MARCH 28, 2012
Maranello crisis meetings for Massa
Rather than fly home to Brazil as planned, Felipe Massa has headed to Ferrari's HQ at Maranello to analyse his shortcomings in the opening two grands prix of the season.
The 2012 season is believed to be a make-or-break one for Massa's Ferrari future and although Ferrari's F2012 chassis is not yet a competitive proposition, Massa's performances in Australia and Malaysia have been well below par in comparison with team mate Fernando Alonso, who won at Sepang in mixed conditions.
The news of Massa's change of plans has prompted the Italian media to speculate that the Brazilian is about to be imminently replaced, possibly by Sergio Perez, who finished a fine second for Sauber at Sepang.
Some believe that the Sauber team is financially stretched and may welcome the opportunity to reach an accommodation with Ferrari to put Perez in the car in return for some financial compensation, as Peter Sauber did a decade ago when he 'sold' Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren.
Jarno Trulli's name has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for Massa at a time when Italy is without a driver in F1 for the first time since the seventies.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, meanwhile, said: "Felipe
will be in Maranello to work alongside the engineers to calmly analyse everything that happened in these past two races, trying to identify why he was not able to deliver what he is capable of. That's the right spirit and we are here, ready to help him."