Lotus names Massa as candidate
11 September 2013 – Felipe Massa has joined Nico Hülkenberg as a leading candidate to replace Kimi Räikkönen at Lotus next year, team boss Eric Boullier revealed on Wednesday.
After eight seasons onboard, Massa is to depart Ferrari at the end of the current term, with Räikkönen returning to his former employers on a two-year agreement. But despite the setback, the Brazilian quickly stated his intentions to remain on the grid.
"I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the Championship which remains my greatest objective," he explained.
And with Lotus the most competitive outfit yet to finalise its 2014 driver line-up, Boullier confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that Massa's management group, spearheaded by Nicolas Todt, has already been in contact with regards to a potential race seat.
After acknowledging in an interview with RMC Sport that Sauber driver Hülkenberg remains an option, Boullier commented: "Felipe Massa is also available, so he is inevitably on the list. These are drivers whose management approached us."
Räikkönen's exit is also set to boost Romain Grosjean's hopes extending his stay for a third campaign, with Boullier eager to see the Frenchman take on a lead role.
When asked if Räikkönen's decision to leave will benefit Grosjean, Boullier said: "It can be an advantage because it is an opportunity for him to assert himself after two years growing alongside a World Champion. He will be able to unite the team around him and prove on-track that he can be a leader. He has to finish the season well."