Ferrari extend Massa’s contract to 2012

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Massa s set for two more seasons as a Ferrari driver
Massa s set for two more seasons as a Ferrari driver

Ferrari have announced Felipe Massa will remains with the team for the next two seasons.

Massa said:

Throughout my entire Formula 1 career, I have always raced with an engine made in Maranello and it is a matter of pride for me to be able to continue working with a team that I regard as a second family.
Felipe Massa

Team principal Stefano Domenicali added:

Felipe has been part of Ferrari for almost a decade and together with us, he has grown as a driver and as a man, going through some very difficult times as well as giving us moments of great happiness. We wanted to show proof of stability for the future, believing in the worth of a driver pairing that is without equal in terms of talent, speed and its ability to work together for the good of the team.
Stefano Domenicali

Massa had been off the pace of Fernando Alonso in the opening races, leading to some speculation he might be replaced at the team. But he led Alonso home at Istanbul last week.

He first raced for Ferrari in 2006 having joined the team as a test driver three years earlier.

The news comes just two days after Red Bull handed Mark Webber a one-year contract extension.

Read more: F1 2011 Season

84 comments on “Ferrari extend Massa’s contract to 2012”

  1. Ned Flanders
    9th June 2010, 12:20

    Now there’s something I didn’t expect… he really hasn’t done much this season to justify a two year deal. Presumably there are performance clauses in there so they can dump him early if he isn’t performing.

    I wonder where this leaves Robert Kubica? Perhaps he’s thinking of staying at Renault and trying to build the team around him, as Schumacher and Alonso did in the past. If so, I think Renault could be challenging for wins and championships again very soon

    1. I think Renault are on the rise, they are a re-structured team that have potential, and Kubica made a good choice to aim for continuity as they will keep improving, whereas Ferrari are going to take another season or two to find their true form again.

    2. I prefer Robert in Renault. It suits him fine and they definitely work impressively together. Especially consistensy pays off: Robert’s faultless driving and team’s unstoppable progress under new administration. They will succeed very soon. Comparing to them Ferrari looks a bit chimeric to me. Lot of talking and effects rather weak. Renault – au contraire. And though I’m Bob’s fan – I love Rob Smedley calming down Felipe in the radio…

    3. What more are you expecting of him? I think he has performed admirably in a car that is clearly off the pace of the other front runners and he has consistently earned points in every race this season. He has kept a cool head and driven well under pressure. Although he did have some trouble with a bit of pace for a few races, he seems to have come to grips with them.

      Considering he started this season off the back of a near fatal accident and was out of racing for half a season, I don’t find it at all odd that he was a little off of Alonso’s pace, someone who is arguably one of the best in the field.

    4. Sush Meerkat
      9th June 2010, 14:22

      This is great news for me for the precise reason Ned points out in that “where does that leave Robert”

      It leaves him in a Renault, a team I’m finally not ashamed of supporting because the structure now is top notch.

      French engine CHECK!
      French team CHECK!
      Sexy Livery CHECK!
      Good Driver CHECK!

      I’ve always loved Renault, but couldn’t stand Uncle Flava.

      1. I used to hate Renault, I now like them a lot. The news is really great for Renault, because before, for Kubica it was Renault or Ferrari, now Renault have the driver they want more long term.

      2. Renault does seem like the one manufacturer that seems to ‘get’- although, saying that, they did sell three quarters of the team last year so if anything it’s even less French than it used to be!

        And yes, I love that livery too!

      3. F1withMySon
        9th June 2010, 15:16

        They’ve done a great job of rising up from all of that turmoil and just getting on with the racing. Kubica is an amazingly talented driver – top level.

      4. Renault has been missing a sexy livery since the R26.

    5. Well damn. This removed one of the discussion points for the silly season. Durn them now whom are we going to gossip about being replaced by whom?
      The two big name discussions been Massa and Webber out of their teams or swapping places. Now both got contracts. Also no more speculations of Kubica going to Ferrari.
      Lewis got contract for next year. Did Button sign multi year contract? Rosberg on a 2 year contract?

