Felipe Massa’s F1 career appears to be on the brink of collapse. Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali left Barcelona insisting he expects the struggling Brazilian to “fight back starting in Monaco”.
“We absolutely need his points to also fight for the constructors’ title,” he said.
Earlier, the Maranello based team said on Twitter that Ferrari is “disappointed with” the 30-year-old’s performance. When asked about that comment, a Ferrari spokesman told the Sunday Times: “It was a poor choice of grammar. We are disappointed in the outcome of Felipe but not with Felipe himself.”
But the very latest development is that Ferrari is now making it abundantly clear that Massa needs to up his game immediately. In a statement posted on its official website, Ferrari said Massa’s teammate Fernando Alonso “has always maintained a very high level”.
As for Massa, his “drop off has made itself felt”, the report stated.
“The Brazilian had picked up 49 points two years ago and 24 the following year, while so far this season he has just 2,” said Ferrari.
“Everyone, he more than anyone, is expecting a change of gear starting right away with the Monaco grand prix”, the statement concluded.
Even Massa’s strongest supporters in Brazil, like the O Globo journalist Celso Itibere, admit the situation is dire.
“He is at risk,” said Itibere, “his decline is progressive, he is failing to react and he runs the real risk of not finishing the season. At this time Ferrari has no one to take the job. Everyone they would like to have there – Perez, Kobayashi, Webber – are not available.”
Tuesday’s edition of the Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport will report that Massa’s ousting is imminent. And the latest edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport did not even once mention Massa’s name. “It is as though he does not exist,” wrote the Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio in O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
“Yet it is an Italian newspaper, and he is a Ferrari driver.”
When asked if he fears for his F1 career, Massa said in Barcelona last weekend: “No. I live in the present. What will happen will happen.”
Asked if he is afraid another bad performance will seal his fate, Massa insisted: “I’m not afraid of anything, especially criticism. It doesn’t affect me.”