Massa Gets Secure At Ferrari For Another Year

Ferrari’s number two got his number one wish as he keeps his seat at the Scuderia for next season. His early seasn form had lead to reports of the team dumping him come the season’s end but an upturn in form since Monaco and a sharp improvement in recent races means the Brazilian stays as a Ferrari race driver for an eigth successive campaign.

Massa said qualifying had been a problem in the early phase of this season, but putting that right has helped his racing and he says he feels happier and stronger in the car.

“I feel very strong now, to be honest,” he said. “I feel in a strong direction, driving the car more in an automatic way, so I am much more happy.

“To put everything together is really nice, so the most important thing is to go in the car and have fun. When you go in the car and you don’t have fun or be happy, even if you have one of the best jobs in the world, it is not nice.

“If you are not happy you cannot do the job in the right direction. So the situation is now happier and much better.”

Massa’s form has had a marked improvement as this season has progressed

Boss of the team, Stefano Domenicali said the Italian team were pleased to retain Massa, as they supported his through the tough periods which he has endured since 2010. Referencing to his days as a test driver for the team, his decade-long tenure continues for a further year.

“We are happy to have lengthened the relationship with Felipe for one further year,” Domenicali said.

“He has been part of our family for more than 10 years and he has demonstrated, especially in this last part of the season, to be again competitive at the maximum levels, as is expected of every driver at the wheel of a Ferrari.

“We have always supported Felipe, even during the most difficult moments of his career, and we are certain of his worth and that he will be able to repay the faith that has again been put on him.”

The period of the deal is not one which ties down driver or team. Just one year on the contract adds further fuel to the story of Sebastian Vettel to Ferrari in 2014. Nothing has been confirmed, but a main rumour is that should Red Bull fail to meet a certain points target at some stage in 2013, their star driver will be free to talk to Ferrari if he wishes.

It now means that for next season, the leading teams now have their lineups secured. The only changes are at McLaren and Mercedes, as Hamilton joins the Germans and Perez leaves Sauber for McLaren. Massa’s seat had been linked with a number of drivers in the past year including Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta, but it is Felipe himself who stays at the team for next season.

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