      1. Buttons on a three. Michael’s on a three. Lewis ain’t probably ever leaving McLaren. It’s Renault were the actions at, though people think Petrovs done enough to retain his seat.

        1. Charles Carroll
          9th June 2010, 19:07

          I think Petrov has done enough to keep his seat at Renault. I like what he did with Alonso, and I hope to see more of that in the future. Plus, he brought some much needed cash to the team as well.

          So it looks like a Pole and a Russian will drive for the French for years to come!

          1. I root for Petrov just because I hear “Russian” and “Family borrowed eleven million to buy him the ride”.

            I suspect that if Mr. Petrov were to find himself without a ride, it would be (to paraphrase a Russian businessman acquaintance of mine) “Not so good for them”.

  2. The question is whether he would have remained if there were openings at any of the other major teams. Because Ferrari are in a bad patch at the moment, and I think it will be another season maybe more before they regain their championship contender form. They are not adjusting to the recent changes in regulations well, neither in the cars they produce nor the way they test and develop them. And with further cost cutting measures in sight, I think they will need a new engineering and managing team to revitalise them. So I think this shouldn’t be portrayed as Ferrari being loyal to a long term driver, but the driver being loyal to a team which has done alot for him at times, but not enough at the same time.

    1. Massa is a typical Ferrari driver. An Alesi if toy will, He will driver for them not matter how terribly they are performing.

  3. Bit surprised really. Especially at the 2 year contract

    1. It’s the two year bit that surprises me. Of course just because it’s for more than one year doesn’t mean he’ll definitely be in the car in 2012 – just ask Kimi Raikkonen…

      1. WidowFactory
        9th June 2010, 14:44

        I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Alonso’s contract lasts until 2012 too. Massa is a safe pair of hands, consistent point scorer and will happily slip into a number 2 role.

        1. F1withMySon
          9th June 2010, 15:19

          Yep, that’s what I think as well – he’s there because he’ll score some points and be a good number 2.

        2. I’m actually not sure how happily he’ll slip into a number 2 role since he acted as the number 1 driver in 2008. Especially if there is any friction between him and Alonso, whose methods Massa doesn’t seem keen on.

      2. Keith,

        But who would repalce him for 12?

        1. Ask me in ’11… :-)

  4. Well this along with the Webber news pretty much kills the driver market before it even gets going. Only minor seats up for grabs now.

    1. and i love it this way.

  5. I really don’t understand Ferrari’s thinking on this one. And there was me a couple of days ago certain that Massa would be replaced by Kubica or even Petrov.

  6. I’m happy. I’d love Massa to get closer to Alo but he’s picking up solid points when Alo has been inconsistent (never thought I’d say that about Massa pre-Ferrari :P). It’s a good partnership and keeps Rob with Felipe which gets a definite thumbs up from me. Kubica was the only other real option, he hasn’t put a foot wrong this season but that tidy little package really shows him off too so I’m not too fussed either way. I don’t think I can ever really judge drivers from different cars I always like to wait and see how they do against their teammate.

    I haven’t been very impressed with Massa this year. I don’t think his pace has been that great but looking back maybe I’ve been a bit harsh. Straight back he outqualified Alo (Alo outraced him just by that first corner move even if Felipe couldn’t do anything after with his car troubles), he ahd a good start at Aus and was unlucky in the pits although quali he was way off the mark, unimpressive at Mal and China where I know he’s usually not that good at anyway but that shouldn’t stop him yet he still managed to briefly lead the championship, Alo messed up in quali but Felipe mainly kept hsi ehad at Monaco and then again at Turkey. He should have given more at times I’ll admit but it wasn’t as bad as I first thought. I think I just forgot how tough Alonso is to beat these past couple of years too.

    1. I think with the way things are now, it might be a good choice to keep consistency with their current drivers. Ferrari at the moment seem like a team that has a lot of work ahead in regaining the lead – and keep the pace into next season too.

      I think that this year the biggest problem has been lack of understanding of the handling of the car with f-duct and/or tire, and how the package will respond to changes in parts.

      Massa is a known quantity in all this, and can also be a benchmark for what Alonso manages.

