Skip to content

Lack of options to save Massa’s Ferrari career?

Jul 13, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Previews Getty Images

It’s that time of year again, folks. ‘Silly season’ got off to a rather explosive start on the Thursday of the British Grand Prix when Mark Webber confirmed his retirement from the sport at the end of the season, beginning the domino effect on the 2014 driver market. Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are the three drivers in the running for this seat, but this in turn opens up a seat at either Lotus or Toro Rosso. The latter would most probably be filled by rising star Antonio Felix da Costa, and with Nico Hulkenberg in talks with Lotus, he may be off to Enstone should Raikkonen leave. Keeping up?

After another disappointing performance at the Nurburgring, the sharks are now beginning to sniff around Felipe Massa at Ferrari – just as they have for the last three or four years. The Brazilian, who came second in the 2008 drivers’ championship, has been outclassed by teammate Fernando Alonso during their four years together at the team, leaving many to question Massa’s position in Maranello. Furthermore, Ferrari’s reluctance to give him anything longer than a one year contract extension may suggest the same, with a fine run at the end of 2012 securing his place with the team for this season. Could his number finally be up, though?

It comes down to the available drivers. Ironically, Mark Webber’s availability would have suited Ferrari twelve months ago, but the Australian snubbed the move in favor of playing second-fiddle to Vettel once again this year.

Despite there being a plethora of young drivers champing at the bit for a place in Formula One, there appears to be a lack of ‘Ferrari quality’ in the mix-up. The one-time natural replacement for Massa – Nico Hulkenberg – has endured a poor start to the season due to the Sauber C32’s lack of pace, yet his performances have been good to drag it into the points. He may be in talks with Lotus, but would Ferrari be willing to hijack a deal to bring him to Maranello?

A second mooted option is Paul di Resta, although he is lacking a ‘stand out’ result during his two-and-a-half year F1 career so far. Without a podium, it is very hard to Ferrari to take on a driver, and many would also question quite whether he fits in with the team’s ‘image’. A driver who may tick this final box is Ferrari Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi, yet he too lacks any real record having competed in just nine races for Marussia so far.

Without wishing to write off the rest of Massa’s season, the popular Brazilian may be aided by a lack of options for Ferrari. Silly season still has a long summer to play out though, potentially changing the face of next year’s grid once again.

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Malaysian GP FP2 at 2a ET on NBCSN and Live Extra

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    Catch all of the action from second practice live on NBCSN and Live Extra.

  2. Rosberg quickest in Malaysia FP1 as Hamilton hits trouble

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    Defending world champion forced to stop his car out on track early in practice, but Rosberg enjoys a more fruitful session.

  3. Raikkonen encouraged by Ferrari’s early season pace

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    © AP © AP

    Finnish driver believes that the team has made a big step forward over the winter.

  4. Mazda Road to Indy: Driver-by-driver preview in Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    MazdaRoadToIndy

    A quick look through the runners in Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 for 2015.

  5. Nasr: Early races present golden opportunities for Sauber

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    © Getty Images Getty Images

    Difficulties faced by a number of teams give Sauber an early chance to rack up some points.

  6. Hamilton bemused by Red Bull’s call for equalization in F1

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1

    “I find it quite funny and interesting that the opinion is coming from individuals who have had so much success.”

  7. Now IndyCar’s champion, Will Power’s mindset hasn’t changed heading into 2015

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    PowerbreakoutSTPpre AP

    He’s finally the champion, but Will Power enters 2015 still with more to prove.

  8. F1 Paddock Pass: Malaysian Grand Prix (VIDEO)

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Previews Getty Images

    NBCSN’s Will Buxton brings you the latest insight and interviews ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  9. Alonso moves to clear up testing crash conspiracy theories

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Fernando Alons Fernando Alons

    Spaniard rejects claim that he thought he was in 1995 following his accident in pre-season.

  10. MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Malaysian GP

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Previews Getty Images

    Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno give their verdict on this weekend’s Malaysian GP as Fernando returns, Manor hopes to fire up, and Red Bull prepares to declare war on Renault.

  11. 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Formula 1 heads to Malaysia for the second round of the 2015 season, but will Lewis Hamilton be able to double up and maintain his winning streak?

  12. IndyCar 2015 team preview: Dale Coyne Racing

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    IndyCar Detroit Auto Racing AP

    Coyne heads into the season with two lesser experienced drivers, but looks to play spoiler.

  13. Can IndyCar’s next generation take it to the established veterans?

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    IndyCar has a wave of younger talent in the series, who need to start winning sooner rather than later.

  14. Alonso and Bottas cleared by FIA to race in Malaysia

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    Both drivers failed to race in Australia due to injury, but will return this weekend.

  15. Adrian Sutil joins Williams as reserve driver

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:38 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BRA-F1-PRESSER-SUTIL Getty Images

    Ex-Force India and Sauber man moves to Williams for 2015.

  16. Fernando Alonso talks return in Malaysian GP

    Mar 25, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day Three Getty Images

    Fernando Alonso will start his 2015 F1 season in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  17. Nowhere to go but up for Lotus at Malaysia GP

    Mar 25, 2015, 3:57 PM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    After both of its cars failed to finish a lap in the season opener, Lotus looks toward the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  18. Malaysian Grand Prix highlights NBCSN’s weekend of motors coverage

    Mar 25, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Your Malaysian GP TV times for this weekend on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.