Date: 17th August 2012 at 9:18am
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Ferrari insist that they are in no rush to make a decision over their driver line-up for the 2013 F1 season.

Obviously Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso will remain at Ferrari for the foreseeable future, but what isn’t clear is who the Spaniard double world champion will have as his team-mate following the conclusion of the 2012 season.

Brazilian Felipe Massa has been written off from having any chance of keeping his race seat for well over a year, whilst a number of drivers have been linked with a move to Ferrari.

Red Bull driver Mark Webber even held talks with Ferrari ahead of deciding to stay with Red Bull, while discussions regarding Lewis Hamilton were also believed to be held, although it is thought Fernando Alonso vetoed that idea pretty early on.

Sauber driver Sergio Perez has been the favourite for many in the paddock, especially considering the Mexican has impressed this season in a car powered by Ferrari and is part of the Ferrari young driver programme.

But since his improvement in form following the Monaco Grand Prix, there are even rumours that Massa could yet be in-contention for an extended contract.

Ferrari would certainly appear to have dangled that particular carrot in front of him and the challenge has been set.

‘He needs to maximise the performance that he can because we need his capabilities behind the wheel. We need points to try to attack first place in the constructors’ championship, and also to take away points from the other drivers in the drivers’ championship.’ Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali told Autosport Magazine.

‘He knows that he has in front of him some very important races for him as a driver and also as a team member for Ferrari.’

Surely it’s too late for Massa to turn this around? Or are Ferrari not convinced that the still relatively inexperienced Sergio Perez would not provide much of an improvement on the Brazilian?

 

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