The European Grand Prix at Valencia might not have been the most absorbing of races, but the harbour front circuit was a testament to the city’s great organisational skills and the result underscored just what a complete performer Felipe Massa has become.
So can Massa finish the job and close down Hamilton’s present six point lead? Doing so would make him the fourth Brazilian world champion, and put him into some very distinguished company - Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna.
Well, with the patriotic caveat that I think that at the end of the day Lewis will just squeeze home, I certainly wouldn’t bet too much against Felipe.
Yet if Massa has been the revelation of the season so far, I’d have to say that his team-mate and current title holder Kimi Raikkonen has been the most erratic – and baffling – disappointment of 2008.
Raikkonen has now had three poor races in succession and for some unfathomable reason seems to be finding it very difficult to get the best out of the current generation of Bridgestone tyres in qualifying.
Some engineers who have watched his driving technique closely believe his abrupt steering input going into the corners tends to overheat his Ferrari’s front tyres, causing them to lose grip, but, whatever the reason, the team’s sporting director Stefano Domenicali made it clear that the Finn still retains their total confidence.
“It's easy when things are going well, that everyone close to you puts your arms on their shoulders to say ‘you are number one, number one, number one’ and then suddenly when you have a difficult situation, then you say ‘ha ha, this is already a boiled driver,’” said Domenicali, and of course he is correct.
What Ferrari urgently needs to do is rehabilitate Raikkonen, one of F1’s greatest raw driving talents and a man whose $34m annual contract lasts through to the end of next season.