Massa to get new chassis for Malaysian Grand Prix

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa will have a new chassis for the Malaysian Grand Prix as Ferrari tries to get to the bottom of its troubles with its new F1 car.

In a statement on their website Ferrari said: “Work has already begun in the Sepang pits to prepare chassis number 294, which replaces the number 293 and will be used by the Brazilian in the second race of the season.

“This choice was taken to clear up any doubts about the unusual performance of his car during the weekend at Albert Park.”

Massa qualified 16th in Melbourne, a second slower than team mate Fernando Alonso. He failed to finish the race after colliding with Bruno Senna while running 13th.

Ferrari added: “Felipe knows he can count on the team to do everything, both from the technical and the operational point of view, to put him in a better state to show off his talents – even at the cost of extra work in these few days that separate the Australian race from the one in Malaysia.”

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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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    149 comments on “Massa to get new chassis for Malaysian Grand Prix”

    1. “This choice was taken to clear up any doubts about the unusual performance of his car during the weekend at Albert Park.” In other words, if he has another performance like Australia he can’t blame the car and he’s on his way out the door.

      1. you beat me to it…

        1. scary how so many people can read an article and instantly think the very same thing

          1. omg it works with comments too.

      2. junioR - Tubarão SC
        20th March 2012, 17:48


      3. He has been dreadful around Albert Park for past couple of years. He tries to overdrive the car their and it is a sign of desperation as he tries to beat his team mate. It’s sad though because it makes him go slower not faster.

        Ever since he came back from his accident he hasn’t been the same driver, he just seems to be a magnet for incidents and scrappy racing. Possibly he was always this way though, and the Ferrari’s he had been driving were previously so good they were masking his abilities.

        1. Patrick Traille
          20th March 2012, 18:25

          I think you hit the nail on the head. The 2007/2008 Ferrari was the most derivable car on the grid.

        2. It sure has not been a track he seems to get on with.

        3. Agreed, he was never very good. He could competently drive a fast car around in an average way and score points with it but he would never really pull anything special out of the bag.

          I have been saying he should go for many years… Now as people have said, the writing is on the wall.

        4. Forotherruns
          21st March 2012, 7:47

          Just a point. What would we have had to say if he had collided with Hamilton???

          Massa is sometimes too harsh in defending and it was evident in his collision with Perez at Melbourne. Because most of the incidents last year were with Lewis, most of us here were quick to blame Lewis as a reckless driver, which I feel has affected his killer instinct and makes him seem too restrained.

          As long as it doesn’t involve Hamilton, then its just an incident. I think we have been too critical of him in the past when the responsibility probably lies equally or even more with the other driver. It just seems like Lewis is the best guy to blame, and the rest of the drivers know this and capitalize on it (see Jenson Button in Canada 2011 – Just think of what we would have said if Lewis was in front and pushed Jenson to the wall: LEWIS RAMS JENSON OFF THE ROAD; BLACK FLAG IN CANADA; etc). I think we need to evaluate the way we make comments especially when it comes to Hamilton.

          1. kenneth Ntulume
            21st March 2012, 9:50

            Couldn’t have put it any better.

          2. I’ve said here before that Lewis seems afraid of critics, he doesn’t force overtakes because if it goes wrong all the negative comments will come back, I think he “sees” Lauda every time he has to get past someone.

        5. The 2009 car was a dog, though, as demonstrated by Badoer and Fisi’s performances substituting for Massa once he’s injured.

          And, while Kimi did get a win in Spa, before Massa’s injuries Massa was actually outscoring him. So either Kimi is even worse in a badly-handling car, or with Massa it’s more about confidence — witness all the coddling he gets from Rob Smedley.

        6. In 2010 he beat Alonso at Albert Park. Wouldnt call that dreadful.

          1. So in two season since his comeback the only thing to say in Massa’s defence is one result in a race where his team mate spun at the first corner?

            That’s a long way from convincing.

          2. dreadfull cause Felipe gad 3 faster cars behind him and he was sooooooooooooo slow

            1. had***

      4. The sad part about all this is traditionally Ferrari have had one driver who has to play second fiddle to the other. With Schumacher it was Barrichello, and with Alonso playing lead Massa gets the second fiddle spot.
        If you set up a person to fail, and they fail, are they the ones to blame, or are you the one to blame?
        Unless Ferrari have had a change of heart they won’t be interested in anyone who could beat Alonso.
        If they do dump Massa then I think Massa won’t be unemployed for long, and when he’s back his times will suddenly be as good (or better) than Alonso’s.

        1. Why do you say that Ferrari are setting Massa up to fail? It’s not like they’re sabotaging his car. There is a difference between prioritizing and taking sides. As for Massa suddenly matching Alonso’s times in a different car, I think that is highly unlikely.

