Mika Salo, a Ferrari driver in 1999, has tipped his former employer to drop Felipe Massa at the end of the season.
Speculation about the seat alongside Fernando Alonso remains rampant, despite Mark Webber signing a new deal for 2013 with Red Bull. But at Hockenheim, Brazilian Massa insisted the news about the Australian is not significant.
“I’m sure not just Mark but a big number of drivers have been in touch, have called Ferrari,” he said.
Massa said earlier that if he keeps up his current improved form, he can expect a new deal. Finn Salo doesn’t think so.
“Yes, I think they need a better number two to support Alonso,” he told the MTV3 broadcaster. “It’s hard to say who it could be. I would like to think it’s a good opportunity for Heikki Kovalainen.
“Ferrari are saying Massa could stay next year, but I just don’t believe it.”
The Brazilian correspondent for O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, journalist Livio Orrichio, said he has heard from “well-informed” Italian sources that if Massa does stay, he faces a EUR 4 million pay cut, to about 6 million in 2013.
Massa, 31, indicated he is very keen to keep his current job, even if it means sometimes moving over for Alonso.
Reminded about Hockenheim 2010, when he was instructed on the radio that ‘Fernando is faster than you’, Massa said on Thursday: “I can’t say it was the most enjoyable weekend of my life.
“But I am a professional and if it happens again I will do anything to help my team and my teammate, the championship leader.”