Ferrari say Felipe Massa will remain with team

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The Independent Online

Felipe Massa will be staying at Ferrari next year, the Formula One team's president Luca di Montezemolo said today.

Asked in an interview with CNN television whether Brazilian Massa's future was secure at Ferrari, Montezemolo did not hesitate.

"Yes. He has a contract with us for this year and for next year, so absolutely yes. No question about it."

Massa suffered a serious head injury in 2009 and after recovering played a second string role to team mate Fernando Alonso last season after being given controversial 'team orders' to let the Spaniard overtake and win the German Grand Prix.

His form has been more promising this year and, while still behind double world champion Alonso in the standings, beat him in Malaysia and China.

The Brazilian's future at the team has been a frequent subject of speculation since he arrived alongside Michael Schumacher in 2006, but he brushed that off in Turkey last weekend.

"Since I came to Ferrari I have been answering all of these things about me going away, so there's nothing to say really. We concentrate on doing the best we can with the car and to get all we want," he said.

"It (the speculation) always seems to be at this time, more or less, during the season. It's the same as usual."

Montezemolo said he was very pleased with Alonso, who won his two titles with Renault and narrowly missed out on a third with Ferrari last year.

"Alonso is very, very strong. He is one of the best drivers I have seen in my career. Very strong in the mind. He is pushing the team in a constructive way but is also very close to the team," he added. "So I want to have Alonso for a long time."

The Spaniard took Ferrari's first podium of the season in Turkey after a difficult first three races for the team following a strong showing in testing.

Montezemolo said the problem lay with the wind tunnel.

"We have been a little bit too conservative in the new project but also unfortunately we have faced something that we have never seen before," he explained.

"The wind tunnel results have not been confirmed by the track. So this is not an easy problem, you have either to change the project or the wind tunnel. We are in the middle of this."