          1. +10

        2. I wonder why Ferrari will waste their time in providing Massa a new chassis @ this time of crisis and as per you setting him to fail again… does not make sense at all…

      5. The writing really is on the wall now isn’t it. Crikey.

      6. he can’t blame the car and he’s on his way out the door.

        as a Ferrari fan I take offence to that, Montezemolo is petitioning to have 3 doors for firing drivers, and what beautiful doors they will be.

      7. You are always finding your own interpretations you keep saying Ferrari treats Massa bad, Im starting to think that you guys believe that he isnt worth it.

      8. I think the writing between the lines, was in caps lock. How clear was that? And what an effort to go through in order to make sure there are no excuses. Interesting.

    2. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1)
      20th March 2012, 15:46

      Basically a covered up, not true but confidence boosting excuse for why he was so abysmal against Alonso.

      1. Well.. it’s not unusual for Felipe to get outqualified by an entire second by Alonso. 13th seems to be quite an average and expected result for Felipe as well. So I really do not know what the big fuss is about.

        It’s going to get even more embarrassing for Felipe when he repeats a similar performance at Malaysia next week.

        1. My guess is the Massa is contracted to have worser lap times than Alonso, so I can’t see why Ferrari is pretending Massa isn’t doing his job.

          1. Even a blind man can see how blatantly anti-Ferrari you are, Stephen C. It’s always good entertainment to read your foaming-at-the-mouth ‘Fernando is faster than you’ comments when it comes to Ferrari or Luca or Alonso (or Massa in this case).

            1. No, I don’t hate Ferrari, they were the team that got me interested in F1. Alonso is an exceptionally good driver, and he is very clever with setting up cars as well.
              Massa is also an extremely good driver. It just seems to me Massa’s car is expected to run second to Alonso’s, so I can’t see why there is all this hand wringing.
              If Ferrari had an “equal driver” policy then it would be different, but they don’t. Massa was second to Alonso: job done.

            2. @Stephen. I dont think it’s fair to say that Massa is getting paid to perform that poorly. It just doesn’t make sense. Sure, if there was a situation where they had to support one driver, I’m pretty sure anyone’s logical choice would be Fernando. But you cannot honestly believe that Ferrari pays Massa for not finishing in the points, and adding no value whatsoever to the team.

            3. @ Stephen move on now 2008 is gone 4 years back… we are in 2012… the fact is that fernando is MUCH faster than Massa… can you pls confirm you have understood this message… ;)

          2. @ Stephen

            Maybe you don’t hate Ferrari but while everyone can see that Alonso is their numero uno, Massa has never done a thing to challenge Fernando speed-wise except for Germany 2010, and even then he was struggling. No one contracts their driver 2 have ‘worser lap times’ than their driver 1. Don’t even think for a moment that Ferrari wouldn’t rather Felipe be giving Alonso a run for his money or at least posting times that are competitive.

            1. If the number 2 driver was contracted to have slower lap times than his team mate then if the number1 driver had a puncture or damaged front wing, the number 2 driver would have to go really slow not to get a better time than his team mate which would work out badly for the team. which obviously if he got a faster time he would be in breach of contract.

              Your more likely to see Bernie ecclestone drive an F1 car than you are to hear of a contract to drive slower than a team mate.

      2. Well it worked for Vettel in 2010!

    3. “Felipe knows he can count on the team to do everything, both from the technical and the operational point of view, to put him in a better state to show off his talents – even at the cost of extra work in these few days that separate the Australian race from the one in Malaysia.”

      I.e. “Felipe, look what you have done! We have to work when we could relax! You’d better be quick in Malaysia…”

      1. I would guess people are probably ****** off they have to rebuild a whole new car because felipe cant drive. i wonder if the new car will be worse due to the fact people will hate him even more.

        1. Why on earth would anybody “hate” him (Massa)? Please don’t use this kind of language in F1 – save it for your football…

          Christ almighty, are y’all so perfect?


          1. I’m perfect……….ly flawed ;-)

          2. poor Felipe. He is better than what most people think IMO.

            1. Agreed @kyle

              and I also don’t rate Alonso as the best of the field. Vettel and Kimi are every bit as good, with Hamilton, Button and old Massa not far behind.

            2. +1 Agreed 100% @kyle and 101% @Adam Tate

            3. People base their opinions of fact. The facts are that since 2010 Felipe has been abysmal. He did not even get a podium last year when his team mate got ten. His performance in the last race was unacceptable. He was well off Alonso’s pace and he was degrading his tyres quicker. These kind of performances lead to people to believe Massa is a poor driver. For most people it is obvious.

    4. Sorry to upset the conspiracy theorists, but maybe, just maybe, there might have been an issue with chassis #293?

      1. @Graham Shevlin…Yeah that is a possibility, and I would like to think this new chassis has a few new developments to it as well, although perhaps it is exactly the same, as they are still trying to learn about this car and aren’t ready to make changes willy nilly and risk getting lost as to what helped or hindered and when.

