2013 F1 season
Felipe Massa will remain at Ferrari in 2013, the team has confirmed.
A statement released by the team on Tuesday said: “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its contract with the driver Felipe Massa to the end of the 2013 race season.”
“The Scuderia’s driver line-up for next year is therefore made up of Fernando Alonso and the aforementioned Felipe Massa.”
Massa said he is “very happy to have reached this agreement”.
“Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula 1, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello: I can’t see myself driving cars propelled by anything else!
“First and foremost, I want to thank president Montezemolo and [team principal] Stefano Domenicali, who had faith in me and who have always supported me, even at the most difficult moments. The team and also all the fans can rest assured that I will do all in my power to help the Scuderia reach the targets it sets itself each year.”
Domenicali said: “He has been part of our family for over a decade and has shown, especially in this recent part of the season, that he is once again competitive at the highest level, which is what is expected of every driver who gets behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
“We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career and we are certain of his worth and are sure he will know how to repay the confidence this renewal proves we have in him.”
“I am so happy to continue another year with Felipe Massa as a team mate!” Alonso wrote on Twitter. “I’m sure we are the best team!”
“After eight different team mates Felipe staying is another example of what I always say: do not believe anything you read unless it’s official,” he continued.
Ferrari’s statement added: “Now that Massa’s situation has been cleared up, maybe speculation surrounding Ferrari drivers will calm down for a few days, but that’s probably a vain hope: the rumour mill works round the clock, manned by people who, having said one thing and then the complete opposite, can congratulate themselves on having got it just right.
“Indeed, this was one of the reasons that pushed Montezemolo and Massa to decide on announcing the renewal today, to put an end to all the speculation.”
Massa will remain with Ferrari for an eighth season. He joined them from Sauber in 2006 to partner Michael Schumacher.
In 2008 Massa finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, winning six races.
But he missed half of the season in 2009 after suffering head injuries during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. He has not won a race since returning in 2010, when Alonso joined Ferrari as his team mate.
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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo