Ferrari extend Massa’s contract to 2012

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

Advert | Go Ad-free

84 comments on Ferrari extend Massa’s contract to 2012

1 2 3
  1. Ned Flanders said on 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

    • Henry said on 9th June 2010, 12:23

      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.

    • phoros said on 9th June 2010, 12:58

      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…

    • Puffy said on 9th June 2010, 13:23

      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.

    • Sush Meerkat said on 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.

      • Mike said on 9th June 2010, 14:53

        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.

      • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 9th June 2010, 15:11

        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!

      • F1withMySon said on 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.

      • reg said on 10th June 2010, 5:14

        Renault has been missing a sexy livery since the R26.

    • macahan said on 9th June 2010, 16:04

      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?

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 9th June 2010, 16:51

        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.

        • Charles Carroll said on 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!

          • PeriSoft said on 10th June 2010, 14:03

            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. Henry said on 9th June 2010, 12:21

    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.

  3. David said on 9th June 2010, 12:22

    Bit surprised really. Especially at the 2 year contract

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th June 2010, 14:22

      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…

      • WidowFactory said on 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.

        • F1withMySon said on 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.

        • matt90 said on 9th June 2010, 16:20

          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.

      • Jess said on 9th June 2010, 18:16

        Keith,

        But who would repalce him for 12?

  4. spawinte said on 9th June 2010, 12:28

    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.

  5. matt90 said on 9th June 2010, 12:33

    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. steph said on 9th June 2010, 12:38

    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.

    • bosyber said on 9th June 2010, 13:01

      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. dsob said on 9th June 2010, 12:40

    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. wasiF1 said on 9th June 2010, 12:42

    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. David BR said on 9th June 2010, 12:44

    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. pSynrg said on 9th June 2010, 12:46

    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…

    • evilninetime said on 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. plushpile said on 9th June 2010, 12:52

    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…

  12. BasCB said on 9th June 2010, 12:52

    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.

    • bosyber said on 9th June 2010, 13:04

      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.

  13. Splint3r said on 9th June 2010, 12:53

    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.

    • Todfod said on 9th June 2010, 13:26

      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.

    • Cacarella said on 9th June 2010, 14:54

      “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. PJA said on 9th June 2010, 12:54

    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.

    • Puffy said on 9th June 2010, 14:23

      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.

      • PJA said on 9th June 2010, 16:15

        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. F1Outsider said on 9th June 2010, 12:56

    Good for him!!!

1 2 3

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.