Massa laments back luck so far in 2013

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Felipe Massa believes that his championship total would be far higher had it not been for some hard luck so far in 2013.

The Ferrari driver has experienced a difficult start to the season, suffering crashes in Monaco and Canada which have stunted his form, whilst two punctures at the Bahrain Grand Prix saw him struggle home in 15th position.

“I’m very upset about what happened in Bahrain, with the tires and the hits I’ve had,” he explained to Totalrace.

“That hurt my score, but I’m happy with the car I’m driving and that’s what counts most.”

However, Massa has shown signs of his true pace, scoring a podium at the Spanish Grand Prix and claiming a further four scores, and he is confident that he has a future with Ferrari after years of speculation that he may be released by the team.

“I am calm, I think it’s important to have a good pace. I’m feeling good in the car and have a good pace.

“In my opinion, if you had a driver that was much better to get into my place, okay. But I think not.”

Massa is already the second longest serving driver in Ferrari’s history (behind Michael Schumacher), and he will celebrate his 200th grand prix during 2014.

F1 2017 driver review: Nico Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg

Team: Renault
Car No.: 27
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 43
Championship Position: 10th

Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.

With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.

Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.

When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.

But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.

Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.

Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.