Massa confirmed to stay at Ferrari for 2013 alongside Alonso

16 October, 2012

Felipe Massa before the start of the Korean GP

Felipe Massa before the start of the Korean GP

Oct.16 (Reuters) Felipe Massa will stay at Ferrari for the 2013 season in an unchanged lineup with Fernando Alonso, the Italian Formula One team said in a statement on Tuesday.

Felipe Massa Ferrari podium Japanese GP SuzukaThe Brazilian has struggled for form in recent years but has agreed a one-year extension amid continued speculation that world champion Sebastian Vettel could join Alonso at Ferrari from 2014.

Alonso’s contract runs to the end of 2016.

“The team and also all the fans can rest assured that I will do all in my power to help the Scuderia reach the targets it sets itself each year,” Massa said on the Ferrari website (www.ferrari.com).

Massa’s future has been uncertain all season, with the 31-year-old suffering an abject run until he finished second at this month’s Japanese Grand Prix, for his first podium finish since 2010.

The Sao Paulo driver was fourth in South Korea on Sunday, round 16 of the championship, a result that meant he had scored more points in his last two races than he had in the first 11 of the season.

Ferrari’s decision was not a great surprise, with Alonso clearly favouring the Brazilian as his team mate having established himself as the clear focus of the sport’s most famous team.

(L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari with team mate Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race Day, Monza, Italy, Sunday 11 September 2011.“I am so happy to continue another year with @Felipe1Massa as a teammate! I’m sure we are the best team! #ForzaFerrari,” Alonso said on Twitter after an announcement that Ferrari said they had planned to make next week but had brought forward to end all the speculation.

Massa’s poor form in the first half of the campaign has hit Ferrari hard in the constructor’s championship, however, where they are currently second to Red Bull but still 77 points off the lead.

Double champion Alonso has scored 209 of Ferrari’s 290 points and Massa’s fate was determined after a meeting, described by the team as very friendly, with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo at the Maranello factory on Tuesday.

Montezemolo had said on Monday that Massa, who suffered near fatal head injuries when hit by a bouncing spring in qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, had returned to the level expected of him.

He had also said, referring to the Vettel speculation, that he did not want to have “two roosters in the same hen house” but rather two drivers “who race for Ferrari and not for themselves”.

Stefano Domenicali, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Luca Di Montezemolo FerrariThe decision will be a blow for those who had been touted as possible replacements at the most glamorous team in the sport, notably the Force India pair of Briton Paul Di Resta and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg.

Seven time world champion and former Ferrari great Michael Schumacher has already announced his retirement at the end of the season and was not an option, even if some diehard supporters hoped he could be.

The attention will now turn to the Swiss Sauber team who have at least one vacancy, with Mexican Sergio Perez leaving to join McLaren as the replacement for Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton, and possibly two vacancies if Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi is not retained.

Hulkenberg is considered a hot favourite to take one of those places.

Massa has been a part of the Ferrari family for a decade, starting at Ferrari-powered Sauber in 2002 and also serving as a Ferrari tester before joining as a race driver in 2006 and staying on after Schumacher’s first retirement.

“Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula One, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello: I can’t see myself driving cars propelled by anything else,” he said on Tuesday.

He was runner-up in the 2008 championship to Hamilton by a single point and has won 11 grands prix with his last coming in Brazil at the end of 2008.

“We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career and we are certain of his worth and are sure he will know how to repay the confidence this renewal proves we have in him,” said team principal Stefano Domenicali.

Subbed by AJN.


  • Alonso_is_slow

    another gift year for Alonso. He can continue to position himself as a good pilot.

    In reality the serious teammates have handily outperformed Alonso (Hamilton, Trulli).

    Vettel or Hamilton would have already sealed this championship with Ferrari, which Alonso is incapable of.

  • McLarenfan

    @Alonso_is_slow:
    We have got the message you are not an Alonso fan.

  • TofisiFan

    @Alonsoisslow. that’s your opinion mate. we have all heard how Vettel is panicky when things don’t go his way.I’ll admit, the f2012 won’t win Nando the title unless they bring some functional updates to challenge RBR. Fernando has matured greatly and has a calmer head to deal with the current situation he faces this year. But that’s motorsport, you win some and you lose some otherwise it wouldn’t be as interesting.

  • MattyB

    hahahaha.. cough hahaha cough.@alonso is slow..
    sorry im coughing you make me laugh so hard!!!
    your opinion…and thats ok… but you musnt watch much f1
    ps… not sure lewis leaving mclaren is a good idea either!!!

  • fools

    @Alonso_is_slow

    If your claim is true why haven’t they won a championships like Alonso? My point exactly.

    Please go to the restroom, open up the cabinet and eat the pills.

  • Kimi4WDC

    Boring!

  • Chuck

    If Felipe is such a good match with Alonso… Why the one year deal? Why not just keep Felipe paired with Alonso to the end of Alonso’s contract? This just confirms that Ferrari have a plan to install someone to replace Felipe in 2013… Oh, but it couldn’t be Vettel… Not according to Ferrari… So, who else? That’s the only question now… Vettel or who else for 2013?

