Massa, 6 years Ferrari’s number 2.

25 Sep

Since the horrific crash in 2009 Felipe Massa has constantly been rumored to being replaced with other drivers with Sutil, Kubica and Perez being heavily linked to the seat. Pre 2009 though the second Ferrari seat was cemented as his and if it weren’t for the crash I believe we could still be seeing him challenge for victories and challenging Alonso on a regular occurrence. Lets look at the stats that matter first:

Points a race pre crash: 2.78

Points a race after crash (by pre 2010 points system): 2.75

Now although that looks very close if we exclude Massa’s years at Sauber where he picked up 27 points in 53 races (0.5 points a race) the results are different

Points a race pre crash just with Ferrari: 4.72

That result is much higher and almost double his post crash points a race and having not won a GP since the 2008 Brazilian GP where he took the drivers championship for 20 seconds it is looking more and more likely each year that there will have to be a replacement for him.

This year has been extremely pitiful for Massa no podiums and a season best of 5th which he’s achieved on 4 occasions, one reason for this is that whenever he’s looking fast something goes wrong, take Monaco where Hamilton ruined his race or the recent Monza where it was Webber or at Silverstone where he lost 4th at the penultimate corner to Hamilton or at Hungary where he spun off and drove the remainder with half a rear wing or Canada where he lost his front wing or Belgium where he had a puncture on his out lap or … you get the idea. This run of bad luck is pretty spectacular when you look through his whole season and see that of our so far 13 races more than 8 have been ruined by problems, and in some of those he was looking like he would get on the podium.

The Future:

Ferrari can’t stay patient with Massa for long but for next year he should be safe and if the bad luck disappears and the Ferrari is competitive he could prove that he deserves a place with the Scuderia but if he doesn’t then next year should be his last and he could be replaced with any number of drivers: Robert Kubica, who the Ferrari management will be keeping tabs on next season to see how he recovers from a major crash; Sergio Perez, who has potential piled on top of him and is set to be a big thing in the future but will probably need another season at Sauber before he can join Ferrari; or Jules Bianchi the young Ferrari reserve driver who should be able to break into F1 in the next couple of years and maybe even drivers like Jenson Button or Adrian Sutil who have been linked with the spot in the past.

If I was to make a guess I’d imagine the most likely of those is Perez as from what we’ve seen of him so far he’s looked like he could fill a Massa sized gap another reason this is likely is that Massa and Perez could swap and I think Sauber is one of the few teams who Massa would consider joining if he gets dropped.

But finally all this is doom and gloom for Massa, he’s had highs as well you know, being team mate to Schumacher and being able to keep up with him, coming so close to winning the 2008 season when he was still considered the no. 2 and for being such a good sport who’s a nice guy to talk to and willing to do things for the team few others would do, I mean, could you see either Hamilton or Button conceding a victory to their team mate, and maybe it’s that that makes his a driver who is admired by thousands.

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