        Anyway…overwhelmingly it seems people think FM needs to go…

        That to me raises a few interesting questions…while I personally always wish for the best two drivers possible to be on a top team, duking it out fair and square, there are some who think the route to ‘success’ is to have a WDC level driver and a support driver, ala MS/Ferrari. So…if so many think FM needs to go is it because you wish to see FA challenged? Isn’t FA and Ferrari’s life easier if they don’t have to make a team order type decision? There sure was outrage in 2010 when FM was given a team order to let FA go. So do you want competition at Ferrari? I guess it seems so since their last team orders raised such an issue, and since FM seems to be slagged at every oppportunity now. So that is encouraging to me…if in fact the majority would rather see a better driver at Ferrari to challenge FA. I would like to think it is the minority that wish to see a top driver supported by a lesser one who offers little challenge to their man.

        1. But the problem is Massa isn’t even much of a support driver, he’s not getting enough points for the team, he’s too far down the grid. When he should be one or two places below Alonso.

          Secondly, I believe I’ve brought this up before but remember when Massa had his accident in 2009? And none of his replacements could drive the car as quick as massa could? It could’ve been the car was tailored to massa’s driving style rather than the replacement drivers. But they were still no where near massa’s lap times if my memory serves me right. So who would currently replace him now?

          Although that ferrari car this year seems worse than the dogs they had last year and the year before. Ferrari trends to start slow and play catch up during the season. IMO they should’ve evolved or revolutionized the car rather than scrap all their R&D for something new. I believe that’s what Mclaren did and that’s why they’re so effective this year. That’s what RB has been doing for many years and I personally think it’s the right attitude to car development.

          1. I take your point about FM being too far down and not getting enough points for the team.

            I think his replacement drivers just didn’t have the car time that FM had, nor did Ferrari have nearly the data on the replacements likes and dislikes in a car to go by in order to help them…that stuff takes time to accumulate and delve into.

            As to this year’s car, I personally think they had to do this based on where they were last year. As I’ve said before, last July or so when they would have started to design this year’s car, they likely figured there was no way they were going to tweak last year’s car and expect to beat what they would have had to assume as a worst case scenario (for them) that the 2012 Red Bull would be equally formidable as the 2011 one, and this while they were looking to only achieve 3rd in the WCC.

            And I think the jury is still out on the new car and it may turn out exactly as they seem to be saying…they need time with the car…and that is not the same as it being a dog. The speed may well be there, they just haven’t found the optimum setups for it. So I think for now THEY don’t even know what they have on their hands. Time will tell. I think they deserve that time. It’s what F1 is all about. It’s not easy. It’s more normal to struggle to find pace than to have it come at the snap of the fingers.

            1. THEY don’t even know what they have on their hands.

              I hope Ferrari gets it right, but they better get the hang of it fast. The root cause of Ducati’s flawed 2011 MotoGP campaign was the same reason as this. Even the great Valentino Rossi just couldn’t figure it out and the result was pathetic. I sincerely hope it isn’t the same with Ferrari this year.

          2. “that ferrari car this year seems worse than the dogs they had last year and the year before”

            What? people do have short memories dont they?

            Alonso won the first race of the season in 2010 and only lost the championship with a strategy mistake in the last race. Its amazing that someone can rate the 2010 Ferrari as a dog of a car. It won 5 races for crying out loud. They were championship contenders throughout the season. Its really hard to please you guys.

        2. Wow a whole paragraph until the MS bashing starts. I will point it out every time, you can count on it ;-)

      2. Why get rid of Massa if the guy is willing to work as a “test driver”? (no disrespect). Other drivers would be demanding equal treatment with Alonso.

        1. Are we all delusional ? Without the retirement of Schumi and Grosjean …and maybe a slightly better drive by Rosberg ……our great driver Alonso (no disrespect) ….probably places 9th …… at best. Is this what Ferrari is really aiming for. Massa did struggle this past weekend …..but let’s face it ….looking extremely bleak for Ferrari this year …no matter how good Alonso / Massa are !!!!!

          1. Excellent point! Alonso’s drive was definitely flattered by the high attrition rate of the race. It so easy for people to praise Fernando, but barring all the retirements and incidents, there would have been 2 Mercedes and possibly 2 Lotus(uses?) in front of him. 9th or 10th doesn’t sound so exciting now does it.

          2. some would say we have forgotten the old adage ‘to finish fifth, first you have to finish’. If we’re talking about ‘if’s’ here then we should include the if of Alonso not being able to qualify top ten because he spun off the track no? or do you expect Alonso will spin out of qualifying at every qualifying session and miss out on Q3? Please close that can of worms…I believe 5th was a fair reflection on number 1 Ferrari at Albert park

            1. +1. Without the spin in Q2, Alonso would have started further up and finished about the same.

