|Born||April 25, 1981||Nationality||Brazilian|
|Team||Ferrari||F1 Debut||Australia 2002|
|Career statistics to end 2012|
|Pole Position(s)||15||Fastest Lap(s)||14|
What’s the significance of this set of numbers: 2-4-6-7-4-3?
They are the ones that saved Felipe Massa’s job at Ferrari, the team he has been with since 2006. Those are Massa’s placings in the final six races of 2012, starting with his first podium of the season, which came only in round 15 in Japan.
In fact it was the 31-year-old Brazilian’s first visit to the podium since the Korean round of 2010, a 35-race barren spell that had most F1 insiders nodding sagely and saying Massa’s time was up.
Massa hasn’t won a Grand Prix since the final race of 2008, his oh-so-close season when for a few glorious moments he thought he had won not only the Brazilian race but with it the title as well.
Now he has another chance, with Ferrari’s aim being to ensure that he scores far more points this season than the 122 he managed in 2012, and so provides the back-up Alonso needs if he is to win a third title and Ferrari another Constructors’ crown.
Alonso said all along that if Ferrari found another number two, it would have to be someone they knew was better than Massa. But the feeling persists that 2014 will see Felipe in a different-coloured set of overalls…