German GP: Massa’s replacement

For once, I agree with James Allen. Ferrari needs to start wondering whether Felipe Massa has the ability to win an F1 world championship, and they need to have a think about getting someone like Kovalainen or Kubica on the phone.

Excellent James, a fine comment, well made. Makes a change from all those excruciating cliches.

We mustn’t forget that Massa was placed at Ferrari by the son of then team principle, Jean Todt. Nicholas Todt has managed the Ferrari journeyman for a few years now, and it was a cosy placement indeed from Jean, putting his son’s driver into a big-paying seat with the world’s best-known F1 team, first as a tester, then as a racer to replace Rubens Barrichello next to Michael Schumacher.

Don’t forget, a driver’s manager pockets a goodly percentage of his charge’s income. Why not direct that income stream toward your own son?

Todt wouldn’t have given him the drive just for that reason, of course. Massa is by no means bad. On occasion, Massa has actually been good, fast, when things suit him, when things go his way and the surface is dry and consistent and he likes the track.

But when things get tough, when it gets knife-edge close, as it will tend to in a championship battle, Massa – unlike Raikkonen – isn’t up to it.

He just isn’t consistent enough, doesn’t have the mental strength or resilience to take on the world’s best, and I’m starting to get angry about his presence at the Scuderia.

Even when Massa seems on top of things, I can’t help wondering when his next disaster will strike, when his brain will short circuit. It is a waste of a tremendous F1 seat and it’s time for a change.

So, let’s assume Ferrari is now considering a replacement for Massa. Who would be the strongest partner for Kimi, the reigning World Champion (who had an off day in Germany, but will bounce back like the champion he is)?

Who would you like to see in that second Ferrari seat next year? Assume that Ferrari could buy any driver out of his contract other than Hamilton – no, they can’t have Lewis. Not yet. But anyone else…

Who would you like to see in there?

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