Saturday 18 November 2017

F1: Ferrari give Felipe Massa their backing

Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa
Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa

Under-pressure Felipe Massa has again received unequivocal support from Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo.

A year ago Massa appeared to be on his way out of Ferrari following a miserable start to the season, scoring a measly 25 points from the opening 11 races before mounting a comeback in the second half of the campaign.

Twelve months on and the 32-year-old Brazilian is again in the firing line, crashing his car five times over four grands prix weekends - in Monaco, Canada, at Silverstone and then last Sunday when he spun out of the German Grand Prix on lap four.

Despite that, and with speculation rife as to his replacement given his contract expires at the end of the year, Di Montezemolo has publicly backed his driver, as was the case last year.

"Felipe is fully aware he can count on our total confidence in him," said Di Montezemolo, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I hope he will soon secure the results that will show his talent to the full, such as the great starts he pulled off at the last two grands prix.

"The future? We will talk about that further down the line as there is no hurry."

Di Montezemolo's words echo that of team principal Stefano Domenicali after the race at the Nurburgring as he said: "I have always said we have a lot of confidence in Felipe.

"I know this is a very critical, very tough moment because he is the first to be disappointed.

"The only thing to do is to stay always behind him and work hard with him because we need him to make sure we are fighting for the constructors' championship."

Jules Bianchi, currently with Marussia and a member of Ferrari's driver academy, Force India's Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg at Sauber, have all been mentioned as potential replacements.

Press Association

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