Massa says “good results will help” Ferrari chances

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa says finishing races and scoring good results is his priority as he strives to hold onto his place at Ferrari.

Massa, who has finished in the top five in the last two races, said: “There is no news on my future at the moment, but there’s no doubt that good results will help.”

“I just need to keep pushing hard and getting good results, in the hope of hearing some good news soon. It’s always better to know what the situation is, as of course I want to know what I’m doing next year.

“But I can tell you that it’s never happened that I’m in the car in the middle of the race and I start thinking about what I’ll do next year.

“However, I know that results are what matter, so if the situation arises where you have to take a risk in the race, then you have to think carefully about it, as you know your priority is to finish the race.”

Massa added: “I like the Singapore track and I feel the circuit suits me, even if I’ve never had much luck there. So I’m definitely looking for another good result and I hope I can do even better than in the last two races.

“Touch wood we can continue the same way, after what were definitely good races in Spa and Monza. I picked up a good number of points, which was especially important if you look at the state of play in the championship right now and then compare it to how things were at the beginning of the year.”

The Ferrari driver expects high tyre degradation to be a factor during the race: “Last year, the race was very tough from a tyre point of view and even though our car is quite different this year, I still expect a difficult race this weekend in terms of the tyres, when we will have the same compounds as last year, namely the soft and super-soft.

“Because this track is hard on tyres, I expect we will see more pits stops than in the past couple of races.”

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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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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55 comments on “Massa says “good results will help” Ferrari chances”

  1. Massa praises his own results in Spa and Monza, and though it was definitely better than his early-season showing, I don’t think it should be enough for Ferrari. In Monza, he may have outqualified Alonso, but it seems Fernando could find at least half a second more in the car than Felipe (I believe Alonso’s claim that he could have bettered Hamilton’s time), on a track with only a handful of corners; in the race, Felipe finished well behind Alonso despite starting seven positions ahead of him on the grid.

    It’s often been said that Ferrari are looking for a decent number two to Alonso, but I find this strange. If it’s true, then I think they’re wrong and they should get the two best drivers available to them, or at least the two potentially best drivers (isn’t the constructors championship just as important for the team as the drivers’?). Which is why they should let Massa go: he’s had three years to show that he could on occasion match Alonso, but I’ve only seen it in Bahrain 2010, Germany 2010, and China 2011. So I think they should hire the most promising youngster and take a chance, or they should have tried to get Hamilton. Appararently (I don’t have any sources) they were approached by Hamilton’s management in the summer, but rebuffed them (note that this was before any telemetry-tweeting, but after putting in the second-most impressive first half of the F1 season).

    1. Bear in mind that when the season started, the F2012 looked like an absolute handful to drive. Fernando Alonso got on top of it first, and with Ferrari in damage-limitation mode, following the path of least resistance by gearing the car’s development to suit him before Massa makes sense. It’s what I’d do in Ferrari’s position.

      Now that things have stabilised and the F2012 is competitive, it’s conceiveable that Massa has only come to grips with the handling just now. Sure, that might sound like too little, too late, and I’ll be the first to say that Ferrari should have let Massa go at the end of 2010, but given the car’s chequered and oftentimes-frustration development history, I don’t think Massa deserves all of the blame for his poor season. Maybe he deserves the lion’s share, but is whatever is left over enough to create reasonable doubt about his ability as a driver? That’s the question Ferrari need to be asking themselves.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys,

        I don’t think Massa deserves all of the blame for his poor season

        I don’t disagree, after all he wasn’t the only driver to struggle to get the most out of their car or tyres. But I do believe his current level of scoring fourth and fifth places, and his performances relative to Alonso, should be insufficient for a team of Ferrari’s calibre.

        As for excusing Massa’s performances on the basis that the car should favor Alonso’s driving style, how much do we from the outside know about developing cars towards drivers? Take Jenson Button’s slump in form early this season. McLaren tried to find a solution specific to Jenson’s problems but they mostly failed. Then they put more downforce on the car, the balance improved, and so did Jenson’s performances. Perhaps this is simply what happened to Ferrari to: they developed a faster and more stable car, and Massa could get more out of it. I doubt there exist any sources that directly relate the developments on the Ferrari to Fernando’s driving style. Mind you, I don’t follow Pat Fry on Twitter…

        1. But I do believe his current level of scoring fourth and fifth places, and his performances relative to Alonso, should be insufficient for a team of Ferrari’s calibre.

