A look at Ferrari driver Felipe Massa’s downfall post 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix crash

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A look at Ferrari driver Felipe Massa’s downfall post 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix crash
It was the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifiers in 2009 when Felipe Massa was behind Rubens Barrichello and both drivers were driving at high speed well in excess of over 100 miles/hr when a suspension spring flew out of the car of Barrichello and smashed into
oncoming Massa’s helmet.
Massa was knocked unconscious instantaneously losing all control. His car impaled into the barricade made up of tyres at a recorded high speed of 120 miles/hour. The crash caused Massa to go into a concussion and had to be air lifted to be taken to a hospital.
Later reports revealed that Massa suffered fractures in his skull and was in a life threatening condition but stable.
The freak accident forced Massa to retire for the rest of the season. Massa resumed his career in 2010 and did not match the same pace prior to the accident. The season ended with the Brazilian scoring 144 points with 5 podiums and no wins. It was a remarkable
comeback after sustaining life threatening injuries and although it was being speculated that the accident might have slowed his pace.
Massa dealt with another blow to his confidence when he was famously radioed by his long time engineer and close friend to give way to his teammate Alonso. The issue was blown up for a lot of reasons but the psychological degradation that it might have caused
Massa must have been huge. He may be a strong willed person but knowing that the team considers one as a support driver cannot be taken well by any driver in the sport regardless of how hard their nerves are.
Massa had vehemently denied claims that he had lost pace after the accident and needed to prove that going into 2011.
Massa’s 2011 season was even worse and arguably one of his worst seasons in Formula 1. He was only able to score 118 points without any wins or podium finishes. The stats though do not depict the extent of his misery as Massa was involved in several run-ins
with McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton. Both the drivers were criticised for their on-track behaviour but Hamilton revived his season with a win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Massa went from bad to worse in the season.
Massa finished 6th in the drivers’ championship for the second time in two years, while his team-mate Fernando Alonso finished 4th. Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo after witnessing a poor season for Ferrari was very disappointed and warned Massa that
if he is not able to pick up his game and perform in 2012, he may not be able to retain his race seat for 2013.
There has been speculation that Adrian Sutil might be in talks with Ferrari to drive for them in 2013 as the driver is no longer in contract with Force India. As nothing has been confirmed but the rumours are sure to put extra toll on the shoulders of Massa
who is already under pressure to perform.
As 2012 approaches near and teams are gearing up for another exciting season, Massa will be taking the few days off that he has to relieve the rigours of the past two seasons. It is going to be a make or break season for the Brazilian.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect’s official editorial policy.



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