Lotus admits Massa on the list to replace Raikkonen

Felipe Massa with Nicolas Todt

Felipe Massa with Nicolas Todt

Felipe Massa is one of several contenders to replace the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus.

Both the Brazilian’s manager Nicolas Todt, and Lotus team boss Eric Boullier, have revealed that 32-year-old Massa is in the running for what Todt describes as “the best seat” still ‘open’ on the 2014 grid.

“What is certain is that other teams are interested in Felipe,” Todt, speaking after Wednesday’s news that Raikkonen will replace Massa at Ferrari next year, told Canal Plus.

“Felipe will never play second fiddle in a small team, so what we need to do is find him a car that allows him to play a leading role in Formula 1.

“For sure, the best team today, the most interesting seat, is the one left behind by Raikkonen.

“After that, is it the only interesting seat? We’ll see,” added Todt. “It will be important to pay attention and be responsive in the coming weeks.”

However, until now, the favourite to replace Raikkonen at Lotus has been Nico Hulkenberg, who was also in contention for the Ferrari seat.

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier told RMC Sport: “Felipe Massa is also available, so he is … on the list.

“But let’s not go too fast in activating the ‘plan B’,” said Boullier. “We are the only team left with a good seat available, and … this will affect many people.”

It seems obvious that, in the interests of continuity, Raikkonen’s departure has strengthened the case for Romain Grosjean to keep the other seat.

“[Raikkonen’s departure] can be good for him [Grosjean],” Boullier said, “because after growing for two years next to a world champion, he can unite the team and build it around him and prove [that] he can be the leader. It can be an opportunity for him. but he must finish the championship well.”

As for Massa, countryman Rubens Barrichello said that he was sad to hear that his friend had lost his Ferrari seat.

“But there is life after Ferrari, and I’m proof of that,” he is quoted by Globo. “To race for Ferrari is the most sensational thing there is, but afterwards there is a release, a little less pressure.

“There is a moment of pain, but then life afterwards, and even things in life that are better,” Barrichello added.

Another former Brazilian F1 driver, Luciano Burti, also commented: “I know that Sauber would be interested in having him back, but it would not be a high-end car. It depends on what Felipe wants.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Don’t go anywhere near Sauber, Felipe. Have some dignity. You had a good run at Ferrari so you have nothing to be ashamed of.

    Lotus or bust.

  • Boycottthebull

    Massa is a nice guy and everything but his best driving days have long since past. Lotus would be doing a disservice to itself to bring him on board. Massa could have one of his numerous bad weekends and crash the car consistently and send Lotus broke. Hulkenberg is the future and the best choice. If not at least have the courtesy to speak to him in person rather than just sending a text. Class act Ferrari, pure class.

  • yoyoyo

    When Mclaren was looking for a 2nd driver after Alonso left crying. I always had the feeling they should’ve put Rosberg or Kubica there. Kubica would never have been allowed in to race rallycars just before the seaon. But now I think Felipe in a Mclaren wouldn’t do that bad. Certainly on par with Jenson. Massa would also ‘ve been champ in that brawn (it was a shame Rubinho had Brawn and teamorders against him). Not saying Jenson’s bad, I still can get around his amazing Canada (5stop) race. Sergio back to Sauber to grow a bit more. Whitmarsh knows ho almost be

  • yoyoyo

    beat Lewis in 2008 if it wasn’t for Alonso’s dirty mindgames on Piquet and the Hungary blown engine.

  • Hawk

    “beat Lewis in 2008 if it wasn’t for Alonso’s dirty mindgames on Piquet and the Hungary blown engine.”

    did you expect Lewis to lose 2 WDCs in a row?
    you must have been one of the stewards at Spa who gifted Massa 2 WDC points at the expense of Lewis’ 4 points robbed => advantage Massa +6 compared to Lewis and then you went ahead to say that Massa won 6 as opposed to Lewis’ 5 yet it should have been the other way round. But anyway, Karma is a bitch.

  • Urko

    @Boycott… & Hawk;

    Spot on!!