the incubus wrote:
All do respect, I think by now it's a forgone conclusion that Alonso does indeed command #1 status at Ferrari. The whole "Fernando is Faster than You" incident was all we needed for confirmation of that distinction and we certainly got it. Having said that, "IF" Felipe Baby shoots right out of the gate and bests Fernando in at least 3 of the first 5 races, I think Ferrari may begin to realize they should make every effort to support Felipe. that being said, Fernando will not take something of that nature lying down so a real fight will begin and we could see another Senna/Prost like inter team dynamic. Massa may have played lap dog the last couple of seasons but he was not in the hunt for the championship. While he's visibly upset at times, he's kept pretty quiet and gone with the flow regardless of how he felt. If he finds himself in a position where he is leading Fernando and the team decides to step in, I don't think Felipe will lie down and would call BS on the team. He's a sweet person but he is also feisty and fiery when he feels the need for it. Ferrari has for the last 18 years employed a policy of #1 & #1 drivers. Schumacher for instance was always the CLEAR #1 on the team and then when Kimi was brought on by di Montezemolo it was as the lead driver. Then when they forced Kimi out for Alonso, it was again to have who they felt was the best driver and again as the lead driver on the team. Some will disagree and call BS on this but all you have to do is imagine both drivers going to Ferrari and saying they can't work together and one of them has to go!…
I think everyone on the planet knows Fernando wont be the one they send packing.
I think 'Nuff said on this.
As for Felipe, I've read that he sought help from a sports psychologist last season and that it really helped him gain a better perspective on things and his career and that was the difference towards the end of the year. I hope for him that he can maintain that form for all of 2013 and I will certainly be cheering for him. Go Felipe Baby!!!
There is, of course, a "status" line at Ferrari, and why shouldn't there be. Schumi was #1 because he was better.... it is that simple. Rubens was not his equal, nor was anyone else in the game at the time.
Kimi came in without a WDC to his name, just as his teammate Massa. Kimi as fast as he is made people think he would be #1, but still he had to prove himself... this time against a teammate who was more familiar with the team and how it works. As a result, we had tight competition between the two drivers. Kimi won in 2007 with the support of Massa and in 2008, Massa came within a hair of winning the WDC for himself. So in those years, I think you saw Ferrari's policy. If a driver, either driver establish themselves as the team's best chance at post season glory, then that driver becomes the lead driver, and the other driver is expected to fill the support role.
Then we move on to the Alonso years... he comes in as a 2x WDC, Massa a solid team driver. Unfortunately for Massa, things take a bad turn with his accident, and he struggles to get back to the consistently fast form that he had before. I have seen several in here take pop shots at Massa basically saying that the accident was no excuse, but to be honest with those of you, I think that is bullshit. The man not only was fighting for his health, but he was also losing time in his car all the while Alonso was getting more and more accustomed to the cars and the team.
When Massa came back, he showed some flashes of the 2008 Massa, but never really developed the consistency he had before. To his credit, he did not use it as an excuse, but can anyone really say that the post accident Massa was the same driver as the 2008 Massa? Prior to the accident we did not see people screaming for him to be fired, yet in 2011 and 2012 we sure did. Why is that? It is because he was not the same driver. I don't know if it was/is a lingering effect of the accident physically, a mental block or just a lack of confidence brought on by his struggles AND being told Alonso is faster than you. What I do know is that in the second half of 2012, we saw what Massa used to be, and that made me pretty damn happy. I sincerely hope that it is the Massa we see to start 2013, and if it is, he can compete for the WDC... Alonso or not.
Ferrari are not idiots, they recognize that the WCC can only be won with both cars scoring big points... so there won't be any sabotaging of Massa's car for the benefit of Alonso, no matter what some may want to think.
Well said, both of you.