If whinging, whining and complaining were Olympic sports, Felipe Massa could represent Brazil next year in London.
The diminutive Ferrari pilot has had a woeful year on the track and has worked very hard to ensure that he’s had a bad one off the track too.
Massa and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton have had running battles all season, ending in the pair coming together on no less than five occasions and coming close plenty of other times, too.
While that might seem a little excessive, when you take into account that the Ferraris and McLarens are reasonably evenly matched, the chances are that they are going to going to get in each other’s way sooner or later.
The fact that the two have occasionally come together is irrelevant, it is Massa’s reaction that has started to wear thin.
Only a month ago, the feud between the two erupted.
Massa went through a couple of weeks where he was telling anyone who would listen that Hamilton was a menace, that he was dangerous and out of his mind.
He even went to complain to the stewards about Hamilton before the Singapore practice sessions—a kind of preemptive whinging session.
It was a crusade worthy of the finest schoolyard tattle-tale. It was personal, it was childish, and it was completely lacking in any ability to see any fault in himself.
The really strange thing is that Massa complains almost as much when Hamilton gets penalized as when he doesn’t. Hamilton was penalized in Monaco and Singapore, Massa complains. Hamilton isn’t penalized at Silverstone or Japan, Massa complains.
Massa himself is penalized in India, and he complains.
Then again, after hitting the traffic island and ripping the wheel off his car, he needed to do something to distract from the fact that he destroyed his own race.
Are you seeing a pattern? Win, lose, or draw, Massa is going to complain.
Of the five occasions where Hamilton and Massa have come together this year, three of them have been brought about by Massa turning in on Hamilton—it could even be four if we go back to the pair’s collision at Monza in 2010.
In Singapore qualifying he did the same again, nearly taking the nose off Hamilton’s car before complaining bitterly about Hamilton returning the favour at the next corner.
In the Singapore race, Massa was completely innocent in the pair’s coming together—if we don’t count driving ridiculously slowly. In Japan, Massa put his car in an inexplicable position on the outside of a corner that he was never going to make stick.
In the most recent incident, Massa turned in on Hamilton yet again, taking the nose off the McLaren.
Footage of the incident shows Massa checking his mirror twice. Hamilton had his nose alongside Massa’s cockpit and Massa admits that he knew Hamilton was there, but still he turned in.
Good racers can manage to be side-by-side without colliding. Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso managed to pull it off through Eau Rouge in Belgium—one of the most difficult corners in F1.
Webber and Hamilton managed to spend three-quarters of a lap side-by-side around the Korean circuit without touching. Hamilton and Jenson Button did it in Turkey in 2010.
It’s when Massa is involved that the fun starts.
And then, inevitably, so does the complaining.