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'Whisperer' denies Monza name

2013-08-31 15:19

MASSA AT MONACO: Felipe Massa hasn't won since 2008 - that's five years - and his seat is not looking too hot for 2014. Image: AFP

ALAN BALDWIN

Ferrari has dampened hopes of the team announcing a decision on its drivers for 2014 in time for the Italian Formula 1 GP at Monza.

"I'm sorry to disappoint all those with feverish imagination awaiting Monza in trepidation," the team's anonymous 'Horse Whisperer' said in a column on the Ferrari website. "There are no announcements on the horizon. Why? Because no decisions have yet been taken.

"Furthermore, as happens in the best families, important decisions are taken together at the right moment and not because a certain date on the calendar has been reached."

MASSA FUTURE IN DOUBT

Monza is the last European race on the calendar and Ferrari has made big announcements there in the past, most notably seven-times champion Michael Schumacher's decision to retire - for the first time - in 2006. Kimi Raikkonen replaced him.

In 2008 Monza was used again to announce contract extensions for Raikkonen and Felipe Massa but Fernando Alonso's signing in 2009 was announced at that year's Japanese GP and Massa's contract extension for 2013 came in mid-October 2012 after the Korean GP.

Massa's future is again the subject of considerable speculation with the Brazilian again under-performing compared to Alonso. Despite no wins since 2008, when he narrowly missed winning the championship, Massa remains popular at Maranello and team principal Stefano Domenicali gave him hope earlier in the week.

RAIKKONEN RETURN MOOTED

He told the formula1.com website: "My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe because Felipe is a very good guy - very dedicated to the team - and when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swop and they immediately deliver."

Raikkonen, Ferrari's 2007 champion now driving for Lotus, has also been mooted for a return to the team he left in 2009 to make way for Alonso.

There have also been question marks over Alonso's intentions despite his contract being valid through 2016.
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