Felipe Massa: The Heart of Scuderia Ferrari

AnthonyCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2008

Massa this weekend.

How many words can you describe his performance? His performance on track and as a team leader. Yes, a team leader.

He praised his team for giving him the perfect car so that he could give "the perfect lap." He performed from the green light, taking the lead and smoothly pulling out a slow and steady lead under enormous pressure.

He pitted, hitting his spot perfectly, so his beloved team that had given him the perfect car could do their job, once again, and send him on his way to do his job: win.

This, of course, is where disaster struck. Adversity met head on under immense pressure. Scuderia Ferrari had possibly injured mechanics. Was the fuel rig going to cause fire?

Kimi at idle waiting for the ensuing confusion to clear. Felipe's car and its status.

The mechanics' embarrassing sprint down pit road, representing one of the most prestigious names in motor sport. The ensuing effort to disengage the remnants of the fuel rig from Massa's Ferrari.

My knee jerk reaction yesterday was to write that heads needed to roll. I was angry. I was upset that Scuderia Ferrari had lost a significant chance to take away a victory and its spoils.

But Massa's reaction perhaps taught me a lesson on grace under pressure by consoling the man responsible and simply stated that we all make mistakes. His exact quote taken from the Official F-1 website was:

"It's hard to deal with losing in this fashion a race that was within our grasp, with a car that was just the way I wanted it. We had a good strategy and all the signs were there that we could get a one-two finish.

"But things can change in a moment and that's what happened today. At the pit stop, one of the guys made a mistake. But we are only human. Each one of us always tries to do our best, and these things can happen.

"With the Safety Car still on track, I didn't lose a lap, but then I got a drive-through and later I also picked up a puncture in the left rear. On this track, it is almost impossible to overtake, and ending up at the back meant I had no chance of getting into the points.

"Seven points to make up in three races? That can be a lot or it can be a little. We have the potential to do well, as we saw today and we will give it our best shot. We mustn't give up, and I'm sure we won't."

Felipe Massa deserves his team's total dedication. This is what makes a "team" leader. My personal opinion of Felipe is of the utmost regard after his reaction yesterday.