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Red Bull and Ferrari bosses hint at unchanged line ups
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Red Bull and Ferrari bosses hint at unchanged line ups
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 May 2010   |  10:40 pm GMT  |  36 comments

Today has seen the bosses of Red Bull and Ferrari give strong hints that they will be keeping the same driver line up for next season.

First Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said Felipe Massa was likely to be given an extension in an interview with my old sparring partner Martin Brundle on the BBC.

“Yes I think so,” he said responding to Martin’s question would Ferrari retain its drivers. When Martin asked if he was “sure” he said “Yes”

Massa has had a difficult start to the season and has been outpaced by team mate Fernando Alonso so far. But he has been part of the family for a long time and over and above his driving, Brazil is an important market for FIAT, parent company of Ferrari and it is also the number one market for Ferrari sponsor Banco Santander.


More unequivocally, later today Red Bull’s Christian Horner responded to questions about championship leader Mark Webber’s future with the team by saying, “We have been happy with the job that Mark is doing, so why would you change? When we sit down and talk about it, it will be very straightforward. Mark is an important member of the team, he enjoys driving for the team and we have a great balance between our two drivers. So, it is the usual thing – if it is not broken, don’t fix it.”

With McLaren’s driver line up already set for 2011, it looks like there won’t be much movement at the top in F1 for next year, so it could be quite a sensible “silly season”. It will be tough for aspiring drivers to find upward mobility.

That said, we do have a strong batch of drivers in good cars at the moment and it seems that the sport wants to keep it that way, which is good news for fans.

There is the question of how long Michael Schumacher will persist with his comeback at Mercedes and who will partner Robert Kubica, at Renault if indeed the door to Ferrari is closed.

My conversations in the last week indicated that Massa’s situation was not as clear cut as Domenicali’s words imply. Time will tell.

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36 Comments
  1. MJL says:

    I hope Ferrari do hold on to Massa. Not only is he a top bloke, but his performances over the past few years have shown him to be very competitive. Drivers have dips in form from time to time, just look at all the flak Schumacher is getting. How about Raikkonen to partner Kubica at Renault? Would like to see how Kubica copes with a world champion team mate. Plus when Kimi is on form, he’s superb to watch on track. Although he seems happy in rallying…

  2. Kate says:

    Domenicali told the BBC live on air that Raikkonen would be staying for 2010 in Turkey last year, and we all know what happened there. Sadly, I don’t think Massa’s situation is sorted yet.

    1. Andy W says:

      Ferrari hadn’t signed the deal with Alonso at Turkey last year. There is also the fact that Kimi wasn’t producing the results that Ferrari expected from him, add in the fact that he wasn’t a ‘Ferrari driver’ and his number was up… its why Kimi is being played more to sit on his couch this season than most of the drivers in F1 will earn (according to rumours he is being paid 3x what Schumi is).

      I think the decision about Massa is really in Massa’s hands, they want to know if he will take a number 2 seat to Alonso and take a similar role to what he did for Schumi. If Massa says yes to that then I think he will have the drive, if he demands equal footing then I can see him being moved out.

      1. emq says:

        Doesn’t seem that Massa is producing the results that Ferrari expects of him, either.

  3. Jose Arellano says:

    maybe they just said that to give confidence to the drivers and to buy some time to keep watching how they perform..

  4. Ammo says:

    In reference to the point made about Schumacher and with Webber looking strong raises the following question; when do we think Mercedes will try to prise Vettel out of Red Bull?

  5. dstaisey says:

    There is something absolutely tragic that driver like Kimi doesn’t have a place in F1 any more. It would backfire at F1 sooner or later.

    1. MikeyMoos says:

      Kimi Who?
      Come on, stop the Kimi Fanboy/girl stuff.. It’s really boring.
      He bought nothing to F1 and couldn’t ever be bothered with the fans or making an effort to enhance the sport outside the cockpit.
      The sport has not missed him one iota.

      1. BeenDun says:

        MikeyMoos,the guy was one of the most exciting drivers in F1 in the past ten years. He won the WDC in his first year at Ferrari in 2007. The way he won that WDC was awesome, coming from a 17 point deficit with 2 races to go against his former team, McLaren. His last year was lackluster, mainly due to a dog of a car. You do not speak for the sport. There are many ppl who miss the guy.

      2. MikeyMoos says:

        He won the championship because the Mclaren boys were squabbling… If they had played it properly there was no way that Kimi would have had a look in.
        I’m not saying that he’s not a good driver, just that F1 doesn’t miss him, F1 doesn’t NEED him as many people go on about..

      3. Miha says:

        I agree with BeenDun. Kimi was one of the most exciting drivers in last 10 years. He would win one or two championships with McLaren if it wasn’t for the reliability issues. Norbert Haug said it himself. But I doubt he will ever return to F1. In fact i hope he won’t because i think there is a big chance he would be struggling the same way as Schumacher does. And I don’t want to see that…

    2. Andy says:

      I wouldn’t say he doesn’t have a place, rather, he chooses to be away. Had he wanted to, he would be driving in F1 at the moment (as far as I know, he was McLaren’s number 1 choice to partner Hamilton). Unfortunately from the F1 point of view, he enjoys the atmosphere in rallying more and seems keen on becoming the first to win both F1 and WRC championships. That won’t happen over night, so looks like we’ve seen the last of him in F1.

