By Editor - 5 April 2013
The Ferrari duo battling it out
Massa has out qualified Alonso in an unprecedented four consecutive times in four races. He has also scored more points than Alonso so far (22 to 18). Felipe Massa is beginning to show the same form he did when he almost won the 2008 championship.
Starting with this year's opening races in Melbourne and Malaysia, we saw how in both instances, rain disrupted the qualifying sessions. This has helped to mix up the grid. In both Q3 sessions, Massa set his best time after Alonso. This meant that Massa was able to take advantage of a drying track to beat his teammate.
Turn the clock back to the last two races of 2012, to the US GP and the Brazilian GP. In those races, Massa ran an updated rear wing giving him an advantage. With the issues regarding wind tunnel correlation, Alonso chose the more conservative route and opted no to use the updates - Fernando had more to lose after all. In effect, Massa was running a different spec car which gave him an advantage in qualifying.
Despite this, no doubt Felipe Massa is finding the F138 to his liking. The 2012 F150th Italia was a difficult car to drive and Felipe struggled in it. However Ferrari have brought a more balanced car to the table and Massa is showing what he can do in a good car.
The fact that Massa has upped his game means that the racing between the two Ferrari drivers will be tight. Will Alonso be able to repeat his 2012 form and demonstrate the familiar dominance we expect from him? Or will a resurgent Felipe Massa beat his teammate and earn his spot in red beyond 2013?