Can late bloomer Massa pip Hamilton to world title?

There seems to be a widespread belief among F1 commentators that Ferrari’s Felipe Massa ‘doesn’t deserve’ to win the drivers’ championship – but is this attitude justified?

A BBC Sport article today examined the issue, an unusual story to run given that Massa could win all three remaining F1 races this season and still lose the title to Hamilton if his rival finishes second each time.

Juan Pablo Montoya, who raced against Massa for four years, was recently asked whether Massa had the talent to wear the F1 crown. "Next question, we’ll skip that one" was his answer, hardly a statement of faith in the Ferrari man’s abilities.

It seems to be that technical insiders, rather than racing drivers, are more willing to back the Brazilian’s title aspirations.

Honda team principal Ross Brawn used to work with Massa at Ferrari, but has no particular reason to back him now they are on opposing teams.

He told BBC Sport: "In the year I worked with him at Ferrari, we had our ups and downs but I think he would be a worthy world champion. Felipe has come on a long way."

Could Massa still be F1’s best-kept secret? The forthcoming Japanese Grand Prix might provide more of an answer.

Written by James Christie

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