Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Sepang, 2012

Massa denies Perez performance puts him under pressure

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Felipe Massa denies his place at Ferrari is under threat from Sergio Perez.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Massa: Perez form no added pressure (Autosport)

“I’m happy for him and for his team, but [how] disturbing [is it for me]? Zero. I’m looking more for myself, my driving, my work.”

Whitmarsh echoes Perez speculation (Sky)

“He was a revelation, I imagine he has put a bit of pressure on Mr Massa. I don’t know what the odds are on him switching teams before China, but there must be consideration.”

Malaysian GP Conference 4 (FIA)

Perez: “I was just starting to plan because I knew Fernando was struggling, especially with the rears and I was struggling with the fronts and I was getting quite close to him in the fast section, but then I had a lot of understeer and the fronts were already degrading. I was just thinking where I was going to save some KERS and then I just touched the kerb and ran wide and it was over.”

Peter Sauber denies Sergio Perez colluded with Ferrari to ensure win (Sauber)

“He meant that we needed the result. It’s a misunderstanding. It was because that behind us, all the midfield teams, our main competitors, scored points.”

Button apologises for crash (The Telegraph)

“It was the weirdest race. But the reason I was down there was because it was my mistake when I hit Karthikeyan and I blew what could have been some good points.”

Hunted Bulls join chasing pack for now (Red Bull)

Christian Horner: “We could see the left rear brake going into a thermal runaway and out of control and that’s why we wanted to try and stop the car from a safety point of view.”

Comment of the day

Lin1876 speaks up in defence of HRT:

They?ve paid their dues and they?re under the 107% mark with two respectable drivers. They have as much right to be in F1 as anyone else.

And anyway, in both cases they were minding their own business when they were needlessly hit by other cars. Karthikeyan was in fourth on merit, and had every right to hold his line against Button. The speed of their respective cars has no bearing on that.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Vettel claimed his first pole position of 2011 on this day last year – something that was to become a familiar sight:

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  • 116 comments on “Massa denies Perez performance puts him under pressure”

    1. What has happened to the “team mate wars” style posts that you put up last year, Keith?

      1. I think, at least when there is only a one week gap, it is not really feasible for him to fit it all in. I would think anyway.

      2. @Whitmarsh’s comment: Ron Dennis should be thinking about replacing you!!

        Since Ron Dennis is gone there are way too many mistaked made there! Dennis should come back on the pitwall

    2. Alonso 1st, Massa 15th. Says a lot doesn’t it?
      Today was a very important race for Felipe. Considering a driver hotly tipped to be his replacement put on such a magnificent show today how long will Stefano, Luca et al put up with these performances?

      1. Massa is fooling only himself when he says he’s not under pressure. No one of sober mind would say he isn’t under pressure.

        Personally, I’d love to see Perez in the cockpit, he’s a breath of fresh air, and I typically am not a fan of Ferrari.

        1. Well, I guess the trick is in what he is saying there @hare, as I am not so sure that Perez doing this well can even put more pressure on Massa right now, given under what kind of pressure he already is!

        2. @hare He will be feeling the pressure. He’s just never going to go public about it.

      2. Hmmm I think we will have to wait until at least the european season until we see a driver change. This is as much a financial decision as anything else because Perez brings in a lot of sponsorship from mexico. I Rightly concerned about their long term future, Sauber would only ever let the exchange happen if ferrari paid a huge fee (free engines for 5 years) and those kinds of contracts can’t just be drafted on a sunday night after a race.

      3. I thought it was funny as Alonso and Perez went to cross the line you could see Massa about to get lapped.

        Massa would have been under pressure anyway with Alonso leading the title and Massa behind both Marussias but the fact that Perez is 5th in the championship in a Sauber just adds more. Perez really has been special in these two races, hope he keeps it up.

        1. I noticed that too. Almost poetic he ended up in the same tv shot as Alonso and Perez finished. Hopefully Perez will keep up these level of performances, a few more solid points finishes over the next few races would be great to see! It’s gonna be tough considering how close the midfield is.

        2. Past, present and future. Massa, Alonso, Perez.

      4. I agree that Massa’s performance was abysmal, let’s not forget that at one stage a Caterham was pulling away from him. But to base your hiring procedure on the performance of one driver in one race is not the answer. Sauber almost certainly went for a full wet set up already in qualifying (in the speed traps, Perez was THE fastest car in Melborne quali, and only the 15th fastest in Malaysia quali).
        We know Ferrari’s mantra is that “Ferrari must win” and for that to happen they need the best drivers. My bet is nothing will happen until Kubitza gets behind the wheel again.

