Fernando Alonso has described the list of candidates to potentially replace Felipe Massa as “little names”.
It is clear after almost three years of working alongside Massa that Alonso, the current Formula One championship leader, respects the Brazilian.
Yet Massa's future with the Maranello marque is on the line after a wretched campaign in which he has amassed just 47 points compared to Alonso's 179.
Ferrari have yet to confirm their plans for 2013, although Red Bull's Mark Webber did hold talks with the team earlier this year.
A number of drivers have been mooted as possible replacements for Massa, including Sauber's Sergio Perez and Force India duo Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta.
And Alonso has called on Ferrari to ensure any replacement is of a very high calibre.
Ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, the 31-year-old Spaniard said: "I've been working with Felipe for three years now and we have a very good relationship.
"If the team decides to change Felipe, anyone who arrives has to be better than Felipe.
"I've seen a lot of names written and I don't know if they have been written with the head or the heart.
"With all the names you hear, if you compare what Felipe has done in Formula One and what these little names have done in Formula One...
"In my opinion we need to have a driver that respects Ferrari, that respects the tradition that here we work for the team, for the red cars. This is the first priority."
As for the unfortunate Massa, he stated earlier this week that all he can do is push for the best results possible over the final seven races and hope Ferrari will again put their faith in him for 2013.
Massa said: "We need to carry on, trying to get good results, trying to do the best in the car, trying to put everything together.
"That's what I'm always trying to do and that's the most important thing for me. My contract is not signed yet but I'm really looking forward to that."