Who’s better – Massa or Webber

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    I’m honestly not sure if you were even replying to me, since most of your points seem to be aimed at Kingshark. In 2010, the top 5 battled for wins, while 2008 only had 3 real candidates for victories and Kovalainen, Kubica and Alonso usually were no threat. If I’d take your post very literally, Schumacher or Vettel’s record seasons also don’t mean anything compared to Mansell’s.

    And I think you’ll find there are plenty people who would honestly say that, had Massa won in 2008, he would have deserved it just as much as Hamilton did, maybe more.

    I also don’t know why everyone is moving back and forth from statistics to ‘statistics tell an incomplete story’. Heck, I can do what @magnificent-geoffrey did:


    Guess Webber is better than both Massa and Schumacher. ;)



    You go on comparing the years in which Webber and Massa challenged for the title, and go on to say, in their prime, Massa was the better of the two.
    How can you say that Webber was in his prime in 2010?

    In fact it was the first year he had a competitive car, and the people that mention Massa’s head injury should not forget that Webber broke his leg during the winter break 2008/ 2009.

    In my opinion it is Webber, he has been the more consistent, clever and less accident prone driver.

    Sure, he has a history of poor cars, but also poorly adapting to cars

    The same applies to Massa then. Alonso isn’t a god, the car was competitive in 2012, otherwise he wouldn’t have had been able to challenge Vettel for the championship up to the last race in Brazil.
    It was just as competitive in 2010, the Red Bull was the fastest car on most tracks but it was also the most unreliable car of the championship contenders.

    Iestyn Davies

    I concur with the first page, Massa pre-F1, Webber 03-05, Massa 06-09, Webber 09-. Webber has completed himself, with dedication, to be the best he can be, while Massa has lost the roundness of his ability, not really helped by sustaining a serious head injury and then subservience upon recovery.

    Looking at Alonso’s background, roughly:
    1993-1996 Spanish Karting Champs – 1st
    1996 Junior Karting World Cup – 1st
    1997 Spanish Inter-A Karting – 1st
    1997 Italian Inter-A Karting – 1st
    1998 Spanish Inter-A Karting – 1st
    1998 European Karting Championship – 2nd
    1999 Formula Renault 3.5 – 1st
    2000 F3000 – 4th
    2001 F1 (Minardi)
    2002 F1 testing with Renault
    2003 F1 winner with Renault
    2005 & 6 WC, 7, 10, 12 runner-up

    It would be pretty hard to argue he is not a driving god :D. Him, Raikkonen, Button and Massa pretty much jumped straight up to F1 level, from Karts via a fast transition, skipping levels (Alonso lower levels, Raikkonen higher levels, Button F3000), while Webber took a now traditional gradual learning and refining route. Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Vettel have all done similar and won a lot, with the rest of the grid taking a little longer (Grosjean) or winning a tad less (Rosberg, Sutil etc.).

    What I find impressive too, is how as their raw pace seems to have bled off with age (the drivers in their 30’s), they have all found new strengths (Button – tyres, Alonso/Raikkonen – thinking the race, Massa – starts, Webber – fitness) which has kept them at the front end despite huge pressure from prime Vettel, Hamilton, Hulk, Grosjean, Rosberg, Maldonado, di Resta, Sutil…

    Alonso I do hope gets a third DWC, else he is stuck with Fittipaldi, Senna and especially Clark in the ‘could have had more titles with a little luck’ category.


    Why not look at track position at the end of every race they’ve had against each other. That’s got to be fair, or at least as fair as some of the other calculations I’ve seen. Doing a Web to Ham comparo (last time I could be bothered to work it out) it’s about 60/40 in favour of Webber finishing ahead of Hamilton (where they both finish the race). Anyone can do the Web/Mas comparo if they’ve got nothing better to do with their lives. Just a thought.


    Has the speed difference in car/machinery ever occurred to you as an important factor?


    Fair point but if you take it over a long enough time series it would smooth the result. I’d guess that Web has been in poor cars for as long as Mas or whoever. Unless we put each of them in identical mini metros and let them race each other for ten seasons or so we can never know. All a bit of a moot point really – maybe we should get them to arm wrestle for the title :)



    The same applies to Massa then. Alonso isn’t a god, the car was competitive in 2012, otherwise he wouldn’t have had been able to challenge Vettel for the championship up to the last race in Brazil.
    It was just as competitive in 2010, the Red Bull was the fastest car on most tracks but it was also the most unreliable car of the championship contenders.

    I’m sorry, but the F2012 was not as competitive as the F10. Alonso was as competitive as long as he was due to finishing high up, taking victories where he could (Malaysia was an abnormal race, he inherited the lead in Valencia) while Red Bull and McLaren were faster, but unreliable. Ferrari always goes well at Silverstone, so either there or at Hockenheim the F2012 finally became a top car. It stands a reason Vettel walked away during the ‘Asian season’. Alonso isn’t god, but he is a very good driver. Don’t forget he impressed in an uncompetitive 2008 Renault as well.

    Webber has actually said the blown-diffuser car didn’t suit him and the same kind of slump got in his 2012 season. It’s likely the car is designed around Vettel, but the Ferrari is more likely to be designed to suit Alonso. Massa’s problems seem more metal-related to me, as he did very well in a couple of races in 2010 and late 2012. I don’t recall him actually struggling with the car, moreso with himself. Massa also did considerably better than Raikkonen before his incident in 2009, while the F60 is generally considered to be an extremely hard to drive car (ask Badoer or Fisichella).


    If you put it like that, it’s easy to consider most discussions on this forum as a moot point. We are trying to compare with the data and insight we have, not a fictional situation as you seem to imply.

    I’d guess that Web has been in poor cars for as long as Mas or whoever.

    While I sided with Massa in this debate, I do lament Webber’s career. He has made almost Alesi-like moves to the wrong team at the wrong time; but he did end up in a race winning car. Jaguar was a terrible team (mostly management, though) and he had an offer from Renault, but went to Williams instead. Mind you, Williams looked pretty good in 2004, but then, so did Renault. Had he moved to Renault, he probably would have gotten better treatment than Trulli/Fisichella, being managed by Briatore and all. He could have been a more serious threat to Fernando as well.

    He moved back to Red Bull when they were still struggling, and let’s not forget Red Bull was beaten by Toro Rosso in 2008. I’d say Webber has been in poor cars, unable to win races until 2009, which is 8 seasons, while Massa only had a non-race winning car in 2002, 2004 and 2005 (2009 I’m on the fence about), while the Saubers were better than the Minardi and Jaguar Webber was driving. Maybe Webber and/or Heidfeld could have won a race in 2005, but Webber made a fair number of mistakes that year, too.



    1999 Formula Renault 3.5 – 1st

    Surely you mean World Series Nissan? I know it became FR3.5 later, but still…

    Iestyn Davies

    This is an interesting trait regarding Massa – he seems to develop cars to his liking. I’m thinking of the times he’s beaten team mates throughout the year, and the recent Ferraris – 2006 he won races in the second half, 2008 he really got going, 2012 he was doing even better than Alonso in the final races. So either the car is developed in his direction, or he learns how to drive the car with time, but I feel it is the former.

    With Webber, it could be said to be the opposite, as usually he is good in the car at the start of the season, while it will swing in a development direction against him – 2009, 2010, 2011 season, 2012.

    @Nick This is mostly circumstantial – it could be the other way around; that the winter development work is where Webber is strong, while Massa takes time to recover lost ground from a lack of winter development input!

    @wsrgo – Yes, World Series by Nissan, as it was probably a different technical series back then!

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