How do you solve a problem like Felipe?

As the season begins, fans lay praise upon the Petrov fluke and write off Quick Nick and a Stick in the mud, the only issue worth talking about is the second Ferrari seat of 2012.

I’ve had a lot of mocking as I dared to hint at Quick Nick going toe to toe with Fernando next year, but let’s look at the options and situation overall.

Quick Nick is my prime candidate to take over. I feel if he can produce a good haul of points, scoring over 1/3 more than a resurgent Petrov , steal a win or a succession of podiums and maybe get ahead of Massa at some noticeable points of the year, he’d stand a chance.

Come 2012 he would be booted by Renault as they welcome back Kubica and if Ferrari wanted to replace a demoralised Massa Nick is the ONLY proven option when you consider, the Alonso Factor.

Select in your mind any driver on the current grid with over two years of experience, who would consider being Alonso’s wing man. Taking into consideration they’d be knowingly walking into Ferrari as the ‘other driver’, but would also need to have pace not to put the second Ferrari on the back end of the grid.

Unfortunately, the shortlist is very, very short. Aside from Heidfeld I can see two options.

Swapping Massa. His last year of contract needs to be honoured, but as ever he can be ‘placed’ somewhere else, much like we’ve seen in the past.

So how do you solve a problem like Felipe?

Sauber, a team he knows, a team who likes him, and more importantly a team who has KobayBASHi to send in return. Ticks a few boxes, but would KobayBASHi be ok next to Alonso? With no Japanese manufacturers, I think so.

Toro Rosso? Well their Italian, they run Ferrari Engines and there after money. They wouldn’t mind playing host to Massa and giving rising star Ricciardo a competitive yard stick to race against.

Buemi and Alguersuari have struggled to prove themselves against each other. But again, having one of the drivers to send back the other way is a bonus. Jaime is still young and if he bode his time learning at Alonso’s knee and polishing his shoes, he could have a shot in the future.

The last, final, desperate option, is to keep a very unhappy, demoralised off-form Massa and watch a championship winning car trundle round in 6th place.


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