Massa searches for answers in Maranello
28 March 2012 – Felipe Massa headed straight to the Ferrari factory from Malaysia, electing to spend more time with engineers after a disappointing start to the season. As Fernando Alonso acknowledged Ferrari’s continuing problems despite winning at Sepang, Massa failed to score points for the second consecutive race.
As the world’s press continues to put pressure on the Brazilian, Team Principal Stefano Domenicali points out a similar situation from 2008, when Massa lost the lead through pit-stops and then spun off as he hunted down his team-mate.
“I well remember that four years ago, in fact right after a Malaysian Grand Prix, which was won for us by Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe was more or less in the same situation as today,” Domenicali began.
“The papers were demanding his immediate replacement and he managed to react in the best way possible, thanks to support from the team, which saw him win two of the next three races. We remember how that particular season ended, with the Brazilian actually World Champion even if it was just for a few seconds.
“Felipe has changed his plans and, instead of heading home to see his family in Brazil, he will be in Maranello to work alongside the engineers to calmly analyse everything that happened in these past two races, trying to identify why he was not able to deliver what he is capable of. That’s the right spirit and we are here, ready to help him.”
Speculation of a Massa replacement has been rife since the weekend, not least as Sergio Pérez – whose Sauber chased Alonso before finishing second – is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. Massa remains under contract until the end of 2012.