Quiet One

Replacing Massa

326 posts in this topic

So, by now I assume we all pretty much agree that a.Felipe is a nice guy and b.Felipe deserves that Ferrari seat as much as I deserve to be the Real Madrid's replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sorry kid, I think you were great with your Oscar clip at the end of 2008 season, but now you should seek a career in soft porn or something like that.

So who would you choose as a replacement? I assumed Bianchi, but Craig who knows better said that the kid is still not ready. So here is the list of possible candidates (I am assuming that Kubica is still a firm candidate in one or two years so Ferrari is not looking for a long term contract)Basically, there are better F1 rejects out there.

a. Sergio Perez (not a reject): I don't think so. He can still make his stock values rise up at Sauber, before cashing them in at Ferrari.

b. Luca Badoer: Nah. It's like Massa minus the accident excuse (or Germany 2010 excuse...whichever one you prefer)

c. Jarno Trulli: my personal favorite. He is in good terms with Alonso and has lots of experience. Cons: he is an experienced driver, but I have my reservations on his qualities as a car developer, and they do not need a guy to mentor Alonso, they need a guy to develop the car. If the car fits him, he can do a lot more than Massa and I think he could get a lot closer to Alonso's pace.

d. Heidfeld: smooth, low profile, still hungry, I guess cheap?

e. Alguersuari: another favorite. The kid deserved so much better than a kick in the arse from STR. And, as a commentator, he is a great F1 driver.

f. Buemi: I don't rate him as much as Jaime, but why not?

g. Fisi: Is he still around?

h. I am ruling out Rubinho who would certainly be one of the best of them all simply because I doubt he would accept it.

i. Liuzzi: oh, come on! If the Ferrari's are going to start from the back of the field, who else can climb up like he did last year at Monza? :D

j. F.Murray Abraham

What are your candidates? Or you'd rather keep Massa? (CAUTION: IF YOU REPLY "I'D RATHER KEEP MASSA" I WOULD PERSONALLY SLAP YOU IN THE FACE WITH A RUBBER CHICKEN)

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Bianchi is nowhere near ready. I have no idea why Ferrari or so many fans rate the guy so highly. He reminds me of a young Massa actually - fairly quick, but crash prone.

I say sign Perez. Or Kobayashi. I was impressed with both at times in 2011 and today just reaffirmed my views.

Ferrari need a young driver at the start of his career. I don't see how any of the other candidates you mention would really be a better fit, otherwise they'd still be in race seats right now.

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Bianchi is nowhere near ready. I have no idea why Ferrari or so many fans rate the guy so highly. He reminds me of a young Massa actually - fairly quick, but crash prone.

I say sign Perez. Or Kobayashi. I was impressed with both at times in 2011 and today just reaffirmed my views.

Ferrari need a young driver at the start of his career. I don't see how any of the other candidates you mention would really be a better fit, otherwise they'd still be in race seats right now.

RE Bianchi: I hav no idea if he is good or bad, I mentioned him only because he is part of Ferrari's development's program.

RE Perez or Kobayashi: those guys are too much hassle to hire, because they are already doing good in another team.

RE the others: I mention them because they are readily available (unlike Perez or Koba). Being in or out in F1 is not a mathematical consequence of actual or potential performance alone. Drivers might be worthless in a team and great in another with a different car, pressure from the teammate/media, etc. As why no other young guy besides Bianchi, well, because I think Ferari already have better plans for the middle term with Perez, Bianchi or Kubica (and Vettel?). I was thinking of a quick fix before Felipe cost them one or two places worth in the WCC this very year.

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AINEC.

:lol: Indeed how could I have forget about him?

I will still back Salieri, if you don't mind.

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RE Bianchi: I hav no idea if he is good or bad, I mentioned him only because he is part of Ferrari's development's program.

RE Perez or Kobayashi: those guys are too much hassle to hire, because they are already doing good in another team.

RE the others: I mention them because they are readily available (unlike Perez or Koba). Being in or out in F1 is not a mathematical consequence of actual or potential performance alone. Drivers might be worthless in a team and great in another with a different car, pressure from the teammate/media, etc. As why no other young guy besides Bianchi, well, because I think Ferari already have better plans for the middle term with Perez, Bianchi or Kubica (and Vettel?). I was thinking of a quick fix before Felipe cost them one or two places worth in the WCC this very year.

