October 14, 2009

Trouble brewing at Maranello for 2010.

I'm not sure what it is that compels Brazilian drivers to blurt out conspiracy theories when in Brazil. Felipe Massa accused his future team mate Fernando Alonso of being in on on the Singapore affair to a group of Brazilian journalists yesterday.

"I'm absolutely certain he was in on the game, it's only logical, I have no doubt" Massa is quoted " Briatore may may be gone, the engineer may be gone, but the theft from Singapore still stands"

Massa feels that had the Singapore sling not happened he would have been world champion. Like many conspiracy theories this is a belief built on a shaky premise: that the pit lane disaster, with Massa driving off with the fuel rig attached was a direct result of Renault's plan.

How would Massa have scored the race? Cancel all the results taking points away from everyone, even those who did not mess up their stops under the same pressure.
It's not logical and makes Massa sound like a Barrichello. Hell, why not throw in that Timo Glock let Hamilton through intentionally in Brazil last year? Going for the full monty, Massa also opined Hamilton should feel bad having won a World Championship because of a "cheat".
Maybe it was just one too many caipirinhas that night at the charruscaria.

Within hours Ferrari made Massa, whose contract is up at the end the 2010 season, issue a "clarifying statement" where there Brazilian backpedals somewhat.

"What I've said is the outcome of a hunch I've had and is not based on any concrete evidence,” Felipe said. “The FIA World Council announced that there was no indication that Fernando may have been informed of what had happened and I respect this outcome. Obviously I'm very disappointed about what transpired last year in Singapore: I have already said several times what I thought about it and now it's time to close that chapter and to look to the future. What is certain is that this episode will not marr in any way the relationship I'll have with Fernando when we will be teammates.”


  1. Y'know... These are some of the most competitive men in the world. These are very esoteric skills. And to move through the world like that –to move around a RACETRACK like that– demands a certain disinterest what's going on from other perspectives. It's all about you and where you wanna be in a corner or in a championship. If they saw the world with the realistic view that you and I have, they wouldn't be successful.

    I remember reading a joke about AJ Foyt forty years ago... It was a book written by a workingman author about a workingman driver. It talked about an race where in AJ had approached a fellow driver who he couldn't quite pass, and sudden started gesturing at the other driver's rear tire. The other driver assumed he was being warned of danger and slowed to pit. AJ charged forward to win, laughing to the checkered flag.

    Tainted victory? The author seemed amazed (paraphrase): 'AJ wants to win so badly he's almost willing to cheat.'

    That's how all these guys are... Dude, I am gonna win the f___'n championship....

    I'm sure 'Nando will feel quote at home in the Ferrari paddock. He probably couldn't hear the noise from this, even someone told him about it. 'See you at turn #1, Massa...'

    —Crid [CridComment @ gmail]

  2. This phenomina is not unique to racing drivers. In fact its not unique at all.

  3. It may not be exclusive to racing drivers but Massa doesn't need to come off sounding crazy after he just made a big comeback for next season. Does the spirit of Enzo Ferrari live on in the tortured minds of their drivers? Perhaps.

  4. I love when sources cite only the parts of an article or interview that could generate some controversy, but never post the whole thing.

    On the same interview, Massa states:

    "Se eu ia ser campeão, não interessa no momento. Depois de tanto tempo, de tudo isso que aconteceu e foi falado, ia ficar até meio chato ter esse título no meu currículo"

    "If I was going to be the champion or not does not matter right now. After all this time, after all that was said and done, it would be very uncomfortable to have that title in my curriculum."

    ... a statement that kind of takes him out of the Barrichello whine club.

    I'm not blaming you, Axis. I love your blog, you guys do a great job. I am blaming your sources for half-baked translations of the original interview and using of only certain sections of it. It's not the first time this has happened.

    Close to original source, in Portuguese:


  5. Well Massa says a lot of things but the general feeling is that 2008 should not count because of what happened in Singapore. That is simply illogical (and this from a die hard Ferrari fan). He may want to put it behind him but he certainly brings it up often enough.

    Massa is in a tough spot, he probably believes he should be a #1 at Ferrari but obviously Ferrari management is not of the same opinion. He has one more year in his contract. He will be be under huge pressure and it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out.

    Hopefully he will not fall to Rubiño-esque depths of "tristeza" :)

  6. Massa out of Ferrari at the end of 2010, young Vettel joining Alonso at the Scuderia


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