      3. There was a huge issue with chassis number 293.

        It was located between the steering wheel and the seat.

        I don’t think Ferrari engineers fixed it for chassis n°294, though.

    5. “This choice was taken to clear up any doubts about the unusual performance of his car during the weekend at Albert Park.”

      “And to clear up that we give him the same equipment Alonso has, and it’s just Felipinho being rubbish…”

    6. Tom Haxley (@)
      20th March 2012, 15:52

      Let Alonso have a burn around in the #293 chassis on Friday morning. Then we’ll see whats what

      1. @welshtom +1 on that.

      2. Exactly. The chassis was damaged, but he was already going slow before it picked up all the damage. I think Massa knows he’s on his way out, and is desperate to make any excuse.

        1. No one said it damaged.

    7. he suffered damage with that clash with Senna. Probably that must have forced him to bring a new chassis

      1. Doubt it – it takes a major impact to damage the tub. Most teams can make it a full season on a single chassis per driver – sometimes they even reuse the ones that were used for crash testing. HRT’s been using the same two chassis since 2009.

        1. You’re right. For example, Maldonado’s chassis was undamaged after his crash in Australia. I think many people mistake what the chassis really is. It’s got nothing to do with the bodywork, i.e the wings and other bits and pieces. The chassis is the frame of the car.

      2. That wasn’t even close to damage the chassis.

    8. Massa hasn’t been the same since losing to Lewis in 2008, must’ve been so hard to get over and then he get’s a serious injury at Hungry 09. Let’s face, he’s never been the greatest driver, who would really have thought he’d ever have a shot at a drivers title when he was constantly crashing the Sauber.

      Personally i think if it hadn’t have been for his accident he would have been dropped a while ago. He’s a nice guy but he knows he’s never going to get the chance to win the WDC again and is probably wondering if it’s really worth all the risk.

      1. I believe if any of us had that seat we would hang onto it for dear life and not voluntarily leave it. He needs to get himself turned around.

      2. Gibo is driving (@)
        20th March 2012, 16:35

        Now am hungry for another turkey 2008 performance by Felipe

      3. He was rubbish even against Lewis.

      4. Hey, he only lost to Lewis by 1 point!!!! On the last lap.
        Hardly what I’d call “stamping your name on the championship” they way Vettle did last year.
        Let’s see if Lewis EVER wins a second one – that may have been a fluke. If Alonso had been at Ferrari that year, I doubt Lewis would have won. We all know Massa is a tier 2 driver.

        1. because alonso would have won it? were u born after 2007 or did u miss the season Lewis schooled alonso??? in a car built for alonso?

          1. @Briant…In a car built for FA? As if…I hardly think FA would have ended up, whether he was right or wrong, complaining that the team was for LH, if in fact the car had been built for him (FA).

            1. But if, but if,…. this whole argument is silly. -.-

              Felipe was good, you can see this by him closing in on Schumacher, or Beating Kimi…. Ever since his crash he has never been the same. However, Alonso is like the old Schumacher in that he will never tolerate a team mate who can rival him. Felipe won’t be any worse than any replacement you can think of.

            2. What. Rubbish comment. That was the first and only season for Alonso in a mclaren. So how in the world that car was built for Alonso if he only drove it for the first time in January of 2007 and the first race was two months later. All the cars were planned and started to being built at least 5 months earlier and if you dkn’t remember Alonso was driving te Renault then. Also schooled by Hamilton? How could you say that, the end up tied in points even though Alonso had the entire team against him and he was racing dennis And the boys. You are a delusional Hamilton fan. Please keep in touch with reality.

            3. @Tete Alonso’s switch to McLaren was announced even before the 2006 ended and he also did a private test with McLaren in 2006. So, the car wasn’t built to suit Alonso doesn’t hold.

          2. were u born yesterday as i dont remember lewis schooling fernando. it was a close battle between 2 mega drivers. one of which was being pushed out of the team to quote ron: ‘we were only racing fernando’ ‘i dont speak to fernando’ ‘ i havent spoken to fernando for months’ and so on.

            they finished equal on points in what has been by far lewis best and most consistent seasons. if he could repeat his 2007 performances he would at least be a 2x world champion. but he hasnt.

            as for massa, well ferrarri are doing everything they can to help him. the worry for massa is if he continues to be slow, the fact that ferrari have bent over backwards for him he will further add the pressure. its a vicious circle which will only be eased by a podium or string of performances where he finishes on the back of alonso gearbox.

            tough times, when ferrari need to be concentrating on sorting out their car they are trying to sort out massa’s head. its something they could do without.

            1. well said!
              FA did a very good job on his own at the end of 2007 season when he was there by himself while LH was in the good graces of the team.
              Drivers need the team support and FA did not have Mclaren’s support at that time.
              I think there is no way around for FM. he does not have the strainght to fight for better results. the only thing he’s currently able to do is defending position agressively but ends losing it.