      And finally, what better options do they have – currently they cannot offer Kubica a great deal: arguable, he has a better car right now, and would almost certainly be second to Alonso, at least initially. Ferrari can offer their name/history, and a promise that they will be back up to speed, eventually. Maybe he would be better off to wait a few years until they are there.

      If he works with Renault to get them back to race winning pace, and fighting for the WDC again, he will be regarded very highly and this would seem a better career move.

      A rookie would be interesting, but too high a risk. Unless he goes like Hamilton right from
      the word go, with the other big teams having
      such a strong driver line-up, they would need a monster of a car to be able to fight for the
      WCC next year, even if Alonso could fight for WDC.

  7. Best news I’ve heard all day. This could engender a rise in performance from Massa. Regardless of what a dog the car is, Massa showed at Melbourne that he can keep ahead of Alsonso.

    I think Massa’s “off” performances are partly from being rusty after missing half of last year, and worry that Ferrari might expect him to pick up right where he left off, without time to get accustomed to things again.

    Now, Massa has a contract thru 2012, and can stop worrying and focus on driving. Methinks he also needs to be a bit more demanding in the type/direction of upgrades Ferrari is producing–don’t let Alonso run the show.

  8. That’s great news for him & the team.He really deserve this. Now this will I hope boost his confidence so that he can fight back.

  9. Sensible thinking really. Alonso is a wild card, maybe he’ll help develop the car, but maybe he’ll go off in a dip/huff for a half a season. Undoubtedly, though, any car capable of being near the front and he’s got the talent to win the championship. So what does Massa bring? Stability, team player, not going to try to out-psyche Alonso, great test driver, a serious contender himself (and Alonso-pusher) if Ferrari can deliver some clear air for him: i.e. give him a car with a chance of pole. As in 2007 and 08. I don’t see what Kubica brings except serious potential strife with Alonso. Why would Ferrari want that? If Alonso goes, maybe, but Fred ain’t off anywhere however mardy he gets…

  10. Strange choice and I can’t see it ending well at all. Besides, Massa days were unfortunately over as a top flight driver in Hungary. A fair come back but any kind of brain damage leaves its mark. I certainly wouldn’t have rehired him, cruel yes but this is hard nosed business…

    1. evilninetime
      9th June 2010, 13:38

      I kind of agree, Brain damage yes but there is no sign he really had brain damage just trauma. I recently had pretty major brain surgery & although I was, as to expected, a little lacking for a couple of months I would now say im in a better fitness and general form than ever (granted i’m 21). I would think a bigger impact might just be the physiological worry but that doesn’t seem to bother F1 driver (Mika is a good example)

  11. Can’t say I’m surprised.
    No ‘Top 4’ drives are likely to change for next year.

    The most likely to change would be if Schu retires…

    1. That’s a good point – this is a pretty convincing sign Ferrari aren’t expecting Schumacher to go anywhere.

  12. To me it was pretty much expected. Ferrari need a strong and stable team get it back to the top spot. Massa is doing well, picking up points when Alonso is not, he knows the team, pushes Fernando without endangering him and knows about developing the car.

    Good choice, if they want Kubica after he gets the WDC with Renault next year, they can still offer Massa money and/or a test job/GT car to race instead of finishing the contract.

    1. heh, I just tried to say more or less the same in about three times the words!

      Do you really think Kubica/Renault will be ready to win the WDC next year already? I would expect they will be in the mix next year, but probably not quite there yet.

      1. Not really, but it is not impossible and that would be great. Five teams fighting it out for the championship!

  13. Kind of surprised for the 2 year contract since he has not performed very well. This leads me to believe that Ferrari is confident of their car’s performance for next season.

    1. I think they are confident that Massa will work as a supporting driver to Alonso’s run for WDC. Felipe is quick enough to get them solid points, but not good enough to challenge the number one driver.

    2. “This leads me to believe that Ferrari is confident of their car’s performance for next season”

      – From the looks of things, it seems maybe they’ve been a little ‘over’ confident of their cars performance.

  14. I am not surprised Ferrari has decided to retain him, but I half expected only a one year deal for Massa.

    In these negotiations I would have said Ferrari were in the strongest position, as they will always be able to attract top drivers whereas I don’t think Massa would be able to find a more competitive drive.

