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Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa is putting on a bold face, maintaining confidently that he will have a race drive for 2007. Looking at his performances with Ferrari this season, I think it would be a shame if he is relegated to test driver status. In the last few races he has been getting very close to Schumacher’s times, something few of the German’s other teammates have managed.

There are signs that Massa has matured greatly in this year with Ferrari. From being the guy with a bit of a wild reputation, he has begun to put in some solid, responsible drives that have supported Michael’s campaign to overhaul Alonso in the championship. He is quick, too, and getting quicker.

Massa

Felipe Massa

But nothing is guaranteed in F1. There are plenty of talented drivers around, all looking for a seat, and the number of available places gets smaller as the season draws on. Unless Massa has something lined up already, he may find himself out in the cold.

It was only a few years ago that Michael Schumacher seemed unassailable at the top of F1. We looked around for drivers that could beat him, placed far too much hope in Frentzen, and almost gave up in despair. Times change, however, and now there is at least one Finn who looks more than good enough, a Spaniard who has already demonstrated equality at least with the Shoe, and several young drivers who have the potential to be world beaters.

Which is great for the fans as the competition warms up, but less so for drivers trying to hang on to what they’ve got. The old guard are thinning out and even the ones who were new two or three years ago are having to look over their shoulders.

Massa is one of these, of course. His experience and speed are enough to make him a good buy for any team. But, when all the seats are taken, what can you do…?

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