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Montezemolo considers future drivers

ESPNF1 Staff
January 4, 2012 « Karthikeyan still hopes for seat | Williams seeks new title sponsor »
Luca di Montezemolo was impressed with Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg © Getty Images

Luca di Montezemolo has admitted that he has considered a number of potential future drivers for Ferrari in case Felipe Massa does not perform in 2012.

Massa's disappointing season in 2011 has led to speculation that he could be replaced, and while Ferrari insists it will see out his contract Montezemolo has confirmed the next year will be key. In the case of Massa losing his seat, Montezemolo admitted he had been casting his eye over the rest of the grid for potential options in 2013.

"Jenson Button was just excellent (last season)," Montezemolo is quoted by Corriere dello Sport. "Mark Webber is a good second driver, and Nico Rosberg has done well with a car that has not been competitive. It is also good to develop drivers within yourself, so while Sergio Perez is a Sauber driver, in fact he has developed in Ferrari's academy. (And) Jules Bianchi could develop further if he can test."

Despite considering other names, Montezemolo said that Massa is his first choice because he's confident he can rediscover the form that almost won him the world championship in 2008.

"2012 is the crucial season for Felipe. We were not satisfied with his past season and neither was he. What I cannot forget is the fact that Felipe was often faster than Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen. He helped Kimi to his championship and a year later was a hair short of being champion himself. If the tyres warm up for him better next season, we believe Felipe can cope much better."