  • Kimi4WDC

    Cause if Alonso keeps on failing to win title (essentially thats why he there, no matter how bad the car is), even Santander money wont save him from what ever crazy idea LdM will come up with :)

  • Stewy33

    I really didn’t think Ferrari was going to keep Massa, I really thought he was going to be replaced before the end of the season.

    Another unconfirmed rumor I have heard is Sebastian Vettel and Adrain Newey are going to Ferrari in 2014. i doubt it but, anything can happen in the “silly season”

  • John

    Any racing driver who goes to join Alonso at Ferrari has to give up on one thing: Racing.

    We already know that Alonso doesn’t want a competitive driver in the other side of the garage; it didn’t work for him before. LdM doesn’t want two racers either. Massa is the perfect fit, still fast when he’s given a fair chance, and willing enough to play second fiddle.

    One truth is that Ferrari does need to start looking for their next lead driver.

  • Speedo

    Alonso out performed almost every other driver and that is why he was leading the championship in that mediocre Ferrari. Massa is no threat to Alonso and Alonso said repeatedly it was Lewis at McLaren who was the threat for the WDC. He should not have worred about that either knowing the McLaren’s team performance. Why gun for Alonso. I am happy for Massa.

  • Forza Ferrari

    The fact that Ferrari signed Massa for only one more year, shows exactly that Ferrari already has some big plans for 2014. I’m 90% sure that it’s going to be Vettel in the second Ferrari in 2014. They may deny it all they want, but in my opinion it’s pretty obvious. Those rumours ain’t for nothing. If there is smoke, then there is fire.

  • Forza Ferrari

    Oh and congratz to Felipe! I’m really happy for him.

  • edd

    a lot of fans forget just how well filipe was driving before the accident. it has been a long, heroic struggle for him to regain his health. ferrari stands behind their drivers and demonstartes the integrity that was common place in past generations. regardless of how he does in competition, one must admit that it is a very heroric story… from induced coma to renewed contract… he is a “gutsy” little guy and i hope he grabs a WDC before he retires.

  • f1 fan

    He has to forget about winning titles, cause all that hell have to do is to support Alonso for the title and constructors that’s it !! unless he goes to redbull or mclaren !! He was a very very fast and aggressive driver, losing title by one point, how frustrating it would have been for him!.! you can imagine >

  • Joe Kinnear

    @ edd IMO his accident in Hungary didn’t really affect his driving. He did manage 5 podiums in the season after that. Well that’s just my opinion. I don’t really know why he’s gone slow (up till Korea 2012). Anyways I would really love to see him in top form again and doing what he did in 2008.. gunning for the title.

  • Venezia

    What a bull

  • John

    @Joe Kinnear: Massa is struggling because he’s having to adapt to being a number 2 driver. With Kimi he was allowed to drive as fast as he wanted, given the same chance as his team mate. But Alonso demanded No 1 status after his experience at McLaren where he was found to be a tad slower than his rookie team mate.

    I think he was more affected not by his accident but more so after being told, on it’s very anniversary, to move over and let Alonso take the victory. For any racing driver being told when you had a certain win to give it up for your team mate must be very difficult. More so when it was so early in the season when you felt that you had just as much a chance of a championship as your team mate.

    However, as bad as it is for Massa he’ll earn more at Ferrari than he would at any other team. All the other top teams have their seats filled already. So really he’s better where he is.

  • fools

    I think most of you who hate on Alonso because of the “Massa, Alonso is faster then you ” saying has got you guys cursed to doom Alonso’s future or something.

    Who cares if thats what they said. If its true its true. Why do ppl still bring bullcrap to this site. The fact is. Massa is not faster then Alonso. No one is challenging Alonso other then Vettel. I even admit that.

    However I still think Alonso will win because they do have abetter team. They have not failed once this year. 2 DNF’s caused by Lotus. Thats it. Other then that Alonso barely lost his WDC points title currently and still has 4 races to win it all. So what the hell are you Alonso hater smoking? Crack pipes again? smh

  • fools

    Basically Massa congrats. 2nd there is NO on that would replace Massa thats better then him currently that is a open contract.

    Ferrari are strict and they just dont let anyone come on board.

    They chose Alonso for development.

    If Vettel joins which I doubt..it will only make Alonso want to prove he is faster.

    If Kimi and Massa had no team orders…what makes you think Vettel and Alonso will when they compete.

    They will be winning races and the constructors together easier to be honest. The hardest will be to see who wins the WDC between the two if they join forces. Either way…it looks good for Ferrari. Not anyone else. So whats the fuss about?

    We all know Alonso is the best period on the grid currently.

    Haters need to stop commenting on Alonso if your theory has no theory at all.

    Real talk.

  • John

    @fools
    Alonso is an above average driver. Not one of the all time greats.