Perez is out of contract at the end of the year - it has been widely reported he could end up there for '13.

I doubt Ferrari would do anything as risky as replacing the guy during a season, that'd be massively risky, particularly with only one in season test. I'm sure Ferrari have learnt from their mistakes in the Schumacher/Badoer/Fisichella mess in 2009.

Let the guy see out the season. If the car continues to be as bad as it is at the moment, it's not as if they're even missing out on much. :P

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Perez is out of contract at the end of the year - it has been widely reported he could end up there for '13.

I doubt Ferrari would do anything as risky as replacing the guy during a season, that'd be massively risky, particularly with only one in season test. I'm sure Ferrari have learnt from their mistakes in the Schumacher/Badoer/Fisichella mess in 2009.

Let the guy see out the season. If the car continues to be as bad as it is at the moment, it's not as if they're even missing out on much. :P

Oh, of course by year's end they will have many more choices, but that rather defeats the purpose of my mental excercise :P

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To ride out the year? Heidfeld, Alguersuari, or Liuzzi are all freed up enough and they're solid ringers.

Long-term? Red Bull don't have the room for Vettel, Ricciardo, and Vergne, so I'd take one of the STR guys if I can pry them away (not sure if Red Bull still structure their contracts the same way, but even if they lost Red Bull backing, they'd still have to wear the Red Bull helmet for three more years, and pay part of their salary from their new team to Red Bull, so it's not a total loss to give up on one and replace Webber with the other). I prefer Vergne but whoever they can get, do it. I know Pérez is contracted to them; he gets better with every step up the ladder he goes, being total **** in the real juniors and then decent against a weak GP2 field and now impressive enough in F1. I'm not sold on him, which means he's probably really gifted. :P

Who else has a future...you can gamble on Hülkenberg, I guess, but I still think he's overrated. Of course, it would be pretty easy to write off a guy like Jenson Button a few years into his career and then you see where he can go. Plus, Ferrari aren't even a top team, they won't be getting the best prospects. Pérez is on their level. I like Kobayashi a lot but he's not a good fit.

I'd be getting ready to sign a few new guys to their young driver program, too, for the distant future. Jules Bianchi and Mirko Bortolotti have been total busts; Pérez has been decent but they signed him once he was already with Sauber, not from the start, so their talent scouting sucks, frankly, and Lance Stroll isn't the answer so don't go there. He's not even the best karter in Canada, it's just a service to a rich kid and we all knew that, yeah, he won a kart race against Alonso and Massa...he also weighs 100 lbs less than they do; the story would have been if he lost. Felipe Nasr, I'd look toward him, for one, guy's really fast. I'd ignore the entire GP2 field this year, nothing of interest down there. WSR has some good guys already signed up (Magnussen to McLaren, Korjus to Gravity/Lotus, Rossi to Caterham) but I'd be looking there and to British F3 and stuff like that, not to this inbred Italian F3 stuff, as cool as it was to see American Michael Lewis get to romp around in a 2010 car because of what he did. Maybe just pick up Red Bull sloppy seconds along the way; they have a few good guys they've dropped in the past and are bound to drop in the future.

Replace Domenicalli, though. That's where it all gets solved. Clean house.

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I forgot to add NK and PDLR. Both don't seem to have anything better to do at the moment :dam:

BTW, Chandok would be another solid option IMHO. Geez, even Massa Sr. would be a better option...poor Felipinho!

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:lol:

I still think it's unlikely they'll make a move before the end of the season, which is a shame. But if they were to, to me the best and most obvious choice is Alguersuari. Why? He's available, he's hungry, he's reasonably good and therefore much better than Massa, and has contemporary experience. For next year, Perez is probably a good pick depending on the performance this year. Hulk would also be one to consider again depending on what he can show this year. The big issue with all of those three is age, of course, ideally you'd want someone a bit older and more experienced than any of them but I don't see any good options (obviously guys like Heidfeld and Trulli can't really be considered long-term solutions and I don't find them attractive as temporary choices either).

Anyway, Ferrari isn't a top team at the moment, and with the way the team is setup around Alonso they don't want another superstar in the other car, so whenever it happens their next driver choice will be interesting.

Edited by #46

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I still think it'd be a terrible idea to do an in-season switch. The only reason you'd really do that was if a driver was injured. At least do the honourable thing and see out the contract till the end of the year - they signed him for another season, so Ferrari should deal with it.

