Fernando Alonso has tipped his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa to keep up his new run of better form.
Earlier in the Montreal paddock, Brazilian Massa had admitted his recent struggles might cost him not only his Ferrari seat, but also his entire F1 career.
“If I need to go to a small team, maybe I will think about doing something else,” he said.
Massa revealed that his management will start to look at his options around August. But things had already started to turn for the 31-year-old, after a strong weekend in Monaco.
“I think if we carry on like this,” Massa said in Montreal, “it will be much easier to stay at Ferrari or find a good direction in which to race.”
As in Monaco, Massa has also looked up to speed between the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s concrete walls, qualifying on Saturday within a few tenths of his championship-leading teammate Alonso.
“I’m very happy for Felipe of course,” Spaniard Alonso – pointing out that earlier in 2012 the Ferrari was “not the easiest to drive” – said. “Since Barcelona he’s done quite a good job. In Monaco he was very quick all weekend and here as well so I expect this is the normality and it will be like this from now until the rest of the championship,” he added.
Ferrari has not ruled out retaining Massa in 2013.
“It depends mainly on Felipe,” team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed to Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo. “We are here to help him in every way to return to being the very good driver that we know he is.”
The famous team is not short on candidates to replace Massa, but as Flavio Briatore points out, the looming V6 turbo era in 2014 is a complication.
“That is why the teams are thinking hard before deciding on this or that driver,” said the former Renault team boss. “The drivers will have to show they can be effective within the new rules, which are very different from today’s.”
Also with theoretical driver openings for 2013 are top teams McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull.