Date:Wednesday May 16 2012
Just how long will Ferrari's patience last with Felipe Massa?
Rumours have surrounded the Brazilian driver for the best part of a year, with the majority of the media and the paddock expecting Massa to be shown the door at Ferrari when his current contract expires at the end of the 2012 Formula One season.
But is his current form so bad that Ferrari might even be tempted to make a change before the season comes to an end? It's unlikely Fernando Alonso's permanent new team-mate will join until the 2013 season, which currently appears to be Felipe Massa's only saving grace.
But if the 31-year-old assumed he would be guaranteed the season to turn around his form, then a recent statement from the team may well have come as a surprise.
'In Montmelo [Spain], Felipe was very unlucky, both in the race and in qualifying, but everyone, he more than anyone, is expecting a change of gear starting right away with the Monaco Grand Prix, his second home race, given that he lives just a few hundred metres from what, as from next Sunday, will be transformed into the paddock for the sixth round of the 2012 championship.'
It has been clear since pre-season that the 2012 Ferrari has been a difficult car to get results out of, but the performances of Fernando Alonso have merely highlighted the severe gap between the two drivers racing abilities.
Alonso has got the most out of a 'poor' Ferrari, he has won one of the opening five races of the season and is level on points at the top of the F1 drivers championship, Massa has consistently failed to qualifying in the top ten and has secured just two-points from five races.
It's a far cry from the Felipe Massa of 2008 who won six races, finished on the podium ten times and narrowly missed out on clinching the F1 World title to Lewis Hamilton.
In 2009 he had six top ten finishes to his name and a third place finish at the German Grand Prix, but unfortunately he suffered his near fatal crash during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix and went on to miss the remainder of the season.
He of course made a wonderful recovery to get behind the wheel again in time for the following season, but since his return at the start of the 2010 campaign Massa has failed to win a race, he has finished second just twice in the 2010 Bahrain GP and 2010 German GP, while he also stood on the podium after finishing third in Australia, Italy and Korea [all in 2010].
In 2011 he failed to finish higher than fifth and finished the season in 6th place and during the opening five races of 2012 Massa has just one top ten finish, a ninth place in Bahrain.
His form clearly isn't good enough for Ferrari, but when will patience run dry?
Current Site Poll
Our current front page poll tips Sauber's Sergio Perez to become Fernando Alonso's team-mate at Ferrari in 2013.
The Mexican driver currently has 45% of the vote, with Force India's Paul di Resta taking 18% following a ringing endorsement from three-time champion Jackie Stewart.
9% believe Lewis Hamilton will make a surprise switch to Ferrari to team back up with Fernando Alonso, while just 1% believe Felipe Massa can turn it around.
There doesn't appear to be much backing for Robert Kubica or Mark Webber following the speculation linking them with the hot-seat, however 27% back 'Someone else' entirely, which could be Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg or Lotus test driver Jerome d'Ambrosio who have also been linked with replacing Massa.
The poll is still open, so make your prediction now!
Date:Wednesday May 16 2012
Blog: Australian GP Report (Monday March 27 2017)
2017 Australia GP - Race (Sunday March 26 2017)
2017 Australia GP - Qualifying (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP3 (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP2 (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP1 (Saturday March 25 2017)
More calls to ban the shark fins (Friday March 24 2017)
Renault call for engine budget cap (Thursday March 23 2017)
Blog: Melbourne Preview (Thursday March 23 2017)
McLaren would be winners if paired with Mercedes (Wednesday March 22 2017)
Mercedes to show true hand in Australia (Tuesday March 21 2017)
Who will win the opening race of 2017? (Tuesday March 21 2017)
European tracks are the heart of F1 fan base (Monday March 20 2017)
Lowe to become shareholder in Williams (Monday March 20 2017)
Renault can improve - Hopefully (Friday March 17 2017)
Red Bull can catch Mercedes, but not yet (Thursday March 16 2017)
McLaren looking shaky (Wednesday March 15 2017)
Surtees dies aged 83 (Tuesday March 14 2017)
F1 prediction competition returns for 2017 (Monday March 13 2017)
Ferrari end second test on top (Monday March 13 2017)
Alonso bigs up McLaren but lambasts Honda (Friday March 10 2017)
F1 ratings in UK collapse (Friday March 10 2017)
Mercedes sitting pretty on day two of second test (Thursday March 9 2017)
Canada sign new race deal with Formula One (Thursday March 9 2017)