        1. It’s not one race, Perez impressed last year on several occasions (his first race, and e.g. Monaco until his accident). And Massa has been struggling for some time. There is something not working with Massa and Ferrari. I think Massa himself would have a better chance to shine in some other team to rebuild his reputation.

          There is a negative cloud around him at Ferrari and regardless of his abilities I can’t really see a future for Massa there anymore. Unless he magically starts beating Alonso very soon.

          1. What makes everyone think Alonso will tolerate Perez in the sister Ferrari, when he can barely beat Perez in a Sauber? ;)

    3. Karthikeyan was in fourth on merit, and had every right to hold his line against Button. The speed of their respective cars has no bearing on that.

      I cannot agree with this sentiment. NK is an experienced driver, well aware of the pace of the two McLarens (front row lockout) while his own car was dead last, nearly didnt qualify. While technically speaking, NK had the right to hold his line, he had a rubbish entry into that corner, then corrected and turned in. A smart racing driver would have not risked a puncture to prevent an impossible result, but NK did.

      Then, later on in the race, while being lapped he ran what he must now be thinking is a Ferrari into Seb’s rear tyre, causing a puncture/retirement. He was being LAPPED and should have done all he could to allow the car actually racing to hold its line. Rubbish, Rubbish, Rubbish. I was disgusted. He is driving like a child who, just being given his first go kart, decides to take it for a spin in the hallways of his school.

      1. You’re argument is that it is hopeless so he should just give the place up. If you aren’t willing to race for position then you are no longer a racing driver. Another deluge could have been just around the corner, that could have given HRT a better chance to keep pace, or the race could have stopped and (half) points awarded. In this situation (even more than usual) it is NK’s responsibility to stay ahead of as many other cars as he can for as long as he can.

        1. Also, the fact that McLaren had a front row lock-out demonstrates that they had their cars set-up fro dry conditions. At that point in the race NK has no idea how bad the McLarens might be in the wet.

        2. My argument is that he shouldnt fight to win a corner he’s already lost. NK is experienced enough to know better. Of course Button blames himself for locking up the rears, but NK outbraked himself into that corner as well and was well off the apex when he corrected into the path of Button. I’m not saying its NK’s fault, I am saying he could drive alot more intelligently, as an HRT in the middle of a pack of actual formula cars.

          1. He was clearly in front with the right to the corner. How had he lost it already?

            1. He lost it under braking, technically speaking. When correcting is when they made contact.

            2. I can’t agree. For me he didn’t do anything wrong. I am a big fan of Jenson but it was clearly his mistake. He over braked that corner and went straight into NK. He wasn’t defending the position he was just taking his line.

          2. @d3v0

            My argument is that he shouldnt fight to win a corner he’s already lost.

            I don’t agree he had lost the corner. It was wet, drivers were taking different lines through several corners to find the grip, including turn eight.

            For me the clincher is that Button accepted responsibility.

            1. I haven’t seen any statement that Jenson personally apologised to Narain. That’s poor, if the case. It must have been soul-destroying for HRT.

            2. Yes it was Button’s fault, but it was a racing incident. Drivers don’t need to apologise for racing.

            3. Button accepted responsibility because he was the pursuing car and there is a presumption of fault. He is also a reasonably prudent racing driver. I think that, watching that collision 100 times, that it was a clear racing incident, but to me NK could have been smarter when he knew there was a Mclaren behind him, and had already missed his turn in point.

            4. @d3v0 How does Narain carry equal responsibility if Button drives into the back of him?

        3. @DVC “If you aren’t willing to race for position then you are no longer a racing driver.” I don’t think invoking Ayrton Senna helps justify NK’s sloppy breaking and cornering while being lapped… Button deserves credit for owning up to the collision and the race result; it had to be a disappointing race for a great driver.

          1. I made the statement in reference to the incident with Button not Vettel. Against Button NK was in front in the race. d3v0 suggested that NK shouldn’t have even tried to hold the place.

            1. @DVC
              Apparently Nigel Mansell agrees with me: but nevermind that, hes wrong, even though hes a world champion – right?


              “I thought it was a 50-50 call. When a car is that slow and you know you have faster cars around you, you have to pay attention and he should have given way.”

