Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 2010

“Massa drove like his brother” – Montezemolo

2010 F1 season

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 2010
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 2010

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo gave a harsh verdict on Felipe Massa’s season when talking to Italian journalists yesterday.

According to Reuters, Montezemolo told them:

At a certain point in the season Felipe was fed up and sent his brother. For this Felipe gets seven minus.

For [Fernando] Alonso, in his first season in Ferrari, I give him nine and a half. But unfortunately even he didn’t win.
Luca di Montezemolo

Massa ended the season sixth in the drivers’ championship, 108 points behind Alonso. He did not win a race all year, but was ordered to hand victory to Alonso while leading at Hockenheim.

In October Montezemolo said he expected Massa to give “the performances of a number one driver” to help Alonso win the championship.

Montezemolo also downplayed rumours he plans to leave Ferrari and go into politics:

Let me do my work, I’m so happy that we have lots to do here at Ferrari, lots and lots.
Luca di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo

Image ?? Ferrari spa

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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103 comments on ““Massa drove like his brother” – Montezemolo”

  1. It’s not the most original thing Luca has said seeing as he was talking about Michael’s evil twin pre-season but good job on keeping your driver happy there Luca, sure he’ll be delighted to read that :P

    “For this Felipe gets seven minus.” Is that his grade or what he lost at Germany?

    1. LOL, well put Steph. It would be good if Ferrari evaluated before and after Germany Massa seperately and realized how the team orders telling him just how little trust they placed in him effected their chosen 2nd driver.

      I don’t think it would have been a stellar season for Massa regardless, but Ferrari might have been able to keep the dream of the WCC alive for longer.

    2. lol I think thats COTD right there

    3. Haha! Took me a moment to figure that one out. -7 is indeed a very harsh mark… he did after all score a good few podiums over the course of the season, and there’s no shame in being beaten by Fernando Alonso

      1. It isn’t -7, it’s 7- out of 10. (Just a little less than 7)

        1. But he lost seven points by exchanging first place (25pts) for second (18pts) behind Alonso.

          Is funny, like joke, yes! Ha!


          1. I didn’t get that minus 7 thing, I think he should motivate Massa. I think Massa is struck in a jail, he won’t be able to work freely in Ferrari.All will go just as Alonso wants.

          2. Massa was rated with a vote of 7- (little less than 7) out of 10, but he lost 7 points of the WDC in Germany.

          3. Fixy has the sense of humour of a Ferrari press officer.

    4. Steph, I love you, thats the comment of the year for me.

    5. At a certain point in the season Felipe was fed up” Now why would that be Luca?

      I would love if Massa would actually send his brother to the next simulator run or test to show he really is fed up and will want his boss to give him equal opportunities next year.

      This almost makes me feel as if Ferrari are planning to push Massa out and get someone else in the car.

      1. Not only do they treat him as a nothing, they also compalin to him.

    6. Hmmm you know, the whole title is a bit of a misnomer. “Drove like his brother” only really has reference if his brother has some capacity or recognition as a racing driver… which he clearly doesn’t. For all we know his brother may be a fantastic driver (though not a famous one) in which case the headline would be a compliment.

      I’m sure there are people scratching their heads as to the true meaning of this headline. Clearly a failed attempt to construct (and perhaps sensationalise) a headline from the comments of the Ferrari boss. Just a pity Luca didn’t say he sent his Grandmother in to drive for him, then we would all be quite clear on the meaning, and Keith Collantine would have to clutch at straws for a fitting headline for his article.

  2. So who was driving in Fernando’s place in Hockenheim, then? Alonso’s whiney baby sister?

    1. No, that was Valencia I think. Not sure that performance would have granted her a return visit.

    2. Good one, Geoff X)

  3. I don’t really recall any point of the season when “Felipe’s brother” wasn’t driving. All of his good results were down to the car. So Monty can’t even get that right.

    Luca says all this stuff, yet he still wants him to win the world championship for him next year if Alonso can’t do it. I expect in 9 month’s time we’ll see lots of “Felipe is a #1 driver who can get the results needed to help his team win the championship” interviews.

