You can tell when the Scuderia’s nose is put out of joint, when the infamous Horse Whisperer shares his thoughts on those naive enough to believe in casual rumours.
He spoke up in July, written in his usual sardonic tone, saying “In Maranello, no one is in a hurry to make any decisions and that’s for sure. “Yesterday, one absolute certainty of the past few months was washed away, as we now know Webber is staying put. Now the most vociferous and qualified rumourmongers are taking it for granted that Felipe will be confirmed, these generally being the same voices that, not only had him down as being out of the running for 2013, but would have had us believe he would not even see out the season.
“Now coming into bloom are a whole list of possible and potential replacements, with a list of names from A to Z, something Ferrari is well used to. In truth, one letter, the “Z,” seems yet to be uncovered, or quite possibly it’s Zorro… unmasked.”
Then last week, the Horse Whisperer hit out at report on the BBC’s website about rumours that Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel had already signed an agreement to join the Scuderia in 2014, ridiculing the notion that Ferrari President Luca Montezemolo even implied such a possibility, but then contradicting this by saying “At Ferrari there will be room for anyone who demonstrates they have the talent to drive a scarlet car and to work in harmony both with and for the team.”
And now Ferrari has felt the need to reinforce their decision, again – this time in a conventional Ferrari press release, rather than its more acerbic Horse Whisperer tone.
The latest statement, entitled “Reasons behind a decision”, says “The decision to extend the agreement with Felipe Massa for another season was carefully weighed up and not just the obvious one. Nor was it inevitable because of the lack of alternatives, nor was it in anyway guided by the wishes of his current team-mate, because Ferrari alone chooses its drivers.
“Many knocked on the doors of Maranello, some were considered, but in the end, a logical conclusion prevailed: there is no one better than Felipe to deliver hic et nunc the speed, talent and capacity to work for the good of the team.
“The Brazilian’s career displays these qualities as does the fact that harmony reigns within the team, which is united and shows solidarity even in the most difficult moments. Fans of the Reds know the score: some decisions are made solely and exclusively for the good of Ferrari.
“The rest is all idle chatter.”