            2. @d3v0: We can play duelling experts if you like. Jenson Button is also a former World Champion. He was actually involved in the incident and he claims responsibility. Bit hard to top that.

            3. Well, not necessarily. I think Jenson was being gracious – he could have said it was 50/50, as he probably thought, and as our Nige thought too – and chose not to say that to the press. I think we both know Jenson figured that HRT should have given way, regardless of racing for position, for exactly the reasons Mansell said.

            4. You’d rather assume that Button wasn’t being honest!?

      2. As frustrated as I was with HRT, Button did admit to locking his rears right before he collided with NK – so a disappointing result on Button’s end. As for Vettel, he could’ve take a little more care in lapping back markers. Given the lack of NK’s racing experience (relatively), Vettel should’ve taken into account the likelihood NK making a mistake. I guess Vettel was also trying to get better traction out of the corner by using as much of the track as possible. Nevertheless, as a top flight driver you need to take into account the possibilities of back markers stuffing things up – which, in a majority of the time, is why they are back markers.

      3. @d3v0 That is absolute and utter balderdash. NK had and has the same rights to race as any other driver. Should Alonso have let Perez past because he was so much faster?

        In the indecent with Button he is in the clear technically and morally, and even Button admits that.

        And in the Vettel incident, he’s been penalized, but that doesn’t make it any more than a mistake on his part. And if you didn’t notice he wasn’t the only one to do a stupid mistake.

        1. Comparing Perez and Alonso is not applicable to Karthikeyan and Button/Vettel….

          What I am saying is NK drove stupidly to try and outbrake Jenson into that corner. Jenson made a mistake, to be sure – but I am very much opposed to the fact that a drive has every right in the world to make his car a damned mobile chicane in the spirit of “racing” when his car is slower than the GP2 cars.

          As for Vettel, it was just more stupid from NK and I am sick of it.

          1. How is it slower than a GP2 car? From the quali times I’ve seen the HRT is 2 to 3 seconds faster.

            And why is the Perez Alonso comparison not applicable? Both were much faster than the car they were catching.

            1. Define “much faster” because to me, a car that barely made it into the 107% rule to the pole car – and two cars which were 0.1s off in qualifying are very different comparisons.

              The GP2 comparison is based on last year, and youre right the HRT is a few seconds faster in Quali – with DRS.

            2. and two cars which were 0.1s off in qualifying are very different comparisons

              There was a more than 0.1 second a lap disparity in lap times at that point in the race, so your argument makes little sense to me.

              And the HRT’s fastest lap time on a not fully dry track during the race was faster than a GP2 car- this means it was with no DRS (or at least not for more than a few hundred metres).

          2. AJ (@ascar2000us)
            26th March 2012, 4:56

            how on earth did you come up with the notion that NK tried to out-brake JB into that corner. Sure he made a mistake going into that corner, so did JB. it was failure or impatience on Jenson’s part that caused the damage. NK had every right to put he car where it was as he was ahead and not side by side.

            Regarding Vettel, NK was to blame. He seems to be a bit reluctant to obey Blue flags. and TV footage shows that NK moved right as SV was passing which was the reason why he was penalized.

            1. I agree Jenson was impatient. My argument rests on the fact that NK should, as a reasonably prudent racing driver, be aware that a much much faster car was coming up behind him – RACING FOR POSITION OR NO – and defended accordingly. He was clumsy and there was an accident. Jenson as certainly partially to blame – I AM NOT DISPUTING THAT!

          3. but I am very much opposed to the fact that a drive has every right in the world to make his car a damned mobile chicane in the spirit of “racing” […]


      4. I don’t think NK is aware of what is happening around him. NK can barely concentrate on what he himself is doing. He is just an annoying random mobile patch of bad luck.

        1. This is basically my sole point of posting what has become an incendiary comment. A reasonably prudent formula 1 driver wouldnt have gotten tangled up in accidents with world champions in cars 4s faster per lap.

          1. It was so obviously Button’s fault, it pains me to read this thread. The guy admitted he got the braking wrong on the BBC coverage for Pete’s sake. He hit the side of NK who had actually got up to that position on merit. May I remind you, it is a race.

            1. Sure, so any driver who through fortuitous circumstances, with 40-something laps to go ends up in front of a world champion in the fastest car – can turn a blind eye when they attempt to overtake simply because they know it wont be their fault if theres an accident? And by all rights, they ought to be there?

              Karthikeyan pulled a clumsy version of Massa on Hamilton in Turn 6 in India last year. Shame is, NK was fantastic in that particular race.