    Leave now, Felipe. Even if it means quitting for good. You’re far better than these hypocritical clowns.

    1. I don’t really recall any point of the season when “Felipe’s brother” wasn’t driving. All of his good results were down to the car

      Except of course for Hockenheim. Luca didn’t seem too happy at having the real Felipe that day though.

      1. Massa clearly had an impedance mismatch with his team there – just the wrong synchronisation. In other races he mismatched with the car instead.

      2. That’s cause Luca is showing his true colors. What a complete douche he is to even say something like that.

    2. Another season under Alonso’s and Luca’s heels will ruin his reputation. He should be looking for a Renault or even a Force India drive now.

      1. Oh come on! I’m sick of people talking about how Felipe is getting crushed under Alonso and Luca, and that he should quit Ferrari and look for another drive.

        Firstly, he should be lucky he has a Ferrari contract in the first place. I really do not see a lot of top teams very eager to sign Massa anyways.

        Secondly, if he has to recover his ‘reputation’, let him do it on track. I’m sick of him putting the blame on tyres, team status, blah blah. And I’m sick how all the fans blame his abysmal performances on Hockenheim. He was pretty crap before Hockenheim as well, and post Hockenheim, he just got a little worse.

        1. Well answer this: why should he continue to drive for a team if the guy in the other car is dictating his strategy during the race and the company boss is publicly slating him afterward. (What kind of professional organization attacks its key personnel in public, anyway?) Is that really the team where a driver is going to rise up and “prove himself”? At Ferrari, once Luca gives you the malocchio, you are done. Ask Michael, ask Kimi, who went right down the plank as soon as favor was lost.

          If a top driver decides that driving for Ferrari, or any other team, is enough reward in itself, and greater than the chance to achieve his full potential, then he truly has lost his respect for himself and shouldn’t expect it from anyone else.

          Luca’s comments are now inviting the paddock to view him as a 2nd rate, unmotivated driver, who is content to ride around in a red car because the red car is so cool.

          I don’t think Massa has lost his self respect, and thus he needs to step into a reasonably quick car, beat a respectable teammate, and reestablish the brand he earned in 2008. He can do it. He can come back in a couple years into a McLaren or a RedBull and win a title or two.

          1. Are you implying Fernando was deciding his race strategy by asking where Felipe was in Abu Dhabi? Answer this – What was expected of Felipe in Abu Dhabi? Was he expected to win the WDC? Was he to help secure the WCC? or was he to help Ferrari secure at least one title in 2010? It was not Fernando deciding on his race strategy… it was common sense that he was going to try and assist his teammate in Abu Dhabi.. just like he did in Brazil 2007.

            As for Luca slating him.. what do you expect from the most demanding team in the paddock? He has been with Ferrari 5 years, and has nothing to show for it.

            Michael walk the plank?? Come on! Everyone was sick of that combination.. the fans, and even Michael and Ferrari wanted a new challenge. Additionally, before the retirement decision, Michael was confident of winning in 2006 and retiring on top. I guess that didn’t work out for him, and he retired anyways. Ferrari wanted to see their cars driven by new drivers as well. Michael had been there 10 seasons! As far as Kimi goes.. we all saw his lack of motivation and consistency in 2008 and start of 2009. If I were a team principal and I got an option of dumping Kimi for Fernando.. I would definitely take it too.

            You have to constantly deliver for you F1 team.. especially a Ferrari or a Mclaren. If Fernando screwed up this year he would be in the same position too. And I really doubt there would be as many people sympathising with his situation. Its the survival of the fittest in Ferrari, and Massa is weak.

            I really do not see Mclaren or Red Bull interested in Massa. Hypothetically speaking, even if he did get a drive with Mclaren or RB, he would experience some further confidence damage at the hands of Vettel and Hamilton.

        2. I I tend to agree with Mr Todfod here. Even though There is often more to these F1 situations behind the scenes, a driver really has to perform to get the respect or justification for his position.

          Rubens was another driver outclassed by his teamate at Ferrari and though I’m fairly certain Michael certainly held the reigns at Ferrari when he was there, Rubens constantly spoke of what he could do without ever delivering.

