Felipe Massa’s manager Nicolas Todt is understood to have held talks with Renault regarding F1 2011, as the Brazilian looks to be edging ever closer to the exit door at Ferrari.
Massa has been a Ferrari driver on and off since 2003, and has competed for the Scuderia on a full-time basis since the beginning of 2006. During that time, he has defied critics by holding his own against the likes of world champions Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen. But the title-winner on the other side of the Ferrari garage could just be one too many.
Massa and Fernando Alonso haven’t had the easiest of relationships. The Spaniard claimed Massa’s ‘fixed’ Singapore victory two years ago cost him that season’s drivers’ crown – and tensions heightened after Alonso elbowed his team-mate aside onto the grass entering the pit-lane during the Chinese GP last month.
There are some who believe that Massa is being increasingly edged out of the door at Ferrari, ostensibly to make way for Renault star Robert Kubica. Indeed, while Massa insists his principal goal is to stay put, the smarter money now looks to be upon the 29 year old doing a straight swap with the Pole next year.
“I like it a lot at Ferrari,” Massa told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. “I know everybody and everybody knows me. However, it is always encouraging to know that other teams with fast cars are interested in me. The main objective is to continue with Ferrari, but if that fails than we will look elsewhere.”
Another man to be linked with Massa’s Ferrari seat is Red Bull’s Mark Webber, though the plain-speaking Aussie is remaining tight-lipped, conceding only that ‘things happen and change very fast in this business and you never know what’s around the corner’.