            2. being pushed out of the team


              Didn’t you forget a little something including the word “blackmail”?

          3. schooled alonso? ending up on same points as alonso in 07 is hardly schooled…the fact that he was a rookie was equaled by his also having Ron Dennis & the McLaren team on his side

      5. massa was more worthy then hamilton in 2008 to be champion but the last lap luck hamilton got proved the difference. if he had no talent like you imply, ferrari wouldnt have wanted him. dont forget he was also beating schumacher in his final year at ferrari.

        1. Aquatic Mammal
          20th March 2012, 17:04

          Massa was a good driver when he was competing for the championship and even when Alonso joined the team he held his own. He had that nasty accident and missed half a season then next year he seemed to be recovering really well. On the first anniversary of his accident he was back in full swing leading the race at Nurburg, wasn’t it, looking set to win. Even I wanted him to win, and I’m no Ferrari fan, when the team insisted he move over for Fernando. ‘Fernando is faster than you”. Remember that? After he moved over, the Brazillian press went for him, just like they turned on Rubens before. They don’t like him at home, they don’t respect him at Ferrari. Is it any wonder the poor boy never recovered?

          1. if it was a one off thing id understand it.

            but montoya jumped out of kimi’s way plenty of times in 05. massa helped kimi in 07, kimi helped massa in 08. kova helped lewis. and so on.

            Germany shouldnt of had such an impact. it was a shame, tho correct decision but was handled poorly by ferrari, massa, smedly, stefano and fernando.

            1. tho correct decision

              That’s wrong on so many levels.

            2. Aquatic Mammal
              20th March 2012, 19:33

              No, sorry. On the first anniversary of an accident that nearly killed him, to be leading the race and be told to move over for your team mate? That’ll destroy your confidence.

            3. of course it was the correct decision. fernando was fighting for the world title, massa was not.

              and as it was perfectly fine for montoya to let kimi win about 3 grand prix’s in 05, despite the rules saying otherwise then this was fine also.

              either both are ok or both are wrong. yet its interesting that mclarens team orders are forgotten about when the whole debate comes up.

          2. He was leading the race in the lap winning it far away at that point. I remember that race like yesterday and Alonso was going faster than massa, he tried to pass him at least two time but Alonso lifted it because he almost lost the car and he almost crab with massa. Last but not least while massa was holding Alonso up , vettel was reducing the distance with alonso and was getting close to him. Go watch that race again.

            1. In the pre-DRS days as it was, and on such a track, Felipe likely would have won.

              Him moving over wasn’t like when he helped Kimi, or visa-verse, it was the worst, cruelest and least sportsman like incident of team orders in F1 history.

              It was also the absolute worst decision Ferrari has made in a long time, it almost certainly lost Alonso the title, and has likely ruined Massa’s career.

            2. In your opinion :)

    9. I think ive watched f1 long enough to know there is a lot more to this sport than supposedly having the same car as your team mate. Massa’s car on sunday looked horrendous. Comparing drivers is sometimes very difficult when you dont know what is going on behind the scenes. Look at button at benneton he clearly wasnt happy and he was trounced by fisichella, but look at him now. Dont write Fellipe off, his talent is still there he just needs the enviroment to prove it. Sadly i dont think its in the shadow of Alonso.

      1. agree. It is so difficult to compare drivers. Even in the same team, in the same year. How can anyone explain Ham beating Alo in 2008, and Button beating Ham last year? And Schumacher beating them all (Kimi, Alonso, Button and… Newey, his greatest rival)? So many variables to consider….

    10. There is already gossip in the tabloids (entertaining if nothing else) that Alguersuari could be replacing Massa at some point during this season, I would like to see Helmut Marco’s face if this deal ever takes place!

      1. id love to see it. but 2 spainish drivers in the same team, both who can be loose cannons at times, might be a recipe for disaster.

        though reading it again im thinking bring it on!!

        1. albeit Mclaren 2007 for obvious reasons, when has Alonso been a loose cannon or more of ‘a loose cannon’ than any other driver? or is this just a generalisation for latin drivers?

          Dont think Alguersuari will partner Alonso as Jaime dosent like Alonso…Alonso wouldnt want someone that dosent like him as his 2nd driver would he? and Ferrari would never put a 21 year old as one of their 2 drivers. I think Adrian Sutil would be more suitable and or Sergio Perez. And what about Koba? I think he’s done enough for a call up

          1. Kobayashi in Ferrari would be something to see.

          2. “and Ferrari would never put a 21 year old as one of their 2 drivers”. Yeah because Sergio Perez is 22 that makes all the difference!

