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Massa: ‘More perfect’ Alonso better than Schumacher

As his career at Maranello enters its final seven races, Felipe Massa has suggested that his current team-mate is better former partner Michael Schumacher.
Felipe Massa has ensured that he will receive a warm farewell from his current Ferrari team-mate, after rating him higher than seven-time world champion – and former partner at the Scuderia – Michael Schumacher.

The Brazilian will see his partnership with Fernando Alonso end after this year's season finale at Interlagos, but three-and-a-half years alongside the Spaniard has been enough for Massa to suggest that the two-time world champion is 'more perfect' than the man he shared the Scuderia's garage with in 2006.

Schumacher was already a seven-time champion by the time that Massa was installed at Maranello, and would retire at the end of their first year together, but the Brazilian – who was also team-mate to Kimi Raikkonen when the Finn took the 2007 title for Ferrari – reckons that Alonso may be the 'most complete' driver that he has seen in the top flight.

"I've always had very strong team-mates,” he told Sky Sports' Martin Brundle, “I always learnt that you need to be perfect because, if you're not perfect, they will be in front of you.”

Although he challenged for the 2008 world title – and thought he had won it for ten seconds before it emerged that Lewis Hamilton had snatched the fifth place he needed for the crown on the very last corner – Massa has generally been seen as Ferrari's 'second' driver, and his partnership with Alonso has been punctuated by several incidents of team orders.

As well as the now infamous 'Fernando is faster than you' moment that denied him an emotional victory on the anniversary of the 2009 Hungaroring accident that nearly claimed his life, Massa notably took a grid penalty after out-qualifying the Spaniard in last year's USGP and has seldom made it difficult for the two-time champion to pass him in track if it was advantageous to his championship position.

"For sure, I've had some tough times as well with strong team-mates [and] the one I was suffering more [against] was Alonso,” he admitted, “I think maybe he's more complete.

"Schumacher was very, very good. He was amazing and a very complete driver as well. But I think maybe Alonso is even more perfect."

Ironically, with seven races remaining in his Ferrari career, Massa has the same number of wins for the Scuderia as Alonso does, but once again trails the Spaniard by some way in the title race. After Brazil, he will make way for Raikkonen, who returns to the Prancing Horse after impressing for Lotus in the two years since his return from a sabbatical in the World Rally Championship. The Finn partnered Massa at Maranello between 2007-09, before making way for Alonso.

Despite earlier suggestions that he could not bear to drop down the grid after eight years with Ferrari, Massa now appears more willing to consider a midfield seat if it keeps him in the top flight. The best option currently open to the Brazilian would be a direct swap with Raikkonen, but the second seat at Lotus is expected to be hotly contested, with erstwhile Ferrari candidate Nico Hulkenberg also thought to be in the running.

"I want more,” Massa insisted, “I want to win more races; I want to make more pole positions. When you're not happy, you need to try and carry on and try to do more, so I'm not happy.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008, Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Interlagos, 30th October 2008-2nd, November, 2008
Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2007, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2007, Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 24th-27th, May, 2007
09.09.2006 Monza, Italy,  Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Saturday Qualifying
06.09.2006 Monza, Italy, Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari - National Drivers Charity football match at
27.08.2006 Istanbul, Turkey, Winner, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, 2nd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Renault F1 Team, 3rd Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Sunday Podium
22.08.2013- Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138 at the Back In Time with Shell event.
12.05.2013-  Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138 race winner, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138
24.06.2012- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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September 16, 2013 8:40 AM

Both Schumacher and Alonso are great drivers, is difficult to say who is better. The only time that they had similar performing cars, they annahilated the rest of the field winning 7 races each and finishing many points ahead of every other driver. This happened in 2006, a classic fight between the two drivers which I believe that are amongst the 5 or 6 best drivers in F1 history.

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