Massa obeys team orders but Button is still fighting

10 September, 2012

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 9 September 2012.

Felipe Massa and Jenson Button battle for second place early on in the Italian GP

Sep.10 (GMM) Felipe Massa and Jenson Button will take vastly different approaches to the remaining races of the 2012 F1 world championship season as their respective teammates look set to tussle it out for the biggest crown in motorsport.

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren and Sam Michael (AUS) McLaren Sporting Director. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 9 September 2012.Button admitted after retiring from Sunday’s Italian grand prix that his title hopes are now all but over. The 2009 world champion is 78 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso with seven races to go, while his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton is still right in the reckoning.

“It [the championship] is going to be very difficult but nothing is going to change,” Button said before leaving Monza. “I am still going to race hard and try to win every race. It is such a special feeling to win a grand prix.”

At Ferrari, however, the pecking-order is now firmly in place, and Felipe Massa – fighting hard to stay with the Italian team for 2013 – got the team orders firing on Sunday.

He let Alonso pass him at Monza to maximise the championship leader’s points tally, and vowed to do more of the same if possible between Singapore, later this month,and the Brazilian finale in November.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 overtakes Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012 at the first corner. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 9 September 2012.“I worked for the team, trying to help Fernando, which is as it should be,” said Massa. “I have always done it and will do it whenever it’s necessary.”

Team boss Stefano Domenicali praised Massa’s race and attitude, “Felipe proved to everyone – not [just] to us, because we knew already – that he is a driver who can fight for the very top spot and that at Ferrari, we work as a team, united in our efforts to reach the targets we set ourselves.”

If Massa can keep up his improved form, the ‘number 2′ issue could ultimately be decisive in Ferrari’s deliberations about its 2013 lineup.

Sauber’s Sergio Perez, although hotly tipped to oust Massa, said after passing the Ferrari drivers at Monza that he will “fight any driver, no matter if it’s Fernando or Lewis”.

Massa said on Sunday: “I don’t know if this race changes anything regarding my future, but definitely the most important thing for now is to keep going like this, working with great concentration and trying to do my best for the team.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Speedo

    Massa succumbs to team orders? So what is the problem now it is legal. Teams want to win both the constructor’s and the driver’s championship if not both at least one.
    Can Massa win the championship? Definitely not.
    Can Alonso win it? Definitely yes at the moment he is leading.
    Therefore if Alonso is behind Massa in a race, why not Massa support his team mate and let him pass to get those additional points. Why make a big issue of it. I am sure other teams would do the same bar the McLaren (Button).

  • Erich Lacher

    Why FIA accepts the wrong decission in the duel Vettel Alonso

  • hillside

    no way thats team order. Alonso is just awesome!

  • fools

    This article is useless and nothing but a repeat of yesterdays article that was posted.

    I agree @ Speedo…whats the point…Of course anyone would help your teammate in terms if he is leading the WDC. Why create poison/drama?? Let the man Massa race…He has had some good results recently…give him credit when due and stop the drama…

    On the other hand I believe Alonso was cathing Massa, NOT because of team orders…Rob said watch your tires and for Alonso…sure…no translation said..”Alonso is faster then you” whichthis article is trying to bring back…which is stupid! and pointless.

  • fgdfhf

    Speedo, Massa can win a championship, in 2008 it should’ve been him (6 wins despite Briatore scandal (where he was going to win without SC) and Hungary blown engine while leading and gifted Kova his only win). The accident however changed him I guess.

  • pitwall

    @Erich Lacher The FIA changed the rules for this year, stating that the defending driver must leave a cars width. Vettel left about one-third that…

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