    Given Massa’s recent form I thought a one year deal for 2011 and evaluate the thing again then as Kubica, Webber and no doubt some other drivers would be on the market for 2012.

    1. Which top drivers exactly would Ferrari have been able to attract? The only one who might have been an option would have been Kubica, and he seems to be fitting in very well at Renault.

      1. I would have thought that the main factor drivers consider when choosing a team is how good a car they will be able to give them.

        It is always difficult to predict how competitive a car a team will produce in future seasons when a driver has to sign a contract now, just look at the form from season to season of some teams in recent years, however I would say that Ferrari are probably as good a bet as any to be able to produce a race winning car.

        I know some people think Ferrari are currently on a downward slope and may not even challenge for a Championship for some years, while I don’t think they will achieve the domination of the Schumacher years again any time soon, I doubt any team will, I still think on average over a the course of a few season they will be there or there abouts.

        Add in the fact that Ferrari usually pay relatively well and all their history, I wouldn’t be surprised that if a driver could sign for any team, Ferrari would be the first choice of most of them.

        Like I said Kubica and Webber would be available for 2012 and no doubt some other drivers will also be free who perhaps will be rated higher next year than they currently are. If Ferrari had only signed Massa for one year, Massa would still be available to sign again for 2012 but so to would other drivers.

        Kubica only signed a one year deal with Renault initially to give him more options for 2011. He does seem to be fitting in well at Renault and they are making good progress and with seats at other big teams not being free until 2013 I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs a two year deal with Renault.

        The main reason I thought Ferrari would only offer Massa a one year deal is because it would give them more freedom, but as others have pointed out Raikkonen signed a two year deal and Ferrari still dropped him after one year, although it cost them a lot.

  15. Good for him!!!

  16. I was surprised for two seconds and then realised that the fact that Massa seems to be somewhat slower than Alonso might actually have sealed the deal for him. Alonso is a driver who prefers a number 2 alongside him in the team. A nice, calm, responsible teamplayer – a role Kubica would never have accepted had he been signed. Alonso probably voted against him.

    1. F1withMySon
      9th June 2010, 15:24

      Why would you say that? I don’t recall Alonso ever having issues with a teammate before? ;-)

  17. Good news for Massa.

    I think Ferrari are probably hoping for a Kubika – Vettel pairing later on. And getting any of them as long as Alonso is in the team would be really catastrophic. So, they perhaps coincided Alonso and Massa’s end of contracts.

    I don’t think Felipe must have gotten a pay hike though after his performance in the first 7 races.

  18. Good move for Ferrari. Massa is one hell of a driver. Personally, I think he’s not much slower than Alonso. People are laying into Massa for his performances so far this season, but he’s had a problem with the tires, which can happen to drivers sometimes and has a HUGE impact on their performances. Massa beat Alonso and was strong relative to the car at Istanbul with the harder of the two combinations- the one that’s given him trouble- so maybe he and Smedley have figured it out and he can start challenging Freddy on a regular basis.

    There’s plenty of time to secure guys like Vettel or Kubica in the future. For now, they have two excellent veteran drivers who have shown they can get the job done. They can let Vettel mature at Red Bull before taking a run at him, although they’ll have company as Merc will certainly have a go, as well. Let’s not forget that they have Jules Bianchi in the pipeline developing, as well.

  19. I guess this will help putting to rest the rumours about Massa’s position inside the team.

  20. why people keep talking about kubica… felipe is a much more estabilish driver than him… and why people think that felipe will stay cool with a 2o driver position…
    he is adamant in the performance and is always fighting…

    the numbers talk: kubica has 1 victory and 1 pole…

    now massa… 11 victorys… 15 poles… its not for anyone… its not for anyone… turkish gp 3 times in a row… the master of interlagos… 2 times plus one time where he let kimi win…

    of course ferrari was one of the best cars… but kubica only win in canada was with a total dominant BMW…

    1. Kubica’s only win came from a pit accident between Hamilton and Raikkonen

    2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the words ‘dominant’ and ‘BMW’ used in the same sentence.

