Massa or Ferrari; who's to blame?

Who is letting who down?

  • Both are letting each other down

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Valued Member
Technically Ferrari and Massa should be a mile ahead in both Championships but for a number of mishaps. I'm wondering if we think that the Brazillian is more to blame or the Ferrari team itself for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren taking the lead in the Championships.

Massa was probably brought in as a stop-gap in 2006 before Ferrari could move in their Raikkonen-Schumacher partnership for 2007. For the first half of 2006 Massa's driving was as erratic as in his Sauber days. However, with new race engineer Rob Smedley and advised by Schumacher, he started getting better results after his first second-place at the 2006 US GP. Schumacher retired, and he has been quoted as saying Massa's pending joblessness was a factor in his decision.

He lost touch with the three leaders in 2007 only after a suspension failure at Monza left Raikkonen to chase (successfully) the McLarens alone. He only finished 16 points from the Championship.

This year, accidents in Australia and Malaysia meant Massa started the Bahrain GP (round 3) with 0 points and 14 behind Championship leader Hamilton. Was his collision with David Coulthard in Australia his fault? What caused his spin in Malaysia? After a strong recovery in the next three races, he took pole in Monte Carlo only to lose the lead to Robert Kubica up a slip road. His team delayed his second stop (for dry tyres) in a vain hope it might rain, losing the position to Kubica again. This cost Massa 4 points. Would he have been far enough ahead of the BMW if he hadn't run off the track at Ste. Devote? Could he have competed with Hamilton? Or did Ferrari cost him his maximum 2nd place?

In Canada, a 6th place grid place compromised his position. At the first round of pitstops, under SC, he was forced to queue behind Raikkonen, then did not take enough fuel on as Raikkonen was eliminated by Hamilton. Should Ferrari take the blame or should he have qualified ahead of his Finnish team-mate?

After a simple win in France when Raikkonen's exhaust failed, McLaren were hamstrung by penalties and everyone was held up by Jarno Trulli, Massa finished dead last out of 13 in Britain in the rain, after 5 spins. Should he have done better in the wet? Or does Raikkonen's 4 spins prove the car was undrivable? At Hockenheim, Hamilton was a class apart, but he seemed to ease past Massa into 2nd place after McLaren's tactical error under Saftey Car.Could Massa have held firm? Was the Hockenheim track easy to overtake on? However, with Hamilton down in 6th after a puncture, an engine failure 3 laps from the end at the Hungaroring cost him 10 points. Massa made amends by winning the next two Grand Prix.

At Monza, Ferrari as a whole struggled but Massa did a better job than Raikkonen, and actually closed up on Hamilton by beating the Englishman. Could Massa have done more? Does the Ferrari have no pace in the wet or do they have two bad wet-weather drivers? In Singapore of course, the automated traffic light pit system released Massa into Adrian Sutil with an ensuite fuel hose and cost him the race.

So who's to blame? I'm personally inclined to think Ferrari, partly because we don't know what happened at Sepang, and partly because the errors in Monte Carlo, Montreal, Budapest, Singapore and very nearly Valencia cost Massa big points, more than Massa could gain at Silverstone or Melbourne!
Ferrari are to blame. No driver is perfect. I think there are many drivers out there better than massa, but Ferrari in my opinion, over the whole season have not had the best car. McLaren should be miles ahead in the constructors, but with Kovy lagging behind, and the inconsistency of all the big three, it is still close.If Both cars had perfect reliability, (and no pitstop cock ups) massa will be ahead.
Excellent post.

You've obviously done a bit of research to pull all the salient points from this season.

Yes Ferrari have let him down on a few occasions, notably the blow-up and the pit lane incident(s).
However, FM has also had some poor drives and could have done better.

So on reflection I would say it's a bit of both, but not quite 50-50, more like 70-30 in favour of Ferrari.
At Singapore, I would say it was 50/50, ok, so Ferrari messed up the pit stop with their rubbish automated system, butthe fact that Massa then accepted the fact that he was at the back and didn't bother trying to push further up the grid is his own fault, not really the drive of a champion. With a car that is the fastest on the grid, he shouls have easily been able to overtake cars going so much slower than he could.

Silverstone and Monza proved that he is rubbish in the wet.
RickD said:
Massa then accepted the fact that he was at the back and didn't bother trying to push further up the grid is his own fault, not really the drive of a champion.

Yes. I noticed the same thing. Once he was at the back he seemed to give up. Schumacher or Hamilton, for instance, would have pushed to see if they could recover something. At least Kimi was trying when he went into the wall.

I don't subscribe to this nonsense about drivers "deserving" to win races or championships, but I can understand why some say that Massa doesn't deserve it.
If you settle for a points position, I can understand that as you could say that every point counts towards a championship, but to settle for being out of the points is what really gets me, especially when you are in such a fast car. What exactly have you got to lose by trying to ovetake?!?

This is one of the reasons I think LH deserves to win this year. The other is that the FIAt are trying everything in their power to stop him winning and I want to see Max getting a whipping over his handling of the situation.
I think Ferrari have looked like bumbling idiots when strategy is not "normal" ie. a Safety Car in a pit-stop window or rain. They assumed what the weather would do in Monaco and in Britain (something that even those of us who've lived here all our lives struggle with) and probably should have cost him the race win in Valencia as well as the Hungaroring.

He's 7 points behind and he's been the best car/driver combo this season imo, and this is without taking into account that with fairer penalties Hamilton would've won Valencia and Spa!

James Allen said:
These strategy guys are very clever. They're the type of people who were employed working out secret codes during the war, using the Enigma machine...

I always thought, "yes, James, and the Ferrari tactical guys were the blokes the Italians employed during the war!"
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