Ferrari ‘in no hurry’ to decide on Massa

2012 F1 season

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Ferrari say “no one is in a hurry to make any decisions” on Felipe Massa’s future following yesterday’s news that Mark Webber will remain at Red Bull.

Webber revealed he had been in discussions with Ferrari over a potential move to the team before committing to Red Bull for 2013.

An anonymous ‘Horse Whisperer’ column on the team’s website stated: “Yesterday, one absolute certainty of the past few months was washed away, as we now know Webber is staying put.

“Now the most vociferous and qualified rumourmongers are taking it for granted that Felipe will be confirmed, these generally being the same voices that, not only had him down as being out of the running for 2013, but would have had us believe he would not even see out the season.

“Now coming into bloom are a whole list of possible and potential replacements, with a list of names from A to Z, something Ferrari is well used to. In truth, one letter, the ‘Z’ seems yet to be uncovered, or quite possibly it’s Zorro… unmasked.”

2012 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Ferrari ‘in no hurry’ to decide on Massa”

  1. love the sarcasm in the horse whisperer’s whispers :d

  2. Not sure about El Zorro, but El Chapulin Colorado is ready to go… even if Ferrari say it’s still too early.

    1. cotd

      1. Not sure many people realized what I was talking about, tho :P

        1. @fer-no65 Checo I believe :) I’m not sure if he is ready yet to be honest, but I wouldn’t complain if he did go to Ferrari.

  3. If this is anything like the Webber thing he’ll be signed up tomorrow…. or sacked.

  4. They are probably not in any hurry to make decisions over Massa’s future as they are pretty settled on getting rid of him, hence, no additional decision needs to be made.

    1. exactly what I was thinking, no need to hurry when you’r sure he’s going. :P

    2. Or, Webber was the first choice for the seat, and now that he’s no longer available, they’re considering giving Massa a one-year extension and looking to replace him for 2014.

      1. Or maybe they are busy training monkeys to drive the cars.

        In honesty, we can’t know.

        However, an official article on Ferrari’s official site, saying with certainty that they might not keep Massa, Isn’t very reassuring for Massa is it?!?

    3. Ferrari’s improvents have been mirrored by Massa’s performances lately but IMO Massa would need a turn around of a handful of podiums and at least a race win to warrant contract extension talks. I cant see Ferrari giving him another contract for any less. Checo is a shoe-in for that seat, his got a mature racing mind for his age but his black mark is qualifying

  5. I can’t see Massa staying for another season, why not Perez? He seems to have the goods.

    1. Ferrari denied this by saying he’s ‘too aggressive’, but I think it has more to do with experience.

      1. I think it has more to do with trying to push his value down so that they can get him for less.

        1. @jerseyf1, exactly and quite possibly with Carlos Slim as patron “not enough experience” may really mean “offer us more money “.

  6. I went through James Allen’s replies to readers on his own blog earlier today. He says that Ferrari really wanted to replace Massa with Webber but now anything can happen. JA thinks that di Resta and Kovalainen are possible candidates but Massa might stay as well. He is sure that Vettel already has some agreement with Ferrari and that Seb could join them already in 2014. Moreover, Allen is convinced that Schumacher is staying with Mercedes in 2013. If all that is true, we are going to have a boring 2012/13 silly season but a lot of entertaining stuff is coming afterwards.

    1. I saw some people talking about how Schumacher seemed to be indicating he wants to continue racing last weekend, probably JA heard the same. I think Kovalainen would be a good driver for Ferrari, and it might prove to be good for him as well, as it will take Caterham quite a few years to become a top team or even midfield contender for the odd podium.

      1. It frustrates me how Glock and Kovalinen are wasting there best years in such poor teams. Yes Caterham can move forward, sure. But it will be just in time for a new driver to win the titles after a veteran has done all the hard work in developing the team. Coulthard/Red Bull… Vettel for example.

        I know it’s a simlistic way of looking at it but drivers who have good reputations need to look out for themselves and refrain from being content in slow, grid propping teams.

        1. I agree about Glock, that guy proved that when Toyota was competitive he could achieve good results. I think he’s the best option for Ferrari right now even for a short term – he’s only wasting his time and talent in that Marussia. A short but impressive stint with Ferrari could raise his reputation and help relaunch his career in a top team.

          1. Really mate?
            You really think that out of all the drivers in f1 today ferrari is gonna pick someone who is driving a marussia?

          2. @Bronson Who used to be quite, (and I say quite, because I’m not convinced he was any better than Trulli,) good in a Toyota.

    2. @girts, I must say I’m surprised at the certainty with which JA states Vettel might go to Ferrari:

      Holding onto Sebastian Vettel in 2014 will be the next challenge for the team. He has a complex understanding with Ferrari which could see him join the team provided that a series of performance and other clauses are met in the 2013 season by the Maranello squad.

      Personally, I would be very surprised if any such contract exists. In my (completely uninformed) opinion, Vettel will serve out his current contract with Red Bull until the end of 2014, and then see if any interesting seat is available at a different team, or stay with Red Bull. The only scenario in which I see Vettel signing a contract with Ferrari for 2014 if he has some deep-seated desire to emulate Micheal winning all those titles for Ferrari.

      1. @AdrianMorse I believe in James Allen. He has reliable sources and usually he doesn’t talk about things he isn’t sure about. I think he was also one of the first, who convincingly announced Alonso’s move to Ferrari.

