There are certainly a few ways to look at Felipe Massa’s recent rant on AUTOSPORT and I’ll choose to take the positive approach. Felipe is not happy with the bad luck he feels he’s having of late and that’s good. We haven’t seen that kind of fire from him in quite a while so it is a positive sign to see the Brazilian fired up over his season. Massa told AUTOSPORT:
“I’m frustrated for what has happened [in China] and I’m frustrated for what has happened in many races,” said Massa.
“The first race, somebody [Kamui Kobayashi] pushed me out and I lost massive points then [in Bahrain] I was fighting for third or fourth and then after the safety car I finished seventh, so I have lost points.
“This race is another problem that has cost me points. I feel I have started well in terms of pace but I have not been lucky.”
The other side of the coin is that he could still be at Ferrari and fumbling around mid-field like Kimi Raikkonen (his replacement) currently is and like he had been for the past couple of years. I tend to think the glass is half full for Felipe because I think many felt his career was winding down and had no contextual reference of Williams F1 soaring back up the grid in a relatively competitive car for 2014.
It’s great to see Felipe get a second look at F1 with the Williams F1 ride and the Mercedes power unit. He’s most likely having a better chance to score than he would have at Ferrari and that’s a good thing right? It is as long as you’re not having bad luck I suppose. While I applaud Felipe’s tough love for his team and prodding to get decent results, I found this statement the most insightful:
“It’s something we need to work on and try to have more consistent races and score more consistent points.”
This is the very thing that has eluded Felipe while at Ferrari and while I cannot say it is why they replaced him, I can say that as a fan, it is the reason I was ready to see him move on in favor of Kimi Raikkonen. Being consistent means staying out of trouble and in Felipe’s defense, the pit bumble in China and the safety car were beyond his control. There were several occasions, while at Ferrari, that were clearly in his control and not a mechanical or safety car issue. I think of the season he and Lewis Hamilton couldn’t stay away from each other or the altercations with Maldonado.
I suspect that Felipe has a chance to be the most consistent part of Williams F1’s race strategy and as long as he is stays out of trouble and isn’t creating his own bad luck.