2012 will be 'key' to Massa's future - Domenicali

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is confident Felipe Massa will return to form in 2012, in what he has labelled a "key" year for the Brazilian.
Massa has failed to finish higher than fifth this season and is currently 129 points adrift of team-mate Fernando Alonso in the drivers' standings. The lack of results has sparked rumours that he might be replaced next year, but the team has always maintained it will honour Massa's contract for 2012. Nevertheless, Domenicali has made clear that he is expecting a better performance in 2012.
"I am counting heavily on Felipe's will to fight back as he knows next year will be a key one in which, and I'm convinced of it, he will be able to show his true worth," Domenicali said at the Ferrari World Finals at Mugello. "As for the rumours regarding all the drivers who are due to arrive in Maranello to replace him, I can only repeat my words and indeed those only recently uttered by our president [Luca di Montezemolo], in every possible way, Felipe will also be with us in 2012 and that should make you understand how much faith we have in him."
Ferrari has had a difficult year with just one win and the third fastest car behind Red Bull and McLaren for much of the season.
"Clearly, we are not pleased, as we have said so often," Domenicali added. "In the remaining two races, we want to try and get on the podium and try all we can to get Fernando to second place in the drivers' classification. Meanwhile, everyone at Maranello is working to produce a car that is competitive right from the start of next season, when, as we are well aware, we can have only one goal, which is victory."
He said updates at the Belgian Grand Prix had not worked as planned and the development of next year's car had also drawn attention away from the 150 Italia's problems.
"We started very badly but then, coming into summer, we staged a good recovery which, among other things, saw us take the significant win at Silverstone," Domenicali said. "Then we had a programme of further development on the car, which should have brought us much closer to the front runners. Unfortunately, the updates introduced in Spa did not produce the results we hoped for and so we took a step backwards, partly because by then, we had interrupted the development of the 150 Italia to concentrate all our energies on next year's car. In the last few races we also tested a few ideas and parts which will be useful in the near future and we will continue to do that in Abu Dhabi and Brazil."


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