Ferrari has announced this morning the extension of Felipe Massa until the end of the 2012 season. This will give the Maranello based squad the lineup of Alonso/Massa until that point. A smart move by Ferrari who need to keep things relatively the same until they produce better results. It was thought that Alonso and Massa would give Ferrari a nearly untouchable combo this season and while the season is still young, it has been far from roses for the Italian marquee. This decision however will make for a very short and low key silly season as a couple drivers had been linked to the outcome of this deal.
Robert Kubica was initially in the running for the seat with the Italian press even going as far as to say Kubica had signed some sort of letter of intent with Ferrari to race with the team next season. That brought thoughts of a potential swap between Renault and Ferrari involving Massa, but that will have to wait another couple years. I personally think it would have been stupid for Robert to leave a team that is willing to develop around him for a team where he would have played second fiddle to Alonso. That outcome would have been a career killer in my humble opinion.
Mark Webber had also been brought into the mix after his dominant string of victories and pole positions. This rumor has to have one scratch their head and wonder why? Webber is no doubt at the end of his career regardless of recent performance. It also helps that the Aussie has the best car on the grid. Unfortunately, Mark does not play well with others as was evident around lap 41 of the Turkish Grand Prix. Alonso would not tolerate that sort of behavior and I don’t think he really fits the Ferrari mold anyways. Regardless of my opinion, Red Bull Racing still likes him and even gave him a contract extension (still asking myself why).
That really rounds out the top drivers that are “movers and shakers” for this season. We may see some seat changes in the lower teams like Force India or one of the new squads, but the top tier should look relatively identical next season. However, stranger things have happened! Alonso and Lewis…looking in your direction!