Ferrari say young driver to replace Massa

Felipe Massa and Jules Bianchi earlier this year

Felipe Massa and Jules Bianchi earlier this year

Aug.8 (GMM) Felipe Massa’s chances of securing another Ferrari contract beyond 2012 appear to have taken a hit.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali told reporters during the summer media event in the Italian Dolomites that Fernando Alonso’s next teammate should be a “talented youngster on the way up”.

The early frontrunners for the seat are Jules Bianchi and Sergio Perez.

Domenicali was responding to a question about whether Lewis Hamilton might switch from McLaren to pair with his former teammate Alonso.

“I don’t think the question will arise,” he answered, “neither in the short nor in the long term.

“For the Ferrari of the future, I believe the right combination is to have one well established driver with great experience, alongside a talented youngster on the way up.”

Spaniard Alonso’s new contract will see him at Ferrari at least until the end of 2016.

He said: “I am very happy to have Felipe as a teammate and we work very well together. If the day arrives when someone else was to come here, that would not be a problem for me, even if it was Hamilton.”

Domenicali said Brazilian Massa, 30, has upped his game in 2011 and is “a very quick driver over a single lap”.

“(But) maybe he needs to improve a bit in terms of his consistency in the races. For us, it is vital for Felipe to be on top of his game, given that for at least another year and a half, he is one of our drivers.”

Full interview with Domenicali here>>>

  • Twiinz

    I like Massa, but the large margin between he and Alonso has really hurt him. If his teammate were almost anyone besides Alonso, he would still look like a good driver. He will get another ride if Ferrari go another way, but it will almost definitely be with a lesser capable team. But that is the way F1 is. Anytime you can’t hang with your teammate, you look bad.
    Massa is talented and came closer than anyone in history to being champion and not doing so. Hopefully he will bounce back and be able to stay with the Scuderia.

  • Butterfly

    Why pick Perez when Kobayashi is way better?

    Still, these young driver programs don’t always yield good stuff. I mean, McLaren were expecting Hamilton to take multiple titles, yet he only has one. I think Ron Denis promised him a free car when taking the third title. He used to say “third is enough”.

    It’s the same with Vettel.

    The next best thing after Alonso may be someone completely unexpected.

  • F1 fan

    Damn,and i was so looking forward to seeing Hamilton and Alonso as teammates again,oh well i won’t be crying any tears over it.