Translate this Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Massa does not know his future

What is going on at Ferrari? I certainly don't know given that they're one of the teams which have not yet responded to my request for media access.  I can tell you this though, Felipe Massa is in the dark too, nobody has talked to him about his future at the team.

This excerpt from the Ferrari Website puts it in a nutshell:
If one wants a good night’s sleep, it’s best not to have too many worries on one’s mind and although Massa currently does not know what the future holds for him after the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Ferrari man appears to be facing the situation calmly. “There is no news on my future at the moment, but there’s no doubt that good results will help,” he confirmed. “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.”
Now, do correct me if I'm wrong, but we do know that Mark Webber was offered next year's drive with the Scuderia because he said so and nobody at Ferrari denied it: And, let me ask this: Why are the Ferrari website making reference to the fact that Felipe "currently does not know what the future holds for him after the Brazilian Grand Prix"?  How nasty is that when he knows they've been in contact with other drivers?

Felipe knows what they want so why does he want to remain with a team who will only offer him the drive if they can't find anyone else to play patsy to Alonso?  I'd be out of there faster than a Brazilian Tapir in a room full of hungry Jaguars.

I've been arguing for the last two years, even before Melbourne in 2011, that he needs to be nurtured again in order that he can rediscover how to race for the win.

I was wrong.  He is no longer a patient, he's a racing driver.  He needs to know that the Team is relying on his performance; that he is not a Number 2.  He needs to be back in the mix.

The question for Felipe is where he might go?

I want Massa fighting for wins; fighting for titles.  I think he was good enough before his accident and has lost nothing of his racecraft since.  What he has lost is simple to explain:

He has lost equal status within the Ferrari Team

With the arrival of Fernando Alonso Ferrari have done what they did with Michael.  They have gathered all of the resources and focused them on his car.  One of the "resources" which have been focused on Alonso is Felipe.  This is to the detriment of Massa's racing abilities and he must be feeling somewhat sidelined.

If you remember Kimi at Ferrari; it was clear that Massa was given equal status and this led to his sadly unsuccessful championship run.

The problem now is that, since his accident Ferrari have "given him time" to recover.  I can imagine the scene where they tell him to relax - just support Alonso - don't feel under any pressure to perform immediately - take your time.

It's easy to fall into the routine.

Now, with Ferrari looking elsewhere for Alonso's support, it's Felipe's opportunity.  Get out! Find a team that want results. Go racing.  For the first time in three years it looks like there may be seats available at the top table.