Massa glad to have “full support” of Ferrari

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Massa with race engineer Rob Smedley in Korea

Felipe Massa says he’s glad to have the “full support” of Ferrari amid speculation over his future at the team.

Massa said: “Of course I am aware of what our president [Luca di] Montezemolo and [Stefano] Domenicali said about me, making it clear once again that I am definitely driving for the Scuderia next season.

“From my point of view, it is important that I have the full support of the team behind me, which is always very positive.”

Massa admitted next year will be “important” for him: “At the moment my main focus is on continuing to push as hard as I can for these last two races of the season.

“I know that next year will be a very important one for the whole team, given that this season did not go as well as expected and it will also be a very important time for me.

“Within the team, we are already looking to next year, knowing that our pre-season target must be to produce a package that can be competitive from the very first Grand Prix, allowing us to fight for the win at every race. In 2012 we must have a better season than this one.”

Ferrari technical director Pat Fry said the team will use another development of its new front wing this weekend: “I think the biggest addition we’ve made in performance terms in recent races is the new front wing which we first tried in Korea. We then ran it again on both cars in India.

“It is a very interesting development for us, as it does change the characteristics of the car and getting to understand how to get the most out of it is certainly an interesting challenge and in the short term it has helped our performance.

“We had some quality issue on one of the wings used in India but this solution will be in Abu Dhabi again, although after watching its behaviour at the last race, much work has been done to modify certain aspects of it before both drivers will try it this coming weekend.”

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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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    37 comments on “Massa glad to have “full support” of Ferrari”

    1. Sure, next year is important. Its the 3rd year of Alonso and the 5th year since they had any title.

      The simple fact the whole world knows that Massa is only the guy in the car next to Alonso makes it possible for the question to be propped endlessly, as it is not really important enough who they have there, that Ferrari might not try something different.

      I am pretty sure Alonso (nor Button, Hamilton, Vettel, Schumacher and Rosberg nor even outsider Kimi) would settle for the kind of team support Massa is currently enjoying. Even Rubens got fed up with it in the end.

      1. No idea what that 2nd paragraph says???

        1. Ah, ahm yes. should have been pretty sure

          Alonso … would not settle for the kind of team support


        2. I think he meant ‘team support’ sarcastically, so long as Massa gets out of Alonso’s way he can stay in the team, basically.

          1. That’s how I read it too, knowing @bascb, and agreeing with that point, so very willing to believe that’s what is being said :-)

    2. I’m finding Massa a bit of a conundrum this year. At times he can match Alonso, especially on heavy fuel, but then he always falls back as the race progresses, be it through accident, bad luck, or just lack of pace.

      Frankly I dont think he deserves his place in one of the top teams, Ferrari’s decision not to look for other drivers is quite mind boggling.

      1. or be it through Ferrari messing up his strategy in some way to help Alonso.

        He is good enough to be in a top team but he could badly do with a win to get his confidence back but it is incredibly difficult when the whole team is focused on the other red car.

      2. Massa will always cost Ferrari the constructors title. I hope they realise sooner than later, that without a strong number 2 driver taking points off rivals, they are damaging Alonso’s WDC chances as well.

        Massa doesn’t belong at Ferrari. He should be racing for one of the Virgins or Lotus cars

    3. At least Ferrai is consistent:
      – every now and then whine about customer cars: check
      – having a clear number one: check
      – giving teamorders when they feel it is needed: check
      – sticking by their once wounded driver, who so graciously lost the worldtitle: check

      Apparently, average fans and/or nouveau riche who buy Ferrrari’s don’t really care about how the teams ‘sporting’ behaviour is. And apparently again, they do care about loyalty shown towards Felipe?

      I don’t know, I’m not in the position to buy a Ferrari, but to me, they would’ve made a whole lot more sense and be more appealing as a brand, if didn’t resort to their yearly whines about three cars, didn’t give teamorders and put the best drivers available in their cars – and letting them battle it out (come to think of it, maybe we coul’ve had Hakkinen-Schumacher at Ferrari???).

      So, just for fun, I hope Felipe will be the revelation of 2012, driving Alonso to pieces. Otherwise it’s a waste of a fine raceseat.

      1. “So, just for fun, I hope Felipe will be the revelation of 2012, driving Alonso to pieces.”

        I second that hope!

      2. So, just for fun, I hope Felipe will be the revelation of 2012, driving Alonso to pieces. Otherwise it’s a waste of a fine raceseat.

        I’ve been hearing that since 2009. Give it a rest. Buemi has a better shot at winning the WDC, than Massa has at beating Alonso over the length of a season.

