Felipe Massa’s chances of retaining his driving seat for next year are rather flourishing now with his recent string of good results. But earlier in the season, Ferrari boss Montezemolo admitted that he wanted a fresh face with good talent and experience underneath, and even recently quipped that he would sit down with Massa for a lengthy talk. However, whatever happens next year, he will race for Ferrari in the forthcoming Indian GP, where he will ride a kerb he might have trouble forgetting.
It is called the ‘Massa Kerb’, and no, I’m not kidding. As reported by the Times of India, the kerb has been named after Felipe Massa, and it’s easy to see why, as he crashed there twice in the inaugural race last season. To be honest, in that race, Hamilton and Massa’s battle was the only exciting bit to watch, even though the circuit had all the ingredients to pull out a fight-to-finish race.
Last year, Felipe Massa called for changes to the BIC after he crashed out in qualifying. On the final run in q3 he pushed his car to the limit and went on the wrong side into Turn 8, with the car landing so hard so that its front suspension broke. He reckoned that the kerb was too high, as the approach to Turn 8 was at around 215 kph.
The BIC authorities claim that in order to host the SBK next year and the MotoGP in the future, the kerbs are placed 25mm higher to meet the regulations, but as per the FIA, the kerbs can be up to 2 inches higher. To prevent drivers from kicking dust onto the track, grassy areas are added as well.
The ‘Massa kerb’ is on the right-hand apex of the fast-flowing Turn 8 chicane. The driver said that the ‘Himalayan kerb and ended his qualifying ambitions as a whole with front suspension damage and sailed through the gravel while Alonso found his way to start from third on the grid. The race Sunday saw Massa’s hopes shattering as he broke the left-front suspension on the same chicane but the exit of it.
As for the upcoming race, the kerbs of turns 6, 7, 8 and 9 have been extended from five to 15 meters in width to stop drivers from riding too much of the apexes. The speeds taken through that sequence is crucial as Turn 10 is winding, and getting a good exit proves to be vital for a timed lap.