LONDON — Ferrari will retain Felipe Massa next season in what is planned to be a stop-gap deal before the arrival of Sebastian Vettel in 2014.
Report by BBC Sport
Sources inside Ferrari said they had signed a contract with Vettel, which is thought to be an option to join in 2014 depending on their results. The contract is likely to define a position Ferrari must occupy in the title race at a point in 2013.
Ferrari have decided to keep Massa as Fernando Alonso’s teammate until then.
“He’s doing an excellent job since a couple of races, so this is really very promising for the end of the season.”
The Brazilian’s future had been in doubt during the summer after a shaky start to the year, but Ferrari were determined to retain him if he had a strong performance in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend to confirm a revival in the second half of the season. Massa followed up a second-place finish in Japan — his first podium for two years — with another strong race in Korea at the weekend, qualifying sixth and finishing fourth — 6,2 seconds behind Alonso.
The Brazilian is expected to be confirmed in the Ferrari seat for 2013, his eighth consecutive season with the team, in a matter of days.