    3. looks like you’re in love with Massa but you cannot underestimate Kubica…you have posted the same thing on

      Kubica is a very good driver that hasnt had a car to show his true potential, but even now having worse car thar Ferrari he’s showing he’s better than Massa!

      1. yeh…in that weekend heidfeld took the second place…. a bwm one two…

        so maybe the word “dominant” is too much… but bmw was a hell of a car in that time…

        im not in love with massa… just dont like to be unfair with him…. he had the numbers… thats anyone can deny…

        1. The fact that Massa has more wins and poles than Kubica does not mean he is better as it does not show the entire picture.

          BMW may have achieved a 1-2 at Canada 2008 but that was only because Hamilton crashed into Raikkonen in the pit lane. That season BMW were a solid third on pace.

          For quite a bit of his F1 career Massa has been in car capable of challenging for Championships, whereas Kubica has rarely had a car capable of challenging for wins.

          I think both of them are good drivers and I wouldn’t say either of them is significantly better than the other, and of course when a team signs a driver the deciding factor is not how well they have performed in the past but how well the team think they will perform in the future.

  21. Good news for Massa, but…

    …isn’t this what Kimi was given as well?

    1. Actually, Massa has always had 2-year contracts with Ferrari.

      After he signed as a test driver in 2003, he was loaned to Sauber for 2 years.

      He came back for a 1-year deal in 2006. He got a 2 year deal at the end of 2006.

      In 2007, the 2 year deal was extended by a further 2 years till end of 2010. And now, it is again extended by 2 years till 2012.

      Nicholas Todt is a shrewd manager, I say.

      1. My point is that it’s not exactly a mark of security to have a 2-year contract.

        1. Aah, sorry! Missed that.

          I like to think that the 2 recent “contract breaks” in the sport – Alonso-Mclaren in 2007 and Kimi-Ferrari in 2009 as exceptions rather than the rule which occurred due to the extra-ordinary circumstances.

          When Alonso left the team, it was clear that the 2 parties were barely on speaking terms to each other.

          Kimi’s ouster was facilitated by Santander. I think Ferrari would have kept Kimi till the end of 2010 had Santander not come in with the money to throw Kimi off!!

          Contracts won’t be broken easily in the future too.

          1. But Kimi was lacking motivation as well and Ferrari would hugely suffer if they would have ousted Massa after his accident. I am sure that played a role in the decision as well.

          2. You may be right. And at the very worst, at least Massa knows he has one more year!

        2. Aah, sorry! Missed that.

          I like to think that the 2 recent “contract breaks” in the sport – Alonso-Mclaren in 2007 and Kimi-Ferrari in 2009 as exceptions rather than the rule which occurred due to the extra-ordinary circumstances.

          When Alonso left the team, it was clear that the 2 parties were barely on speaking terms to each other.

          Kimi’s ouster was facilitated by Santander. I think Ferrari would have kept Kimi till the end of 2010 had Santander not come in with the money to throw Kimi off!!

          Contracts won’t be broken easily in the future too.

  22. Jhonnie Siggie
    9th June 2010, 16:13

    Hmm.. I think Lewis’ contract is up in 2012 also. Is it a total coincidence that they would extend Massa’s contract up until that same year? Or do the folks at Ferrari have eyes for LEW?

  23. Electrolite
    9th June 2010, 16:54

    Once again, rather amusingly, everyone is proved wrong. Especially when jumping after conclusions all of a sudden after a few races! I think the guy has something in him so nearlly getting that 2008 WDC (albeit 18 odd months ago and to someone which less experience, fair dos fair dos) and people have jumped to conclusions a bit after a few races as usual.

  24. I would have missed Smedley on the radio to Massa more than anything.

    Filipe Baby! Filipe Baby! Stay Cool!

  25. Funny how some of the posts here are carryng on about how Ferrari could have signed someone faster than Massa. How they will in the end have Vettel and Kubica drive for them.

