Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has said that he wants to hear no more speculation about Felipe Massa's future with the team, insisting that the Scuderia would head into 2011 with an unchanged line-up.
Despite there being no hint of a change from Maranello, the rumour mill continues to suggest that Massa will be moved out, the latest whispers claiming Sauber as a possible destination, while either Mark Webber or Robert Kubica takes his place alongside Fernando Alonso. Both have previously been mentioned in connection with a Ferrari driver, despite both having valid contracts with their current teams, Red Bull Racing and Renault respectively, for next season.
Although Kubica waited before confirming that he would remain at Enstone, Webber jumped at the chance to renew his RBR contract for another year and, last week, dismissed the speculation linking him to Ferrari. Asked whether he would be happy to move, he questioned the wisdom of having to learn to work with another 500 team members, and laughed off enquiries about whether he would mind being Alonso's team-mate by asking if the Spaniard was moving to Red Bull....
Domenicali, meanwhile, was again asked about the possibility of Massa moving on when he took part in Friday's FIA press conference in Singapore.
"I think it's getting boring news," he sighed, "Every day, there is something new on that. Peter [Sauber] and I meet a lot of times because we have a good professional relationship, but, as I say, once again, on the Felipe story, I think it's getting a little bit boring. The objective is, of course, to have a good number two who can grow up within the team, but I think this is the objective of all the teams. It's nothing major, I would say."
Alonso's victory at Monza last time out - a race where Massa also finished on the podium in front of the tifosi
- lifted the Spaniard back into title contention but, despite both Red Bull and McLaren admitting that they fear Ferrari this weekend, Domenicali insists that the Scuderia may have to play second fiddle.
"I think that, for sure, the fight will be very tight, but I am expecting Red Bull to be a little bit stronger than us here, in terms of pure performance," he admitted, "What is going to happen during the race, no-one knows. I need to be very careful, but that's the picture that I'm getting here at the moment.
"Monza was a fantastic weekend for us but, as I always say, we don't have to be over the moon if we have a great weekend and we don't have to be a total down if we have a bad weekend. The most important thing is that the team is always focused on the job, trying to do the maximum that we can. We know that this situation is totally different, but we also know that we have to be there trying to do the right thing as what has happened this year in terms of development was not what we really expected on the track. That is something also other teams have coped with and we need to make sure this weekend that we are doing the right step and keep the performance one step ahead.
"Even if, on paper, this track is not really the best for us, I think our job is to make sure that we do everything perfect and then we will see. The championship is very open for everyone. Everything can happen, so the only thing we have to do is stay focused, not to be too excited when things are going well, but just keep our feet on the ground and work flat out. That is what we are going to do here and at the other grands prix.
"We need to see how the situation is before the last grands prix because, of course, we need to be focused on the new car project. Resources are limited so, at the moment, the more time is passing the more we are swapping and taking people from this year's [car] to next year's. At every race, we need to understand what the potential objective to be achieved is, and then we will decide when we really will devote all the resources to the new project."