Jun.21 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Ferrari, and even Bernie Ecclestone, have publicly backed Felipe Massa as the calls for his scalp get quieter after the Brazilian’s recent boost of form.
Prior to Monaco, where the struggling 31-year-old took a step forward after a start to 2012 that looked set to cost him his career, some paddock voices were even saying Ferrari needing to axe Massa well before 2013.
Now, Massa appears back in the running to secure a new deal, as Sauber aims to keep hold of its major backer Telmex and Sergio Perez, and Mark Webber looks set to stay at Red Bull.
“To me it’s obvious,” F1 chief executive Ecclestone told German journalists recently in an interview republished this week on Ferrari’s website.
“Felipe is very talented and there’s not much to add.”
And, crucially for Massa, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali nodded that he agrees “completely” with the sport’s supremo.
“After Felipe drove a great race in Monaco, the same journalists who had been criticising him began to ask me why he did not yet have a contract for next year,” Domenicali said.
Asked if in Domenicali’s shoes he would stay behind Massa, Ecclestone insisted: “Of course!
“He is doing a good job, what’s he doing wrong?”
A separate report on Ferrari’s website this week confirmed that Massa has been all “smiles” after Monaco and Canada.
And even after the world’s media expected the famous team to condemn the Brazilian for his Montreal spin, Ferrari actually said in its official race statement that he “had the pace to match the front runners”.
“It’s true,” the driver confirmed on Wednesday. “I’m much happier, because I can drive the F2012 much more in the way I like now.”