Domenicali warns Massa that his Ferrari future is at stake

22 April, 2012

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday 24 September 2011.

Stefano Domenicali and Felipe Massa

Apr.22 (GMM) Felipe Massa’s future in F1 is at stake in 2012, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has warned, saying that the struggling Brazilian driver, already fighting to keep his seat with the Maranello based team, “needs to improve” for the very sake of his “future in F1″.

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday 20 April 2012.

Felipe Massa has struggled in the cockpit of the Ferrari F2012

Domenicali’s latest interview in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo indicates therefore that not only is Massa’s Ferrari seat in doubt, but that he might struggle to find any place on the grid next season.

Rubens Barrichello, once the great Michael Schumacher’s number two teammate at Ferrari, recently advised his friend Massa to “relax” as he faces being destroyed by the Italian marque’s new hero, Fernando Alonso.

“Felipe needs to accept,” said Domenicali, “that he is facing a very strong teammate. If not, that hurts him. He needs to assume a clear role rather than trying to take advantage — you need to learn from Fernando, not challenge him.

“That [challenging)] is the way to being destroyed by a teammate such as Alonso or Schumacher, who are real cannibals,” Domenicali insisted.

Apparently justifying Alonso’s dominant position, Domenicali said Ferrari has a “moral obligation” to champion the highly rated Spaniard.

That influence will extend to the selection of his 2013 teammate, Domenicali hinted.

“He [Alonso] has a central role in the team, and he therefore participates in the important issues,” said the Italian.

Subbed by AJN.


  • Butterfly

    So let me get this straight: Felipe thinks he’s just been unlucky and that he’s actually better than Fernando? Am I reading this right?

  • fawxx

    ferrari are really taking alot of time to fulfill their moral obligations. i will be surprised if ferrari still retains massa for 2013.

  • Butterfly

    @fawxx:

    I guess they would prefer Massa to slide into the No2 role, but if he doesn’t, then maybe one of the young drivers will take his place (Bianchi, Perez, Kobayashi maybe).

  • Dragan

    I agree with Domenicali, but…….. He allso made some wrong decision, not one. For example, I list only the last. Bringing Pat Fry’s who I’d like to Domenicali stated one of his revolutionary solution in previous engagements, which he singled out and recommended for a team such as Ferrari. To just remind you that Fry has spent too much time and money without any tangible results.

  • fawxx

    having massa as a no 2 is as good as telling everyone that ferrari will not be contesting for the constructors. they need a second alonso to be challenging up there as well.

    but tbh, there are no good enough drivers outthere to replace massa, now that kubica is injured and perez not experienced enough…

  • Papa

    Since Domenicali has produced next to nothing note worthy as team principal when will his future at Ferrari be at stake?

    As for Massa, he’s not been the same since Lewis beat him to the title on the last lap in Brazil and should have been replaced for the 2012 season. He just doesn’t have the mental toughness to be paired with the Evil Spaniard and especially not in a team like Ferrari.

  • Lauda Fan

    Domenicali is the weakest team principal in F1. He is Ferrari’s albatross…not FM

  • Jody Renza

    We all know Fernando is surely one of the top 3 drivers in F1 and only that helps Ferrari to score points with a car (and I recall Gilles Villeneuve’s remarks) that the F2012 is a shitbox!
    If Felipé is such a bad driver, replace him with Rubens (yes him to be a good no:2!!) or another GP2 driver I think is even better than Sergio..Esteban Gutierrez!
    But as you guys say, what has Domenicali done that justifies him stay at Ferrari…get Flavio to run the team..then things will be back to the glory days!

  • visz963

    Domenicali should be fired too.

  • t

    Guys firstly,
    ive been bagering massa all year but bahrain race did u see massa actualy fighting?? and he wasnt that far behind in seconds to alonso after the race.. yes replace him but lets see what they can do in the next 2 races?as they have basicly a new car in spain.
    and regarding dominc i think hes to soft. evan brundle and co. say hes the most kind perosn on the grid. tru bring back flavio to run it half season. be interesting.

    and to replace massa? hmm i think true no one is there to replace him with kubic out and button with mc cnat think of any one ealse other then fissi for a race or evan a practice session?? that sounds fair?

  • Alex

    Problem is Alonso does not want a driver who will challenge him. There are going to be problems if that occurred.

    It’s same as back in Schummi Ferrari days.

    For me the only true young future champion on the grid is Paul Di Resta (he knows that he is nr1 driver on Mercedes list to replace who ever is leaving McLaren or Mercedes), but he won’t go to Ferrari, because he does not want end his career as second driver, he most likely will replace Button/Hamilton in McLaren.

    Ferrari need someone who will bow down to Alonso, most likely some one with experience and who will be glad they gave him a chance and most importantly can talk his way out of things.

    I wont be surprised if Webber or Button will end up in Ferrari.

  • Jenni

    I love Massa and he has always been a favorite but he’s lost something since his accident and losing the championship to hamilton. I’m not sure getting rid of him will really help, Ferrari hasn’t built a car that can handle smooth tires and changing drivers isn’t going to change that. Also they haven’t been the same since Todt left. I think their main problem is Domenicali!! He is their main handicap and needs to go ASAP!!!! He is the worst team principal and can’t cut it. The other problem with getting rid of Felipe is that while Alonso probably wants to have not only the drivers title but the constructors he will not put up with having a driver that can get anywhere near him in pace and talent so for him the best option is to keep Felipe.

    They really need complete management and technical department overhaul.

    2008 Brazil still makes me sad, he should’ve won and then he wouldn’t be in this position.

  • t

    i dont think it was brazil 08, 09 before his accident he was still the same although he was in a less competetive car. i see massa as vettel, good with a good car but if ur not leading then ther eis noway they can take 2 or 3 place to retake the lead… if im wrong please tell me gp and date?

  • Tamburello_1994

    I’d be worried about your own future, Stefano…… You aint impressing anyone either. Massa’s easy pickin’s But I say you got some explainin to do too.

    Also galling for Domenicali to say if Felipe can’t cut it he will struggle next year to find a ride. That’s a bold statement, and…..probably true. The fact that he said that publicly is indicative on how precarious Massa’s situation has become.

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