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A kerb named Massa

As news of the Brazilian being re-signed for another year with the "scuderia", this piece was written written before the announcement was made, and it tells a story about Massa's relationship with the Indian GP.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16th, 2012 (F1plus / Suren M.).- Felipe’s chances to retain his driving seat for next year are rather flourishing now with the recent string of good results. But earlier in the season, Ferrari boss, Montezemolo, admitted that he wanted a fresh face with good talent and experience underneath but recently he quipped that he will sit down with Massa for a lengthy talk on Tuesday. It’s inevitable that whatever happens next year he will race for Ferrari in the forthcoming Indian GP on a kerb he may regret to forget.

‘Massa Kerb’, of course I’m not kidding, as reported by Times of India has been named after Felipe Massa. It’s easy to see why as he crashed twice there in the inaugural race. To be honest, in that race, only Hamilton and Massa’s battle was exciting to watch, even though the circuit had all the ingredients to pull out a fight-to-finish race and sadly 2011 was another ‘year of Redbull’, certainly a boring one.

Last year, Felipe Massa called for changes to the BIC after he crashed out in qualifying. On the final run in q3 he pushed to the limit and went on the wrong side deeply into Turn 8, the car landed so hard so that his front suspension broke. He reckoned the kerb was too high to master as the approach to Turn 8 is at around 215kph speed.

The BIC authorities claim that in order to host SBK next year and MotoGP hopefully in the future, the kerbs are placed at 25mm higher to meet the regs but as per FIA, the kerbs can be up to 2 inches higher. To prevent drivers from kicking dust onto the track, grassy areas are added as well.

The ‘Massa kerb’ is on the right-hand apex of the fast-flowing Turn 8 chicane. He clouted that Himalayan kerb and ended his qualifying ambitions as a whole with front suspension damage and sailed through the gravel while Alonso found his way to start from third on the grid. The race Sunday saw Massa’s hopes shattering as he broke the left-front suspension on the same chicane but the exit of it.

As for the upcoming race, the kerbs of Turns 6, 7, 8 and 9 have been extended from five to 15 meters in width to hamper drivers from taking much of the apexes. The speeds taken through that sequence is crucial as Turn 10 is winding and getting a good exit proves to be vital for a timed lap.

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