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Monday, October 15, 2012

Massa drive to podium hampered by slow Alonso

For those of you watching on Sunday the pit-to-car radio message was one I'd never heard before.  In it's most basic form it meant; "Hold station behind your team-mate": on another level entirely it meant; "slow down you're going too fast", something which must have pleased Massa immensely.  It's not a comment he's heard a lot this season.  Rob Smedley looked particularly chuffed at Massa's racecraft

"You're too close to Fernando. Drop off" to 2-2.5 seconds behind.  At this stage there's around 40 laps gone of the race, Massa is very much faster that Alonso and, team orders should have played out a little differently.  Why not let Massa take off down the road after Webber, see if he can catch him up, slow him down and allow Fernando to drive up to the battle and fight for the second step of the podium.  We can see by the laptimes that Alonso got faster towards the end of the race, what he needed on lap 40 was Massa wrecking his tyres in order to threaten and slow down Mark Webber. Ferrari needed to provide a threat to Webber what they did was call Massa to "heel".  I still think Felipe would do well to get out of there. 

Poor choice of strategy on the pit-wall; Even if Felipe got past Mark it is likely that he would have to give up any position to accommodate Fernando's title position.

Great drive by Massa and, should he keep it up it may well be the resurgence he needs to secure his Ferrari seat into next year which is what he seems to want (incidentally the Web seems to be alive with the old Vettel/Ferrari seat rumour in 2014, which we were all saying was a signed precontract earlier this year).