Friday March 22, 2013
Ferrariís Massa fears for Brazilís future in Formula One
BRAZIL is one of the iconic countries where there are many fans of Formula One racing but Felipe Massa fears for the future with no drivers likely to fly the country’s flag if he decides to retire in the near future.
There were Pedro Diniz who drove for Sauber in the past and Rubens Barrichello, who is a household name to many followers of the sport. Massa has since inherited Barrichello’s seat at Ferrari and he even came close to becoming world champion himself a few years back. However, Massa, rued the glory days of yesteryear where Brazil boasted of world champions like Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and of course, Aryton Senna.
Fittipaldi won twice in 1972 and 1974 while Piquet went one step better by winning in 1981, 1983 and 1987. Senna also won in 1988, 1990 and 1991, with many holding the view that the Brazilian would have collected more world titles if not for his unfortunate death in 1994.
“It’s a big problem for Brazil. There were many talents competing in the junior tier of motorsports when I first started but not now.
“That is why we have a problem having another driver making it to Formula One,” said Massa, who is the partner of Fernando Alonso in Ferrari.
Massa was happy with his fourth placing in the Australian Grand Prix last week and felt it was much better than the situation he was in at the same time last year.
Massa had out-qualified Alonso and was running ahead of his team-mate through the first two stints. But before the second pitstop, Alonso came in early and was able to leapfrog both Massa and leader Sebastian Vettel thanks to a clear lap on fresh tyres.
Massa clarified it was a strategic gamble from Alonso that swapped the order of the Ferraris in Melbourne rather than any team favouritism.
“Ferrari needed to get at least 15 laps out of each set of tyres, whereas Alonso pitted after 11. When you’re fighting with the guy at the front and then you lose two positions, you’re always disappointed. Honestly it was a little bit too early to stop. We were planning to stop maybe three or four laps after.”
“Looking at the degradation on the tyres, it was quite high. But he took a risk and it worked.”