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
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Raikkonen unfazed by uncertain future (Tuesday February 17 2015)
Force India to make Barcelona appearance (Monday February 16 2015)
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Mateschitz pleased with Red Bull & Toro Rosso (Thursday February 12 2015)
Honda plan upgrades for next test (Wednesday February 11 2015)
Force India look set to miss second test (Tuesday February 10 2015)
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Caterham's administrators to auction assets (Friday February 6 2015)
Force India block Marussia return (Friday February 6 2015)
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Marussia to exit administration (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Sauber top third day (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Early struggles for McLaren Honda (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Vettel and Ferrari remain quickest in Jerez (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Hamilton set for contract talks (Monday February 2 2015)
Formula One teams hit the test track (Monday February 2 2015)
Bernie wants one wish (Friday January 30 2015)
Ferrari continue to beat the drum of F1 revolution (Thursday January 29 2015)
Force India looking to optimise wind tunnel time (Wednesday January 28 2015)
Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)
Chilton lines up potential Indy Car switch (Monday January 26 2015)
New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)
Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix (Thursday January 22 2015)
Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)
Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)
Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)
Spain and Austria to host in-season tests (Friday January 16 2015)
F1 introduce new Super Licence points system (Thursday January 15 2015)
More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)
Newey questions if anyone can catch Mercedes (Tuesday January 13 2015)
FIA confirm new virtual safety car procedures (Monday January 12 2015)
Robson swaps McLaren for Williams (Friday January 9 2015)
2015 Formula One Calendar (Thursday January 8 2015)
All change at Sauber (Thursday January 8 2015)
F1 teams to exploit engine rule loophole (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Korea dropped for 2015 (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Caterham's administrators will not fund testing (Tuesday January 6 2015)
Podromou is McLaren's master (Friday January 2 2015)
Long recovery for Ferrari (Thursday January 1 2015)
Red Bull Racing retain Buemi (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Bianchi's neurological status remains unchanged (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Talks to save Caterham continue (Tuesday December 30 2014)
Engine freeze is against the spirit of the sport (Monday December 29 2014)
Vettel had a great run at Red Bull (Friday December 26 2014)
Hamilton reflects on Rosberg rivalry (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Vergne joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Clear & Bell to swap Mercedes for Ferrari (Monday December 22 2014)
Trio depart Ferrari (Friday December 19 2014)
Ecclestone to propose v8 return (Thursday December 18 2014)
20 stolen Red Bull trophies recovered (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Gutierrez joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 16 2014)
Hamilton wins SPOTY (Monday December 15 2014)
Best option for the future is McLaren says Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
Dennis does not anticipate any issues with Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
McLaren confirm Alonso return (Thursday December 11 2014)
McLaren confirm Button on multi-year deal (Thursday December 11 2014)
Button stays at McLaren (Thursday December 11 2014)
Ricciardo surprised himself (Wednesday December 10 2014)
Red Bull factory ram-raided (Monday December 8 2014)
McLaren board meeting fails to decide (Friday December 5 2014)
Force India to use Toyata's wind tunnel (Friday December 5 2014)
2015 - Formula One's biggest season yet (Thursday December 4 2014)
FIA file report on Bianchi crash (Thursday December 4 2014)
Virtual Safety Car to get debut in 2015 (Wednesday December 3 2014)
Vettel completes first day at Ferrari (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Caterham could run old cars in 2015 (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Toro Rosso announce Sainz Jr for 2015 (Monday December 1 2014)
Williams announce Wolff as test driver (Monday December 1 2014)
Teams fail to agree on engine regulations (Friday November 28 2014)
Formula One scrap double points round (Friday November 28 2014)
Vergne announces Toro Rosso departure (again) (Thursday November 27 2014)
Problems for McLaren Honda continue (Thursday November 27 2014)
Successful season for Williams (Wednesday November 26 2014)
McLaren Honda manage 3 laps (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Caterham takeover complete 'in weeks' (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Ferrari announce third team principal of 2014 (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Audio: Abu Dhabi Recap (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Mercedes and Hamilton to re-open contract talks (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Alonso's new project will challenge Mercedes (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Force India confirm Perez place (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Wolff praises Mercedes team-mates (Monday November 24 2014)
Greatest day for Hamilton (Monday November 24 2014)
Rosberg wins friends in defeat (Monday November 24 2014)
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