It had been evident for some time that
Ferrari was looking elsewhere for 2014,
but confirmation that Felipe Massa would
not be returning for a 10th season with
the Prancing Horse was still jarring, if only
because it’s hard to imagine the popular
Brazilian outside of F1’s most famous team.
After all, he’s spent eight seasons racing for
the Scuderia and one (’03) as test driver.
He faced the questions that followed
his departure announcement with the
same patience he has shown in compulsory
deferrals to teammates over the years.
“I have shown enough what I can do,”
said Massa. “I have shown how well I
work with the team, but I have shown
enough to the other teams as well.”
Massa certainly has a wealth of
experience to offer, with the prospect of
making his 200th grand prix start next
year. On the other hand, since the accident
in qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian
Grand Prix that nearly claimed his life, he
has never recaptured the form that took
him so close to a world championship in
’08 (see graph). Yet Massa made clear he
has no intentions of slipping quietly away.
“I think I am quite optimistic that we
will find a good solution. I want a car that
can give me some good possibilities to
fight,” he declared. “If I don’t have that,
I am not interested.”
Kimi Raikkonen’s effective work at Lotus
with technical director James Allison –
After nine seasons of loyal service,
Felipe Massa’s stint as a Ferrari F1 driver
will soon be at an end. So now what?
All the latest Formula 1 news at
Lots of flying in store for F1 boys in 2014 with
22 races on the official calendar, including the
inaugural GP of America in New Jersey on June 1,
the first Russian GP and the return of Mexico.
Doubts remain over Korea’s April 27 slot.
now on Ferrari’s technical staff – helped
alleviate lingering concerns over the
Finn’s technical leadership during his first
stint with Ferrari. Still, for a team
increasingly frustrated by Sebastian
Vettel’s supremacy, the prospect of
throwing a pair of world champions at the
Red Bull colossus likely was irresistible.
Alonso’s assertion ahead of the
Japanese GP that Massa was as quick as
Raikkonen may have been more the first
shot of a psychological war with a new
teammate than an effort to close the books
amicably on an old one, but it reflected
the widespread respect for Massa’s
talent – and the sense that if anyone in
F1 deserves a break, it’s Felipe.