Date: 11th September 2013 at 8:11am
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Felipe Massa’s days at Ferrari are numbered.

Over the last couple of years countless articles have been written about Felipe Massa under performing at Ferrari.

The likeable Brazilian for whatever reason has never been the same driver since his near fatal accident in Hungary in 2009.

Before then he pushed Lewis Hamilton all the way to the 2008 Formula One World Championship and for thirty seconds at least, was the F1 World Champion, until the most dramatic of finishes saw Hamilton snatch back the the title on the last corner.

But ever since his crash, he has failed to perform consistently.

A direct comparison of podium finishes before and after his crash [up until and including the 2013 Italian GP] clearly shows a dip in performances.

2006-2009 – 62 Grand Prix’s, 28 podiums including 11 victories.

2010-2013 – 70 Grand Prix’s, 7 podiums, no victories.

Performances like that are plainly not good enough for a team like Ferrari, his main role might have beeen to support number one driver Fernando Alonso, but the best way he can do that is to score well, taking points away from Alonso’s potential title rivals and of course securing points for the Formula One constructors Championship.

Due to his lack of consistent results it looked like he would lose his seat at Ferrari during 2012, until an up serge in performances earned him a new one year contract, it merely put off the inevitable and this season will now be his last with Ferrari.

That sentimental attachment to Massa, which has seen him probably stay at one of Formula One’s elite teams for too long has been severed, announced by the Brazilian himself on his Instagram page: ‘From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari. I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together.

‘Thank you also to my wife and all of my family, to my fans and all my sponsors. From each one of you I have always received a great support!’

‘Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari for the remaining 7 races, For next year, 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! Thank you all. Felipe.’

The problem for Felipe is that there are few options on the Formula One grid that can offer him a competitive car, let alone one that could provide a shot at winning the Formula One World Championship.

Ferrari are likely to team Fernando Alonso with Kimi Raikkonen, which opens up a drive at Lotus. But with Sauber likely to go with Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, Nico Hulkenberg looks favourite to make the move to Lotus after previously being linked to Ferrari.

Mercedes are all set for 2014 with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, whilst Red Bull have announced that Daniel Ricciardo will partner Sebastian Vettel next year. The Australian’s departure from Toro Rosso however would not open a potential spot for Massa as they will promote from within the Red Bull development programme [probably Antonio Felix da Costa].

McLaren look set to stick with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez for next season despite contracts as yet being unsigned.

That just leaves Force India, Williams, Caterham and Marussia. Would any of those four teams fit the bill for Massa? Do any of those four really have an opening to take the Brazilian?

If not does this decision by Ferrari affectively end Felipe Massa’s Formula One career?