Ferrari poised to confirm Massa stay
Ted Kravitz suggests Brazilian's 2013 drive could be confirmed within the next week
Last Updated: October 8, 2012 11:09am
Ferrari could confirm as early as this week that Felipe Massa will stay at the team for next season, according to Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz.
The Ferrari stalwart had seemed to be nearing the end of the road at Maranello after a dismal start to the season in which he scored just two points in the opening five races and failed to reach the final part of qualifying until the Monaco GP.
Ferrari were thought to be evaluating a host of alternative names for the seat yet in more recent months Massa has steadily picked up his form and in wake of four successive points finishes finished on the podium for the first time in two years with an impressive drive from 10th on the grid to second place at Suzuka on Sunday.
Massa has repeatedly stressed that a run of strong results would help towards securing a contract renewal and asked in the post-race press conference if he thought his return to the podium would help his chances, the 31-year-old replied: "I think so."
Indeed, Sky F1's pit lane reporter said that the signs in Japan were all pointing towards an imminent announcement that Ferrari would retain the Brazilian for an eighth consecutive season.
"A podium and something that might save his job," Ted said when reflecting on Massa's race in his video notebook.
"He seemed to hint, and we're actually getting little hints around the place that there might be an announcement before Korea, or maybe even just after Korea, that Massa will actually stay.
"He dropped a very big hint in the press conference that 'you will hear soon' about my future and he was smiling at the time."
Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali continued to keep his cards close to his chest after the race but did hint that Massa's podium appearance had come at just the right time for his future.
"It was nice to see him back on the podium after a long, a too long time!" the Italian admitted.
"This second place is a very important result for him and for the team and it comes at one of the most difficult and delicate moments of the season.
"Decisions regarding his future? One step at a time, as now we are enjoying this lovely podium together."