The Felipe Massa Problem

27 Aug

Since 2006 Felipe Massa has been a devoted servant to the Scuderia. But ever since the crash 3 years ago Felipe has struggled to pick up points, and every season since the crash there have been calls for Massa to be replaced. Here I shall look at the possible replacements:

Felipe Massa

  • May not have had a great start to the season but if he keeps up his current form then it’s likely that Ferrari will retain him for another season.
  • Negatives: it shows that Ferrari aren’t willing to change and could jeopardize their chances of a constructors championship next year.
  • Positives: already knows the team and is currently reviving his season.
  • Chances: There’s every chance Massa could get a 8th season with the Scuderia.

Sergio Perez

  • One of the stars of the season with two podiums, despite driving for Sauber.
  • Negatives: Luca di Montezemalo (Ferrari’s owner) has already come out and said that Sergio is too inexperienced.
  • Positives: there is definitely world champion potential there, Sergio is a member of the Ferrari drivers academy so he’s had experience with the team, he’s light on his tyres and Sauber get on well with Ferrari (they’ve done deals before and Sauber use Ferrari engines) and so are more likely to accept a Ferrari deal as apposed to a different team.
  • Chances: despite Montezemalo’s comment Sergio should be the favourite.

Jules Bianchi

  • Jules has been spending this season as the third driver for Force India and despite his inexperience has performed well.
  • Negatives: If Perez is classed as too inexperienced then Bianchi will be too (he hasn’t started a GP).
  • Positives: A member of the Ferrari drivers academy, he’s young and burtsting with potential and he has had some F1 car experience this year with Force India.
  • Chances: Unlikely but could have a chance in a few years time.

Sebastian Vettel

  • Reports have said the Vettel’s signed a contract with the team for 2014, but Red Bull are denying it.
  • Negatives: Although there’s no previous history between Alonso and Vettel it’s unlikely they could work together at Ferrari, a team famous for having a designated number two driver.
  • Positives: If the car’s up to scratch they’d be unstoppable and would dominate like Senna and Prost did at McLaren, sadly they’d probably get on like Senna and Prost did.
  • Chances: If Vettel is going to sign for Ferrari it will be as a replacement for Alonso when Fernando retires.

Nico Hulkenburg

  • Despite having a year off Nico has been a star of the midfield and despite a slow start he’s now the better driver at Force India.
  • Negatives: Nico is much more likely to replace Schumacher at Mercedes, still inexperienced and he probably isn’t a future world champion.
  • Positives: Potentially a future race winner and the perfect number two for Vettel if Vettel joins Ferrari. A strong qualifier, qualified 4th in Valencia and Germany.
  • Chances: Should make it into the final shortlist but unlikely to make it into the team.

Robert Kubica

  • Despite not having driven a car since 2010 Robert has been making good progress to recover from his rally crash.
  • Negatives: Hasn’t driven an F1 car since 2010 and it;s unlikely Ferrari will take the risk after seeing how a big crash affected Massa.
  • Positives: Definitely use to be a championship winning driver and gets on well with Fernando Alonso.
  • Chances: Almost impossible.

Paul Di Resta

  • After a good start to the season in recent races the Scotsman has been out performed by his team mate.
  • Negatives: Unlikely to ever be a world champion and is questionable whether he’s good enough.
  • Positives: A consistent driver who would definitely fill the role of second driver to Fernando Alonso.
  • Chances: much more likely to drive for McLaren or Mercedes than Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton

  • After driving the car to beat for the first part of the season various problems have stopped Lewis from leading the championship.
  • Negatives: They may be trying to make it seem like Alonso and Hamilton now get on but it would be a poor decision to risk them together again, also Lewis is close to signing a new deal with McLaren and he’s been very inconsistent since he won the championship in 2008.
  • Positives: He’s a talented driver who could give Alonso competition for his number one seat.
  • Chances: It’s not going to happen.

Jenson Button

  • It’s not been a good season for Jenson and the press have already ruled him out of winning the championship this year.
  • Negatives: One of the grid’s worst qualifiers and is unlikely to be wanted by Ferrari’s management.
  • Positives: The best driver in changing weather conditions.
  • Chances: If all the other candidates break their legs then he may have a chance.
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