        1. “Give it a rest”

          No one said they thought Massa would beat Alonso, Just said they would like it to be so. Big difference.

          I personally see Massa as having no chance because even he was faster, Ferrari is team Alonso right now.

    4. They’re never going to win the constructors championship with Felipe, but it’s as though they don’t really mind, so long as he’s there, gets the odd decent result every now and again, thats alright. I feel like it’s almost awkward when Felipe is ahead of Alonso in a race nowadays, like he’s not supposed to be there, he’s just the guy that finishes 6th.
      I feel that for them It’s all about the drivers championship, constructors would be nice, but “Alonso must be champion” is how i feel Ferrari come across, in general.
      I hope Felipe is much stronger next year and keeps up with Fernando in the points tally, but i just can’t see it. In all honesty do Ferrari think he’s going to be THAT much better in 2012?
      There is having a number 2 driver and then there is having a driver that cannot even score half the points his team-mate can in the same car..

    5. “I think the biggest addition we’ve made in performance terms in recent races is the new front wing”

      Worrying times for Ferrari that there biggest addition should be identical to Webber’s front wing that strangely went missing when he crashed at Monza

    6. I dont think Massa has full support, Ferrari has him under their thumb. In my opinion Felipe is not desired at any team right now, not even at Ferrari, they just need him to back Alonso up. While sadly Felipe has no choice but to eat his words, as he said he would never dirve to a team that has given him team orders. Well he is.
      //He said it after the Hockenheim incident, I couldnt really belive it at that time either//

      Also we have so many promising rookies in the sport, I think any would settle for a designated no.2. at Ferrari, as Massa did at the end of the Schumacher era. So maybe they are just waiting at Maranello to get a decent driver to Felipe’s place.

    7. I’m glad. Now that everyone is getting used to the way things at team Ferrari work, it makes Massa seem more like a team player instead of the victim people try to make him out to be.

      He knows his role within the team and has accepted it. Now we can move on and enjoy watching the only team on the grid that actually works as a team.

    8. Ooooo, sounds to me like the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’. Football managers get these, then one week later, bye bye.

      I really do think that horrific accident back in 2009 has done something to him, made him slower, made him think twice before doing something? I am not sure but it definitely has. 2007, the McLaren and Ferrari were on par in car performance, and back then, Massa was able to beat Alonso in some of the races comfortably, Turkey and Brazil come to mind.

      But with exactly the same car at Ferrari now, well we don’t see Massa anymore. It will be very fortunate if he keeps his drive for 2011. Yes, he has a contract from Ferrari for that year, but it’s never stopped them buying drivers out of them before.

      1. Indeed, it cost them a lot more to oust Raikonen than would Felipe I bet!

    9. Hmmm it’s unfortunate. Ferrari keeps on about this sporting spirit. Massa is not there to win races, nor was Irvine or Barrichello. I would love to see another young Vettel put some excitement into the team. I’ve been a Ferrari fan since the beginning. I lived just around the corner from Ferrari for many years and met quite a few employees. There was a local saying. “Everybody on the outside of Ferrari wants to get in, everybody on the inside wants to get out”. Apparently there was quite a nasty mafia mentality working there. You have to be in the circle, no questions asked.
      I wonder if Raikkonen woke up with a prancing horse’s head in his bed…

      1. @ Grammo

        Brilliant post.

      2. Spot on great post, and an avatar to match it @grammo :-)

    10. Massa should get the sack, sure he might be fast in qualifying, sometimes even outqualifying Alonso, but come race day he is as slow as my Grand Mother. Sometimes even a whole second slower than Alonso per lap, always finishing way down the ladder.

      I think Ferrari need 2 competitive drivers, they already have one of the best with Alonso, all they need now is a second.

      1. So, are we to understand that your grandmother is within a second of Alonso on pace then, must have missd that test?

        Perhaps she should be considered to replace Massa!

    11. Massa should consider himself a lucky boy, if i was team principal he certainly wouldnt be racing for my team in 2012!! Its about time that Ferrari stop relying on just one driver to get the job done.

    12. Massa obviously really impressed Ferrari and made big impressions and developed real bonds during his performances pre-2009. It seems to be more of a ‘family’ decision; they seem to have unconditional love for him. Which I like. I still believe in the guy…If Ferrari developed a real regular race winning car then maybe the story would be different. At the minute he seems to be in no mans land, certainly as far as the championship is concerned; always behind the big 5, yet fairly comfortably ahead of everyone else. Perhaps that race winning car would give him the confidence and clear goal to succeed again.

