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Massa form to threaten Alonso?

The qualifying 'battle' between Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso will be one of the things to watch in Shanghai next weekend.
Felipe Massa's form over the past few months has been one of the talking points among the F1 fraternity, and the Brazilian is poised to hand Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso an unwanted record at next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Should he continue to exhibit the sort of pace with which he ended the 2012 season and carried into 2013, Massa could become the first team-mate to out-qualify Alonso five times in a row with a better performance than the Spaniard next Saturday in China.

Not even Lewis Hamilton, in his rookie season alongside Alonso at McLaren in 2007, managed to inflict five successive qualifying 'defeats' on the double world champion, but Massa's improved form – which began late in the 2012 campaign when he admits he stopped trying to out-drive his team-mate – suggests that it is possible.

The run started at last year's US Grand Prix in Texas, where Massa's performance was undone by Ferrari's decision to break the seal on his gearbox in order to promote Alonso to the cleaner side of the grid in a bid to prolong his championship challenge. It then continued into the Brazilian's home race at Interlagos, where he was rewarded with a podium finish, and carried through the winter to see him line up ahead of Alonso in both Australia and Malaysia.

Although the Spaniard was aided by strategy en route to a podium finish in the opening round of 2013, the Spaniard's second lap exit at Sepang left Massa as Ferrari's only runner, but the Brazilian was unable to convert a front row start into anything more than fifth place as tyre wear hobbled the F138.

While the Scuderia's management has lauded Massa's return to something approaching his 2008 level of performance – something it craved as it looked to challenge Red Bull for overall honours - two points finishes see Massa sitting four points, and one place, above his team-mate in the early season standings, and his form could yet give Ferrari a headache it could not have imagined at the times last season when it was considering axing its 'number two'.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.03.2013- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
23.03.2013- Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138
17.03.2013- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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D-Fuct - Unregistered

April 03, 2013 9:11 AM

Great to Massa back on form, however FA's race pace is pretty searing and he calls the shots from the car, so I think the Sunday heirarchy will remain as is.. I'm sure we'll see 2007 mentioned some time very soon!!!

Jules - Unregistered

April 03, 2013 12:16 PM

Alonso has admitted many times, he is not the fastest driver over a single lap. Vettel and Hamilton are probably the quickest but yet Alonso has beaten them many times over a race. In a race, Alonso is phenomenal and I don't think Massa can beat Alonso when it comes to driving and winning a race. This report is kinda useless in trying to stir up tensions within Ferrari. No points on qualy. Massa is at best two tenths ahead of Alonso on qualifying day, which is probably one grid position behind. Alonso, easily beats Massa during the starts or within the first few laps of the race..



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