          2. yeah how dare NK recover and cause Button lock up and crash into the back of him!

      5. wasn’t it vettel who turned onto the racing line too early in hungary and collided into webber? :P
        Not saying NKs car is as fast as webbers was, but making a point. Yes as a backmarker he shouldve moved out, but it was a wet race and once cant really drive on the kerbs. also, vettel had loads of grip and he couldve stayed off the line a little while longer, there was no need to squeeze him just cause he was a backmarker. Also from vettels and horners comments where vettel calls NK a cucumber and horner said he has brain fade, it kinda tells how much they respect the backmarkers. I wouldve suggested names for vettel for his hungary driving, but i cant swear here. :D

        1. AJ (@ascar2000us)
          26th March 2012, 7:29

          you probably are referring to Turkey and opinions are still divided on that…
          lets see.. you are may be a fan of alonso/hamilton who could not stomach Vettel’s double WC and would jump at every small opportunity to belittle his accomplishments…
          besides when the incident occurred the track was dry, NK was on the kerbs and Vettel was off the racing line. NK came back onto the racing line and hit SV….
          It was rude of Vettel/Horner to call NK names…. but NK’s penalty was justified and definitely not harsh

          1. Ahh turkey! yes i am a hamilton fan, but i do respect a proper driver. Vettel worked hard and drove the car like crazy and won the championships and he deserved them.
            Nothing I said suggests that that i am trying to belittle his accomplishments. Dunno where you got that idea from.
            Anyway, I never said NK was faultless, i was just shocked to hear their rude comments. Thats not how professional drivers behave towards other drivers. So what if he is a backmarker? If he is so stupid then how did he end up here? I am also not accepting that vettel was faultless. vettel was too eager to swoop back in.

            1. AJ (@ascar2000us)
              26th March 2012, 9:45

              NK is in F1 cause of TATA-his sponsor not because of talent. He has overused the tag “Fastest Indian”.
              I am from India, but I’d rather prefer no Indian driver on the grid than have the joke that is NK. I have seen Chandok thrash him comfortably in Karts. Due credit to NK for playing his part in making the sport popular in the country, but that does not merit an F1 race seat. Chandok is a better driver and am sure all on this forum agree.
              Chandok is likable and is a good ambassador for the sport.

              I am not against pay drivers as there are only 4-5 teams that can afford to pay their drivers. One should earn a sponsor on merit. Look at Perez or Maldanado. HIgh time TATA ditched NK for a young Indian driver.

      6. With all due respect, I think this is all we DO NOT want to see in Formula 1, drivers letting others passing by. If Formula 1 came down to this, letting others drivers to overtake, I’m done with it: then F1 became something else but not RACING anymore.

        1. WOW, you just described DRS, and you still watch?

          1. With DRS, the attacking driver has to be fairly close to the defending driver.

      7. I think Button made it clear that it was his fault. NK should not vanish because JB and LH were behind him just because he drives a “kart”.

      8. Karthikayen imho is one off the worst drivers in the last 10 years in the grid.
        It’s not the slow pace of HRT’s car to blame. To support that i didn’t see De la Rosa causing any trouble do anyone yesterday. Also after the restart his times where constantly slower by 3-4 seconds to his teammate.
        Beside Button and Vettel he also delayed allot of other cars including the leading duo and mostly Perez.
        Perez lost a hole second in the lap they passed karthikeyan.
        Karthikayen is the epitome off the term pay driver, he is not a driver who deserves an f1 seat in contrast to Glock or Kovalainen which struggle with a small Team.
        The only points he ever scored was in the 2005 US gp taking 4th out of 6 cars running in this race. He was always outpaced by any teammate he ever had (nakajima, monteiro etc) . Even in 2006 when he was as a test driver in Williams he was there thanks to he’s sponsor TATA.
        All in All i would prefer seeing another Indian driver in his spot like karun chandhok which i consider i much better driver.
        Sadly Eddie Jordan was missing from the BBC forum, his opinion on Karthikeyan would be very interesting since he was back then (2005) driving for his team.

      9. Button accepted fault because it was his fault. His car stepped out when he got on the power and you can even see the rear slide out. This sentiment toward the HRT driver and team as a whole is getting tiresome. They are going to be around for some time, and if people who claim to be true F1 fans were such, they wouldn’t be wishing to see a fresh new team leave (any of them). Caterham still seems to be easily distant from the mid guys, but yet when they do something wrong in years passed to top tier drivers no one complains about them.

