x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Ferrari boss snipes at Massa over poor showing

His Formula One season was so disappointing it was as if he had sent his brother to race for him, Luca di Montezemolo said.

Felipe Massa's Formula One season was so disappointing it was as if he had sent his brother to race for him, Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari president, has complained.

The Brazilian finished sixth in the drivers' standings with teammate Fernando Alonso second behind Red Bull's Renault's Sebastian Vettel after a pit-stop strategy error in last month's final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cost the Spaniard dear.

"At a certain point in the season Felipe was fed up and sent his brother," Montezemolo told Italian journalists at a dinner this week, having made a similar joke about former driver Kimi Raikkonen's phantom twin last year.

"For this Felipe gets 7-. For Alonso, in his first season in Ferrari, I give him 9 and a half. But unfortunately even he didn't win."

Massa, the 2008 runner-up who suffered serious head injuries in a mishap in 2009 before making his comeback at the start of the season, has a contract until 2012 but was angry when he was told to let Alonso pass and win July's German Grand Prix.

Montezemolo has said small organisational changes will occur at Ferrari following the mistake in Abu Dhabi that saw Alonso finish seventh when he only needed fourth to be world champion, but played down speculation he might leave to move into politics.

"Let me do my work, I'm so happy that we have lots to do here at Ferrari, lots and lots," he said, adding there were no plans for a stock market flotation of Ferrari at this stage.