Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has criticised Felipe Massa’s performance in the second half of 2010, saying it often seemed as if he had sent his brother to drive for him.
Returning from the head injuries he sustained in his horrific 2009 crash in Hungary, Massa started the season competitively, but ultimately was completely overshadowed by Ferrari’s new star signing Fernando Alonso.
While Alonso vied for the title until the final round in Abu Dhabi, Massa finished a distant sixth in the standings, scoring 108 fewer points than his team-mate.
Many observers felt Massa’s motivation never recovered from the German Grand Prix controversy in July, when he ceded the lead to Alonso after receiving a radio message that the FIA later judged was an implied instruction.
Speaking to Italian journalists at a pre-Christmas dinner, di Montezemolo echoed the view that Massa lost interest in the latter part of the campaign.
“At a certain point in the season Felipe was fed up and sent his brother,” Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Reuters.
“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.”
Di Montezemolo also played down rumours that he might leave the helm of Ferrari to go into Italian 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 that there were no plans to float Ferrari on the stock market.