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At this past weekend’s F1 German Grand Prix we were given yet more evidence that Felipe Massa is the unluckiest man in the sport.
Massa’s race didn’t even last one corner and his car ended up flipping over after being struck by McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen.
This was just the latest in a long line of unlucky incidents that have inflicted Massa’s career in Formula One and today I will look back at a few examples of them.
Felipe Massa is World Champ…. OH WAIT!
2008 was the year that Felipe Massa was finally able to shine at Ferrari as he took on Britain’s new wonder-kid Lewis Hamilton for the title. This was Massa’s finest season in Formula One, with six wins and six pole positions. The title showdown went all the way to the final race of the season, in Massa’s home race at Interlagos. Going into the race Massa found himself seven points behind Hamilton, which meant that he had to finish in the top two and hope that Hamilton finished outside the top five. The weekend started well for Massa as he put his Ferrari on pole, with Hamilton having to settle for third on the grid. On race day we had the typical Brazilian GP weather, with the rain coming and going on a constant basis.
Massa dealt with the conditions perfectly and won the race by 13 seconds. Hamilton meanwhile was struggling and found himself in sixth place on the final lap of the race. Having already crossed the line, Massa thought he was champion and so did his family and crew, who were seen celebrating in the pits. Unfortunately for Massa, Hamilton managed to overtake Timo Glock going into the FINAL corner of the FINAL lap for fifth place and took the title away from the Brazilian. The images of Massa’s family and crew’s reaction as Hamilton crossed the line will never be forgotten.
Horror Crash at Hungary
The huge rule changes made in 2009 did not work out well for Ferrari and Massa. They had a terrible start to the year, suffering from various mechanical failures. It all become much, much worse for Massa however, as he suffered a life-threatening injury in Hungary. During Qualifying a spring from the suspension of Rubens Barrichello flew off the Brawn car and struck Massa in the face at high speed. This in-turn caused Massa to crash head-on into the barriers.
Massa was air-lifted to hospital and underwent surgery around his left eye, before having a titanium plate inserted into his skull. Massa did not race again that year and many believe that he has not been the same racer since. The incident occurred at a time where Massa was finally being treated fairly in a team and where he was considered as being one of the best racers on the grid. He sadly hasn’t been able to challenge for the title since.
Look out for part two of my feature on Massa’s bad luck later on today!