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Massa, Webber, play down rumours about futures

Felipe Massa insists he is not being affected by the speculation predicting his Ferrari tenure will end this season.

The Brazilian’s contract runs out this year, and amid rumours that Robert Kubica could be set to replace him in 2011, 29-year-old Massa is currently struggling to match the pace of his new teammate Fernando Alonso.

“For sure I am happy to stay (at Ferrari) if they want me, I trust Ferrari and in the end I have no interest in what people are saying.

“What I care about is working hard and fixing things as quickly as possible,” Italian reports quote him as saying.

Corriere dello Sport suggested that Massa might be headed to Red Bull next year, to replace the possibly retiring Barcelona winner Mark Webber.

“In this world you hear so many things every week and every month,” said Massa, who became Michael Schumacher’s last Ferrari teammate in 2006.

The Massa/Red Bull rumour comes in the wake of Lewis Hamilton’s assertion two months ago that 33-year-old Webber might retire at the end of 2010.

It is further rumoured that while Kimi Raikkonen was earlier expected to return to F1 in Webber’s place next year, the 2007 world champion might in fact be content to prolong his new world rallying foray.

To Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper, Australian Webber has once again played down the Hamilton comments.

“They came about from when we were on a plane together back from the Japanese grand prix last year,” he revealed.

“We were talking about getting the timing right in terms of retirement, in sport in general.  When I do call it a day – and I really don’t think that it will be at the end of this year – I want to do so on a good note.

“But I’m driving well enough and I believe I can still bring a lot to the plate in the next year or so — meaning next year,” Webber insisted.  “I’ve got a few years in me yet.”