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Ferrari seeking No.2 driver?

2012-08-01 11:43

END OF THE LINE FOR MASSA?: Felipe Massa's poor points haul in 2012 will cost Ferrari millions at the end of the season.

Stefano Domenicali has warned that Ferrari is on the market for a number two driver to pair with Fernando Alonso.

With the 2013 option on Felipe Massa's contract running out, a large number of drivers have been linked to his seat for the 2012 season.

The latest driver on the list is the team's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Stefano Domenicali said: "Kimi was a world champion with us and I have seen the gossip - but nothing more than that."

Quotes attributed to Domenicali by the German broadcaster Sky, however, appear to play down the likelihood that Fernando Alonso will be paired with an equal in 2013.

Domenicali said: "It has always been Ferrari's philosophy, to have a great champion and then a very good driver who is close to him."


In effect, he is referring to the perception of Ferrari's 'No.1 and 2' approach to its driver lineups.

So does that mean drivers like Raikkonen, or McLaren's Jenson Button, both world champions, are actually unlikely teammates for Alonso in 2013?

Domenicali answered: "I think these drivers have contracts with other teams and we are not in a rush."

The amount of money a new driver could bring to the team will be a deciding factor.

Brazilian F1 correspondent Livio Oricchio thinks Lotus' Raikkonen could double his estimated 5-million euro in 2012 retainer by taking Massa's Ferrari seat.

El Mundo Deportivo's Raymond Blancafort said the transaction would also work out for Ferrari, because if the team had Raikkonen's points compared to Massa's poor haul they would be leading the lucrative Constructors' championship.

Ferrari are currently ranked fourth due to Massa's meagre tally of 25 points. This could cost the team millions when the sport's 2012 income is divvied up.

Blancafort said: "The Brazilian (Massa) at the moment is very expensive to Ferrari."

Domenicali is keen to play down the speculation for now: "We are aligned with Felipe and we want to protect him. It is important for this championship."


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