Massa staying put, Hulkenberg to Sauber?

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday 14 October 2012.Oct.15 (GMM) Felipe Massa believes that he has done enough to secure a new Ferrari contract for 2013, while the buzz in Yeongam was that Nico Huleknebrg is set for a Sauber race seat in 2013.

The Brazilian was at times even faster in Korea than his championship-challenging teammate Fernando Alonso, and after the race team boss Stefano Domenicali was all but confirming paddock rumours that a new deal will be announced imminently.

“As my friend [singer] Laura Pausini would say, ‘Wait and see’,” Domenicali said.

He said Ferrari’s position would be made clear “very soon”.

Asked if he still had any doubts he will still be racing a red car in 2013, the similarly-smiling 31-year-old Massa said in Korea: “No, I don’t. But anyway we wait for the (right] time. I think it will be pretty soon to be honest.”

With Massa’s future now relatively clear, it has also emerged that Nico Hulkenberg – until now a leading contender to replace the formerly-struggling Brazilian – will instead move over to Ferrari-powered Sauber to replace Sergio Perez.

“At the moment, my focus is simply on 2012 and doing the best I can,” the German said in Korea after racing to an impressive sixth place.

But his future boss Peter Sauber told Blick newspaper on Sunday: “Nico’s race was very strong.”

Sauber said much less about Kamui Kobayashi’s race, leaving it to Jenson Button to brand the Japanese an “idiot” and “Kobay-crashi” for his first-lap antics.

Kobayashi is believed in real danger of losing his seat to the Telmex-backed Esteban Gutierrez.

Button was also not impressed with his future McLaren teammate Sergio Perez’s first-lap driving, saying of the Sauber pair: “It’s very poor driving standards, considering this is the pinnacle of motor sport.”

“A race is not two corners long and some people need to learn that. Whether they will ever learn that, we will have to wait and see,” he added.

With Hulkenberg moving over to Sauber, reports suggest that the leading contenders to replace him at Force India are Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi.

Subbed by AJN.

  • GPFanatic

    Shut up Jenson! That was clearly a race incident! He was trapped in the middle with no where to go. You have nothing but whining! I never heard Fernando Alonso whine after getting hit from behind. But you, everytime you get caught, bs comes out from your mouth right after! You were always like this! Have you not been with Brawn in 2009, you may have said goodbye to F1 already…

  • MclarenForTheWin

    how would you react if you were nudged from behind by a person you would expect to be a mature driver
    everyone in f1 is expected to be a mature driver as it is the highest level of competition for motor sport
    i am a racer and i know how that feels like when you expect yourself to have a good race
    as jenson said “A RACE IS NOT TWO CORNERS LONG”

  • Johannes

    I would always choose Sutil to replace Hulkenberg. The team would improve.