Williams rule on first day of second test (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Brawn pushing for cash race for teams (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Bottas is my best teammate ever says Hamilton (Tuesday March 7 2017)
Sauber announce Columbian as development driver (Monday March 6 2017)
Ferrari on top in the wet (Friday March 3 2017)
New deal for Russian Grand Prix (Friday March 3 2017)
Merc and Ferrari pick up the pace (Thursday March 2 2017)
Teams set for wet weather test in Barcelona (Thursday March 2 2017)
Ferrari faster than Mercedes? (Wednesday March 1 2017)
Bottas sees Hamilton as great challenge (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Horner calls for shark fin ban (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Hamilton and Mercedes happy on test day one (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Alonso held talks with Mercedes (Monday February 27 2017)
Some drivers don't deserve to be in F1 says Lewis (Friday February 24 2017)
Bottas targets F1 title (Friday February 24 2017)
Renault take Red Bull aero expert (Thursday February 23 2017)
Pirelli already making excuses? (Thursday February 23 2017)
Williams adds new head of aerodynamics (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Renault engine can beat Mercedes (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Allison announced at Mercedes (Tuesday February 21 2017)
McLaren heading into another year of the unknown (Tuesday February 21 2017)
New deals for Wolff and Lauda (Monday February 20 2017)
Wehrlein sidelined due to back injury (Monday February 20 2017)
Williams backs F1 budget cap (Monday February 20 2017)
Sauber launch 2017 car (Monday February 20 2017)
Hamilton sends warning shot to Bottas (Friday February 17 2017)
F1 to break the US market (Thursday February 16 2017)
Rosberg doesn't agree with his replacement (Wednesday February 15 2017)
F1 pecking order unlikely to change (Tuesday February 14 2017)
Important Pirelli tyre test ends early (Monday February 13 2017)
Red Bull confidence builds as momentum grows (Friday February 10 2017)
Todt believes F1 doesn't need changing (Thursday February 9 2017)
Bahrain & Hungary to host 2017's in-season tes (Wednesday February 8 2017)
Ford not interested in joining F1 (Tuesday February 7 2017)
Wolff backs Bernie's influence (Monday February 6 2017)
Ecclestone will not attempt to destroy F1 (Monday February 6 2017)
2017 Formula One Calendar (Friday February 3 2017)
Brawn becomes F1 director (Thursday February 2 2017)
Ecclestone still welcome (Wednesday February 1 2017)
F1 shake up (Tuesday January 31 2017)
Manor collapse (Monday January 30 2017)
F1 is what I love to do says Massa (Tuesday January 24 2017)
Rosberg lacked passion for F1 (Monday January 23 2017)
Ecclestone wants to tear up the rulebook (Friday January 20 2017)
Renault bidding to match Mercedes (Thursday January 19 2017)
How long has Bottas joined Mercedes for? (Wednesday January 18 2017)
New optimism for McLaren (Wednesday January 18 2017)
British GP fate being discussed with F1 bosses (Tuesday January 17 2017)
Bottas announcement expected (Monday January 16 2017)
Australia prepares for 2017 F1 (Friday January 13 2017)
F1's new owners could save British Grand Prix (Thursday January 12 2017)
Paddy Lowe leaves Mercedes (Wednesday January 11 2017)
Pirelli uncertain over new 2017 tyres (Tuesday January 10 2017)
Silverstone considers dropping British Grand Prix (Monday January 9 2017)
Formula One to lose 1 team from the grid (Monday January 9 2017)
Sky and Channel 4 announce F1 races for 2017 (Monday January 9 2017)
Ricciardo would not swap Red Bull for Merc (Friday January 6 2017)
Expect field to be spread in 2017 says Newey (Thursday January 5 2017)
Red Bull can provide a benchmark for Renault (Wednesday January 4 2017)
Haas just a stepping stone for Magnussen? (Tuesday January 3 2017)
Hamilton against another reshuffle of mechanics (Monday January 2 2017)
Renault project will take time says Hulkenberg (Friday December 30 2016)
Toro Rosso to rebrand engines? (Thursday December 29 2016)
Williams pays tribute to Symonds (Wednesday December 28 2016)
Marko mocks Mercedes (Tuesday December 27 2016)
Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Sunday December 25 2016)
Renault building for 2017 (Friday December 23 2016)
Honda wants to supply second team in 2018 (Thursday December 22 2016)
Gasly building bridges with Marko (Wednesday December 21 2016)
I'll take on anybody says Hamilton (Tuesday December 20 2016)
Massa to return from retirement with Williams? (Monday December 19 2016)
No room at the Red Bull Racing Inn (Friday December 16 2016)
Mercedes now regret Hamilton instruction (Thursday December 15 2016)
Mercedes to take no action on Hamilton (Wednesday December 14 2016)
Aston Martin continue Red Bull partnership (Tuesday December 13 2016)
Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams merry-go-round (Monday December 12 2016)
|7.||Push The Button||497|