Felipe Massa confirms negotiations ongoing with Lotus over possible 2014 move
Brazilian says he's also had "contact" with McLaren amid 2014 search
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 17/09/13 8:57am
Felipe Massa: On the lookout for a 2014 drive
Outgoing Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has confirmed that his management is in talks with Lotus over the possibility of a seat at the Enstone team for 2014, as the Brazilian bids to prolong his Formula 1 career.
Last week's confirmation that Massa's eight-season Ferrari career would come to an end after November's season-ending Brazilian GP appears to have left the 11-time grand prix winner short on options for an alternative drive next season.
Sky Sports F1's pundits have suggested that a move to Lotus, in an effective seat swap with the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen, or a return to Sauber represent Massa's two most realistic moves, although Nico Hulkenberg is considered the former's chief target.
And following Eric Boullier's revelation that Lotus are "currently in discussion with a few people", Massa has confirmed that the Enstone team would be an attractive proposition for him, while implying that he could also bring some budget to the team.
"We are negotiating," Massa, who is represented by Nicolas Todt, told Brazilian broadcaster Globo. "In my opinion the Lotus has a very competitive car, which is what I want. It is a team with a very important story in Brazil as well.
"We are having many conversations to try find a way for not only me but also Lotus to continue with a good car."
Lotus appear to be the only one of F1's established front-running teams still to have at least one remaining seat for 2014 up for grabs, with Ferrari having joined Red Bull and Mercedes in finalising their line-ups for next year.
Although they haven't officially confirmed their driver line-up yet, McLaren are expected to retain both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. However, intriguingly, Massa has claimed his representatives have also had some contact with the Woking team - although suggested that the link with Lotus was more promising.
"I have had contact with McLaren. I can't judge... it's hard to say... with Lotus the contact has been very good," the Brazilian added.
Speaking in an interview with Sky F1's Martin Brundle prior to the news that his Ferrari seat was to be taken by Raikkonen, Massa made clear his determination to continue in F1.
"I want more. I want to win more races; I want to make more pole positions. So when you're not happy you need to try and carry on and try to do more," Massa said.
In a related piece of transfer speculation, Massa's long-standing race engineer Rob Smedley has been linked with a move away from Maranello of his own for 2014, with a switch to Williams mooted for the Englishman.