        I’m a massive Jenson fan, but even I could see how it was his fault. I think Button did a great job of saying “yeah it was my fault” compared to how Sebastian went about it.

        1. @magillagorilla
          Has nothing to do with HRT other than the relative pace of the cars, I dont want HRT gone… I think NK should be a bit more aware to have two similar incidents with the drivers first and second in the championship standings. Once when “racing” for “position,” (see above Mansell quote) and the second time when getting lapped.

          1. I couldn’t care less about the Mansell quote, we’re talking about a driver that had over eager issues himself. Watch the video and you’ll see the backend of Button’s car break loose due to getting back on the power in wet conditions. Narain gave room and didn’t expect for button to snap loose. If Button really believed it wasn’t his fault he’d say so like he did in Canada with Lewis.

    4. Ferrari are happy for Massa to be their live in-race testing driver, and he is happy to do so too.
      They will not replace him at all as he is doing HIS job to the letter.
      Just look at Fernando’s comment about it that “they are the best team pairing”.
      One test, one drives.
      As simple as that :)

      1. Do you think Alonso would settle down and perform like he is if he was paired with someone that would be possible in taking wins from him?

        Don’t get me wrong, I think Alonso is an awesome driver and would likely be running rings around 90% of his team mates. But some people perform at their best when there is no competition within their camp and it’s them against the world.

        Do people think Alonso is performing well as he is not under any pressure from his team mate – hence it’s a good pairing? If that is the case then it serves Ferrari to keep Massa in order to keep Alonso performing. But it will be a detriment to their WCC chances.

      2. They will not replace him at all as he is doing HIS job to the letter.

        Massa has already his contract with Ferrari just because Kubica is not available.

        Do you think Kubica is not strong enough to challenge Alonso?

        1. not at the moment. even if he recovers enough to start a race, its not guaranteed he will reach the level he was before his accident. looks like Ferrari might go for that though, with Alonso as the clear no 1.

      3. As much as I find delight in seeing Ferrari struggle, I can’t help thinking that Alonso could gain a lot from having a team-mate, who was able to take points from Alonso’s competitors, and take points from the other teams in the constructors competition.

    5. “Massa denies pressure”, at least in public..

      1. I deny being bald. Doesnt mean I have any hair.

        1. So you shaved your head then. What’s your point?

    6. Not cool, Mr. Whitmarsh. A very Dennis-like moment to openly wag a finger at other driver’s performance. I think he should be thinking of how his own drivers, and his team, managed to turn a front row lock out in a comparative dog’s breakfast. As soon as I heard Button utter the infamous words “no grip” I had to cringe. The bad old days of 2010 again? That said, Massa was shockingly bad, again.

      1. Well, considering the disparity between Perez and Massa’s performance, I think it’s very easy to wage in and speculate on this one.

        Mclaren had bad luck with Button, it wasn’t his race. As for Hamilton, well, He did respectably given the circumstances.

      2. It was a bit cheeky by Whitmarsh as it has nothing to do with McLaren. It’s the kind of comment you can make when you have the luxury of having a fast car. Ferrari have one win with a car that’s off the pace while McLaren have one win with the fastest car on the grid. They need the wins while the car is quick since it might not be come the end of the year.

      3. Wit could not praise Jenson this time so…

      4. Massa has been under pressure for 2 years now, if not more. Everyone knows that if Massa is not dropped before the end of the year, it will be shocking even to Ferrari fans. Australia and especially Malaysia (with “new chassis”), is further proof of Massa’s end game. Contracts do not mean anything with the type of performance, even Kimi’s WDC/WCC didn’t allow him to finish out his contract. Ferrari will find a way around it.

        As for Martin, it is simple and not shocking. McLaren and Ferrari are major enemies. You cannot tell me you did not see this coming or thinking it yourself? Whitmarsh’s comments are more of a crack at a rival, merely to get into a driver’s head or team leader’s minds. Mind games…its apart of the sport or any sport for that matter. If you are not in the minds of the competition then you are not in the competition to begin with.

    7. Massa has been in denial for some time.

      1. I agree. I like him very much but he doesn’t belong to F1, as he clearly never recovered from the 2 famous events that affected it him so badly… I admire Ferrari for their loyalty but it actually doesn’t put them in a very good light either.

