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F1's 'silly season' begins

2012-09-07 09:47

WHO WILL TAKE MASSA?: If Ferrari decides to axe Felipe Massa which team will snap up the veteran driver?

Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy - The Formula 1 rumour mill has linked Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg with Ferrari on Thursday.

Hulkenberg said: "It's good. It's positive press if you are linked to a team like that because it means you've done something right."


Hulkenberg finished fourth in Belgium and also earned a memorable 2010 Brazil pole position with Williams. He has also been talked of as a possible replacement for Michael Schumacher should the F1 veteran decide to retire again.

With the championship season now past halfway, the "silly season" is in full swing with steady speculation about possible driver moves. Much of the focus is on Lewis Hamilton, whose contract with McLaren will end after the 2012 Brazilian GP.

Champion team Red Bull is the only one among the front-runners with a confirmed line-up for 2013 as it retains drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.


Ferrari has current championship leader Fernando Alonso signed until the end of 2016 but Felipe Massa looks likely to leave after scoring only 35 points from 12 races compared to Alonso's 164. Massa has put his own chances of staying with Ferrari at "50-50" though he has not given up hope.

"I hope it will not take very long but let's concentrate on the races, try to do the best, having a good result and that's the most important thing," he said. "I didn't sign anything for 2013 but I think we have the possibility to sign and let's wait and see."

Hulkenberg, who partnered Rubens Barrichello at Williams, said he would relish the chance to drive alongside Alonso. "We all agree he is one of the best drivers at the moment, maybe of all time, so if I am to drive against him, he is a good benchmark because you pretty much know how good you are when you drive alongside him.

"He's somebody I could learn from, like with Rubens... that was a good experience."

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