      2. That would be great, we’d finally get a decent benchmark on Alguersuari (and Buemi) too.

      3. He would make a great fit! Although I personally believe Buemi was better, but either one is miles ahead of Massa.

      4. I doubt strongly that will happen. Felipe’s position is stronger than that. He may be replaced for next season but I wouldn’t write him off just yet. He’s still a fast driver and he’s young enough to improve IMHO. He’s just had more than his fair share of bad luck.

      5. @jt46 Ferrari take on a driver that Red Bull just decided wasn’t good enough for them? That’ll take some pride-swallowing.

        1. Red Bull as in Helmut Marko decided. Pride swallowing hmmmm if you want. But you’ll sure as hell have a driver wanting to prove himself (partly to stick it up at Marko :)

        2. what would be pride swallowing is if Algersuari won a race for Ferrari beating Vettel and all the Red Bull drivers.

          I dont think he will get the drive though. A more probable option is Perez, or even Kubica, after doing some Friday running later in the season and with no drive for next year, Ferrari just might snatch him up. It would be a very popular move in Italy and worldwide probably. And it will take time for Robert to get up to speed which gives Alonso the security he likes in a team.

    11. They’d better give him some foam padding to put under his ****, then he might be able to see where he’s going, and not run off the edge of the road in the braking areas (same applies to Fred while they’re at it).

    12. Over at GPUpdate it says that both cars are (presumably have been) being flown back to Maranello “for evaluation” before Malaysia. Wow!

      1. No apparently the cars are going to be run at the malaysian grand prix still in the shipping containers, something to do with better aero efficiency than if they unpacked the car!

    13. I said it last week. Unless the new chassis is the MP427 , Ferrari have little chance of success with this 2012 mess they have produced. As for Massa the tide has turned and the Heidfeld affect is now present.

    14. People tend to read too much into simple things, especially when its coming from the team they absolutely hate.

    15. really sad. Massa used to be a world class driver before his accident, and I think any chance he had of returning to form went out the window with “Fernando is faster than you.” One of the most likable guys on the grid so Im still hoping he returns to form, but it would take a miracle

      1. Well said red. :)

    16. When is the last time a bum chassis was proven to explain poor performance? This is not the 80s. The last such discussion I recall was with Vettel’s Monaco chassis in 2010, in which case there was some discussion about it being actually “cracked,” and this was never actually verified. No one is saying Massa’s chassis is “cracked.” The only thing that was cracked is another one of Luca’s televisions, after seeing Massa’s performance.

      Massa needs to evacuate Ferrari. He had his chance last year to go to a decent team like Renault or FI and rebuild his reputation but that is probably gone. Nonetheless, staying there for the rest of this season, with a crap car, Alonso in the other car, and Luca’s malocchio squarely on his back, is not going to end well for him. I think it’s an impossible situation for him now.

      1. Lol on the Luca’s television remark. As to the ‘crap car’…I think the jury is still out on that…I think the odds are it will be a much better car once they have more time with it, and I think that will be sooner than later, and certainly will not take the rest of the season. I think the fact that the field is close bodes well for Ferrari…FA doesn’t need to pick up a ton of time per lap to be right in there.

      2. @dmw Well, Lotus had to skip the second test as a result of a broken chassis. It’s still very early in the season so plenty of things can go wrong.

    17. Well done Ferrari for getting a replacement chassis ready in time, it’s something RBR couldn’t do last season until they got back to Europe.

    18. A broken chassis doesn’t explain driving into Senna on his outside (i.e. not giving him any room at all) and then keeping his steering wheel turned to the right locking them both together. As well as being slow, the guy has serious driving etiquette issues as we saw last season with Hamilton and is somewhat embarrassing the Ferrari name. Sorry Steph but it’s time for Ferrari to hire someone who can at least get close to Alonso.

      I say get Timo Glock in that Ferrari !!! (I think I may be the first and last person to suggest this)

      1. The stewards of the Grand Prix do not share you view of this accident. Neither did those who penalised Hamilton for some of his stupid stunts last year. Perhaps it’s not the best idea to view everything that happens on the race track through LH-labelled specs?

        1. Hamilton also drove just as poorly as Massa last season, but this thread is about Massa, hence my comment.

      2. I thought that as of last year it was no longer cool simply to push a guy off the track on the outside. The old axiom that people passing on the outside assume the risk is gone. I was surprised that they didn’t call him up for that because it was incredibly blatant.

        Timo Glock will have to wait two years to get into a Ferrari like everyone else, after he pays his deposit and delivery fee.

      3. Well not the last that’s for sure. Timo deserves a break.

      4. Yeah he always seems to need to make that extra little push that just isn’t needed towards the other car, if Massa ever overtakes someone up the inside he ALWAYS runs a bit wide into the corner & practically forces them off the track, its not the prettiest of overtaking methods & he seems to expect better in return?

    19. sid_prasher (@)
      20th March 2012, 18:31

      Good to see Ferrari supporting Massa…it will be a clean start for him in the new chassis. Hoping for a turn around for him in Malaysia.

