OllieF1
What Happens To Massa In 2007?

What Happens To Massa In 2007?

Felipe Massa - Ferrari or bust?What will happen to Felipe Massa if Kimi Raikkonen joins (a staying) Michael Schumacher at Ferrari next year? Toyota, Williams, Honda and Red Bull are all sorted for drivers, and BMW are likely to promote Robert Kubica to a full-time race seat in 2007. That leaves Midland, Toro Rosso, Super Aguri, McLaren and Renault.

Renault is an unlikely berth for the Brazilian driver, as team boss Flavio Briatore will probably promote tester Heikki Kovalainen to partner Giancarlo Fisichella next year. The French squad were chasing Raikkonen’s services for 2007, but it seems that the Finn will drive a Ferrari next year, irrespective of who his team mate is. The hot rumour at the moment is that Mark Webber – who is managed by Briatore – will take over Fisichella’s seat when his contract expires at the end of 2007, so Renault seem to be organised for next few years.

McLaren are also unlikely to house Felipe. Ron Dennis prefers experienced and mature drivers, and although Massa has definitely improved over the season, he just doesn’t seem to fit the bill of a Macca driver. Having said that, I said the same about Juan Pablo Montoya just prior to his move to the Woking squad. Ron will probably end up plumping for Pedro De La Rosa, who has the experience and maturity, knows the car and team inside-out and has put in some steady drives in Montoya’s old motor.

So, if Schumacher continues for one more year, that leaves teams lower down the pecking order for Michael’s most recent number two. Of the three, I guess Toro Rosso is proabably the safest bet, but a Ferrari it ain’t. I can’t see Massa driving a Super Aguri, and Midland is also probably out of the question unless Mercedes manage to buy it.

Of course, Michael may decide to hang up his helmet and retire to his Swiss castle, leaving him plenty of time to count his dollars and sip German Hock wine. If that is the case, then Ferrari would undoubtedly retain Massa for another year, ensuring that there is some kind of continuation within the team. And it should be also mentioned that Kimi may not end up wearing a red racing suit next year, although his only viable alternatives are Renault (who appear to have given up) and McLaren (who appear to have been given up on).

What do I think? If Schumacher retires, Massa will continue at Ferrari. If Schumacher continues and Kimi moves to Italy, Massa will either become a test driver for the Scuderia or for another team. Unfortunately, the racing seats are filling fast and Ferrari have said that an announcement won’t come until the Italian Grand Prix on September 10th – by which time there could be even fewer seats available. I think it is going to be testing duties for Massa next year…

Does Massa deserve a drive after his 2006 performance? Should Massa do a years testing in the hope of a drive in 2008? What do you think?

Oliver White

3 comments

  • Piquet jr to join Renault team as test driver in 2007. That means :

    1- Kovalainen continue at Renault to stay in Renault with Fisichella. 2- Raïkkönen may go to Italy (with Massa or Schumacher) despite the “pushing” from Mercedes to keep the Finn with Alonso.

  • If Raikkonen does partner Schumacher next year they’ll relegate Massa to test driver. I pity the poor PR officer who has to write that press release as being a step forward for Massa’s career.

    I don’t see it happening though – If Schumacher stays it won’t be alongside Raikkonen.

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.