Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Every now and then I fall apart // Felipe Massa's on the up and up

Published by Christine

I think I mentioned in the Canada podcast, that Massa has really taken a step up in my estimation. Previous to this season, I thought of him as a bit of a no-hoper, clinging on to the coat tails of Michael Schumacher. A harsh assumption, but it was just that, an initial opinion based on very little evidence. He came a very second best to Räikkönen last year, and so I’d basically written him off.

Turnaround

So, what’s changed? I’m going to pin it all on Monaco. Massa was having a dire start to the season - three races in, zero points, Räikkönen dominating, not a lot to look forward to. Then Monaco came along and everything was different. It began with the usual pre-qualifying excuses, that he didn’t like the track and wasn’t expecting to do well. But he stormed out there and took pole position, surprising everyone, including himself. I don’t remember the exact words, but afterwards his race engineer Rob Smedley said they had both worked like the devil on the track and on Massa’s mind. It clearly worked and something had clicked.

Total eclipse

Since then, it’s been all good for Felipe. He may not always take the win, as in Canada, but he’s always there, a thorn in the other driver’s side, challenging them. Whilst everyone was panicking about the track breaking up at Montreal, Massa was there, cool as you like, ready to take it as it comes. The results will surely follow.

With all the rumours about whether Alonso would fit in a team with Räikkönen, has anyone stopped to think whether Alonso would fit in a team with Massa? Räikkönen isn’t exactly shy about letting people know he’s not bothered about the future, and I can’t see Ferrari getting rid of the new improved Massa any time soon. He’s been putting the Finn in the shade recently. Okay, Monaco was a disaster, and Canada wasn’t his fault, but the Iceman looks as though his bravado is starting to melt.

Forever’s gonna start tonight

The real question, I suppose, rests on whether Massa can, to quote Mr Kipling, continue to keep his head, whilst all about him are losing theirs. He’s already battled through the ranks of the championship to be on equal points with Lewis Hamilton – now he has a real chance to fight for the title. This means added pressure, and Räikkönen's luck can only be bad for so long. Will Massa have the strength, and has he changed enough, to take it to the finish line?

Of course, this is all speculation, ponderings, and musings, because the truth is there’s no knowing what is going to happen. However, it certainly seems that turning up to a race with the right frame of mind can make all the difference in the world.

P.S - That song is totally in my head now.