Date: 21st December 2012 at 9:26am
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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is confident that the team made the right decision in retaining Felipe Massa for next season.

Over 12 months ago it was thought that Massa would be heading into his final season with Ferrari, with a number of drivers linked with a move to join Fernando Alonso.

McLaren’s Jenson Button, Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Mercedes Lewis Hamilton were all linked from time to time and when Massa began the 2012 Formula One World Championship in terrible form, it only seemed a matter of time before the Brazilian would be off.

Part way through the season there was even rumours that Sergio Perez could make a mid-season move from Sauber to Ferrari.

‘in the first part [of the season], it seemed he’d gone on a round the world holiday!’ said di Montezemolo to the media at his annual Christmas lunch [as quoted by Autosport Magazine].

But just when it looked like his time had come, he rediscovered his form and enjoyed a fantastic second half of the season, with the highlight coming from a second place finish in Japan.

That was his first podium since October 2010, almost two years had passed [35 races] and it was clearly an emotional time for Massa and his team.

A third place finish followed in Brazil and other podium chances came and went while Massa was supporting Fernando Alonso’s title challenge.

‘Joking apart, I think the decision to reconfirm his position was the right one. If we had changed, then one would need to take on someone who would make a difference and I can’t say I noticed many drivers around who would be quicker than Felipe.

‘Also, we did not want to change the balance and the good atmosphere within the team. Domenicali and I told ourselves it was best to wait and I think that the facts proved us right.

‘Towards the end, when Felipe was even faster than Fernando a couple of times, the points he scored played a vital part in securing our place in the constructors’ championship.’


Ferrari finished second in the Formula One Constructors World Championship just 60 points behind Red Bull who took the title for a third consecutive year.