Ferrari stand by Massa

Team boss backs under-fire Brazilian

Ferrari have given Felipe Massa a vote of confidence despite reports suggesting his days at the Scuderia are numbered.

Rumours about Massa's future began in the wake of the Australian Grand Prix where, having qualified fourth, a spin at the first corner moved him to the back of the pack.

Coming back through the field, he later collided with Red Bull's David Coulthard before retiring with an engine failure.

The story was ultimately no better one week later at the Malaysian Grand Prix, with polesitter Massa losing the lead of the race to team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in the first round of pit stops.

Raikkonen then pulled away from Massa, before the Brazilian lost control of the rear of his car on lap 31 of the race, beaching it in the gravel at turn seven of the Sepang circuit.

And, while world champion Raikkonen then cruised to a victory which took him to within three points of championship leader Lewis Hamilton, Massa has still to get off the mark.


But despite this and the growing rumours regarding Massa's future, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali is keeping faith with the 26-year-old.

"It's true that it's two no scores that are important in both the drivers' and the constructors' championships," Domenicali said.

"But on the other hand we must not over-dramatize: the points table is close after two grands prix. I'm convinced that from Felipe's and our point of view, a response won't go amiss in Bahrain."

Domenicali also downplayed suggestions that Massa had cracked under the pressure being levelled on him by Raikkonen.

"I don't want to talk about this matter because Felipe did an extraordinary qualifying lap in Malaysia," the team boss said.

"Having seen on what lap he pitted compared to the others, you can work out that his lap was really unique.

"So Felipe has all the qualities and the capabilities to do well. The championship is long and the team are united, so I see no worries from this aspect."