After Mark Webber committed himself to Red Bull for the 2011 season, the main protagonists of F1’s annual musical chairs game had less room to manoeuvre, and now there’s even fewer possible destinations with Ferrari announcing that it has extended Felipe Massa’s contract. Among those rumoured to be in line for Massa’s race seat were Webber and Robert Kubica.
The Brazilian will now drive for the Scuderia until the end of the 2012 season at the very least. This also means that Ferrari will have the same driver line-up for the next two seasons, with double world champ Fernando Alonso also contracted to the Maranello team.
“I am happy to be given the opportunity to drive for Ferrari for a further two seasons. Throughout my entire Formula 1 career, I have always raced with an engine made in Maranello and it is a matter of pride for me to be able to continue working with a team that I regard as a second family,” said Massa, whose original contract was expiring at the end of this year.
“Felipe has been part of Ferrari for almost a decade and together with us, he has grown as a driver and as a man, going through some very difficult times as well as giving us moments of great happiness. We wanted to show proof of stability for the future, believing in the worth of a driver pairing that is without equal in terms of talent, speed and its ability to work together for the good of the team,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali.
Massa joined Ferrari in 2001 and has competed in 69 grands prix, scoring 11 wins, 30 podiums and 15 pole positions.