          Well, that’s what Ferrari need to ask themselves, particularly if Massa keeps producing fourth- and fifth-place finished. The team keeps saying that they’re third or fourth on the road at the moment, and we’ve seen races like Hungary where they’ve downplayed their chances because they know they won’t be competitive. I think fourth and fifth place is quite reasonable for a car that is only third or fourth best overall; Alonso’s really only leading the championship because he’s had results go his way when he needed them to the most.

          What Ferrari need to do is figure out how much of Massa’s poor performances are down to Massa, and how much of his poor performances are down to the car. And then they need to decide whether the difference is enough to justify another season with them.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys

            What Ferrari need to do is figure out how much of Massa’s poor performances are down to Massa, and how much of his poor performances are down to the car.

            There is another measure driver performance that you have not mentioned, and that is “how well the teammate does in the same car”. When measured against that, it is clear that there is a gap of skills between the two drivers. Most people think FA has more talent in his dandruff than FM ever had. So the real questions are
            1. Is it possible that the car can be changed to improve Massa while leaving Alonso unaffected?
            Ill guess the answer is “No”
            2. How much are they willing to spend on that.
            Based on #1, I would imagine, “not that much”
            3. Is there any driver available who is better than Massa.
            Hard to say emphatically, but the signs point to “yes”.

            To me, these 3 factors demand an end to FM’s time at SF. As much as I have admired him, his scrappy attitude, a guy who accomplished a lot more then folks ever expected, Ill be sad to se FM go. Se la vie.

          2. Have we considered that Ferrari were (still) using Massa a in-race test driver to catch up with other when in-season testng is limited?

            Maybe Ferrari are VERY happy with Massa’s role and would never replace him as long as he keeps it secret and tow the line without even being asked.

            I think if anyone should be replaced, it should be his engineer Rob for exposing Ferrari publicly whenever he can and calls Massa a “boy” !!!

            If Massa were to be put in an EQUAL car to Alonso, as McLaren seem to do, then he may shine once again with perhaps 2-3 tenths shy of Alonso.

            Ferrari are happy with Massa’s services and he is very happy for the 10m salary etc.

            BTW, Eddie Irvine once revealed that at Ferrari they have a policy of supporting whoever get 40 points (in old money) ahread of the other driver.

            Good luck to Ferrari and Alonso in this business (not sport) and for Ferrari that means selling Ferraris not caring about WCC money!

  2. Thanks Filippe, we never knew that!

    1. @nirupam Only if you make the assumption that Ferrari hadn’t already decided to replace him. This indicates they haven’t.

      1. @keithcollantine Actually I meant we never knew that “good result will help ferrari chances” :-)
        That was pure sarcasm :P

        1. Like, Monkey says “bananas are tasty”

    2. @nirupam I always thought that good results from Lewis Hamilton was going to help Ferrari.

      Felipe just opened my eyes

  3. I may be slightly biased, but I honestly think Ferrari will retain Felipe for 2013. If Luca di Montezemelo genuinely believes Perez is not ready for Ferrari, and Schumacher retires at the end of the year, who would Ferrari get to replace Massa?

    1. Absolutely anybody.

      1. Absolutely nobody if the Vettel-pre-contract-ferrari-2014 is true. I cant resist myself to see that happen, and if that is the case, Massa’s seat for 2013 is fully secured, for sure

        1. @nirupam The Vettel deal may only happen after Alonso leaves, Alonso is kinda of an Nelson Piquet senior.

        2. It’s still likely there are lots of drivers, who’d drive for Ferrari even if it’s one season only. Fisichella left Force India in order to drive just a couple of races for them.

          Kovalainen would be a good option. Another year to waste in Caterham is a terrible option for him. Sure, he might get a seat in a midfield team next season, but that doesn’t change for 2014 if he drives well in Ferrari. And that would give him a good chance to show everybody that he’s now a better driver than he was on McLaren.

