They said he was too wild, and that he couldn't even drive in a straight line. They said he owed his place in Formula One to nepotism, as he happened to have a well-connected manager (no lesser figure than Nicolas 'son of Jean' Todt). They said he was just keeping the Ferrari seat warm until a more deserving driver was available.
Felipe Massa has had more than his fair share of detractors since arriving in F1 as a virtual unknown in 2002. But having taken his first Grand Prix win in beautifully calm, controlled and commanding style, the Brazilian can feel thoroughly vindicated.
There was some truth among the criticisms. Massa had some distinctly erratic moments in his debut season (his countless spins at a wet Silverstone in 2002 being particularly memorable), and was probably given more second chances than others might have received.