Ferrari has officially confirmed that it will field an unchanged line-up for the 2013 F1 season after agreeing terms with Felipe Massa
on an extended contract.
News emerged over the weekend in Korea that Massa was close to re-signing with the team for another year, with Ferrari
team boss Stefano Domenicali and president Luca di Montezemolo both hinting that a deal was close.
The Brazilian had seemed almost certain to lose his drive earlier this season after a series of below-par performances, with a number of drivers linked with his seat over the course of the campaign - including Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
However, since the summer break, Massa has shown more flashes of the speed that saw him almost beat Lewis Hamilton
to the 2008 title.
Indeed, Massa has finished inside the top five in each of the races since the summer break with the exception of Singapore, where he rebounded well from a first lap puncture to come through from the back of the field to eighth.
A podium finish in Japan marked his first top three finish since Korean 2010 and having impressed again in Yeongam at the weekend, Massa has now signed a new deal to take him through to the end of next season.
announces that it has renewed its contract with the driver Felipe Massa
to the end of the 2013 race season,” a brief statement from the team read.
“The Scuderia's driver line-up for next year is therefore made up of Fernando Alonso
and the aforementioned Felipe Massa.”
News of Massa's new one-year deal comes at a time when media reports have suggested that Ferrari
is seeking to sign Sebastian Vettel
to partner Alonso from 2014 onwards – although both Ferrari
and Red Bull
have moved to deny the reports
Massa has been with Ferrari
since 2006 – having previously held a test driver role in 2003 – and has taken all eleven of his wins in Ferrari