AUGUST 4, 2002
No problems for Massa...
Felipe Massa's manager Riccardo Tedeschi says it is "simply impossible" for the Brazilian youngster to be replaced before the end of the season. There has been speculation that Massa may be replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen because of comments he made about team orders after the German GP at Hockenheim. Massa, who is on holiday in Brazil, said that he was not worried about the rumours.
"I am absolutely relaxed," he said. "I am sure that I'm doing a good job in my first year in F1."
The fact that Massa's management has chosen to react to the stories is, however, an indication that there are sensitive issues at play at the moment in the Swiss team. Even before Hockenheim there were suggestions from within the team that while Massa is very quick he is still making too many mistakes. His run in Hockenheim was impressive but the two races prior to that were both disastrous. There are also worries that he does not qualify well and so has to work harder in the races.
It remains to be seen whether or not Massa will be replaced. Nothing is "simply impossible" in the world of F1 contracts. However, there are now suggestions doing the rounds that it is more likely that Frentzen will be going elsewhere.
The entire interlude will, however, have served a purpose for the Sauber team, acting as "a wake-up call" for Massa and his management.
Massa returns to Europe for the Hungarian GP on August 13.
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