Ferrari had planned to make the announcement next wek, but then the two parties involved decided it was time to "take the bull by the horns (no pun intended) and do it now": Felipe Massa will stay at Ferrari, at least until the end of 2013.
President Luca di Montezemolo met the Brazilian driver in Maranello this morning, Felipe having come here straight from Korea yesterday. It was a very friendly meeting, in which Montezemolo congratulated Felipe for the great performances he has produced recently, especially in the Far East.
Ferrari suggests it didn't take long to reach an agreement over renewing the contract: "Ferrari knows Felipe from when he was little more than a boy and he has grown as a driver in Maranello, to the extent that he is beginning to be one of the “old boys” among the team at the track."
“I am very happy to have reached this agreement,” commented Felipe Massa. “Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula 1, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello: I can’t see myself driving cars propelled by anything else! First and foremost, I want to thank President Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali, who had faith in me and who have always supported me, even at the most difficult moments. The team and also all the fans can rest assured that I will do all in my power to help the Scuderia reach the targets it sets itself each year.”
Stefano Domenicali, who on Sunday at the Yeongam circuit already let slip that things were heading towards a confirmation, is pleased to end the rumours: “We are pleased to have extended our relationship with Felipe for a further year,” declared the Team Principal. “He has been part of our family for over a decade and has shown, expecially in this recent part of the season, that he is once again competitive at the highest level, which is what is expected of every driver who gets behind the wheel of a Ferrari. We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career and we are certain of his worth and are sure he will know how to repay the confidence this renewal proves we have in him.”
Having finalised the 2013 driver line-up, every single drop of energy can now be concentrated on preparing for the final four races of this still very open 2012 World Championship.