Jean Todt claims extending Felipe Massa's contract with Ferrari was the right thing to do to quash the speculation in recent weeks that the Brazilian driver was set to be dropped from the line-up.

Although one of the more surprising suggestions of the typical Formula 1 'silly season', Massa had been placed at Toyota after the rumour mill claimed Fernando Alonso was being touted as joining Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari team.

However, Ferrari moved to deny that by revealing before Massa's home race at Interlagos he would be driving for the team until 2010.

"There has been a lot of speculation over the last weeks and rather than entertaining this speculation we knew what we wanted to do for the drivers for the future, so we simply confirmed an extension for Felipe."

Although Massa is the only driver of the 'top four' not to be in with a shout of the 2007 title, Todt accepts blame for that is due to the team's reliability rather than his own speed. As such, Todt believes Massa is more than capable to challenging for the title in the coming seasons.

"He's doing an excellent job, motivated. He's really a driver who has grown up with our team and it's as simple as that. I think the responsibility (for the problems) is more with the team than with the drivers.

"We know that if we give them a winning car they are going to win races, so it's up to us. It has never been questioned that our drivers were not quick enough to get the best out of the car, so we need to give them a winning car, a reliable car and then they have demonstrated that they are able to deliver."

 

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