        1. Very well said!

    8. Good point on having Massa as test driver but I dont believe he would accept that. The time of Massa in f1 is about to end in a sad way…i predict 3/4 yrs after this in some team …if he is lucky in the middle of the pack then,,….Nascar..whhy not:)

    9. I agree with COTD. Why Button didn’t get penalty by hitting Narain?

      1. I agree, if he got one for hitting Vettel, then surely Button should have got one as well.

      2. Because Narain didn’t suffer because of Button hitting him. The stewards do not give penalties based on actual incidents. But based on the outcomes of the incidents. It is wrong of stewards to do so I feel, but they do so anyways

        1. At this same race last year, Alonso got penalized for hitting Hamilton, and Hamilton was not harmed. By the same apparent logic, Button should have been called up. So its actually more arbitrary than that.

          Btw, two races running and not even an investigation for Hamilton.

          1. Haha even as a Hamilton fan, I still found your last sentence pretty funny

          2. Stewards consistency is inexistent. However, it seems that some drivers are less likely to get penalized than others… “Animal Farm” anyone?

    10. If I was Ferarri I would have Perez testing my car in the mid season test & replace Massa by him from the Spanish GP.

      1. A swap before the Chinese GP is unlikely, as it’s too early. After all, Perez was amazing but this could well have been a one-off.
        Pro: Perez might still be in the title hunt. If the car at his disposal is actually better, he’s only spent two races in an inferior car, and has been lucky/good enough to score solid points with it.
        Con: Two races are too little to judge a driver, never mind two. Massa may be a race away from returning to his 2008 form, and Perez may just have been lucky.

        It is a curious scenario, which I’d like to see. Massa’s my favourite driver, so I’d be sad to see him go, but even I reckon he’s no longer what he was. Sauber is also my second-favourite team, so it would be the best place for him to go. He’d probably not be treated as a number two, so could have good results. Perez could put up amazing performances and I’d certainly cheer for him. I think both teams/drivers could have advantages from a swap.

    11. Pretty cheap shot from Whitmarsh. He’s not very good at mind games, is he?

      1. I dont think he plays mind games, he says what he sees to be honest.

    12. Sadly Massa’s time at Ferrari is fast coming to an end. A change of chassis made no difference and Perez will take his Ferrari seat.

      After a performance like that I wonder if Alonso will try and veto Perez as his Ferrari team mate?

      1. Surely Nando would only do such a thing if Perez had beaten him? As it stands, having him as a team-mate would more likely aid his charge for the Drivers Championship & push Ferrari towards the Constructors. They’ve got no hope for the latter if he’s the sole capable driver, vs. McLaren & RBR who are fielding two competent drivers.

        It’s a Team sport, even Alonso knows that… He just needs to make sure he’s number one!

      2. Why would Alonso do such a thing? He’s never done anything like it before.

        If you look objectively without your fan-tinted-glasses on at all the events you will see that Lewis, their team and Alonso were equally to blame for the relationship breakdown in 2007. Thinking the same thing will happen again without a doubt is just ignorant.

        Everyone keeps saying how Lewis is learning from previous years and wont preform so badly again and so on, yet god forbid Alonso from also learning from past mistakes.

    13. “He came up to Karthikeyan who seemed to have brain fade …,” Vettel’s Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told reporters.

      That’s just rude. Not like it wasn’t vettel’s fault at all to jump back on the racing line so quickly.

    14. This is the most support NK will ever get in this forum, by accidentally hitting front-running driver trying to lap him. Now, replace ‘accidentally’ with ‘repeatedly’ and ‘front-running driver’ with ‘Vettel’

    15. So, Massa’s not feeling the pressure, eh?

      Maybe he should feel it a little, and at least admit that he’s not at his best, and that he needs to dig a little deeper and find something a little extra. Just look at Hamilton – he was all over the shop last year, but his resurgence ultimately co-incided with his admission that all was not well. I think Massa needs to do the same: confront his issues, rather than ignoring them in the (vain) hope that they’ll go away.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Sadly that does not look like it will happen any time soon. It looks like Ferrari must be already considering a replacement, I know I would. That said, Massa still has some time, not a lot, but if he can put in a couple of decent performances, maybe 6th place or 5th place finish in the next few races it should be enough to stay secure till the end of the year. Massa should confront whatever his issues are or maybe he already is no one knows.

        1. Accoring to a Polish site, Massa is guaranteed ten races with the team. But I can’t verify that, because I heard it second-hand, and no source was given.

          1. It makes some sense. Throw in one more race and you have all the races before the summer break. That would be the best time for Perez to step in.

