With Massa claiming fourth on one of his strongest runs for a while on Sunday, Ferrari
has come out and said that it is in no rush to confirm its decision on Alonso's team-mate next season, while Lewis Hamilton
and Michael Schumacher could also now stay put, despite being tabbed for a move and return to retirement respectively.
Despite this week's suggestion that he could be Lotus-bound in 2013, Hamilton is more than likely to bite the bullet and remain with McLaren
now that Red Bull
is no longer an option. Alonso's presence at Ferrari
was always likely to deter the Briton from transferring to the Scuderia, leaving Schumacher's future as perhaps the one sticking point in his decision process.
The German has shown another upturn in form this year, securing pole in Monaco and third on the grid at Silverstone, sandwiching a return to the podium in Valencia's European Grand Prix two weeks ago. The third place finish, behind Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, was the seven-time champion's first since returning to F1 in 2010, but his Mercedes team has said that it does not expect an announcement on Schumacher's future to materialise until some time into the forthcoming summer break.
Although Vettel, too, has been linked to a Ferrari
move, it would not happen until 2014 at the earliest, possibly giving Massa a stay of execution while the Scuderia waits to create perhaps the most potent pairing in modern F1. Although Hamilton and Sauber's Sergio Perez remain considerations for the management at Maranello, neither is likely to accept a one-year deal with Vettel possibly waiting in the wings. If either appears in scarlet next year, consider the rumour mill to have been wrong, with Perez the more likely to make the move to Italy should the team be able to look past the rawness it has previously claimed works against the Mexican.