Massa successor to be 'talented youngster'

By on Monday, August 8, 2011

Felipe Massa's chances of securing another Ferrari contract beyond 2012 appear to have taken a hit.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali told reporters during the summer media event in the Italian Dolomites that Fernando Alonso's next teammate should be a "talented youngster on the way up".

The early frontrunners for the seat are Jules Bianchi and Sergio Perez.

Domenicali was responding to a question about whether Lewis Hamilton might switch from McLaren to pair with his former teammate Alonso.

"I don't think the question will arise," he answered, "neither in the short nor in the long term.

"For the Ferrari of the future, I believe the right combination is to have one well established driver with great experience, alongside a talented youngster on the way up."

Spaniard Alonso's new contract will see him at Ferrari at least until the end of 2016.

He said: "I am very happy to have Felipe as a teammate and we work very well together. If the day arrives when someone else was to come here, that would not be a problem for me, even if it was Hamilton."

Domenicali said Brazilian Massa, 30, has upped his game in 2011 and is "a very quick driver over a single lap".

"(But) maybe he needs to improve a bit in terms of his consistency in the races. For us, it is vital for Felipe to be on top of his game, given that for at least another year and a half, he is one of our drivers."

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