March 29th, 2012 (F1plus Team).- Instead of flying home for the short three week break, Felipe Massa headed straight to Ferrari's HQ at Maranello in order to analyze his shortcomings in the opening two grands prix of the season.
As the world’s press and some f1 followers 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.” The team Principal added.
The 2012 season is believed to be a make-or-break one for Massa's Ferrari future and although Ferrari's F2012 chassis is not yet a competitive proposition, Massa's performances in Australia and Malaysia have been well below par in comparison with team mate Fernando Alonso, who won at Sepang in mixed conditions.
The news of Massa's change of plans has prompted the Italian media to speculate that the Brazilian is about to be imminently replaced, possibly by Sergio Perez, who finished a fine second for Sauber at Sepang, and is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
At the end of the quick stint at Ferrari’s HQ, Massa summarized his visit with few words. “I met my engineer Rob Smedley and I spent a lot of time with Pat Fry, going over everything that happened, because this is the only way I think we can understand the reasons behind these two bad weekends. I am disappointed, there is no denying it: not scoring any points in two races hurts, but now it’s time to turn the page. It’s the not the first time I’ve gone through a difficult moment like this and I know well that things can change quickly, but now is the moment to do my utmost because I want this negative period to come to an end.
The Brazilian finished with an emotionally confident boosting remark: “I want things to return to normal, to a situation in which I can show my talent as I have always done and as the team knows I can do. I was very happy to read and hear what was said by President Montezemolo, our boss Stefano Domenicali and my team-mate Fernando. Their words did not come as a surprise, because I know I can count on the support of what is a real second family for me, which is what Ferrari has been to me for all these years.”