Ferrari keep everyone waiting
Felipe Massa now expected to stay at Ferrari, while Hamilton is linked with Mercedes and Lotus
Last Updated: 12/07/12 1:42pm
Ferrari say they are in no rush to decide Felipe Massa's future, while yet more conflicting reports have been published about where Lewis Hamilton might be driving in 2013.
Massa's contract with the Scuderia expires at the end of the year and the Brazilian has been dogged by reports that will be jettisoned by the team throughout the current campaign. However, a recent upturn in form - which resulted in Massa finishing in a season-best fourth-place at Silverstone on Sunday - and the news that Mark Webber has extended his Red Bull contract into 2013 has given rise to the expectation that Felipe will, after all, continue to partner Fernando Alonso for at least another year.
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Ferrari, however, aren't ready to reveal their hand just yet.
'In Maranello, no one is in a hurry to make any decisions and that's for sure,' wrote the 'Horse Whisperer' blogger on the team's official website. 'Yesterday, one absolute certainty of the past few months was washed away, as we now know Webber is staying put. Now the most vociferous and qualified rumourmongers are taking it for granted that Felipe will be confirmed, these generally being the same voices that, not only had him down as being out of the running for 2013, but would have had us believe he would not even see out the season.
'Now coming into bloom are a whole list of possible and potential replacements, with a list of names from A to Z, something Ferrari is well used to. In truth, one letter, the "Z," seems yet to be uncovered, or quite possibly it's Zorro...unmasked.'
But what about 'H'? With news of Webber's contract extension sprinkled with confirmation that the Australian did hold talks with Ferrari before opting to remain at Red Bull, Massa's vulnerability has been laid bare and rumour-mongers continue to link Hamilton with a sensational switch to the Scuderia.
Given that his single season alongside Alonso at McLaren ended in such acrimony, the prospect of Hamilton joining Ferrari is remote, and reports on Wednesday suggested that the Englishman, whose own contract with McLaren also expires at the end of the current campaign, could switch to Lotus.
'The 2008 world champion would consider a move to Lotus now that they have returned to form which propelled Fernando Alonso to two world titles in their former guise as Renault,' announced The Daily Mail.
However, according to The Daily Mirror, Lotus intend to 'stick with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean', and the newspaper instead declares: 'Hamilton roared to the top of Mercedes' shortlist if Michael Schumacher retires.'
All good fun, but with the way to Red Bull blocked by Webber's extension, the smart money continues to be placed on Hamilton eventually deciding to stay at McLaren.