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Keeping Massa the right decision, insists Ferrari boss

Having resisted pressure to make a change to his line-up, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali insists that keeping Felipe Massa for another year was the best option.

Stefano Domenicali has admitted that he felt under pressure amid calls for Felipe Massa to be replaced midway through the 2012 F1 season, but insists that retaining the Brazilian was the right decision for both parties.

As he had in each previous season since his comeback from injury in 2010, Massa started the year slowly and, with his contract due for renewal at the end of the year, Ferrari was immediately linked with a plethora of potential replacements, including Sergio Perez, Heikki Kovalainen, Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta.

Resisting the pressure to make a hasty decision may ultimately have cost Maranello the services of Perez, who was snapped up by arch-rival McLaren to replace Lewis Hamilton for 2013, but Domenicali insists that he was right to wait, particularly as Massa's form picked up towards the end of the year.

“I think the toughest part of Felipe's career is now behind him,” the Italian told journalists at the Wroom media event, “I'm sure his problem was not linked to his contractual situation. After last summer, his approach turned about and, as a result, his performance on track changed and he managed to show just how talented he is.”

Domenicali admitted that he had taken the calls to implement a change in order to boost Ferrari's championship challenge personally, but believes that the decision to retain the status quo will pay off in 2013. Massa ended the year seventh in the standings, after claiming two podium finishes in the final six races and scoring in every race in the second half of the campaign.

“There was a lot of pressure on me regarding possible changes but, in the interests of the team, I preferred to wait,” Domenicali explained, “Today, I'm convinced that keeping Felipe in the Ferrari family was the right decision.

“His performance in the second half of the season contributed significantly to our second place in the constructors' classification. For the team, that is a strong point - and, for Fernando [Alonso], it provides further impetus to try even harder.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.11.2012- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
25.11.2012- Race, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
25.11.2012- Race, 2nd position Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012, 1st position Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
25.11.2012- Race, 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
25.11.2012- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.11.2012- Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
18.09.2014 - Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
18.09.2014 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
18.09.2014 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
18.09.2014 - Pat Fry (GBR), Technical Director (Chassis), Scuderia Ferrari and Renato Bisignani (ITA), Press Officer Scuderia Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Pat Fry (GBR), Technical Director (Chassis), Scuderia Ferrari and Renato Bisignani (ITA), Press Officer Scuderia Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Marco Mattiacci (ITA) Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Marco Mattiacci (ITA) Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Renato Bisignani (ITA), Press Officer Scuderia Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Pat Fry (GBR), Technical Director (Chassis), Scuderia Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
18.09.2014 - Mechanics Ferrari
18.09.2014 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T

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Taz

January 17, 2013 12:22 PM

@BMFBW Aye, you never know. I'd genuinely like to see Massa doing well, same applies to Mark Webber, don't like seeing drivers been ground down and been someone else's b1tch :)



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