    Ferrari is not up to pace and the way i see it their era is gone. Pity how fans still put Ferrari on a pedestal as if going to drive for Ferrari is still the best thing for any driver today. It simply isn’t.
    Why on earth would Vettel leave that time machine of his to go drive a slow Ferrari. Redbull is the future of racing

    1. Accidental Mick
      9th June 2010, 18:29

      Ferrari are in this game to go racing – indeed, remember they first started selling production cars to finance their racing machines.

      Red Bull are in this to sell fizzy drinks. When Adrian Newey has a row with the management team he will leave Red Bull (its happened before). Red Bull will then soon stop winning and then expect the team to be up for sale within the year.

      That is why their fans love Ferrari.

  26. tats cool for team and him…iam sure he will push ferrari and alonso to the limits….he is a strong contender for the championship always..

  27. At last, a long term signed no. 2 driver to no. 1 driver Alonso :)

    It’s difficult to tell if Felipe has overcome any temerity behind the wheel from his shunt last year as the car is so mediocre. But Ferrari being Ferrari, if he doesn’t improve his results and Alonso does, they will not hesitate to sack him before the end of his new contract. It is F1!

  28. Perhaps Alonso or his sponsors wanted to make sure Kubica doesn’t land at the Scuderia…

  29. theRoswellite
    9th June 2010, 18:38

    For good or bad, as first or second driver in the team, and with real expectations for the future, Massa deserves to be a continued driver for Ferrari. For me, he earned it with his classy finish to the 2008 season, after being let down by his car and his team…no one has ever deserved it more. (Except perhaps Peter Collins, or most assuredly Sir Sterling Moss..digression)

    With Ferrari presently suffering with the under-performing blues, I would suggest it would have gutted the team, and many fans, to see them trash Felipe for even someone of Kubica’s talent.

  30. everyone forgets last year with kuby. massa scored more points than kuby despite missing half the season.

    1. It looks like You forgot what dog BMW was last year.

  31. I guess this is a reflection of the strong association the team has with him. He is a good driver and worthy of a Ferrari seat.
    What saddens me is that Kimi is even more unlikely to come in now as there are hardly any seats left in the big teams.

  32. Nice one Felipe baby.

    And what of Kubica though…

  33. So, in this day and age of almost no testing experience is king. The only available alternatives would be inexperienced guys (or someone like Sutil) and no top team wants to burn her hands with that.

    Long time before any of the top tams will bring a ‘new Lewis’

  34. Magnificent Geoffrey
    9th June 2010, 22:01

    I know I’m a bit late, but two more years of Mass-Smedley radio chatter? Yes please!

  35. I wanted to see Kimi back in F1, but yesterday Webber confirmed, today Massa… if it keep going like this in a week time Raikkonen will retire from motorsport.

  36. From my prospective, the only bad news here is that we are going to have precious little to read about, and comment and speculate on, in terms of the driver market within the top 4 teams over the next year or so. That said, F1 has a rich history of always managing to come up with some sort of new drama or conspiracy theory for us to debate. It wouldn’t be F1 otherwise! :)

    1. “Alonso: I had affair with Danica Patrick.”

      “Kubica: at weekends my name is Robyn.”

      “Hamilton: kidnapped by aliens”

      I may jest, but they’ll probably end up on Planet F1 at some point ;-)

  37. I agree with several others here: Massa has been retained because he is consistent but won’t challenge Alonso in the long run. He is the next Barrichello and Alonso is the next Schumi.

    Of course, this will not have been spellt out. Ferrari can happily offer equal driver status, because it is clear that Alonso is the better driver by far. So Massa will be feeling very happy at the moment. Little does he know…

    Many of you will disagree with me, but I don’t think Massa is a special driver. A lovely guy, yes. But he doesn’t have the magic of top drivers like Alonso, Vettel, Kubica or Schumacher.

    Luckily, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. ;)

    1. What I forgot to say, is:

      A strong driver pairing with a number 1 and number 2, like Alonso/Massa, is the perfect combination for winning the constructor’s and driver’s championship.

      Button/Hamilton are an example of two number 1’s in one team. Good for the constructor’s, but not the drivers.

      I think that’s Ferrari’s thinking.

  38. That’s a shock! I guess they want someone to support Alonso and he has agreed…

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