Echoing the thoughts of many within the grand prix paddock, Felipe Massa has claimed Formula 1 would benefit greatly from 'more sport and less politics' – given that the early part of the 2010 campaign has been persistently beset by off-track squabbling and one dispute after another.
The latest row to overshadow the racing is that surrounding the FIA's controversial new £40 million budget cap, which has prompted Massa's employers Ferrari to threaten to walk away from six decades of uninterrupted competition in the top flight – as the only team to have entered every single season since the official inception of the world championship all the way back in 1950 – and resulted in a stand-off between the governing body and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA).
McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton – the driver Massa battled tooth-and-nail for title glory last year – has recently bemoaned the overbearing prevalence of politics in F1, with Red Bull Racing ace Mark Webber suggesting 'serious egos' are to blame for the stalemate in the budget cap confrontation.
Having had its right of veto against the rules recognised by a Paris court but having failed to gain an injunction against the unpopular cap, Ferrari is now considering its options – and debating the wisdom of taking its contractual disagreement with Max Mosley and the FIA to the civil courts. The Englishman has claimed that the Scuderia
is overly-obsessed with self-interest and has repeatedly argued that 'the sport could survive' without its longest-standing and most loyal entrant – but Massa contends that F1 without Ferrari would no longer be the same.
“The way this championship has started has been very different compared to other years,” the Brazilian told the Press Association
in Monaco this weekend. “We have had a lot of political fighting in many areas, and I don't think that has helped the sport.
“Many people have become upset because of these fights, and it would be nice to have more sport and less politics – that's what we're here for. We are not here for political reasons; we are here for sport, to fight for positions. That's the good thing about Formula 1.
“I just hope things are going to be okay, but if we lose Ferrari, Formula 1 won't be the same, no matter what people say. You look at the many teams trying to get into Formula 1 next year, and with all respect, if you lose Ferrari and you get GP2 teams, it won't be the same.
“The only thing I hope is that we have more sport and less politics. We are here to race, to fight each other on the track, not outside. I will support my team because I think Ferrari, to be honest, is not alone. They may have taken the lead, but I don't think it's just Ferrari thinking the way they are – I think it's many other teams [too].”