Ferrari: Felipe Massa's upturn a major boost for F1 title hopes

Felipe Massa's upturn in form is a major boost for Ferrari's Formula 1 world championship aspirations going into the Brazilian Grand Prix season finale, reckons team boss Stefano Domenicali

Ferrari: Felipe Massa's upturn a major boost for F1 title hopes

Massa's disappointing performances led to the Brazilian nearly losing his seat during the summer, before Ferrari elected to keep the faith with him for an eighth year.

For much of their three seasons together, Massa has been some way from team-mate Fernando Alonso's pace. He currently trails the Spaniard by 153 points in the standings and has only taken one podium finish this year.

But at Austin last weekend, Massa was Ferrari's pacesetter for much of the event.

He accepted a deliberate gearbox-change penalty to benefit Alonso's grid position, before charging from 11th to fourth - close behind his team-mate - in the race.

With Alonso needing to get several cars between him and championship rival Sebastian Vettel at Interlagos this weekend in order to overturn the Red Bull driver's 13-point cushion, Domenicali says Massa could be vital.

"He drove extremely well during the whole weekend and this is something that is positive looking ahead for Brazil, because we need both our drivers doing a really great race if we want to challenge Vettel to win the drivers' title," he said.

"Everything is possible, anything can happen. It is for me vital that we stay cool and concentrated and work hard and do the maximum we can do and if Sebastian wins, then we will congratulate him."

Massa agreed that his improvement was well-timed, both for his chances of assisting Ferrari in the title hunt, and in the hope of a stronger 2013 campaign.

"Even before August, things were getting better and better all the time and getting to the best shape," he said.

"There's just one more race to finish the championship but I think it's good for next year.

"For sure I hope the car changes a lot for next year to be more competitive, but the rules are more or less the same so I don't think there will be a big change in how the car feels, so this is very important."

CHAMPIONSHIP PERMUTATIONS

VETTEL WINS THE TITLE IF:

- He finishes in the top four
- He finishes fifth, sixth or seventh and Alonso doesn't win
- He finishes eighth or ninth and Alonso is third or lower
- He finishes 10th or worse and Alonso isn't on the podium

ALONSO WINS THE TITLE IF:

- He wins and Vettel is fifth or lower
- He is second and Vettel eighth or lower
- He is third and Vettel is 10th or lower

shares
comments
Nico Rosberg takes on Sergio Aguero at Donington Park

Previous article

Nico Rosberg takes on Sergio Aguero at Donington Park

Next article

Brazilian GP: McLaren preview quotes

Brazilian GP: McLaren preview quotes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari
Author Matt Beer
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021