What are we going to do about Felipe?


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Whilst Rob Smedley gives Fellipe-baby a pat on the head and a cookie for putting in some quick times at Spa and finishing ahead of Mark Webber giving him brownie points with the big boss for helping Fernando's challenge he'll be putting out of his mind the fact he still finished behind Nico Hulkenberg and the majority of the rest of the world didn't see it as good enough. He'll then probably put his head down and ignore the echos of the question that has been getting increasingly louder in the Ferrari garage - "What are we going to do about Fellipe?"

Whilst the media can be a harsh beast and no one enjoys a witch hunt you have to say it is justified in this case as since his return from injury Massa's form and performance has been getting worse and worse. Its been 31 Grand Prix since he last scored a podium and nearly 4 years since he last took a GP victory. Ferrari never had the intention of having a second driver to compete with Fernando Alonso but they always intended to have someone to back him up. The fact of the matter is that if they just had a second driver who'd managed to score 50% of the points Fernando has scored this season they would be sitting second in the constructors just 24 points off Red Bull - and 50% is not really a lot to ask if you look at there 2 main rivals, Red Bull and Mclaren and there drivers are both a podium finish away from each other. Ferrari are fighting this one handed and I think they've realised its costing them dearly but unfourtunatly I think its come to late.

There has been a lot of whispering about it but it seems pretty clear that Sebastian Vettel has come to some sort of agreement to be in a Ferrari in 2014. Fernando has been softened up with a big fat new contract and Ferrari are going to run 2 big guns in hope of dominance in the new turbo era and what they've missed for a while now - the constructors title! Thats all well and good but its left them in a situation on what to do now. Who do you get to fill a gap for one year? They seemed to have ruled Sergio Perez out and I'm not too surprised - if they run a young gun like that for a year and he's a success they're in a mess when Vettel arrives and anywas leaving him at Sauber meand they have a ready made replacement should either Fernando or Seb strop off after a bit. Plus Ferrari are not historically a team who takes chances on young drivers. Jean Alesi is the driver to make his Ferrari debut with the least amount of GPs under him in the past 30 years and either then they were forced into playing there hand to stop Williams getting him.

What Ferrari were really looking for was a reliable older driver who'd come to see out there career with a bang. Is it any wonder they courted the likes of Webber and Button who have both proved they can do top teams pround and you have to say if they were performing the way they were at their current teams would certainly put Ferrari in contention again. But the truth is it all came too late. If they'd made the decision early last year to ditch Massa they could have tempted Button or Webber to Ferrari on a 2 year contract and I believ they'd have both shown an interest, however they ummed and arred and both signed up whilst the going was good elsewhere and now why on earth would they come for 1 yearat Ferrari when they might get extensions where they are?

What no one says in all these media reports about Massa is that in actual fact Ferrari have been too kind for their own good. It was obvious as long ago as the 2010 season he was not the driver he was and if they'd have chosen then to let him go and bring someone else in they'd have actually save him and themselves a lot of hassle. Harsh as this may sound Massa is abit like that old pet dog of yours that you love so much you can't bare to part with so instead of taking him to the vet to be put to sleep you keep him around lumbering around in pain and tainting your memory of what a great dog he was anyways. Ferrari have let sentiment get in the way of practicality on this one and unfourtunatly we're all now going to remember Massa as that driver who couldn't live with Fernando Alonso instead of the guy who beat Kimi and pushed Lewis all the way for the title. The worst thing is I think we and he will have to endure it for another year as I don't think they have a solution. They won't bring a young gun in and all the old hands are taken or won't come for a year and I honestly believe Ferrari are going to have no option other than to stick with Massa for 2013. I don't want to see it happen as I'd like to remember Felipe as that driver who owned the Turkey circuit in Istanbul, who used to win the Brazilian Grand Prix by a country mile and the guy who went round the outside of Lewis Hamilton at the Hungaroring.

So next time you want to write about how awful Massa's most recent turd of a performance was please don't. Just go watch his 2008 season for a little bit and feel sorry for him like I do.

FOOTNOTE: Whilst writing this article I was thinking over Ferrari's driver options and what they needed. They need a steady hand, someone who would fit in quickly, someone who was at the end of their career and would be willing to sign a one year go out in a blaze of glory contract. Then it hit me. Surely not, would they? could they? would he? Of course he blooming would! Its an idea so brilliant I'm stunned it has not been talked about already. Could 2013 see the Red Baron ride again? Is Michael Schumacher the answer to all Ferrari's probems? If so you heard it here first!
Great read Rasp and exactly what I think as well.

And no matter what he's done these past years and what he'll do next year, I will remember him as the guy who was world champion for 38.907 seconds!
They need to hang Massa out to dry on the driver market and stick Di Resta, Hulk, Petrov or Perez in the seat. Shit or bust from the drivers' point of view, but breathing space for Ferrari while they decide whether to believe what everyone is saying about their option on Vettel for '14.
RasputinLives - I do like the Schumacher idea, I don't think that would be too outlandish as a matter of fact. He's scored more podiums (1) than Massa since the start of 2011 anyway.

I still think it is highly likely that Ferrari will need to make a sacrifice to the great God tifosi and will be unable to keep Massa on to next year.
The most likely candidate to replace Massa is one of the following: Button, Di Resta, Hulkemberg o Pérez according to TF1.

Even though Schumacher would bring inspiration to the Scuderia, I don't see that happening. Not the least because he would be fielded as de facto #2 to Alonso but because if I remember correctly Schumacher was let go in not the best terms when they hired Raikkonen to replace him. Furthermore Schumacher was some sort of mentor to Massa and even Michael would think twice before taking his mentee seat back.

And regarding Massa, he is under a lot of pressure right now and I doubt he would completely recovered from his accident. Besides he's a father now and we've seen how paternity slow down some drivers, Felipe being one of them. I think it's a good time for Massa to start over somewhere else, maybe exchanging seats with Pérez. I think he still enjoys driving but to continue in Ferrari is really unsustainable.
a nice little read Raspy... thanks :thumbsup:

a Schumacher reunion at Ferrari... for mine... too much history for that to work... would need an ego to come down a few pegs to play second chair to 'nando... and some of the key infrastructure that lead him at Ferrari are no longer around... a bit like catching up with that old flame after several years... was not quite the same as you remembered it (or so I have been told :whistle:)...

personally... I think the best equipped driver on the grid today to take the Massa seat if it is available is Paul di Resta... proven racer and winner before F1... has the mental make-up to handle the pressure of racing in red (Scot, even keel, probably doesn't know what TWITter is...)... you would need to pry him away from his Mercedes contract... but I think he has the tools to be that guy that they need to bank results and take the odd win when presented...

and I think it would be a magnificent coup for the British Isle's if that were to occur...:cheers:
I agree with ZakspeedYakspeed, Schumacher was used to having the whole team around him, that certainly wouldn't be the case at Ferrari next season. I can't see the romantic ending happening
IF Hamilton goes to Merc, I thought Schumacher already had a deal to stay with the Mercedes brand in another capacity.

It would be a blooming miracle (IMO) to see him back at Maranello, .... but he was willing to do it when Massa was injured ?
Top Bottom