Could Ferrari's Blunder Be Renault's Gain?

Lewi M. SweetContributor IJuly 25, 2010

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 25:  Race winner Fernando Alonso (C) of Spain and Ferrari celebrates on the podium with second placed Felipe Massa (L) of Brazil and Ferrari and third placed Sebastian Vettel (R) of Germany and Red Bull Racing following the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring on July 25, 2010 in Hockenheim, Germany.  (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images)
Andrew Hone/Getty Images

Ferrari's inexcusible act of cheating at the German Grand Prix has left many questions asked about the status of Felipe Massa at the team. With Ferrari making it publicly clear where the little Brazilian stands within the team, Massa may well look for a way out.

Ferrari's disgraceful treatment of a driver who has served them so well as a test driver and race driver for so many years may perk Renault's ears up.

If Eric Boullier is being completely honest and Renault are not in any financial peril, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility that they would try to lure Massa away from Ferrari.

Vitaly Petrov has done reasonably well in 2010, without ever really excelling. Renault have not committed to the Russian long-term. Given that, it would make perfect sense for them to at least talk to Massa.

Having two established drivers on the grid would be a signal of intent from Renault, who would be in a stronger position to move forward as a result.

Anyone who follows Formula One will know what Massa will bring to the table. He brings professionalism and a drive to always improve. The latter trait being how Felipe established himself and how he came within a rainfall's judgement of the world championship in 2008.

Massa would push Robert Kubica harder than Petrov has done, which in turn would provide a real sense of competition in the team. This would drive both the drivers and the team on.

After all, if Renault are serious about being back in the hunt for the championship, they'll need two drivers of championship quality to help them.

A possible defection would also leave Ferrari in a tricky spot. 

After seeing Massa's treatment, a high-profile driver such as Nico Rosberg may feel he is better off staying put at Mercedes. An attempt to lure Michael Schumacher back would also seem nonsensical given his under-par performances in 2010 and his long-term commitment to Mercedes.

The only drivers that stand out as contenders for a vacant Ferrari seat would be Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi, who have both impressed me this season. Nico Hulkenberg has shown flashes but appears to be a work in progress.

My Formula One heart would love to see Kobayashi in a top team. I'd also love to see Massa get away from Ferrari after the way they have treated him in Germany.

Ferrari should not want to lose Massa though. He is a top driver and has been devoted to the team for many years now.