      1. Chuck Jones says:

        You make a good point Andy, clean and well delevered. Ouiet people are OK in my book..

  6. BiggusJimmus says:

    There is an old Chinese saying, “Yes in the light. No in the dark.”

  7. DK says:

    I think it is still too early to tell, and it will silly to unsettle the drivers at this moment. Let’s wait and see a few more races later if this is the case.

  8. Christian Horner – as always, proving that he is a very smart man. You almost have to wonder if he is starting to be regarded as *the* team principal. No melodramas, no posturing, just get the job done.

    Plenty of bright people that would fix something that isn’t broken…

  9. Sebee says:

    Kimi, we hardly knew ye. And I for one don’t miss him at all.

    1. Vin says:

      Interesting non sequitur…and this relates to a post about Ferrari/Red Bull 2011 driver lineups how?

      PS: people that say they don’t miss kimi miss him most of all.

  10. Cesar Bandoni says:

    Above his driving? I am mistaken, or only Lauda and Schumacher have more wins than Felipe throughout the history of Ferrari?

    1. Martin says:

      Ascari with 13 as well.

  11. Ryan says:

    this week they hint this, next week they hint that… yadda yadda yadda. lol

    most importantly what do Niki Lauda and Jackie Stewart have to say on the matter!? lol

  12. Max Damage says:

    Hi!

    BTW, Sebastian Vettel has named his new chassis Randy Mandy so I hope that that name is from this site ;)

  13. chris green says:

    It might be good for Massa if the decision to keep him or not is delayed a few months. See how things develop in the team and the championship.

  14. Peter says:

    I would love to see Kimi back for two more years. Maybe for some people he is boring off track, but he is one of the most exciting on track, someone like Kubica, I think. Mark has shown a strong form in the last two races, not that strong in the first few races, though. The season is still long the ones who are up now can be nowhere next year. Kimi for me one of the very few, pure and killer drivers. I wanted to see him with RB. Still hope he is back in 2012.

  15. Truth says:

    Sorry to say this as i think Mark is a great bloke, but i’d rather see Kimi in a Redbull. He’s a far superior driver and F1 should demand him back!

    Stop dicking around in Rally and comeback to where you belong Kimi!

  16. Peter L says:

    You mention that Brazil is an important market for Fiat and Santander. Strange that you don’t mention that it is also a huge market for Ferrari’s title sponsor: Marlboro.

  17. phil says:

    surely the responses from Horner and Domenicalli are just the usual bluff double bluff that goes along with any contract renewal or renegotiation.

    In my view we won’t know for sure until the contracts are signed.

    1. nik says:

      exactly. same routine every year and almost everybody takes what the team principals say as gospel.

      they are playing the game and their comments are aimed at their drivers and other drivers more than anybody else.

      as for kimi, the fanboys should remember that he could have had a drive this year for a top team, but he was demanding a pay packet that would have been insane even in the economic bubble of 3-4 years ago, let alone in depression-era f1

      I actually like the driver lineups as they are – 2 years of stability would be good. the top 4 teams are close and besides Kubica, the top 8 drivers are in the top 4 cars

  18. Peter says:

    Don`t really understand why would they rush with the decision. Both teams should be in a comfortable situation. In a position of Red Bull its not the best time to negotiate on the contract when Webber is on the best form, they should wait and see if his form will be permanent.

  19. Charles says:

    Is it even Domenicali’s decision whether to keep Massa or not? He’ll just do what Luca tells hime to do.

    1. yer says:

      you got it right

      1. yer says:

        what SD tells the media did not come from himself as the team principal, the guy is just pr man for ferrari, plain and simple

  20. Liam says:

    I wouldn’t believe a word Ferrari say on the matter until Massa has signed a contract.

    I would, however, believe Christian Horner.

    And Kimi? LOL Yeah he’s fast but he wasn’t happy in F1 so whatever, leave him to it.

  21. Anthony says:

    If Massa keeps being pulped by Alonso, he will be dropped in favour of Kubica. What Domenicali said is just what he had to say at this time, it doesn’t mean anything.

    What is more important is what Massa being pulped by Alonso means. Does it mean that Alonso, who couldn’t beat Hamilton, is way faster than Massa and Raikkonen? Or does it mean that when Massa used to beat Raikkonen he was faster than he is now, but his serious accident has taken its toll?

    If Red Bull think that Massa is fully recovered, it tends to imply that Raikkonen isn’t worth his extremely huge fee, which could explain why they are happy to re-sign Webber.

    1. Andy says:

      I don’t think the teams play this “A beat B and C, but B beat D but not C” game. There are too many factors to blow that game meaningless. I don’t think any team has any doubts about how fast Kimi can be, rather, Red Bull are happy to resign Webber because he is delivering good results and because Kimi doesn’t want to return to F1.

    2. adam says:

      I’m wondering if Massa is suffering vision problems after his knock. Recently he was wearing glasses watching an outdoor event which suggests he is short sighted and wears contact lenses driving ?
      It would be interesting to see if he could pass the military helicopter pilots stroboscopic test.

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