    16. Happy birthday to @alianora-la-canta, @Fallon, Henrique Pinheiro and Jake, I hope all of you have a really nice day today

      1. Thank you very much! I’m having a great day so far :)

    17. And what do you guys expect Massa to say? He is NOT saying that he he isn’t under pressure. He is saying that the pressure doesn’t come from other drivers’ performance, but from his own trouble undertanding the car. He is saying he is under A LOT of pressure, but from himself. Come on, guys.

    18. Massa´s days are numbered! Now more than ever I feel he won´t finish this season with the Scuderia… And it´s about time!!!

    19. hey does anyone else reckon that Rob Smedly is part of the problem for massa? i mean hes patronising and talks to massa like hes a little boy.. if i were an aspiring champion i wouldnt appreciate the “good boy” comments and really probably undermines a lack of confidence…

      probably if massa went to another team with a more professional, respectful and mature approach hell do really well. this smedly / massa thing is past used by date…

      1. I think Rob Smedley is the reason Massa ever became a contender in the first place. The amount of “advice” Smedley has to give Massa over the radio is mind boggling. I think that if Smedley is losing his cool, it’s because he’s stuck with a driver who isn’t improving and can’t get the results. That’s got to be frustrating for a guy who wants to win.

      2. Felipe initially had Gabrielle delli Colli as his Ferrari race engineer. As Felipe said in a later interview, “He was very professional, but there was no chemistry”. Then Ferrari transferred Rob from the test team into his current position and Felipe’s performances improved a lot. The way Rob talks to Felipe in 2012 is the way he did so in 2006 when they first teamed up. Different people get motivated through different sorts of talk.

    20. Deny it all you want Felipe…the pressure is very much on you and it is mounting fast!

    21. sid_prasher (@)
      26th March 2012, 9:15

      Well it is an obvious thing to say from Massa. He said he wants to concentrate on his own performance. There is no point in saying – I am in trouble and I might get dropped.

      He was running 8th till he started having issues with tyre wear and Ferrari have said that they want to understand why this problem is more severe for Massa – probably due to the lack of balance of the car.
      I think everyone should atleast wait till Ferrari bring some updates – maybe in China or latest by Spain.

    22. Perez Sponsor is mouth watering look what Sauber was able to build and how Perez has got. But if he gets to good Alonso won’t have him to live Hamilton story again. Massa should be happy Perez does good and he keeps his number two place.

    23. Massa’s comments on external pressure remind me of Homer Simpson chasing an increasingly dishevelled suckling pig down the road chanting “It’s still good, It’s still good!”

    24. Massa better say nice things about Sauber’s performance, because the way things are going, he is going to be driving for them sooner than he thinks! Anybody that saw Sergio Perez’s drive at Sepang could not help but be impressed, not just by his speed but by the maturity he showed in not only keeping pace with Alonso, but being the only man to offer any threat to the Spaniard. Not even the much hyped Lewis Hamilton could keep up with the Mexican, who lets face it, was driving a Sauber! For me, it was one of the most impressive drives from any driver in recent memory.
      How can the big shots at Scuderia look at this young man, driving for a team basically run off the back of Ferrari, without considering him as a replacement for the lacklustre Felipe Massa. Sepang was a disaster for Felipe, with nowhere to hide and no excuses to offer. A new chassis yet he was nearly lapped by Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard crossed the line to win the race. Every race driver’s nightmare, an arse kicking of huge importance and to add insult to injury, your team mate wins!
      Even Bruno Senna, another disappointment in Australia, had a great drive for Williams to claim sixth. Felipe, poor Felipe, was the one man who lets face it, looked like a condemned man driving the car.

      1. While I don’t entirely disagree, I think that a wet weather race that saw FA take an unlikely win (by all accounts as to where the Ferrari really stands these days amongst the teams), and SP challenging and taking a strong second place, is perhaps not the day to be hammering the final nail in FM’s coffin.

        FA and SP had great drives yesterday…anyone willing to bet they are now the likely winner and second place finisher in the next wet race, let alone dry one?

        I know yesterday doesn’t help FM’s cause, but at the same time we don’t even know if there is one iota of truth to the concept that he might be replaced mid-season. Perhaps for 2013. Do we even know if in fact Ferrari wants a better challenger for FA? They have certainly shown in the past that they are perfectly happy having the team revolve around one driver. Why does everyone think Ferrari wants FA challenged more? Not saying I myself wouldn’t like to see it and that we the viewing audience don’t deserve it…just saying Ferrari has a history of being about one driver. So while Ferrari may sound like they are disappointed with FM, it might just be that…sound bytes to make themselves look like they are all about racing at Ferrari…MS/Ferrari showed that they can also be all about one driver to the extreme.