          Philppe did a good job against Kimi but Raikonnens suspect attitude was his downfall. Before you all jump on me, I’m not saying Raikonnen wasn’t an exceptional driver or that his lack of involvement were due to nonchalance or indifference. But clearly this did affect his ability to succesfully liaise with the team, and ultimately cost him is seat.

          Perhaps Massa thought it would be a similarly easy ride with Alonso. Perhaps his crash last year affected him more than we realise. Clearly he has ‘fallen off shape’ for some reason. If he performs this way, and worse! can’t get his mojo back, then he is going to come under a considerable amount of pressure and criticism, irrespective of which team he drives for or who his boss is… isn’t that the way the world generally works?

          1. As for Luca slating him.. what do you expect from the most demanding team in the paddock? He has been with Ferrari 5 years, and has nothing to show for it.

            Nothing to show? What about losing the championship to Hamilton in the last corner of the last race 2008? (and I’m a Hamilton fan.)

          2. @Mike. The key words you mentioned ‘losing the championship’ says everything. He lost to his teammate in 2007, to Lewis in 2008 (heartbreakingly.. but a loss none the less), and in 2010 he got beaten by his teammate again.. and lost them 2nd place in the WCC.

    3. If Massa is that good, then let’s see how he compares to Alonso next year. If he is indeed slower, like he was all year, then he really is the # 2 driver and will probably be perfectly happy driving a Ferrari for $xx,000,000 a year…..

      I would love to see him come back as fast as Alonso in 2011 and see the 2 of them fight it out for at least the first half of the season. Maybe we could blame 2010 on the spring-to-face incident.

      The reality of this situation is the same at most other teams in that one driver is usually much quicker than the other driver and is therefore the #1 (we were lucky this year to have sort of even McLaren and RBR drivers). People can say what they want about car parts and updates, but c’mon, one driver is usually faster and the team back that driver…any team.

  4. The obvious person to be upset by this is Massa.

    But If I were Alonso I’d be (as Murry would say) Ab-so-lute-ly FURIOUS!

    Even if he is one of my least favourite drivers on the grid, I can see that the amount of effort Alonso put in was staggering.

    (Lol, Steph, seven minus, I get it! Very funny.)

    1. Thank you Mike :)

      Luca’s comments do also actually downplay what Alonso achieved in comparison to Felipe.

      As you say, Alonso put in a staggering effort while Felipe usually drove where the car was at in my opinion so scoring Felipe so low brings down Alonso’s score to in my mind.

    2. The more obvious person to be offended would be Massa’s brother. He would probably be like – “What the hell is Luca getting me into this for.. he hasn’t even see me drive a car!”

  5. Craig Woollard
    14th December 2010, 12:20

    Only 9.5 for Alonso? He’ll be fuming with that, he clearly knew he drove a perfect 10 all season. *COUGH Monaco, Silverstone, Germany, Belgium, Abu Dhabi COUGH*

    1. Well if thats the case, then Massa was about a 4.

      1. If you look at this, which is surely the most comprehensive, objective and best tabulation for driver rankings I’ve ever seen, Massa didn’t actually do so bad. It was more down to the guys ahead of him driving incredibly well. Here’s the link:


        1. That post by Peter Windsor is SUPERB!

          Many thanks, Adam.

        2. But Massa, in a Ferrari, is supposed to be….is expected to be, one of those guys driving incredibly well.

  6. seven Minus

    Or as the rest of the world calls it, six-and-a-half. Do they not have fractions in Italy?

    May as well leave Ferrari now Flippy, there’s nothing for you there. I would say there’s a test seat open at Sauber, but that would be a lie.

    1. *nitpicking..

      ACtually, a seven minus counts as 6.75 ;)

    2. Your not expecting Montezemolo to actually manage fractions?
      He got no skills other then running his mouth. Can’t believe what he said here (well actually sad thing I can believe and the only other I would expect something so rude and belittling is either Flavio Briatore or Max Mosley).
      Why don’t he just fire Massa and be done with it instead of making his life miserable. But I guess he wants Massa to quick on his own accord.
      These kind of stupid comments is NOT going to make Massa feel part of the team and welcome. Constant attacks like this and orders to move aside (germany) going to guarantee that your not showing up with your best A game on race weekend. If Massa been given the win he earned and made for himself in Germany I think the rest of the season would been lot different.
      But IMO the rest of the season after Germany he drove extremely poorly, worse then before but then what’s the point? If he drive good he’s not going to get a thank you just a move out of Alonsos way your in the way.

