Brazilian Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has today confirmed that he will no longer be racing for Ferrari in 2014 after having enjoyed 8 years with the Scuderia. The announcement now puts the door wide open for Raikkonen to return to the Italian team.
Massa, who raced for Ferrari since 2006 announced the news on his official twitter account.
"From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari," wrote Felipe Massa. "I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together.
"Thank you also to my wife and all of my family, to my fans and all my sponsors. From each one of you I have always received great support! Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari for the remaining seven races."
Massa came close to winning the championship in 2008 but narrowly lost the crown to Lewis Hamilton in the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix. He was however hit by a loose spring in 2009, and despite full recovery he never managed to get back to the same level.
Already in 2012 there was talk about Massa leaving Ferrari, but a strong end of the season assured him his Ferrari seat this year. So far though, he scored only one podium, which led to Ferrari looking for other options.
The Brazilian will now focus on finding another seat with a team "that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the championship which remains my greatest objective".
At Ferrari, it is widely expected that Kimi Raikkonen will be announced soon, but Nico Hulkenberg was recently mentioned as a possible candidate as well.