None of the other candidates are really that much better. Alguersuari? Heidfeld? Come on...

Fisichella showed how difficult it is to switch from one car (Force India) to another (Ferrari) when there's no real in season testing in 2009. Sure, Massa's not great, but is a guy as inexperienced as Alguersuari really going to be that much better in a cold car that unless your name is Fernando Alonso seems to be a bit of a dog?

I think that'd just result in the same problem but with just a different driver - and it also limits Ferrari's ability to sign someone they REALLY want in the winter.

They'd just be causing themselves excess problems if they dumped Massa early. However mediocre he is now, he has experience and knowledge about the car and can help Ferrari develop it throughout the season. They'd probably have a legal problem on their hands too, because I don't think for a moment that Massa would take kindly to being dropped midseason.

Keep him sweet, part with good grace and a smile, and move on to 2013. :P

Edited by JHS18

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I think Alg would be better, and in saying that I am not making a claim about his abilities so much as an assessment of Massa's abilities. It does not take much to improve on Massa right now. Obviously he might pick up a bit, although it doesn't seem that likely. The car only looks great in Alonso's hands because we only have Massa to compare against, and Massa has hardly looked that impressive for a very long time so we know it isn't just the car. Alonso is a modern maestro but not a God, the car is drivable and has some performance.

Putting a new guy in would have lots of problems, not least the pressure on that driver and that pressure would be even worse on a young guy like Alguersuari. Yet I still think it would be better that they did something. The reason they won't? You can forget the legal stuff, it means nothing. Remember they were happy to pay Kimi millions not to drive the car for a year. Nope, the reason they won't is the same reason they signed him again, the same reason they supported him so much in the past: they like the guy and are too sentimental so it clouds their judgement. They wouldn't want to embarrass the guy. It's part of a much bigger problem at Ferrari; if they are willing to accept such mediocrity (generous use of the word) in half of their driver line up, what other areas are they accepting mediocrity in?

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I see it similarly (I'm always careful not to agree fully, in case I misinterpret, and say something dumb, which would reflect negatively on the other poster :lol:) to the way George sees it; clinically, I gather, we're both myopic. :P

Ferrari are the ultimate tifosi (I can't wait for the fake Jerseyan fake Italians, you know, American guys born to American parents who were born to American parents who live in Long Island or Poughkeepsie, NY and pretend they are from NJ and Italy simultaneously...and their heritage, their great-grandparents, are actually Portuguese...what I was saying was, I can't wait for the cast of Jersey Shore to adopt the term tifosi on themselves for the race up north in Weehawken).

Tifosi Tom can't accept that Ferrari haven't dropped the ball these last few years; they've actually just returned back to their normal standards. "But no one's ever won more than they have! I saw them win seven titles with Michael! It can't be! They've lost their way!" In reality, successes of that magnitude were the abnormalities, not what Ferrari is at the core. It's Ferrari when they have a magic combination of personnel; any team could be like that with that combination, since those people practically came from Benetton together. Success is a fluke; running at "almost" pace is normal. You can win more races than any other team ever did...they've probably lost more races than any other team has, and definitely multiple times more than they've won.

Ferrari themselves see their team and their drivers in the same light. "We can't fire Domenicalli! He won a title! He's just having an off year! Massa? Oh not Massa. He moderates this place! He won eleven races, see the post above, one corner less, just one corner less, and..."

They can't accept that Ferrari the name and the brand and the legacy and the "spirit" doesn't win races.

The personnel win races. They had winning personnel that all just came together in the Schumachera. They don't have winning personnel anymore, and now they're exposed for what they've always been at the core: a cute team that's delightfully an also-ran.

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I really don't see how Domenicali's fault. Maybe I view it too simply - but it's not as if he's the one designing the bad cars, or telling Massa how to perform, is it?

Maybe you should say fire Martin Whitmarsh seeing as McLaren haven't won the WCC since '98...

I find it quite amusing how as soon as a team goes through a bad patch fans react with "OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE FIRE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE TEAM" - yeah, that'll work. And replace him with whom, perhaps? Flavio Briatore? :P

Or it's "FIRE THAT DUDE!" and then when that guy is fired (Chris Dyer) it's "OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE HOW COULD THEY DO THAT?"

