Stefano Domenicali insists that Felipe Massa
would be 'favourite choice' to partner Fernando Alonso
for the 2014 F1 season.
The Brazilian is out of contract at the end of the year with speculation again suggesting that the man who finished second in the standings back in 2008 could be replaced for next year.
Kimi Raikkonen is amongst those drivers to have been linked with Massa's seat but Domenicali said he was eager to keep the 32-year-old onboard – provided he showed his pace on track through the remainder of the year.
“We have no rush in taking a decision,” he told the official F1 website. “There are plenty of opportunities.
“Don't forget, everybody wants to drive for Ferrari. We have to wait and see. My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe because Felipe is a very good guy - very dedicated to the team - and when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver.
“But, of course, we need good results from Felipe, so that's why we will not rush as we have to make the right decision for the team. As soon as we have made up our minds we will announce it officially to silence the rumours once and for all. When we are ready…”
Quizzed about the links with Raikkonen, Domenicali was diplomatic in his answer.
“Kimi is a very fast driver and everybody knows how I rate him,” he said. “But if I make a comment now it will be taken as a direct answer. As I said, there is no rush and we will make the right decision in the right moment.”
Domenicali also brushed aside the speculation that had arisen after an apparent meeting between Fernando Alonso's management and Red Bull
boss Christian Horner in Hungary, insisting that that the stories that followed were nothing more than 'absurd'.
“This is part of the psychological game that is around - if somebody is following these things,” he said. “Honestly I don't really care. The fact is that we are totally united to win and we have a contract for a long time - all these stories are simply not relevant. I have the privilege of looking at these things in a very disconnected way, so I am laughing and thinking about the poor people who are reading these kinds of things.
“If they really knew the truth they would never read such absurd things again.”