In response to suggestions that Formula 1 drivers' salaries should be reduced in-line with the rest of the radical cost-cutting measures currently sweeping the top flight in the wake of the global credit crunch, Felipe Massa has argued that he does not believe it is the right way to go.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali evoked the possibility of the sport's gladiators taking a drop in their wages [see separate story – click here
], with some – Massa's former world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen amongst them – said to earn as much as $30 million a season.
The Brazilian, however, receives less than a third of that sum, despite having comprehensively out-performed Raikkonen this year – and he is adamant that F1 drivers deserve what they are paid by dint of putting their lives on the line each and every time they venture out onto the track.
“I'm not inclined to it,” CNN
quotes the man who narrowly finished runner-up to McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the 2008 title battle as having asserted. “In a competitive sport like this, the driver plays a fundamental part, and the cost of the drivers is small compared to the total budget of the teams. The more people work to reduce costs, the better it is going to be for everybody.”
In company with many of the sport's other leading figures, the São Paulista also revealed his distaste for FIA President Max Mosley's recently overthrown idea of all teams running with a standardised engine in the near future – an initiative that was canned after the governing body and FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association) reached a resolution to compete instead with restricted power units from 2010.
“I do not find this idea interesting,” Massa insisted of the single engine-supplier talk. “The fight to diminish costs is important, but a standard engine gets away from what F1 is all about.
“A Ferrari running with another engine – that is not a Ferrari. It is the same for Mercedes, Toyota or Renault.”