Can Felipe Massa overtake?

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    Rick Lopez

    It’s not been a great last couple of races for Felipe Massa fans.

    A string of recent DNF’s means Valtteri Bottas has been able to march ahead in the standings, whilst Massa is left behind.

    Although I would only pinpoint Germany as being his fault, in a season of endless bad luck for him, I hope he can turn it around in the last half of the season, which is usually strong for him, and catch up to Valtteri.

    After Canada, however, there were questions raised by F1 fans on this site about whether Massa had any overtaking ability, and the general consensus was no. This does surprise me, when Massa has pulled off some great overtakes in the past, but this site does seem to have a general anti-Massa consensus.

    Does everyone on here have a memory of less than a year? Singapore 2012 anyone? Turn 13 – barely any overtakes there before. That amazing overtake on Bruno Senna, which was overtake of the race, and was a contender for overtake of the season?

    Of course, you can’t ignore that he has had his crashes, but doesn’t every driver? Nico Hulkenberg crashed into his teammate in Hungary and there was no slaughtering of him on this site.

    I think people should be less harsh to Massa – he’s a fast F1 driver – he has a pole position from this year, and he can overtake.


    Does everyone on here have a memory of less than a year?

    A risky question, as one can also point to Massa’s run-ins with Hamilton in 2011 to pinpoint his short-sightedness at times (not all of those were Hamilton’s fault). Then there’s an incident with DC back in 2005 at Imola, which forever has pitched DC against Massa. I don’t think I need to remind anyone of that time Felipe spun 18 times during a wet British GP..

    The difference between Nico Hulkenberg sliding into his team mate once, after finishing all races before in this season in the points, and Felipe Massa, who has been involved in multiple incidents and failed to turn that pole into a podium position, is attitude. Nico Hulkenberg doesn’t brag when he does well, and he apologized when he crashed into Perez. Felipe Massa has done little but point to everyone else in his entire F1 career (remember how Crashgate alone was responsible for him not winning the WDC in 2008? Felipe does.) and it is a really poor character trait.

    Then there’s the 3 years of underperforming at Ferrari. 2010 was decent, I guess, but 2011 and the first half of 2012 were reaaaally poor, and while late 2012 and early 2013 were fine, he went back into anonymity in late 2013.

    Generally, F1 fans have lost their passion for Felipe since he handled his loss of the WDC in 2008 so well during that final race. Mostly because he has handled himself poorly, bent over backwards for Alonso (until it was far too late for anyone to take his rebellion seriously) and now is losing out to a team mate who is only in his second season. Felipe is a good driver, but you can’t force people to like a driver as much as he’s talented (or there would be a lot more Vettel fans).


    Does everyone on here have a memory of less than a year? Singapore 2012 anyone? Turn 13 – barely any overtakes there before. That amazing overtake on Bruno Senna, which was overtake of the race, and was a contender for overtake of the season?

    The one where he cut the previous corner you mean?

    He gets in accidents because he’s either too aggressive or misreads his opponents. In my opinion he’s only looking better this season because he has a good car and mediocre (and overrated) teammate. Massa was at his best in ’08 and ’09 especially, since he came back he hasn’t gotten anywhere near that form.

    Tom L.

    Has everyone forgotten his start at Hungary ’08 around the outside of Hamilton? Or the battle with Kubica at Fuji in the rain? Oh wait, that’s the “old” Massa, that doesn’t count. He’s not the same driver any more!


    For me there’s an element of wheel to wheel racing that Massa just doesn’t seem to understand, and it’s more to do with defending than overtaking. He seems to think he can just turn into the corner, no matter where another car is, taking whatever line he wants, as long as his car is at least a tiny bit ahead. This is just wrong, but Massa always spouts it out when asked about any incident in which he has turned in on another driver.

    Adam Blocker


    He doesn’t know how to defend either.

    When one person is a common factor in so many incidents that indicates a lack of wheel-to-wheel racing
    ability. He often shuts the door “after the horse’s head is already halfway through,” (David Hobbs) and proceeds
    to blame his opponent. Just look at his incident in Hockenheim this year, he chopped across Magnussen. Or look at
    2011 India with Hamilton. And his start in Suzuka 2010 wasn’t much better.

    How many times have we seen him get minor damage on his wing or a puncture on the first lap? It seemed like it was
    happening every race for most of 2011-13. The pathetic thing is he never takes responsibility for his actions.
    Hamilton will say “My bad, man.” Alonso will say “I didn’t leava tha space.” But not Massa.

    And in regards to Singapore 2013, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. It was a good overtake, but just about every driver makes a good overtake at some point (except maybe Maldonado).


    You could say, that for Rosberg too, he has good qualy speed, usually a good, controlled race pace, but his inability to create a plan to overtake and keep the place was evident both in Bahrain, and Hungary.

    I think most of the drivers have some basic sense on how to overtake, but there are some drivers, who are better at looking backward, than forward. For me, Massa seems to be in the former group.
    Also, there is a mutch needed controlled agressivity when it comes to wheel-to-wheel racing, and in my opinion Massa often gets blinded by the ‘red mist’.

    For me, the best overtakers in the field (in no particular order) are: Alonso, Button, Hamilton and maybe Ricciardo, but I cannot be sure, because before this year the TV directors barely picked up him in the coverage.

    And the best defender would be Trulli, but from the current field, definetly Alonso, Button, Hülkenberg.

    Massa is in the middle in both cases.

    But all in all I dont think anyone should judge a driver by only one of his shortcomings.


    I’d say he has his good races, but they don’t come around very often. Like others have said there must be a reason it’s so often him in the middle of a crash. Even if it isn’t his fault, he doesn’t seem to have the reactions to avoid a problem – which others have. I’d say he was always a middling driver who was lucky to be managed by Nicholas Todt when Jean Todt was at Ferrari – this elevated him into a seat he would never have got on his own merits. Sorry if that sounds harsh!

    Craig Woollard

    The reason why Hulkenberg wasn’t slammed was because it was his first stupid move for well over a year. Also, Hulkenberg held his hands up and said that it was his fault. You find that holding your hands up and admitting to making a mistake as we have seen from Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Magnussen in recent races will make you far more popular amongst the neutrals than somebody who believes that they can do no wrong, as we have seen from Massa, Chilton, Maldonado, Perez and Alonso to name a few. That isn’t to say that these drivers cannot overtake, because I would be incredibly wrong, but when they do seem to make contact with other cars or gain needless penalties they just shrug it off and claim it isn’t their fault for some absurd reason. That’s one reason why I’ve really enjoyed watching Valtteri Bottas this season. He has had some phenomenal drives but if he feels that he personally hasn’t performed despite being on the podium then he will say ‘yes I could well have done better’ as oppose to Alonso claiming that seventh was ‘the maximum that the car was able to achieve’.


    Massa seems to be following a Barrichello-like exit to F1. Maybe 2015 will be his last year before a graceful retirement!


    I was amazed after his Ferrari efforts that a team as prestigious (if fallen) as Williams would want him. To be fair though, his pace hasn’t been bad this year. And I have no idea if his feedback is good enough to make him desirable.

    I do think that Canada was a 50/50 racing incident- Massa should have run wider, realising that turning right wasn’t exactly sensible as they entered a braking zone even if the track continued turning right. Perez should have anticipated Massa on his left and so realised that to be safe it would be better to maintain a constant distance between himself and the edge of the track by turning right a bit more rather than braking straight towards the apex.

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