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Massa told: 'Race and deliver!'

2012-05-24 08:33

HUNGARY 2009: Ferrari driver Feipe Massa is carried to an ambulance after a flying suspension component hit his racing helmet.


MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo, ahead of Sunday's Monaco F1 GP, has demanded a team effort and told Felipe Massa to deliver.

Ferrari has not won at Monaco in 11 years.

While Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is joint championship leader on 61 points with 2012 title holder Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, Brazilian veteran Massa is in 17th place with only two points from five races.


Montezemolo, in an open letter to the team this week titled "The Championship is in Our Own Hands", said Ferrari must make the most of a so far unpredictable season which has seen five different winners from as many teams.

"The championship is very open and so far there has been no dominant force," Montezemolo said. "A series of circumstances and the work done here to improve the car, as well as Alonso's great ability, has led to us leading the championship after five rounds. We must capitalise on that, with each one of us giving our very best at home and at the race track, including Massa who must bring home the results we expect from him.

"Winning the championship depends only and exclusively on ourselves: on our ability, our creativity, our determination and our desire to show that we are the best."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali also told 31-year-old Massa that he must bring home results as Ferrari is trailing Red Bull by 46 points in fourth place in the Constructors' list.

"We expect a reaction from Felipe. We need his points for the Constructors' championship," Domenicali said.

Massa's most recent race win was the 2008 finale in Brazil where Lewis Hamilton took the world title from him for McLaren on the final lap. His most recent podium place was in South Korea 2010.

His next chance will be on Sunday at the glamour race in Monaco which Ferrari have not won since Michael Schumacher's success in 2001. Alonso has won the race twice (for Renault in 2006, McLaren in 2007) while Massa insists that the team has faith in him.


"Absolutely, yes, I feel the whole team stands by me," he said on the Ferrari website. "Obviously they are not happy with the results and neither am I: we all want to get out of this and return to normal. It's possible and for sure it's what I want and I know that with the team's help we will manage it."

Massa said he has trouble with "not a very easy car to drive" and that "many times I have found myself having to fight the car" but said his poor results had nothing to do with his crash at the Hungarian race in 2009 in which he almost lost his life and that he has lost speed since.

"I have asked myself that thousands of times and don't think I haven't... I don't feel in any way different to the way I was before that weekend."

If Massa doesn't deliver swiftly he is in serious danger of being dropped by Ferrari. Some say he is only driving because Suber's Sergio Perez, a member of Ferrari's young driver programme who came second for Sauber at the Malaysian GP, is not available immediately.

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