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Felipe Massa has admitted his delight as new deal keeps him as part of the Ferrari family for another season.
"I am very happy to have reached this agreement," the Brazilian told the Ferrari website. "Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula One, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello: I can't see myself driving cars propelled by anything else!
"First and foremost, I want to thank President Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali, who had faith in me and who have always supported me, even at the most difficult moments. The team and also all the fans can rest assured that I will do all in my power to help the Scuderia reach the targets it sets itself each year."
Ferrari revealed that the official announcement should have been made next week, but both parties decided it was best to move it forward. Indeed, the Italian team may well have been prompted by the media frenzy that followed the claim by the BBC yesterday that Sebastian Vettel is to move to Maranello in 2014.
"Now that Massa's situation has been cleared up, maybe speculation surrounding Ferrari drivers will calm down for a few days," said the team on its website, "but that's probably a vain hope: the rumour mill works round the clock, manned by people who, having said one thing and then the complete opposite, can congratulate themselves on having got it just right. Indeed, this was one of the reasons that pushed Montezemolo and Massa to decide on announcing the renewal today, to put an end to all the speculation."
Di Montezemolo met Massa in Maranello this morning, the Brazilian having arrived from Korea yesterday. It was a friendly meeting, in which the Ferrari president congratulated his driver for his recent performances.
"We are pleased to have extended our relationship with Felipe for a further year," added Stefano Domenicali. "He has been part of our family for over a decade and has shown, especially in this recent part of the season, that he is once again competitive at the highest level, which is what is expected of every driver who gets behind the wheel of a Ferrari. We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career and we are certain of his worth and are sure he will know how to repay the confidence this renewal proves we have in him."
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