Felipe Massa: Still Underestimated But Serious Contender

Mustafa SariContributor IDecember 13, 2008

I wanted to write a article about Felipe Massa after the tragedy on his home soil. Now it is the day.

Felipe joined Scuderia Ferrari in 2003 and he was a test pilot for a year after a bad rookie year. In 2004 and 2005 he had a seasons with Sauber-Petronas and he was outpaced by Fisi and passed JV.

But His story changed after Rubens left Ferrari and Schumi's brain team decided to fill the second seat with Massa. 2006 he won the Turkish and Brazilian GP and finished third in the championship table.

In 2007,especially first seven races he was better than Kimi Raikkonen but his luck and his speed didn't allow him to be the contender for the championship last year.

This year,Everybody knows the story,Massa loses the championship by one point and he outpaced Kimi in the season ending standings so What's Next?

This year nobody expected Massa to become so quick in a car without TC but Massa generated and improved himself especially in street circuits. He got three poles after he said in Monaco Qualifying Press Conference he learned how to become faster in Monaco streets.

We all Know the answer,it is Schumi who is the mentor of Massa after schumi retired. Schumi give advises to Massa and supports him. I read In F1 Racing, They are talking on the phone also in races they are spending time with each other.

Massa is a different man after 2006 season,like he said when he learned Schumi retiring he must be successful to be in the team and he did it. He won races also dominates in Bahrain, Turkey, and Brazil.

Massa improved himself more than anyone on the grid.He learned a lot of things to become a complete driver. Massa becomes a strong force but still media underestimates him and I think this is unfair. He is not a golden boy or slow driver.

What I know is: He is fast and he becomes team leader again. For coming year,Massa must be in the same form otherwise Kimi can easily outpace him. In 2007 and 2008 we saw that the car and rules are the thing to effect drivers. So situations can change in anytime.

2009 season is a different season for all of us. Tyres,aeros etc. changed and we will see which team can handle the best on the grid. In Ferrari, with new rules Kimi and Felipe will attack for the glory but they must confront with each other.

In Conclusion, Massa is not the boy in Sauber now and he can again have a chance to be a contender of the championship or become champion. He has the potential and he has the speed. His real problem is Kimi. If Kimi strikes with his full speed how can Felipe react that ?

Felipe Massa:an underestimated driver to a serious contender.This year showed a lot about him but he must do a better job than this year. If he can do that the result will not surprise us but If he fails old stories can open again. So Massa showed what he has got this year but next year he must be the man to beat on the grid again.