          I don’t think Ferrari can afford keeping Massa for another year. His results are terrible and couple of 5th places won’t change that.

          1. I think Kovalainen is a bad option for Ferrari under most circumstances, but if he was only racing for a single year to replace Massa then it would be fantstic.

      2. @matt90 But not Mark Webber ;)

      3. lol Even Narain?

  4. Of course, every team likes good result.

  5. Obvious comment is obvious.

  6. He’s fired and he knows it!

  7. Yes, Massa is at last coming to his senses. When he was making his Banzai-driving with LH last year, he did not think of being cautious and wary of what is going on the track, he just bangs whoever was on his way. Now he is fighting to remain in the sport while his erstwhile rival is riding high.

    As they say; if we all were to be foreseers, then certain things would have come out differently.
    So sad Massa has to be in this situation. A person MSC had to resign from racing so he could continue ….. So sad :(

  8. In all fairness to Felipe Baby, whilst his start was dire recently his points hall has helped overhaul Lotus for third. In the last three races he has scored 24 points to Alonso’s 25, and in Monza he finally managed to finish on the tail of his team mate (right where Ferrari want him to be). That said, I would much rather see a young gun in that seat rather than browbeaten old Massa trailing around behind Alonso, just thinking about Ferrari’s WCC and his team mates WDC.

    1. The point comparison isn’t fair at all, since there was nothing Alonso could do to his Spa retirement.

      1. It is fair, because it’s what happened. Massa did well to climb up in Spa, he legitimately beat a lot of decent cars and would most likely have finished just behind Alonso. He was 12s off him in Hungary and 9s in Monza – not great but definite signs of improvement over the drubbings handed out earlier in the season.

        1. @marcusbreese @Simon999
          It’s true that comparing ‘what if’ scenarios is impossible. But points aren’t “what happened”. Points are supposed to be a reflection of drivers performance, but in this situation we can clearly see that this isn’t the case, since Alonso retired on the first corner in Spa without his own fault.

          Comparing Massa’s and Alonso’s performances as a whole is more useful. It’s evident that Massa has had some improvement, but keep in mind that Spa and Monza differ from most of the other tracks. I don’t think these results will be enough for Ferrari. Massa’s performances over the season are just too poor.

      2. I think the comparison is completely valid – you can only compare them based on what actually happened, not “what if” scenacios.

        Having said that, even if you did give Alonso an extra (for argument’s sake) 15 points – it still wouldn’t look too shabby for Massa over those 3 races.

  9. This guy needs a few podiums (while staying behind Alonso, naturally). It’s shocking to think he’s sprayed champagne 0 times since Korea 2010, while Alonso has done so on 17 occasions, including 4 wins. Bragging about being fourth or fifth isn’t right!

    1. Bragging about being fourth or fifth isn’t right!

      Completely agree. Alonso walks away from his car with a disappointed look on his face if he finishes in P4 or P5. On the other hand, Felipe is incredibly pleased with himself in a similar situation. I know Felipe has improved from his P11 and P13 finishing position… but I think he will have to do a lot more to retain his seat. He would actually need to start racing Seb, Lewis and Button on a regular basis and starting taking points of them… or else he is of no use to Ferrari.

      1. Exactly. Even though he has improved since Australia he’s useless to Ferrari unless he can take the fight to some of Alonso’s rivals in every race.
        I’m gutted that Felipe’s career has come to this, I always liked the guy even in his scrappy first season at Sauber, but I don’t see the ‘old’ Felipe ever returning.

  10. I watched that interview by Ferrari like i’ve been watching all their round-ups but this one was different i’m sure that someone has noticed this as well, the voice tone of the interviewer has changed, he sounds cantankerous, ill-tempered, the word is missing but the people that watch this vids will notice, he’s usually sounds so positive.