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        14th December 2010, 14:33

        Macahan, you’ve just reminded me about Flavio. Didn’t he say something “Kovilainen didn’t turn up to drive, he sent his brother” a couple of years ago?

        1. Oh gosh, Flavio, let’s hope Luca doesn’t start acting like that guy.

    3. Yes, here in Italy votes are very variable. Between 6 and 7 you could have:
      6 6+ 6 1/2 6/7 7- 7
      6,00, 6,25, 6,50, 6,75, 6,85, 7,00

  7. I’m not so familiar with Montezemolo so I am confused – is it typical italian bla-bla-bla or is this political preemting move and Massa is doomed if he won’t do really good next year. Or maybe a mediocre attempt to attract some attention in dull period of the season.

  8. And to think people thought Red Bull favoured one driver over another… What a disgusting thing to say.

    1. So true Damon.

      Horner’s approach of no team orders at RedBull is really starting to win me over, especially when Ferrari says such awful things about a driver who has done so much for them.

      1. Did he win you over after FP3 at Silverstone?

  9. Get a grip people, Massa was trailing Alonso by a fair margin in all aspects before the race in Germany, so it wasn’t just that. Monty is more or less spot on. By Massa’s standards, he was woeful.

    There’s a load of reasons why, the crushing last-lap disappointment of 2008, the new rules/tyres of 2009 onwards maybe haven’t suited him and then post-Germany there was probably nothing left in the tank.

    Hopefully he can get things together and have a good 2011 season. There’s nothing to suggest he can’t be like Webber and Button and keep up with his team mate despite what everyone says, and if he does that he won’t find himself in the situation he was in at Hockenheim.

    1. Agreed. He put himself in that position and he only has himself to blame. He was uselessly slow before Germany.

  10. I wouldn’t want to have such a boss…

    1. the boss that pays you 14 million dollars a year . yeah you wish

      1. and not to forget: the boss who let’s you drive a Ferrari F1 car (on top of that money)

        1. Is that Jon V, NZ?

      2. Yeah, Guys, you’re right. But there is and must be something more than $ and glamour of being the tiffosi’s chosen one. We know or at least sense it. They also do. It’s a pity that one of most important teams creates such an atmosphere. It’s not the first time and probably not the last one. Unless rumours are true and Luca is going to switch to politics. Maybe the next boss will act in different manner, use wiser words. Call me naive or sentimental but sometimes I wish we all have more humanity in the paddock. Imagine Peter Sauber telling something like that about his drivers…

        1. I agree. Ferrari’s arrogance with which they treat their seat is quite annoying. Infact, were it not for Michael Shumacher and Brawn’s reclamation project of their team a few years ago, their prestige would be a lot more dimmed than it is now.
          Drivers need to have the confidence of their bosses too, I think

  11. I’m going to put it out there and say he won’t be there next season. Why, well I have no idea.

    1. Because he’s simply average, that’s why. But surely that’s what makes a great #2 driver?

  12. i’m not sure if Alonso and Massa had similar cars, i think that the team did not do enough to make car better for Massa but they put all their efforts in getting the car right for the santander sponsored pay driver aka Alonso…

    1. Are you trying to suggest that the car was designed to Alonso’s driving style ever since Bahrain? I mention this because Alonso was quicker than Massa from the 1st race to the last.

      People will try and look for any explanation to how Felipe got so convincingly outclassed.

      1. I believe that is the case because I think Alonso would have demanded it since he won the race. I believe Alonso is faster than Massa but not consistently .5 sec or more race after race.
        Massa was much closer than that to Kimi in 07 and 08 and I know Kimi can beat Alonso with a similar car.

        1. “I know Kimi can beat Alonso with a similar car.”

          You obviously know something that others do not.