Domenicali dismisses Massa talk


Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has rubbished ongoing speculation that Felipe Massa will be dropped at the end of the season.

If truth be told, the Brazilian has never fully rediscovered his form following his horrific Hungaroring accident in 2009, team president Luca di Montezemolo last year joking that there were times he thought Massa's brother was driving the second Ferrari. This year, 129 points down on his teammate, Massa has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, particularly his regular coming together with Lewis Hamilton.

However, as one media outlet suggests that Nico Rosberg will line up alongside Fernando Alonso for the Maranello outfit next year, Domenicali, speaking at Mugello, was keen to kill off the continued speculation.

"I am counting heavily on Felipe's will to fight back as he knows next year will be a key one in which, and I'm convinced of it, he will be able to show his true worth," the Italian told reporters. "As for the rumours regarding all the drivers who are due to arrive in Maranello to replace him, I can only repeat my words and indeed those only recently uttered by our President, in every possible way, Felipe will also be with us in 2012 and that should make you understand how much faith we have in him."

Referring to Alonso, Domenicali added: "I am sure that, in the next few days, going back to Abu Dhabi will have an effect on Fernando, given what happened there last year, but this negative emotion will be a further incentive for him to turn things around in 2012.

"In the remaining two races, we want to try and get on the podium and try all we can to get Fernando to second place in the drivers' classification. Meanwhile, everyone at Maranello is working to produce a car that is competitive right from the start of next season, when, as we are well aware, we can have only one goal, which is victory."

Reflecting on the season, he said: "We started very badly but then, coming into summer, we staged a good recovery which, among other things, saw us take the significant win at Silverstone. Then we had a programme of further development on the car, which should have brought us much closer to the front runners. Unfortunately, the updates introduced in Spa did not produce the results we hoped for and so we took a step backwards, partly because by then, we had interrupted the development of the 150 Italia to concentrate all our energies on next year's car. In the last few races we also tested a few ideas and parts which will be useful in the near future and we will continue to do that in Abu Dhabi and Brazil."

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Published: 06/11/2011
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