Felipe Massa is optimistic of his chances of landing a competitive drive next year as the Brazilian continues to talk to several teams in an effort to prolong his Formula One career after being dropped by current employers Ferrari.
Massa announced his departure from the Maranello-based outfit over social media soon after the Italian Grand Prix, with the 32-year-old set to make way for Ferrari’s last world champion and former team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the year after eight seasons with the sport’s most legendary marque.
At the time, Massa said he wanted to continue racing in Formula One but only with a team that would allow him to challenge for wins and since then the 11-time Grand Prix winner has been scouting for seats.
“Well, I think I’m quite optimistic that I’m going to find a good direction, a good solution,” Massa told reporters at the Korean Grand Prix.
“As I said, I will not change my mind. I want to have a car that can give me some good possibilities to fight, not a car in which I would not have a chance to fight. So if I have that, I’m not interested, as I said.”
Massa’s form has faded in recent years and though he has shown flashes of his former race-winning speed that saw him fight for the 2008 world championship only to lose out by a whisker to then McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, he has been unable to consistently deliver the results and points Ferrari need to mount a serious constructors’ title bid.
Massa’s most likely options next year are believed to be a straight swap with Raikkonen at Lotus or a return to Sauber, the team with whom he made his Formula One debut.
Both teams have had their financial difficulties this year and the fact that Massa can potentially bring vital funding with him will no doubt work in his favour.
In an interview with Brazilian television last month Massa revealed that he was in talks with Lotus and had also had contact with McLaren.
But at the Korean Grand Prix, Massa said he couldn’t say much more about his future, adding it was better to wait until a deal had been finalised: “We talk with a few teams, you know, and I don’t think it’s the right time to speak about that.”
“I think it’s the right time when you know where you are going. For the moment we are aware, I think, of some good opportunities. It’s better to wait and say at the right time.”
Images courtesy Octane Photographic