Sep.17 (GMM) Luca di Montezemolo on Tuesday said he does not believe Felipe Massa will race selfishly for the rest of his Ferrari career.
Now informed he will be replaced by Kimi Raikkonen after November’s Brazil finale, Massa told TV Globo this week: “Starting on Friday in Singapore, I work only for myself.
“I will be on full attack on each lap. Now the time has come for me to look after just myself,” the Brazilian, who has admitted contact about a 2014 seat with Lotus and McLaren, added.
Ferrari president di Montezemolo, however, said he is sure the Maranello based team, and title-charging ‘number 1′ Fernando Alonso, will continue to be able to count on Massa.
“I expect Felipe – a wonderful person – to finish the season well. Supposedly he doesn’t want to help Fernando? Nonsense — he definitely will do it,” the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He will help us in the constructors’ championship, as well as Alonso in the drivers’,” di Montezemolo added.
It could be an awkward end to Massa’s long Ferrari career. Indeed, he is being replaced by the driver – Raikkonen – who he comprehensively beat as teammate in 2008.
The 32-year-old said he doubts pairing the Finn with Alonso was a wise move by Ferrari.
“I know Fernando and Kimi well, both on and off the track. They are excellent drivers but I fear, as a team, there will be conflict,” said Massa.
“I have told them (Ferrari’s management) to breathe deeply now, because breathing will be much more difficult next season.”
Undoubtedly, Ferrari considered signing Nico Hulkenberg, but di Montezemolo said replacing Massa with “a young driver for the complex 2014 season would not have boosted our confidence”.
He said he did not want to “look back on (ousting) Massa with regret”, so signed a teammate for Alonso in the same league as “Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton”.
“And Alonso is the first one happy that he is coming to us,” added Montezemolo, insisting Ferrari is not so “masochistic” it would sign a driver that will patently upset the existing driver.