Felipe Massa. At one moment he can be lightning fast with excellent car control and a hunger to win. At another moment he exudes amateurism, has on track panic attacks and comes across like he couldn’t drive a shopping trolley.
He is a conundrum. An unknowable being. What will he do next? Where will he spin next? Will he ever finish or qualify in front of Alonso again?
I have tried to pin point the moment where Felipe become floppy, where Massa became messy. Many people say it was when a coil flew at him and almost killed him in 2009. Some say it was when the now infamous words “Fernando is faster than you” were uttered. I, however, think it was that last corner at Brazil in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton won the title at the last race. Imagine the devastation at learning you didn’t win after all, the crushing disappointment of losing the Championship on the last corner of the last race of the season. Not only that, but at his home race in front of those adoring Brazilian fans.
This year he has been out-qualified by Fernando 10-0. There is something fundamentally wrong with Felipe. Hell, even Webber and Button have beaten their team mates on occasion! There is no question that Alonso is a dominating team mate and only Lewis has come close to beating him in the same team. There was that moment already mentioned at Hockenheim last year and then in China in 2010 when Alonso stuck his Ferrari in front of Massa’s car as they both came into the pits at the same time. Brutal. Damaging.
Felipe gave up.
I don’t see the improvement that people seem to mention from time to time of Massa’s form. At least in parts of 2010 Felipe was close to Fernando; he beat him in qualifying a couple of times and even finished in front of him on occasion. This year Alonso has crushed him and has beaten him in qualifying by an average of 0.6 seconds – in the same car!
Massa had 97 points this time last year, now he has 62.
There’s something not quite right with Felipe.
Disagree? Read The Return of Massa?