    20. It surprises me that no one has brought it up that the Ferrari team could actually be the reason behind his poor form. I’ve never been a fan of Massa, never liked him, but this is getting ridiculous.

      I honestly wonder whether anyone here has ever been into sports. Probably because anyone who has ever been in any kind of sport would know that the way Ferrari have treated Massa would destroy any sportsman. It’s as simple as that. If the team acts towards you as if you’re a second class driver, you’re gonna start believing that yourself and you’re gonna start being one. It’s psychology 101. Massa is a confidence driver just like the likes of Button, Hamilton etc. They’re no Schumachers. So I blame Ferrari here, Massa is only the victim. He was a great driver in 07/08 before Alonso joined Ferrari.

      1. Scratch the “They’re no Schumachers” sentence. I was about to say something more related to that and this way it just doesn’t make sense.

        1. I think you hit the nail on the head @Aced

          Schumacher built Massa up, and then he had a partnership of equals with Kimi. After the first 2 rounds of 2010, Massa was actually leading the World Championship! It was only when Alonso began pushing for his own agenda that Massa slid behind.

          Perhaps if Ferrari had the backbone McLaren had, they would have told Alonso to shut up and earn the number 1 driver slot on merit instead of just handing it to him like a whiney baby.

          1. The first 2 rounds only? Dude get over yourself. 2 rounds is nothing to ride home about. Alonso was ahead of Massa on merit alone. Do you really think Ferrari’s crew of staff who absolutely love massa would have instantly switched over to Alonso, the newcomer? NO they wouldn’t have.

            Alonso is a strong leader in the same way previous Champs like Senna and MS. They demand respect through their racecraft, not an “agenda”.

            You are such a typically blind Lewis fan who believes everything the media/commenter say.

            1. I’m actually not a Lewis fan.

              Hate to break it to you, but F1 is about far more than just Fernando VS. Lewis.

    21. A lot of people seem to blame the Hungary ’09 incident as to why Massa has dropped off in form, and it’s easy to see why. However, I think there may be another reason. The start of 2009 was pretty mediocre for Felipe, and he yielded one or two decent results, but so did Raikkonen.

      I personally think that his problem originally lies in the fact that there is no more in-season testing. Pre-2009, Massa was a good driver and was on par with his team mates nearly every year, even if some of those years he didn’t do quite as well. Obviously you could argue that his performance in Germany ’10 could prove this theory wrong, but we’ve seen that Alonso is more adaptable and can get the most out of the car whereas Massa can’t.

      Schumacher had the same problem. That’s why he was so successful before retirement. He could build the car to what suited him. But I think he’s still a better driver than Massa and we’ll see just how adaptable he can be this season.

      It’s unfortunate for Felipe, but I don’t think we’ll see him return to form.

      1. This could be why Ferrari are pushing for more testing.

    22. If this doesn’t work I don’t know what will.

    23. Felipe also knows he can count on Ferrari to channel his win to Alonso’s diffuser.

    24. It would be interesting to hear Rob Smedleys views on all this?

      1. It would be fascinating as he and Felipe are so close. Surely Rob has more insight into it than anyone else in the team, but if they gagged the drivers once in pre-season testing, I imagine it would be a cold day in **** before they let Smedley shed any light on it.

        Which is a shame really.

    25. IMO it is not the car, or the accident. It is a mind game that keeps him down. The more he tries to drive faster and beat Alonso the slower he gets. For him it must be like working with a guy that does no wrong, no matter how wrong that person does. There are excuses for this type of person, but not for the ones trying to compare, to beat or be an equal. Massa got married, had a kid, an accident, and was thrown together with the King of Mind Games, Fernando Alonso. He needs to change and restart on a clean slate. Ferrari is a mine field and Alonso is the general in charge of it..move on Massa…
      Massa had no problem keeping up with Kimi or Schumi, but Alonso has set a trap and anyone that gets in will fail. He gets motivated by “going faster than you”. On same equipment at McLaren he was throwing fits because Ron Dennis cleared his minefields for Lewis.

      1. Which is why Alonso can never be the leader that Schumacher was, Vettel is and others will be in the future. I respect his driving immensely, but his character is very much in doubt.

    26. “Felipe knows he can count on the team to do everything, both from the technical and the operational point of view, to put him in a better state to show off his talents.”

      I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it’s hard not to read between the lines on this choice of words. It basically says that after this Ferrari have done everything possible for Massa to showcase his talent, meaning that, if there are still no results after this, he apparently has none (or has lost it). It’s a mean thing to say. This isn’t reassurance, this is pressure.

    27. looks like ferrari kicked out the wrong driver at the end of 2009. Felipe hasent been the same driver since the accident

      1. I really do think that Ferrari would have preferred to have kept Kimi at the end of 09 and let Massa go, but after the accident it would have made them look like evil and heartless.

