Massa under pressure to raise his game

A seemingly routine story on Ferrari’s website has underlined the fact that Felipe Massa is coming under ever increasing pressure to perform.

The Scuderia’s post-Barcelona report spoke of Massa’s “drop-off” and said that the team is “expecting a change of gear” in Monaco.

Massa had another terrible weekend in Spain, qualifying at the bottom of Q2 and landing a drive through penalty in the race.

Regarding the first five races, the Ferrari story read: “As for an analysis of the Scuderia’s performance and its two drivers, Fernando has always maintained a very high level (67 points and second place in 2010, 51 and fifth place last year) while Felipe’s drop off has made itself felt. The Brazilian had picked up 49 points two years ago and 24 the following year, while so far this season he has just 2.

“In Montmelo, Felipe was very unlucky, both in the race and in qualifying, but everyone, he more than anyone, is expecting a change of gear starting right away with the Monaco Grand Prix, his second home race, given that he lives just a few hundred metres from what, as from next Sunday, will be transformed into the paddock for the sixth round of the 2012 championship.”

Adrian Sutil’s presence in Barcelona added fuel to suggestions that the German could form part of Ferrari’s future plans. He is known to have had contact with Maranello in recent months.

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Massa under pressure to raise his game

  1. Thomas

    I love Massa, and it’s hard to forget the heights he reached in his best season (08), but he is a joke now. He should see it himself and step down.

    Ferrari should take their part of the blame for breaking him so publicly in germany ’10, but unfortunately it does not change the fact that Felipe is massively underperforming and is not even a shadow of his real self.

  2. Stone the crows

    I really like Felipe, and I wish him well, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be best for him start over somewhere else and get a fresh start with another team.

    • Natthulal

      Till he and his mentor Michael get the tyre issue sorted out their future in F1 looks bleak.

      With Schumi at least the guy has enough clout in his Mercedes team, that the management assigned all the technical staff to work with him and resolve the tyre troubles he had and the results were to be seen after Italian GP when Michael started matching Nico in performance.

      Massa’s fate is pretty much sealed as team in current situation will put all their resources behind Alonso (something that Alonso likes and something that is understandable given their 61-2 standing).

      Maybe both Schumi and Felipe need to find another form of motorsports where tyre performance will be stable like that in 00-09 period.

      • Stone the Crows

        Maybe a nice new LeMans prototype? Felipe is seriously quick, but Formula One is as much a game of mental toughness as it is skill and talent. That’s Alonso’s greatest strength, the ability to shrug off losses and set backs and go at the next challenge with complete confidence in his ability. Schumacher is fortunate at this point in his life his name is also a brand, otherwise his services would no longer be requried at Mercedes. However, unlike Felipe I do think Michael can rebound and get some excellent results yet at Mercedes, a championship? No, but a podium perhaps a win yes.

  3. Sutil is gonna be MUCHO útil for Maranello boyz 2 men! Mean, I miss the madman. Sutil 2 Ferrari it is then! I was wondering not so long ago what he’s been up to – now I know!!! Woo-hoo! Fantastic, now that’s wot I’m talking about! Thanks guys, great job!!! Get yer Su-Sutil out!

    • Stone the Crows

      I’ve always thought Sutil was more than a little inconsistent, great one race not much in the next.

      • That’s wot a coupla journos think and have been writing about it (hint: the Liuzzi 2010 Force India drama), I won’t name names.

        Adrian did have some wild races in the past, sometimes the car had a few problems, we’re not told the entire story by team press releases, you know, some stuff stays behind the scenes. The rest is internet gossip, for sure. All I’m saying it would spice up the show a bit, although only a desperate person would want to race alongside Alonsó in Maranello. The best candidate would be Piquet Jr. – guaranteed to score top 10 result when in the mood, not a threat to the King, no internal problems.

      • You must be the only person in the world to think that apart from Nelson Piquet Sr. And maybe his mum! Suggest you put a bet on him getting the job…

      • Well, I said it half jokingly, it’s me evil sense of humour, sorry. After the original Renault F1 Team blog fell apart, I can’t seem to find a place where people would speak my language.

        Autosport claims D’Ambrosio is also a candidate. Tough for Boullier then – JDA in the Ferrari can take away points from Glotus guys.

      • The guy was almost faultless in the second half of last year and finished ninth in the World Championship, beaten by only the big four teams. That wasn’t bad…

  4. Loti

    I am sorry to see Felipe in the situation he is in. He has had a problem with tyres for a couple of years and this years tyre problems are not making it any easier for him. Hopefully he will ‘luck’ into a decent set up but I fear his days at Ferrari are numbered as the pressure to deliver just makes the problem worse. He is a good driver and a very good number two at Ferrari but unfortunately their patience is not going last much longer.
    Although Fernando has done a good job getting what he can out of that car, it has to be said that he has been extremely lucky, while Felipe has been very unlucky, Still, that’s no excuse in the long term.

  5. Stone the Crows

    I’m still thinking Ferrari want Sergio Perez, but he’d be a fool to switch teams in mid season and since the Sauber is doing very well this year there’s really nothing to gain. Ferrari and Luca de Montezemolo are very loyal to Felipe, so I’d be very surpised if they pulled him, but ‘il commercio è il commercio’ they may have no choice. I’d guess that they’ll put a test/backup driver in for Felipe. Sutil should take a close look at the last few months of Giancarlo Fisicella’s carrer if he gets an offer; for sure a slow Ferrari is still a Ferrari, but a team that has just fired one driver mid season will have no more qualms about doing it again if the results aren’t there.

  6. BreezyRacer

    How much longer can Ferrari afford to cater to Massa. It’s long past time to move on. But given the latitude that Ferrari have shown, you should hang on to this headline a while longer, Adam .. you’ll surely have to run it again a time or two before the season is out.

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