  11. just found out jake is leaving the bbc, well there goes the last of the decent f1 coverage

  12. Alonso only wants him to stay because hes an easy team mate to beat, how is Alonso a complete driver, if he doesnt give a slight damn about the contructors championship. Ferrari havent won the WCC since 2008 now and thats ages, they should sign Kovalinen who would score more points than Massa anyday of the week

    1. Not bad considering rival McLaren hasnt won since 99 I believe

      1. 1998 to be exact. :P

        1. One constructors’ championship in 20 years. Say it loud and say it often. :D

      2. Ferrari need a good driver to win the WCC and they know it, if they had the choice they would sign Hamilton but since Alonso likes an easy team mate…

  13. Singapur 2012: Massa crash, safety car, Alonso win.
    Massa Ferrari driver 2013.

    1. @jorgelardone I don’t think anyone will be trying that again any time soon.

    2. Thats no fun. I would prefer Massa runs into the back of Lewis and takes him out, and Alonso goes on to win.

  14. Correction: Massa says “good results from him will help” Ferrari chances!!

    p.s. thanks Massa, I know u wanted to edit it before ferrari guys would see that!!

    1. @akshay No he didn’t – the literal quote the headline comes from is:

      There is no news on my future at the moment, but there’s no doubt that good results will help

      It can be seen in the second paragraph of the article.

      1. I saw that already…i just want them to edit the headline (it changes the motive completely)!

  15. I think Felipe Massa is stating the obvious here. Yet again, if Ferrari do drop him, atleast he can say he has had six years at the most storied team in motorsports. Turn back the clock ten years, and I doubt many people would have imagined Massa as a Ferrari driver, and certainly for not as long as six years. I can remember him a Monaco back in 2002, driving the Sauber as if he were on the bumper cars at a local fairground. Many did not think he would last the year, so in all truth, Felipe has exceeded the expectations of most and has become very wealthy in the meantime.
    When in lost the championship in 2008 I remember thinking ‘that was his chance gone’. With Alonso waiting in the wings, it was obvious Massa was not going to get many opportunities to become champion and the 2009 car was a milkfloat. The whole thing reminded me of Eddie Irvine in 1999, his only shot at winning a championship at Ferrari whilst Michael Schumacher recovered from his broken leg. In the end, Irvine ended up driving for Jaguar beforing jacking it all in. I could see this happening for Massa. Deep down, if he is honest with himself, I think Felipe knows this too.

  16. @keithcollantine what’s the source of this interview? I presume the Ferrari’s website?

    1. @lubhz See the link in the second paragraph.

  17. And we’re back to Massa again. Makes a change from Ham…. almost said it, sorry.

  18. if Ferrari wins constructor´s championship, Massa will be one year more. I think that´s the point for him.

  19. Felipe has realized just now what we all knew since the beggining of the season, the fact is that he should have started to look for a seat elsewhere when Mark Webber said he talked to Ferrari, that was a clear indication that they don’t want him anymore, so he should be smart and decide his own future, not wait like Buemi and Alguersuari did last year. If I were him I would negotiate with a midfield team now before the options become limited.

    1. His manager Nicholas Todt, son of Jean, knows it and you can be sure he already approached everybody. Must be a balance between keeping Massa to please Jean through Nicholas and making laughing everybody to maintain a so poor driver in this team. But i like Massa, specially on the rain, you know he will be terrible with one spin by lap and we can laugh a lot.

  20. Here are some interesting points:
    1-According to my calculations, if Perez would be driving for Ferrari then they would be ahead of McLaren by a single point. Now if we put Perez in or close enough to Alonso’s podium finishes, perhaps Ferrari would be or close to leading both championships. As inexperienced as he says Perez is, Luca’s best interest is to bring back both championships to Ferrari. So in that way Perez could be a perfect fit and Luca is just bluffing. Sadly…arrivedeci Felipe!
    2-NOBODY has EVER mentioned this but this just crossed my mind…What about a complete spanish lineup at Ferrari and bring J. Alguersuari!! In a better car than the Toro Rosso, I am sure he could produce some great results!!

    There you go!! Something to think about!! Comments are always welcomed!!

  21. Massa, Ferrari’s IN-RACE TEST DRIVER
    Why build two when you can build one for double the price, and keep it secret !!!
    Inverted CONTACT movie reference somewhere there :)

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