Felipe Massa resurgence won't shake Fernando Alonso, says Ferrari
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, January 16th 2013, 10:53 GMT|
Ferrari has no concerns that Felipe Massa's resurgent form in Formula 1 will create tension with Fernando Alonso.
The Brazilian driver bounced back from a difficult start to 2012 to end the campaign as one of the highest-scoring drivers, and even outqualified Alonso at a few races.
Massa's form contributed to Ferrari taking the bold decision to deliberately hand him a grid penalty at the United States Grand Prix to try and help move Alonso on to the cleaner side of the grid.
If Massa can carry his strong performances into 2013, then Ferrari could find itself facing similar tough strategic calls. But this does not concern its team principal Stefano Domenicali.
"I consider it is a strength for us," he said at the Ferrari Wrooom media event at Madonna di Campiglio on Wednesday.
"If you look from another angle, last year, in the first half of the season, we were not able to maximise the points and that cost us a lot in the second half.
"The fact that Fernando and Felipe are coping with it very well is a strong point we have in the team. And if we compare this situation with other teams, it is the best situation we can have.
"To count on a Felipe that has finished the championship in such a way, I believe is a good motivation point for Fernando. At the end of the day, no one can sit on anything.
"It is important to push from the inside in a very constructive way; to have this kind of atmosphere in the team is a positive thing. You can count on transparency in the relationship, and that is something we have."
Domenicali is convinced that Massa will be as strong this season as he ended last year.
"I believe that the most difficult moment of Felipe's career is behind him," said Domenicali. "He did the switch I would say in the summer break and the Felipe we saw in the second half of season was the driver we would want."
ALONSO VS MASSA AT FERRARI
Alonso Massa Poles: 4 0 Podiums: 33 7 Wins: 9 0 Championship positions: 2010 2nd (252 points) 6th (144 points) 2011 4th (257 points) 6th (118 points) 2012 2nd (278 points) 7th (122 points) Avgerage starting position: 2010 5.8 7.7 2011 4.6 5.8 2012 6.1 9.8 Qualifying battle: 2010 Alonso: 15 Massa: 4 2011 Alonso: 15 Massa: 4 2012 Alonso: 18 Massa: 2