Massa 'favourite choice' for Domenicali
28 August 2013 – Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has explained that Felipe Massa remains his "favourite choice" to partner Fernando Alonso next season, but admits the Brazilian must deliver consistently strong performances if he is to be retained.
Having regularly been the subject of speculation since returning from injury in 2010, this year has seen Nico Hülkenberg, Paul di Resta, Jules Bianchi and most recently Kimi Räikkönen being linked to Massa's seat, with Ferrari undecided over its plans.
However, moving to defend his long-time driver, Domenicali explained that under ideal circumstances, the Maranello-based outfit's driver line-up would remain unchanged.
"Don’t forget, everybody wants to drive for Ferrari," Domenicali told the official Formula 1 website of the situation. "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."
Domenicali also brushed aside the furore over a meeting between Alonso's manager, Luis Garcia Abad, and Red Bull boss Christian Horner at the Hungarian Grand Prix, insisting that the two-time World Champion will remain at Ferrari long into the future.
"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."