Stefano Domenicali on Wednesday refused to say whether Ferrari is committed to retaining Felipe Massa beyond 2011.
The Brazilian driver had a bad season in 2010, the year after his near-fatal accident, and team boss Domenicali suggested that he needs to improve.
During a press conference at the ‘Wrooom’ event in the Dolomites, the Italian did not directly answer three questions about Massa’s tenure beyond 2011.
“It would be wrong to say anything at the beginning of the season,” said Domenicali, admitting however that Massa will need to show comparably alongside his teammate Fernando Alonso.
“I hope it will be close between them; that he (Massa) will be as good, or maybe even faster than Fernando. But for sure we need two strong drivers to win the constructors’ title,” he added.
Domenicali’s comments were reported internationally, with La Gazzetta dello Sport quoting him as saying he “expects” Massa to be “always close” to Alonso this year.
Blick in Switzerland quoted Domenicali as saying 2011 “is an important season” for the 29-year-old, and according to Sao Paulo’s O Estado Domenicali said Massa has had talks with Ferrari management “as have other team members”.
“We must all learn from the mistakes of the past year and put it behind,” he added.
“I trust that, as in other situations in which he was under immense pressure and reacted very well, he will do the same now,” said Domenicali.
© RIF | GMM