When asked if he could still win the 2009 F1 championship, last year's vice champion replied "forget it". Felipe Massa has thrown in the towel on the '09 season in terms of championship glory.
The Brasilian seems to have accepted what everyone in the paddock believed a long time ago. The only one holding hope is Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team principal—or is he trying to hold on to his job?
"Even if we improve massively the car and are three or four-tenths in front of them, they will still score points"—Comments after the Ferrari ace drove his heart out on Sunday, only to be denied a rightful podium due to a refueling problem on his Maranello car.
He passed Vettel after starting P4 with the most fuel on board, but was jumped by a clever strategy by Mark Webber. He was then forced to allow Vettel through and save fuel till the end, which allowed Alonso through, and Massa finished sixth.
It's clear Massa is immensely frustrated at the Ferrari team. He has lost big points in three separate occasions: Australia, China and now Spain. There's no doubt his cry of championship defeat is a stealthy signal of pain towards the Ferrari hierarchy.
The team has failed with Stefano Domenicali in 2008 and 2009. They should have won the drivers title in '08 and spent part of the winter serving a promise to Massa to investigate why he lost it.
It looks as though Ferrari are in a need of a new leadership.
"I do not think I'm the problem. But if necessary, I would make room."
Domenicali clearly feels capable of leading the team, and he certainly fits the bill. He has worked at Maranello for 20 years. Maybe they don't need a change of leadership, but the car is unreliable, and both drivers are unhappy.
"Maybe next year," was Massa's reply to whether he can win the championship.
I wonder how much anger must now be in him, after Ferrari have announced they will not enter the 2010 championship until changes are made.
The comment may be a bit too early to write, but Felipe Massa is a driver Ferrari have failed.
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