        Plus a Kimi-Alonso partnership would have been the strongest duo in F1 since Senna-Prost, and I’m certain Alonso wouldn’t have gone for that. Kimi would have no problem, but Alonso doesn’t have that kind of courage/madness you find in someone like Kimi or Senna.

        1. A key factor in Ferrari’s decision was Raikkonen’s lack of motivation in 2009. On paper, a Raikkonen-Alonso line-up would have been very strong indeed, but at the time Raikkonen wasn’t exactly displeased to be paid handsomely not to drive. Besides, before Massa’s accident he’d scored more points than Raikkonen (22 points vs 10) and generally looked the better driver.

    28. Slightly off topic. Anyone else think Kobayashi deserves the 2nd seat at Ferrari?

      1. Post this in the forums, Marco.

    29. Unless Ferrari build a world beater and at the same time Alonso is sidelined by injury Massa will never win a WDC at Ferrari, it just wouldn’t make sense for them. He should leave and take his knowledge to a lesser team that would be desperate for him to drive and would offer him the support he so obviously needs to be successful. He may be stepping away from the top tier, but he’d have a better chance of proving his talent is still up there to other teams.

    30. Jack Flash (Aust)
      21st March 2012, 12:17

      I hope for Felipe Massa’s sake that the Chassis #294 is the secret experimental model with hidden inbuilt jet-afterburners installed! I think that’s about what he’ll need to out-qualify Alonso at Sepang this weekend.

      That, or take to Alonso’s knees with a baseball bat, like Tonya harding did to Nancy Kerrigan. LoL.
      Hope to be proven wrong… really I am… but seriously doubt it. Felipe is just so down on confidence, and so nervy he’s picking collision fights with anything. Even the track marshalls are nervous behind the barriers. JF

    31. It really doesn’t look as though Felipe Massa’s Ferrari career has much of a future, and I feel for the guy! No one likes to see a sportsman struggle like Massa has struggled since he was nearly killed back in 2009. Alot of people would have retired after that, I mean, Felipe is married and is a father. I am sure he has a healthy bank account, there really was nothing stopping him from driving if he had decided he had had enough. To his credit, he decided to continue with F1 and that takes balls.
      Other drivers have comeback from near death accidents and achieved greatness in their F1 careers, Niki Lauda and Mika Hakkinen spring to mind, but you cannot expect that to happen to everybody.
      Not only that, but what was left of Massa’s confidence has been all but destroyed by the arrival at Maranello of Fernando Alonso. Even so, only Felipe was driving his car in Australia, he is running out of time and excuses.

    32. Fair enough really. If Massa can turn it around in Malaysia then it’s likely that there was something wrong with the chassis. He’s never had Alonso’s pace but that’s not exactly news. He was so much off the pace it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s less off the pace this weekend with a new chassis.

    33. You guys really need to quit the “massa hasn´t been the same after his accident” bit… If that´s the case, he should have just quit…

      As for Ferrari giving him another chassis to let him “show off his talent”, as i read earlier on the post, is just a waste of money… No matter what Ferrari does… Massa will always end up looking like a chump… and MAYBE then they will open their eyes and just drop him like a bad habit…
      People say Alonso is a crybaby… They seem to have overlooked Massa!

    34. People say Massa hasn’t been the same since his accident, However I disagree.
      The correct statement should be that Massa hasn’t been the same since Hockenheim 2010.

      If you look back at 2010, While Alonso was usually still the faster of the 2, Massa was much closer to Alonso & early in the year it was Alonso making errors & Massa been consistent & scoring points including outscoring Alonso a couple times.
      Up untill Hockenheim 2010 Massa was doing a solid job against Alonso, After Hockenheim 2010 Massa never really got close to Alonso as consistently outside of outqualifying him 2-3 times in 2011.

      I think Massa’s real problem is that his team mate is Fernando Alonso.

      Alonso’s got Ferrari built around him now, The cars are almost certainly designed & built around Alonso’s driving style & Alonso’s feedback.
      Massa has such a different driving style to Alonso that this is liklely having a serious affect on his feel for the car & I read at least 1 report in 2011 stating that the car didn’t work with the sort of setup Massa liked.

      I also think there is an element of Alonso outdriving the car & making the car look better than it actually was. People slate Massa for not scoring a podium in 2011, However with the McLarens/Red Bull clearly faster & Alonso outdriving the Ferrari did Massa ever really have a decent shot at a podium considering how reliable cars are now?

      The problem is that whoever you put in the 2nd Ferrari is going to have similar problems while up against Alonso unless there a driver who’s extremely good & on the same level as guys like Alonso, Hamilton & Vettel.

    35. David Smith
      22nd March 2012, 8:09

      Can people please move on from 2007/2008 and even 2009 for all our sanity!! Its 2012…and has been for 1/2 months already!!!

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