    25. To an extent that is true. Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine were both seen by Ferrari as ‘number two’ drivers to Michael Schumacher, however, there is one big difference. I am struggling to think of two back to back grands prix inwhich either Barrichello or Irvine were so poor whilst driving for Ferrari. Were so poor that its almost cringeworthy, embarrassing beyond belief. In the main, both men scored points, and on occasion, wins. You are right about Ferrari tending to put all their eggs in one basket, and there is no doubt that they favour Fernando over Felipe. However, for them to win the Constructors’ Championship they need ‘BOTH’ drivers performing and scoring good points race in race out. That is not happening with Massa at the moment, and make no mistake, the Constructors’ title is pure gold to these teams every bit as much as the Driver’s Championship.

      1. Fair comment…WCC points to me might be the only reason they might be thinking of a better driver than FM…that said, I would still like to give FM the benefit of the doubt that this car just doesn’t suit him for now, and that they may yet find some solutions for him to do better…I’ll not go so far as to argue that they need to hang on to him for dear life, but I also think he deserves a little more time with a car that they themselves have admitted has given them more headaches than they had hoped for, and a new driver mid-season will also need time to adapt and shouldn’t be expected to hop in that thing and start bettering what FM will be doing with it in another 8 races, which to me should presumably be better results than we have seen so far from him.

        For now I say let’s excuse FM for Australia because it was the first race in anger for that car and he found it feeling foreign to him…let’s excuse him for Malaysia because it was a wet weather race and those are always going to make for a bit of a crapshoot…let’s give him the half a season that many are speculating he may only have left at Ferrari, and see where he is then…of course if the following races show that he just can’t seem to get liking this car, and FA is badly outdoing him, then maybe they have to look at options, but in general I don’t believe FM suddenly sucks as an F1 driver, and I’m not yet convinced that his head injury still haunts him and has changed him as a driver. He seems as eager and anxious as ever to prove his worth…ie. the fight seems to be in him. The car just doesn’t seem under him. And drivers get coloured by their car.

    26. Does anyone else think Grosjean’s attitude about the collisions he’s been in is pretty arrogant? Both have been pretty clearly his fault and he’s been very quick to lay blame with others.

    27. The odds are stacked against Felipe though, I agree his performances are woeful but the team are treating him as a second driver to Alonso no matter how good or bad he’s driving (hockenheim 2010 which would have hugely dented Felipes confidence in ferrari) and no doubt the car is set-up to suit Fernando more than Massa. From the day he was brought into Ferrari his role was to replace Barrichellos role as the Second driver

    28. As i’m reading this thread,i see that no one is considering does Sauber wanna let SP leave,even if they are in great relationship with Ferrari.I guess they have a say in this to.Does FA want a strong challenger in the team,i think he can’t really handle a strong competitor.We all know how 2007 vent.

    29. Whitmarsh is just taking the opportunity to poke a bit of fun and embrace a wonderful race from Perez.

      I do think we should get too carried away. It would be foolish of Ferrari to plonk Perez in the seat based on one outstanding result. Let’s see how the rest of the season goes. This game is all about consistency. Ferrari are consistent, Alonso is great, Massa not so much. However, they need to ensure that their consistency is competitive as a team.

    30. To be fair to Massa there are very few drivers capable of driving a bad/average car well. Obviously Alonso and i’d add Vettel and Hamilton. Maybe Raikkonen and of course MS mk 1 was brilliant at it, but its not a deep pool and these are all WDC.

      Massa for very sure cannot drive a bad car well, in fact it seems to unsettle him more. All drivers reach a tipping point where talent and desire lose out to age and lifestyle. Add to this Massa losing a WDC on the last corner of the last race, a near fatal accident AND having Alonso, famous for his chew and spit out style with no 2 drivers, as a team mate – and its not surprising the poor old boy is struggling.

    31. guys its only been 2 races of the 2012 F1 season, i wouldn’t jump to many conclusions about Massa losing his seat and Perez gaining it, although after the race Massa might be under pressure about the results but there are still many races for him to redeem himself, from what we’ve seen from malaysia anything can happen in the F1 :)

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