Yesterday, while watching the Hungarian GP, TV hosts commented Ferrari had already let go an option to hire Massa for another year, but Massa had commented he doesn’t want to go to “any lower team”. I don’t think any top team would choose him in his current form, so it’s probably the end of his F1 career. Where can he go? To race in DTM, Indy as Rubens? or would he finally accept “a lower team”?
I think maybe if Massa had a change of environment in F1 maybe he might start performing better,being in Alonso’s shadow hasn’t helped his cause,so maybe going to a team like Williams,Caterham or Sauber may help rejuvenate him. If not then he might consider Indycar, but I have also heard Massa talking about being interested in racing Tin-Tops so DTM or NASCAR could also be an option.
Whilst he’s not going to be wanted by any of the other top 4 teams (McLaren, Red Bull or Mercedes), he could possibly be a potential replacement for Grosjean. The problem is, Renault has no reason to get rid of him.
So which teams does that leave? The most obvious destination would be Sauber, in exchange for Perez. However, I still have my doubts over whether Perez is good enough yet (my money’s on Webber going to Ferrari). So the only possibility, assuming Massa won’t want to drop to the bottom 3 teams, is Williams. And if Maldonado doesn’t improve, there’s likely to be an empty seat by the end of the season.
If he really wants to stay in F1 I can see him in a Caterham or Williams, but he has shown this year he does not deserve better really, or maybe Force India, but I think he should try his hand at Indycar.
I think it’ll be a straight swap with Perez if he goes anywhere – so Ferrari could take the rest of the season to decide whether they want Perez, and announce it as early or late as they like. Williams, Force India and Mercedes seem to have enough drivers in better form than Massa already.
Given the most recent paddock rumors, could a seat swap with Kimi be in the cards?
Kimi and Alonso at Ferrari would be the most formidable line up on the grid, Massa joining Grosjean in a Lotus car that is so adaptable and kind to its tires may be just the kind of switch Massa needs to find his old mojo.
I think @bullfrog has hit it on the head: it would be a straight swap with Perez if the rumours are true. Massa’s experience would be an asset to Sauber, and he could even maybe do a Kovalainen and take on the challenge of a lower team in a low pressure environment to get his head straight.
Failing that, I’m sure DTM or IndyCar would welcome him with open arms. Maybe Le Mans too.
These rumors of Kimi going back to Ferrari are pretty ridiculous to me. While Kimi would not really care about having Alonso as his teammate, I don’t see it working. Alonso is clearly the favorite there. Also given that Kimi was basically pushed out for 2010 despite having a contract, there is just too much bad blood.