1. In Brazil, it seems to have evaporated at Hockenheim 2010. I’d say 80% of the comments on Brazilian blogs are critical or even scathing of him. I think he should have refused to cede and bailed out of Ferrari while his reputation was still fairly high – though clearly his accident came at a bad time, just when Alonso was due to arrive, putting him onto a back foot when he needed all his resources to compete with a top driver and a top team manipulator (not meant negatively: Button is another, Massa himself doesn’t seem bad either). Either way, he should give it a rest about Hamilton, stop obsessing about penalties and collisions, and try to beat Alonso. It’s far from impossible.

    5. Alonso was superb, Massa not so much.

      I’ve felt for Massa this season when he’s been on the wrong end of some of Hamilton’s moves but this time I think it’s his fault. When everyone I was watching the race with were confident the two would collide, there’s a problem.

      But what really disappointed me was Massa’s curb incidents. Once is acceptable, twice is unforgivable. Granted the track needs changing for next year because a curb shouldn’t be capable of breaking a suspension but Massa needs to be more precise.

      1. I’d say Monaco was even worse than India, on Massa’s part.

        In India he just took the racing line (he should have gave room, but at very least, he stuck to the line). In Monaco you can see he clearly dives into the apex early, going off the normal line, causing them both to collide (and for himself to swipe at Webber infront).

        And then after the inncodent, just like India, crashes out of the race of his own accord and then blames it on Lewis.

        1. I knew in 2008 that that graceful acceptance of defeat was too good to be true, he should have just wept it out on stage and be over and done with it. Now it is subconsciously biting back, not to mention sublime suggestions from Smedly to “…destroy Hamilton’s race…” lol

          All this drama is because to Massa, Hamilton is that guy to whom he probably lost his only chance to be F1 world champion…

    6. Massa said “umpteenth”? Seems quite colloquial for a Brazilian. It was such a shame he couldn’t get it together, he seemed quick over practice, but then it just evaporated come qualifying.
      Impressed with Alonso to, to beat Webbers RBR is impressive.

      1. I bet he said it in brazilian, and this is just a translation

    7. I think its great to see Massa is doing better speedwise in the past couple of races. But he has to start keeping out of incidents like this one really.

      Alonso probalby did the best he could to get that podium place.

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        31st October 2011, 19:47

        @BasCB : My thoughts exactly. Of course the best way to avoid such situations is to stay ahead of Hamilton.
        I hope he does well at Interlagos.

        1. Yes @sid_prasher, would be nice to see him do that to have a great end of the season and carry that over to next year.

          1. If Ferrari don’t pay him off and get Perez in the second seat …..

            1. I’d be very suprised if they drop Massa before next season. Perez will probably be given another year to hone his racecraft at Sauber then called up to Ferrari.

              It’s sad to see that the man who showed such grace and maturity at Brazil 2008 to be reduced to constantly complaining about Hamilton and making excuses about his lack of pace. I still hold out hope that he’ll have an upsurge in form, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely.

      2. @BasCB

        But he has to start keeping out of incidents like this one really.

        So basically, just get out of the way whenever he sees Hamilton in his mirrors? :P

        1. Probably! But take care not to go onto the kerbing in doing so :-P

    8. I forget that the the Felipe Massa now is the same guy as the one in 2008. Like I’ll think back to past seasons and be like ‘oh yeah! That guy so nearly won it. Wait a second…’

      1. @Electrolite He’s getting better. I still think he has a win left in him. I was so gutted for him in Brazil 2008. Now I’m even more gutted for him, because everything that’s happened since has not been his fault. He’s a real underdog and I’ll continue to believe in him and support him until he retires.

        He has a lot of my respect for even coming back to the sport that tried to kill him, especially now he has a family.

        1. Now @damonsmedely, I really feel for the guy. But to say

          everything that’s happened since has not been his fault.

          is a bit rich.

          Some errors made in 2009 at the start, errors made in 2010. Going with team orders in 2010. Some minor incidents with hitting this and that this year. All things where Massa himself could have acted differently

          And even getting cought up in accidents far too often this year is not completely without his fault either

          1. sry, blind typing without checking did fail on me @damonsmedley

          2. @BasCB I actually meant his Hungary accident. I don’t think anyone can blame him for that. But I think that was the turning point is his career and he hasn’t been the same since. But I still have a lot of respect for him to come back.

            1. @damonsmedley, yes he certainly was not to blame for that accident in any way. And i agree its great to see him back in the car after that.

        2. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I think a certain Spaniard might have something to say about him winning again…

    9. Massa need to use more of his brain on the fact that how could you stay cool even under the worst of situation? People like Button & Alonso who also had their moment never seem to crack which Massa does,he was doing good but until the point he hit Hamilton or vice-verse all hell broke on him.He cracks & starts to make silly mistakes,apart from his driving this is something that he needs to work for 2012.

    10. Recent form of Massa is a good sign. It’s shame he hurt himself by aggressive kerb approaches.

    11. What if Massa’s suspension failures were nothing but that? Failures. Ferrari has promised an aggressive approach to 2012 and we’ve already seen their front wing fluttering. So maybe Massa’s suspension is just a new part lightened a bit too much.

    12. Well, good job by Alonso once again; Massa did have good pace this weekend, which is a good sign he can fight back and show more. But he needs to concentrate on that rather than on Hamilton. I do think that at the start maybe HAM gave him some extra bit of space, to not again hit someone and finish a race – maybe Massa should decide to let HAM go too, it’s better than crashing. And check your curbing please, 2nd time is too much.

      I do think Massa can do more, and I hope he finds it in himself again. Not sure that his team is the best to help him bring it out though.

    13. Johnny Herbert, one of the three stewards this weekend, explains the reason for Massa’s penalty:

      Herbert explains Massa’s penalty: “He knew where Hamilton was”

    14. Alonso is quietly becoming the vice driver of the year. No one can topple Vettel’s achievements, but Alonso is taking what is distinctly the third best car, and one stricken by persistent weaknesses, and putting on the podium. This race was typical. Monza was another exhibit. He could well finish second this year if Button stubs his toe.

      Massa is right about his fatal attraction to Hamilton. Both of them have managed to find, or be caught idle in the path of trouble far too often, often generated by the other. They are spending a purgatory together. Sadly for Massa, as they go forward, at least Hamilton can put some brilliant turns of speed and two victories in his briefcase. Massa just carries his lunch. (Which Alonso eats.)

    15. daniel (@clappy123456789)
      1st November 2011, 23:37

      felipe lewis is approacing :do u understand this message

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