    13. For me Massa has been fairly lacklustre ever since Alonso joined the team at the start of 2010.
      It’s kind of a shame really after seeing how well he was doing through 2007, 2008 and in 2009 up untill his accident he always seemed to be performing better than Kimi.
      The last race I can remember thinking he was driving well at was Germany 2010. And even then he toed the Ferrari line and conceded a possible win to Alonso.
      So if he doesn’t raise his game next season and give Alonso a decent challenge, then honestly I’d rather see drivers like the two Ferrari driver academy members Perez and Bianchi or even di Resta, Chandok and Glock given a chance to drive a top car and show what they can do.

      1. Now there’s a man who deserves a top or at least a good seat. Timo Glock.

        1. Without doubt, he was 2007 GP2 champ and I always thought he was pretty solid during his time at Toyota.
          In the 2 seasons he was with them he scored three 2nd place finishes to Trulli’s highest of three 3rd place finishes.
          Fingers crossed he gets his chance again at some point.

    14. In football, the manager having the full “support” of those running the club means he’s going to be sacked in two weeks.

      In formula 1, having the full “support” of your team, means arn’t a competitor.

    15. All this talk about Ferrari being happy with Massa being the second driver is absolute rubbish. How does it even make sense?!!

      The goal of any F1 team is to finish as high as possible in the constructors because there is a big difference in the cash prize between places. So if Massa was up to scratch and fighting for the podium every race like Alonso, they would be much closer to Mclaren.

      I think people have to give the whole pitying Massa notion a rest. Whats there to pity? If you were expecting him to be faster than Fernando consistently, I guess you were kidding your self. This is a fact of life, some drivers are faster than othersr. If you were under the impression that Ruebens was consistently faster than Michael at Ferrari but was only stifled by team orders..well you’re kidding yourself as well. Vettel and Webber have the same cars, whats gone wrong there?

      Not only is Massa not as fast as Fernando, he appears to lack the drive and character to push for the best result. If Ferrari are well and truly not supporting Massa, why doesnt he just pick and leave? Im sure if Ferrari just want Side Show Bob, they can hire a much cheaper alternative. As much as people love to berate Alonso, he is made for winning, just like all the champions we’ve had in this sport, they are ruthless and will win at all costs. Massa on the other hand is not of that league. Remember the saying “Nice Guys Finish Last”? Its more so the case in this sport than any other!

      This is a competitive sport, probably the most competitive in the world where the level of performance is split by a blink of a eye. We’re talking about 5 to 7 seconds between the Pole and last, Usain Bolt cant even run the 100m in that time! If you cant hack it, pack it. Natural talent only gets you half way, the rest of it is pure mental strength, focus and determination.

    16. Hey Keith, just a typo on the title line you might want to fix… where it reads “Massa glad to have “full support” of Ferrari” should read:
      “Massa relieved to have “full support” of Ferrari”.
      You’re welcome

    17. My money is on Perez to replace Massa after next year. He’s in the Ferrari young driver programme, he’s proven himself to be quick this season, and crutially he’s not yet as quick as Alonso!

      1. @paolo I think Perez is good, but I wouldn’t be so sure about him going to Ferrari. Sure, he’s had a good season but you’re only as good as your last race and who knows what next season will bring.

    18. I have the full support of the team behind me

      They support him as a number two driver. Other teams don’t have such a clear distinction between 1st and 2nd driver, perhaps Red Bull. But that isn’t called full support, that’s what Alonso has. He has all the remaining support (not much, and not of much importance).

    19. Ferrari’s decision is baffling. Mind boggling even. In 2009 Felipe was quite frankly rubibish in comparison with his team mate. 7- for the season was quite generous I thought. Then came the nonsense of giving him an extended contract and optimistic statements that Felipe would be much closer to Fernando in 2011. He wasn’t. Instead Felipe conspired to make 2010 look a good year. No podiums, best place finish fifth and going more then half the season to out qualify his team and getting less then half his team mates points??!!!! What happens when the season is coming to an end? Statements form the Ferrari hierachy that Felipe is going to be stronger next season. Deja vu anyone? Ferrari are achieving nothing from him being there and he is doing nothing for his career being comprehensively beaten by team mate. No wonder Alonso loves having Felipe as a team mate. That just says it all. The Felipe supporters can blame Alonso and Ferrari all they want but at the end of the day the buck stops with Felipe and he has fallen way short of what is required.

      1. I meant 2010 not 2009.

      2. I second your opinion!

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