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GP Week : Issue 190
F1 >>> nEWs Felipe Massa, set to be ousted from Ferrari at the end of the season after eight years with the scuderia, is in talks with a number of teams as he looks to secure his future in Formula One. Last week the 32-year-old, who has scored eleven wins in his seven-and-a-half seasons at Ferrari and missed becoming 2008 world champion by a whisker, announced over social media that he would not be continuing with Ferrari for a ninth year. But Massa is keen to continue competing in Formula One and is currently in talks with Lotus to replace Ferrari-bound Raikkonen. “We are negotiating,” Massa, told Brazilian broadcaster Globo TV. “In my opinion Lotus has a very competitive car, which is what I want. It is a team with a very important story in Brazil as well. We are having many conversations to try to find a way for not only me but also Lotus to continue with a good car.” For their part, Lotus are considering a number of drivers to replace Raikkonen and partner Romain Grosjean – whose seat is expected to be safe thanks to the involvement of French engine supplier Renault, with whom the team are trying to forge a closer partnership, and oil company Total. The impressive Nico Hulkenberg, who was also in the frame for the Ferrari drive until the team agreed a deal with Raikkonen, is thought to be the strongest candidate to replace the Finn at Enstone. As a result, should Lotus opt for the German, Massa could return to Sauber, the team with which he made his Formula One debut, a scenario most paddock obser vers believe is the most likely. But in the Globo interview Massa revealed he had also approached McLaren about the possibility of driving for the Woking racers. The team’s current drivers are 2009 world champion Jenson Button and Mexican Sergio Perez, who was hired at the beginning of the year to replace Lewis Hamilton. On Wednesday, McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told Sky Sports that the team weren't ready to announce their driver line up just yet, but that it wouldn't be too long before they did. The team have an option on Button, and although they haven’t exercised it yet, McLaren are expected to retain the Briton while Perez is confident he will stay on. Despite coming close to clinching the title in 2008 and keeping his highly-rated then- teammate Raikkonen honest, Massa’s form has faded in recent years. He hasn’t won a race since the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008 and his run of inconsistent and middling results has blunted Ferrari’s constructors’ charge prompting the team to re-hire Raikkonen – their last world champion – who has been on blistering form since his return to the sport in 2012. Moreover, Massa has been relegated to playing the supporting role to the title ambitions of teammate Fernando Alonso, who has stamped his authority on the team since joining in 2010. But with his time at Ferrari coming to an end in Interlagos, Massa has said that he will no longer support Alonso’s title charge and will work towards securing the best possible result for himself at each of the remaining five races instead. “I will not race for Alonso from now on,” Massa told Globo. “Right from Friday at Singapore I'll be working for myself. I will attack all the time, every lap. It's come the time to look after myself.” MASS-IVE PRESSURE TO FIND A DRIVE 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: