Gene “no comment” regarding Massa’s seat

Marc Gene has refused to comment on rumours he may be asked to substitute for Felipe Massa while the Ferrari driver’s health is the main priority. 35-year-old Spaniard Gene, who last month won the Le Mans 24 hours with Peugeot, is the reserve driver for Ferrari and said to be more likely than his testing colleague Luca Badoer for Massa’s seat.

But in his regular column for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the veteran of 36 grands prix for Minardi and Williams said he is not yet turning his attention to the possibility. “Everyone in the team have been very worried about Felipe,” Gene wrote. “We would even wish that he could be in Valencia, but if he is not, the important thing is that he is well. I understand that many people want to know what is in the future but right now the only thing that occupies me is my friend,” he added.

Gene, meanwhile, is another paddock figure who draws a parallel between the Massa incident and the FIA’s decision to ban Renault from Valencia for its wheel problem in Hungary. “The stewards have been severe with the drivers all year, but this is particularly harsh,” the Spaniard said. “Suddenly, after Massa’s accident, they want to send a message.”