Brazilian TV broadcaster Globo has announced that it will continue to televise live Formula 1, even if Felipe Massa is not on the grid beyond 2013.
Earlier, there were fears Massa’s potential exit from the sport, after losing his Ferrari seat, could spell the end of Globo’s interest.
But the company has now announced that it has sold the available advertising space for its coverage in 2014, with the existing sponsors staying put.
Revealing that he is trying to help Massa stay in Formula 1 beyond 2013, chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper last weekend: “The [Brazilian] media has an important role in trying to keep having a [Brazilian] driver in Formula 1.”
Brazil, a hugely important market for the sport, has had a driver on every Formula 1 grid since Emerson Fittipaldi in 1970.
But Lotus’ Eric Boullier said that Massa’s hunt for Brazilian sponsors will have no impact on the team’s choice of successor for the departing Kimi Raikkonen.
“It would have zero effect on our decision,” he told F1’s official website.
“I want to choose the driver on merit and not on money.”
Boullier admitted that German Nico Hulkenberg is also in the running.
“The question is do we want to be conservative and work with an experienced driver, especially with the new engine and powertrain next year, or do we gamble on a youngster?” he said. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.