Contrary to Lewis Hamilton's assertion that he is infinitely more 'focussed' this year than last [see separate story – click here
], Felipe Massa has suggested his chief competitor for the Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship is in fact now 'less consistent' than he was during his rookie campaign in the top flight.
Hamilton and Massa have been disputing the destiny of the 2008 laurels for the majority of the current season, with the former asserting that a more consistent approach second time around – and a focus on clinching the crown rather than on individual race-winning glory – is the key to success.
Ferrari star Massa – whose own consistency has frequently been called into question by critics – remains unconvinced the Briton is practising what he is preaching.
“I don't know,” the in-form Brazilian told espn.com
at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix. “It is difficult to say. To be honest, this season, up until now, I think he has been even less consistent than he was last season.”
Hamilton's former McLaren-Mercedes team-mate and bitter rival Fernando Alonso – who as a double world champion in his own right knows just what it takes to lift the trophy in challenging circumstances – also had some pertinent advice to offer the four title protagonists as the battle between them reaches fever pitch.
“Now is the time to win races,” the 27-year-old Renault ace underlined. “For sure, consistency will be very important for the title contenders.
“They need to finish all the races and always be on the podium – but the one that wins more races at the end has a great chance to win the championship.”