When a football manager is told he has the support of his club's management it's usually the beginning of the end. So as Luca di Montezemolo gives Felipe Massa his full backing one fears the Brazilian is nearing the end of his Ferrari career.
In all honesty, many were surprised when Ferrari opted to retain the Brazilian for 2013, having failed to score even half the number of points amassed by his illustrious teammate during 2012. Indeed, even during 2012 pre-season testing there was talk of the popular Brazilian losing his ride leading to his taking to twitter to deny the rumours (right).
Despite a strong start to his 2013 campaign, in the last four races Massa's season has fallen apart, three crashes in as many race weekends and then an unforced error in last Sunday's race which saw him spin out after just three laps.
However, Ferrari being the family team that it is, Luca di Montezemolo was quick to give his support to his charge today, insisting that the team is fully behind him.
“Felipe is fully aware he can count on our total confidence in him,” the Ferrari president told the team's website. “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?" he continued, "we will talk about that further down the line as there’s no hurry.”
While most media speculation is centred on the vacancy at Red Bull there is sure to be a spare seat alongside Fernando Alonso next season. Nico Hulkenberg is said to feature highly on Ferrari's list of possibles, though Jules Bianchi, a member of the Maranello outfit's Young Driver Programme is also said to be under consideration.
Another driver who has admitted his desire to drive for the legendary Italian marque is smiley, smiley Paul di Resta, who has made no secret of his desire to move up from Force India next season.