Date: 29th May 2012 at 9:37am
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Felipe Massa has received the backing of Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali after a much improved performance at Monaco.

Heading into the race weekend last week, the Brazilian driver was high on the agenda of interviewers notes, the worlds media converged on Monaco, booked their little boats to float around the harbour and then booked a slot with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.

But this wasn’t to discuss an F1 title challenge, this was simply to discuss the challenge of keeping his Formula One career on track.

As has been well publicised across the media and here on VitalF1.com, not many people believe that Massa will remain with Ferrari once his contract expires at the end of the 2012 season.

Many in fact believe that Massa is at risk of losing his seat before the end of the season, to the point where Sauber’s Sergio Perez has had to publicly state that he would not leave Sauber mid-season if offered a drive with Ferrari.

It’s been a long time coming, his form has never returned following his accident in Hungary in 2009 and the pressure has been building for months.

So up comes Monaco the track that holds no prisoners and Massa, goes quick in practice and then gets through to the final stage of qualifying for the first time this season.

He then converts that qualifying result into a sixth place finish, his best result of the season.

‘I think that he did a great weekend. It was the weekend that he deserved, after a lot of weeks of big pressures. Domenicali told Autosport Magazine.

But much like the fate of Michael Schumacher at Mercedes and Mark Webber at Red Bull, one good result, even when it comes at Monaco does not turn a season around.

But Ferrari believe this could be the turning point for Massa: ‘I am sure this will be the turning point of his season. continued Domenicali ‘It was a great boost for him to perform in a difficult moment. It is something we need for the Constructors’ Championship, so I am expecting a good Felipe up until the end [of the season].

‘He did a great qualifying, and you always can say it could have been better in Q3, but we need to look at it from different angles. He did a great race and he was a bit unlucky because he could have got out in front of Lewis for a fraction. But he was there in the first six cars that were very close, so that is for me the best point.’

 

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