    Couple races back Massa proved the Ferrari has the speed, so Alonso should be winning races. But they’re not. Rather they’re going for consistent finishes, which is another way of saying that you hope everybody else drops out!

  • Butterfly

    Guys, Massa was running a new exhaust system on his car, testing it. Alonso will have that on his Ferrari in India. You can all relax now.

    Apart from the Troll; he can go f*uck himself.

  • Butterfly

    John:

    Oh, he’s an above average driver, is he? So I guess that’s an alias for “best driver on the grid”. Then, Lewis Hamilton is an average-to-above-average driver, then.

    And Vettel is just average – which is true, regardless.

  • John

    @Butterfly:
    If Alonso is a better driver than Lewis why did Lewis beat him regularly in the same equipment? Please don’t go down the route of McLaren favouring Lewis – the one thing that McLaren are known for is ensuring both drivers have the same opportunity and Alonso was a big boy and should have had the measure of a rookie!

    As for Vettel, that’s an interesting question. I was there at his first win at Monza, sitting at the very first chicane. He was the only driver who got those corners right every time. Alonso was one of the worst! Either too slow in, or going wide and missing the apex and taking the run off. It really was revealing as to who really knew how to control the car with precision.

    Vettel is the quickest driver on the grid, but he’s not quite the most complete. He knows how to talk to the media, and by that to us the fans, but also knows the heritage of F1 and respects it. The only kink is that he was shocked that his car wasn’t working well with the Pirelli tyres at the start of the season and it really knocked his confidence. But he’s young and still learning. And that’s perhaps the most impressive aspect to Vettel – he’s always learning.

    If Alonso was with Red Bull they might have got a championship. But Ferrari would have got one with Vettel.

  • Butterfly

    John:

    To be fair, I consider Hamilton’s driving to be on par with Alonso’s and Raikkonen’s. These guys are the trinity of F1 at the moment. I rate Alonso higher than Lewis and Kimi because Alonso does more than just drive the car. He motivates the team, he does the political talk, which teams appreciate – including mind games -, he’s a real asset to any team, which is why the boys in red have hired him. If it were for driving alone, Kimi would still be there.

    Regarding the 2007 McLaren episode, what can I say, uncle Ron didn’t give a damn about Alonso, he just wanted Hamilton to succeed. Fair enough, but if you want your golden boy to succeed, don’t bring in the youngest-ever two-time champion just to feed him to the lions, because that’s what happened.

    They sabotaged his car in the second half of the season, everyone in that team showed Alonso the finger, and still he finished on equal points to Lewis. Also, Lewis was a rookie with no pressure on himself to succeed, but he was well-prepared for F1. He had lots of testing and knew the technical side well, I’m sure.

    I don’t count Vettel as a good driver. The young german is no better than that other german that’s retiring at the end of the year. They’re both made of the same stuff, I don’t care what you say.

    In F1 there is Tier 1 where Alons, Hamilton, and Raikkonen live, then there’s Tier 2, 3, etc.. Vettel is somewhere in there.

    Hope this clears it up for you.

  • John

    @Butterfly:
    Sorry, for decades I seem to have been watching a different F1 championship from you. My mistake.

    Enjoy your day.

  • Butterfly

    @John:

    No problem. You must be getting old, that’s all.

  • John

    @ Butterfly:
    Old enough to remember when Senna just needed a lap or two to get pole position during qualifying. Whereas others would put in lap after lap.

    You know, what Schumacher used to do. What Vettel does now.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Bitterfly is a said loser, only having beleifs in his mind, in order to support his Alonso-centered world.

    No one dsabotaged Alonso’s car at Mcllaeron, that is only Bitterfly’s beleif, without wich his mind would collapse. It id dimply a lie, no facts support it.

    Alsono is not a good driver, so far he could not beat serious teammates by the same car (Trulli, Hamilton) Vettel has beaten all teammates, including multiple champion Bourdais and the ‘teammate-killer’ Mark Webber.

    Alonso is also a well known cheater (cheating at Mclaren with stolen Ferrari data, cheating at Renault with the Mass damper, and cheating at Ferrari with team orders). A cheater.

    Alonso also has a bad mouth and has shown multiple examples of turning against his own team, including Renault where he said in 2006 that the team does not want him to win and deliberately sabotage his pit stops, also including Ferrari where he said that there are no developments, and including Mclaren that where he said he could not win because of the team supporting Hamilton (a lie), and also makeing then confessions against Mclaren when the stolen Ferrari data was discovered.

    An anti team-member.

    This is your hero: bad driver, cheater, liaer, team-destroyer. Congratulations.

  • Butterfly

    @Alonso_is_slow:

    Yeah, well go and tell that BS to all the people who have worked with Alonso. I’m sure they’ll confirm it right away.

    Dumb b^itch…

  • Tamburello_1994

    . . . . Anyway, All the flame war sh*t aside, Congratulation Felipe. I had my doubts but you’ve proved me wrong.

    All in all make sense.

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