Nico Rosberg could be in-line to replace the out-of-favour Felipe Massa at Ferrari in 2012, it appears, with reports that 'contact' has been made between the legendary Scuderia and the young German's management team.

Despite a mini-resurgence in the last couple of races during which he has genuinely taken the fight to double world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso, the general consensus within the F1 paddock is that Massa's days in scarlet are strictly numbered, and that come season's end and the conclusion of his existing agreement with Ferrari, the Brazilian will be out of the Prancing Horse on his hoof, if you'll pardon the pun.

Both injured Lotus Renault GP star Robert Kubica and Red Bull Racing ace Mark Webber have already been linked with filling Massa's shoes at Maranello - but it seems the pair could face another threat from Rosberg, who has impressively controlled Michael Schumacher at Mercedes Grand Prix since the record-breaking F1 legend's top flight comeback at the beginning of last year, routinely out-qualifying, out-racing and out-scoring the most successful driver in the sport's six-decade history.

Now, claims Italian magazine Autosprint, Ferrari has been in 'contact' with Rosberg's management to enquire as to his contractual situation - with the 25-year-old understood to be on a three-year deal with Mercedes that expires at the end of next season.

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