        Talking about Seb, I understand why he would want to make that move. He has won two titles now. Schumacher and Alonso changed their teams after winning two championship titles, too. Maybe Ferrari are ready to pay him more although that shouldn’t be the main motivation. It’s understandable if he wants to prove himself and the world that he can win the world championship with different teams and that he doesn’t win just because he always has the best car. I don’t think he’s afraid of Alonso as a potential team mate, too.

        If the rumour is true, I think it’s rather Ferrari who are making a risky move. The team has functioned quite well with a clear number one driver in the past (and is still doing fine now) and hiring two superstars in one team mostly means asking for trouble. However, they need to think about life after Alonso, too.

        1. in alonso they have a driver that they just need to provide a half decent car. he will do the rest.

          why would they want vettel to complicate that relationship. its down to them to produce the car. if alonso cant win in it vettel wont.

    3. @girts Isn’t it interesting that, if true, Ferrari’s plans very much undermine Red Bull’s line up,

      Actually, if Seb does go to Ferrari, Webber, should he stay might become their main guy. O.o

  7. In Maranello, no one is in a hurry to make any decisions and that’s for sure. Yesterday, one absolute certainty of the past few months was washed away, as we now know Webber is staying put.

    The fact that they had talks with Webber says enough. The absolute certainty is that they were looking for a replacement for Massa. I think Kovalainen might be the best choice, because they must be looking for a driver that can make a bad car look good, like Alonso. I mean, when the car improves and becomes more driveable, Massa gets ‘his form’ back. I think Massa’s been in the same shape all year, but just now the car works better.
    And then there’s those bloody tyres.

    1. Well, Heikki may not be able to make the Caterham look that great, but I agree he should be an option. This would be my short list if I was in their shoes:
      Heikki Kovalainen
      Sergio Perez
      Paul di Resta
      Romain Grosjean

      (In no particular order.)

    2. The really interesting thing about that potentiality would be what would then happen at Caterham? I’d like to think Alexander Rossi might have a shot at the vacant seat, but Petrov would first have to prove himself a little more before the team would take a risk with a rookie. So far the team has only hired drivers with experience in top teams.

  8. I don’t see how any of the drivers in the current grid can join Ferrari with words almost certain that Vettel will be there in 2014. What is the meaning joining one team for a year. And after that what? So I guess Ferrari is stuck with Massa which is sad. Massa has shown to be a mediocre driver when the car is not good, and Ferrari can not allow itself to be found in the same position like the first races of this season.

  9. One final, glorious year for Michael Schumacher at Ferrari before he retires and they sign Vettel. Wouldn’t that be fun? (I’m not saying it’s likely to happen or that it should, just that it would be exciting)

  10. this might be a little off topic but I dont know what would have happen but what do you think would have went on at Ferrari if Schumacher would have been able to drive the last part of the season when Massa was hurt and ended up getting very good race results? Would they have tried to keep Schumacher in the car for 2010 or do you think they would have just said thank you and put Massa back in the car or when kimi left put Schumacher in the other car? My memory is failing me but how far into 2009 did we know that Kimi was leaving and Alonso was going to be taking his spot? I was just wondering and its kinda on topic

    1. alonso was already penciled in. but wasnt decided who he was going to replace. the massa accident then made it hard to replace him.

      Remember ferrari were trying to get 3 cars to run michael. the 09 ferrari was a difficult car to drive, it would of been hard for michael to turn up and put in top draw performances with no proper testing. He should of tried to return in 08, cars were still similar to when he left. Remember he did a test for ferrari in spain and was fastest.

  11. sid_prasher (@)
    11th July 2012, 20:36

    I think the possibility of Seb going to Ferrari might have prompted a quick deal with Webber. RBR wouldn’t want to lose both their leading drivers so quickly.
    The fact that Ferrari discussed with Webber clearly suggests that Massa is no longer their preferred driver and I guess Massa is aware of that. If this doesn’t motivate him to do well then nothing will.
    TBH I would prefer to see Massa stay rather than Kovalainen or Glock joining the team. Are the lotus drivers signed for the next year?

    1. Raikkonen is:

      And I’d be very surprised if Boullier doesn’t take up the option he surely has on Grosjean.

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        11th July 2012, 21:14

        Thanks for that Keith.

        1. i guess the LOTUS is best set with both their current drivers, they are a biggie

  12. I find the idea of Vettel going to Ferrari a little fantastic considering the success and support he has had at RBR.
    Possibilities ;
    Santander may have to pull their sponsorship due to Spains economic situation and Ferrari will not want to pay FAs salary due to Italys economic situation. But would Vettel be that much cheaper?

    Vettel may know something about the future financing plans of RBR or Adrian Neweys retirement plans that we don’t.

    Vettel may be on a relatively low salary on the understanding that he would become a multiple world champion and would be able to name his price to go to another team at contracts end.

    I can’t see that the prestige of being an ex Ferrari driver is better than the prestige gained with more world championships, which is why the above reasons are the only ones, unlikely as they may be that Vettel may change teams.

  13. What about Lewis? Would love to see him in red :)

    1. Domenicali did say that he would be happy to have both Alonso and Hamilton in the same team (who wouldn’t?!) but I don’t see it happening.

  14. Now coming into bloom are a whole list of possible and potential replacements, with a list of names from A to Z, something Ferrari is well used to. In truth, one letter, the “Z,” seems yet to be uncovered

    I just read that Alex Zanardi wants to return to motor racing ;)

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