Ah, I just don't get the point of firing the boss. It's far too like football, and I'd like to think Formula One is better than that. ;) j/k

Edited by JHS18

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I'm not saying fire Domenicali and no one else; I'm saying fire him, and then let the new guy fire everyone else. :P

You fire the guy in charge because he's responsible for the problems beneath him. If Domenicali doesn't fire the bad designers, or the bad drivers, it's his fault for letting their standard of performance be considered passing. Therefore, you need to bring in a new attitude that:

1) Holds personnel to higher standards.

2) Inspires personnel to meet those higher standards.

Your McLaren comparison doesn't work because Ron Dennis was in charge, not Whitmarsh, for most of those years. Plus, McLaren have been winning multiple races in recent years. They are on a vague upward swing. There is hope that Whitmarsh can lead this team and make the right decisions because he gives them confidence. Domenicali does not invite confidence because the team gets worse and worse, and the decisions they are making (extending Massa's contract, starting development on the 2012 car so early only to make this thing) absolutely suck.

Is Domenicali driving and designing? No. But he's allowing poor driving and designing to happen, because he's not punishing bad moves (and he can't punish bad moves, because he makes bad moves, and that'd make him a hypocrite). He isn't replacing the people he needs to be replacing, so he needs to be replaced with someone who will replace the people to blame. And someone who will bring out the best in all the people working there; Domenicali is not bringing out the best in his team, because the people they have can be better than this.

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I find it quite amusing how as soon as a team goes through a bad patch fans react with "OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE FIRE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE TEAM" - yeah, that'll work. And replace him with whom, perhaps? Flavio Briatore? :P

Get FB to do SD's work and you would have Ferrari WCC for the next 10 years.

You will also have to face enough criminal charges to justify a new Nuremberg trial but that's another story ;)

One good thing you could say about Flabby is that, despite having the morals of a computer virus, he also was certainly more talented than the current crop of Team principals.

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We do view it similarly Eric. I think getting rid of Domenicali would not be a bad start. In the same way you can tell whether a driver has got "it", you can get a sense of that about anybody else in the team. I really think guys like Brawn, Whitmarsh and Horner are almost certainly more on top of things than Domenicali. That's the impression I have always got, at least. Actually, my thoughts on SD are similar to how I think about Massa, he's a very nice guy but he lacks an edge and therefore doesn't inspire much confidence in everybody else.

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I don't have a clue about who should drive the other red car. It should have been Kubica. It would have been Kubica. Maybe it's too risky to fire Massa now, when there isn't a clear candidate ATM.

Next season it could/should be Webber or the best young driver of 2012. I'm afraid Massa's position will become untenable very soon and Mr Domenicalli will have to do something.

I think we're all curious about whether the car is as bad as it looks in Massa's hands. There's nothing where we can reference the F2012 performance, neither Massa nor Alonso reflect the truth, and I wonder if they are like us fans in Ferrari. They have to do something in Ferrari ASAP.

A few contradictions but that's what I think.

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Alonso was amazing as usually, of course, but to be frank, 7th or 8th would have better reflected the pace of that Ferrari even in Alonso's hands considering that any driver with a tiny fraction more judgement than Pastor would have overtaken him at the last lap, and that Scuhmi (and perhaps Grosjean/Kimi?) had the car/pace to stay in front of him as well. Without his mistake at qualy, he would have probably started further up the grid, of course, but still he would have struggled to keep it up there.

Alonso is an overachiever, but not so much as Massa is an underachiever. I think Ferrari's "true pace", if such thing exists, is closer to Alonso's (perhaps 6/10ths slower :P)

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It WILL be Kubica. And I will laugh really loud pointing at this thread, saying : "I told you so!!!"

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I agree Andrés. Fifth was just a matter of a good race from Alonso together with some favorable circumstances that helped him. Massa is underperforming no doubt. Buuut...

How much is Massa underperforming? If he really is underperforming so much they are giving away championship points, why? It's surprising nobody because he was already underperforming last year, why is he still there? Santander? :P

I feel sad when every race Nira Juanco, in a quite disrespectful way, says ok Felipe, what was the problem this time? Today she said was it a mistake of yours or something else? :(

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It WILL be Kubica. And I will laugh really loud pointing at this thread, saying : "I told you so!!!"

He would need a year in a mid-table team before he... Ferrari is the right place now. :(

Seriosly, I hope you're right.

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