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Massa has to up his game, says Herbert

Johnny Herbert: I would imagine there will come a certain time where the pressure of the Italian Ferrari fans will get to a point where they [the Scuderia] will sadly probably have to make a call on it...

Felipe Massa needs to get some 'proper points scoring results' on the board if he is to stay at Ferrari for the remainder of the season, that's the view of Sky Sports F1 pundit Johnny Herbert.

Massa is currently a man under pressure and while he did finally open his account in Bahrain at the end of last month, his ninth place finish has done little to stop the speculation.

Indeed one look at the championship table reveals the size of the task ahead for the likeable Brazilian, for while team-mate Fernando Alonso has 43 points on the board and is fifth in the rankings, Massa is down in 17th place having scored just two.

Herbert concedes Massa's position is precarious and that he must up his game – and soon, both for himself and Ferrari.

“There seems to still be a lot of support for Felipe,” Herbert replied to Crash.net during a Sky Sports F1 phone-in, when questioned on if he thinks Massa will get to see out the year with the Scuderia.

“I know Fernando still seems to be backing him and from that point of view, Felipe did his best result of the season in Bahrain, even if it was only ninth place. He has actually been quite good there in the past. But he just has to up his game.

“I would imagine there will come a certain time where the pressure of the Italian Ferrari fans will get to a point where they [the Scuderia] will sadly probably have to make a call on it and decide what to do.

“You can either stick with him until the end of the year - and yes they haven't got the best car, and that is what Fernando has been saying, and so it doesn't really matter who else you have in the car, because it is a difficult car to drive. But there will always be the other view too and that he is a lot further behind Fernando than he should be. So, it is really down to if he can do a good job.

“Now Spain is coming up, he has won there before. So it could be an opportunity for him to get some results going. It is important for him as a career and him personally, after the incident he had a few years back in Hungary. But also it is important for Ferrari as well.

“At the Mugello test they looked potentially more competitive and maybe he can utilise that potential to do a better job.

“But underlying your question, yes he needs to get some proper points scoring results, which he started in Bahrain with ninth. However, he needs to do a little bit better than that...”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

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Saturday, Johnny Herbert (GBR), Ex F1 driver
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Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari  02.05.2012. Formula 1 World Championship, Testing, Mugello, Italy
21.04.2012- Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
19.04.2012-  Press conference, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012

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zib - Unregistered

May 07, 2012 7:18 PM

Saw 2007 brazil gp yesterday..massa gave away his lead to raikonnen..massa was a solid performer back then.he used to compete with raikkonen, and alonso at mclaren..I felt so sorry for this guy.he is lost after his accident. I like his humility

herowassenna - Unregistered

May 07, 2012 8:32 PM

Say what you like, but Herbert has more right to his opinion than any of us. He is a Grand Prix winner, he has raced successfully for many years. Something which none of us can even claim to be. Beyond this and maybe more relevant in his view of Massa, Herbert also suffered a career defining accident in 1988. His crash during a F3000 race nearly lost him his foot and to this day his legs suffer pain because of it. Before that, he was unquestionably the best British driver since maybe Jim Clark. He dominated everything up to his accident, and was never the same again.

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