2009 Hungarian GP was a game changer for this Brazilian who was so close in grabbing the championship a year earlier. Part of the suspension from the car ahead fell onto the head of this Brazilian and he subsequently crashed into the tyre barrier. He was operated around his left eye and this injury was declared so serious and perhaps a life threatening and it was almost declared that he wouldn’t be racing ever again. Like all sportsperson, Massa too improved quickly rubbishing reports of the end of his racing career.
He started undergoing several surgeries and several tests and lots of neurological examinations were done on him which were crucial to his comeback, On successfully passing these tests and To acclimatize to his racing life, he drove a 2007 Formula 1 car and it was then declared that Massa would indeed be making his comeback in the 2010 season
The start of the 2010 season saw him taking back to back podiums at Bahrain and Melbourne which surprised many including himself and this prompted Massa to say that it has unusually been a good start to the season and then this good start was followed by a slide which saw him finish as low as 15th position at the Montreal and British GP, However he received a stroke of luck at the German GP and started getting back to a good rhythm in the second half of the season. At the end of the year Massa finished 6th in the drivers championship while his teammate was close to winning the championship before eventually finishing second in the drivers standings while the difference of 108 points between him and his teammate didn’t add any reputation to his name
If 2010 was all about making a comeback and trying to make a mark, 2011 was all about collisions and controversies which involved issues with Hamilton and the pair colliding as much as five times throughout the season. Massa in his tenth year in Formula one failed to finish on a podium with his best finish being fifth in as much as 6 races. He finished the season in sixth place with a difference of 139 points between him and his teammate meant that his position was in a spot of bother
Now in the year 2012, The guy seems to be under immense pressure, 7 races into the season, His best finish being the 6th at Monaco and having been comprehensively outshone by his teammate, Massa is on the verge of losing his season in the near future, Few weeks back there was widespread rumor of a particular Mexican replacing him although some top level brasses intervened and went on a roll and stated that there wouldn’t be any replacements at any position. Although you can never say never in Formula one, This certainly is a important statements that were made by all the important parties.
The 2001 Formula 300 Euro series saw this relatively unknown Brazillian claim Six wins from Eight races with six pole positions and five fastest laps to his name, He was given a drive with Sauber in the year 2002 and finished the season at 13th position in the drivers championship with the best of fifth place finish, The following Year he was recruited as a test driver for Ferrari. But later on the year, It was announced that Massa will be driving for Sauber again for 2004 Formula one season, but eventually it turns out to be a inconsistent season for him with him scoring 12 points and finishing in 12th position in the drivers standings although his fourth place finish at Belgium was highly regarded by many. The following year he outshone his much experienced teammate and finished the 2005 season at 13th place in the drivers standings.
Life at Ferrari
2006 saw him partner the German Veteran, In the year that turns out to be a crucial one in building his reputation, Massa finished in third place in the drivers standings with three pole positions and two race wins laid a strong bond with the Italian team and the Brazilian.
For much of the 2007, He was in contention for the title but reliability issues and DSQ at Canada put him out of the title contention. However the year saw him being a complete team man and was regarded high for his team spirits as he played an important part in helping out his teammate and the team win their respective championships. Three wins and six pole positions were some of the highlights of the season
2008 which will be regarded as one of the best seasons of Formula One saw the brazilian being the main contender for championship which was fought until the last lap of the last race. Critics praised Massa for his great drive all through the season and many stated that Massa is on his prime.
The Saviours: Badoer and Fisichella
With the only team in Formula One history to have so much heritage and culture. It really means pride for drivers to see them racing for the prancing horses at some point of their career and for some, To even be just a part of the team in some way or other means they have achieved what they have set out to. A special mention has to be given out to Marc Gene who has spent as much as six seasons with the prancing horse team just as a test driver. and was never again in contention for a race seat at any point of time in his stint at the team.
After the skull injury to Massa at the Hungarian GP, Badoer who was the team’s test driver was asked to fill in, In the two races he competed in at Valencia and Belgium, Badoer finished in 17th and 14th position while not appealing to anyone with his driving style.
Fisichella who till then was racing for the Force India Team and having won the billion hearts by claiming pole and a strong second place finish at the Belgium GP was delighted with the one time offer from his favourite team and was willing to do anything to drive for the prancing horse. The Indian Team gave him a no objection certificate and he immediately jumped the ship and began his racing career at Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix, Out of the five races he competed for Ferrari, His best finish was that of the Italian GP where he finished 9th.
The first case of Badoer driving for the injured Massa was taken as a huge surprise with many people questioning the Team’s decision for letting an inexperienced driver who was last seen behind the wheel somewhere in 2008 at a roadshow was putting his life and others in danger. The testing limits that were brought in earlier paid no relief to the test drivers who were either forced to test at the beginning of the season or at the end of it. With no in-season testing everyone was allowed to blame all the people involved in decision making without taking a proper look at the exact case of the situation. Badoer enjoyed a widespread coverage that he got during the first race he debuted in the 2009 season. He literally broke the pitlane speed limit by going in way excess then what is allowed. Moreover he was significantly slower then his teammate which further fueled the debate.
The second case of Fisichella replacing the poor Badoer reduced the coverage at the Italian team, however the debate continued as to what should be done and whom should be blamed for the mess with no respective parties ready to bend the rules.
While many of the star commentators and many critics were suggesting that a young rookie driver should have been asked to fill in the role of the injured Massa, One has to say at certain places things were not noted properly. The lovely debate can go on as to what exactly could have been done and how things could have been changed.
The only reason we are calling for Badoer and Fisichella as the saviours is the reason they dared to step in with no relative knowledge of the machine they are gonna step in. The only place where they can get relative experience of the machine is the only place where they are going to race. The modern machineries are so much technologically complex then the older ones which anyone can fill in at relatively any point of time. This red machine is tipped as one of the hardest to drive as it takes long time to get adjusted however once a driver gets adjusted to the read beast it will turn out to be a lot better or that's what the team says.
If philosophy is the order of the day, one can say the man kind learns from its mistakes, Believe it or not if Massa hadn’t been injured, One wouldn’t have seen the cruel coverage on a poor man who was last seen officially racing 10 years ago and despite his best reputation of being one of the solid test drivers, he was shown the door for not learning or performing as per the expectations of many. In the modern world of understanding and underestimating the car and the people, its better to stick with what would work for you. Despite the Team’s experience they fell into a trap and although they could have solved it in a different way, it never ended in the way it supposed to be
On a final note, We gotta say either you would be laughing, nodding your head or would be furious at what you would have read. As per the Title Massa saves Massa, It would be appropriate to say that so because a relatively unknown driver with respect to the machine replacing the man who would have done better at least at appropriate times would be a bad idea to work with as that would put back the reputation of both him and the Team. We can firmly say the Team’s decision to continue with the best formula of putting a known driver behind the wheel rather then putting a unknown quantity can come as the blessing in disguise for many.