Jun.2 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Sergio Perez is not a leading candidate to replace Felipe Massa next season, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said.

“We never take a decision before the second half of the season,” the Italian told Reuters.

Montezemolo acknowledged Brazilian Massa’s surge of form in Monaco last weekend, amid speculation Sauber’s Perez – already the cream of Ferrari’s driver development programme – might nonetheless be fast-tracked into the race seat for 2013.

“No,” he said of the 22-year-old Mexican.

“Perez is a good driver but to drive a Ferrari you need more experience.”

That is where 35-year-old Australian and Monaco winner Mark Webber might come in, with multiples sources indicating a one-year Ferrari deal for 2013 would pave the way for Perez to step up a season later.

But Red Bull’s Webber insisted: “This (speculation) always happens around this time of year.

“Only rarely does anyone do anything now, or make any major decisions,” he is quoted on Saturday by AFP news agency.