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Massa expected to ‘repay confidence’

Felipe Massa

Stefano Domenicali, the team principal at Ferrari, has told Felipe Massa that he is expected to continue his recent run of form after the Brazilian was handed a contract extension on Tuesday.

Massa, following a meeting with president Luca di Montezemolo, agreed to a one-year extension on his contract that will keep him at the Italian team until the end of the 2013 season.

The announcement ended all speculation surrounding the 31-year-old’s future that followed his wretched start to the campaign. However, having earned 30 points from the last two races — more than he accrued from the opening 11 — there has been a surge in form when it mattered most.

Massa will drive for Ferrari for an eighth consecutive campaign, though is expected to make vast improvements next year. Domenicali said: “We are pleased to have extended our relationship for a further year with Felipe, who has been part of our family for over a decade.

“He has shown, especially in this recent part of the season, he is again competitive at the highest level, which is what is expected of every driver who gets behind the wheel of a Ferrari.

“We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career, and we are certain of his worth and are sure he will know how to repay the confidence this renewal proves we have in him.”

With 56 points overall from his last five races since the holiday period, only Sebastian Vettel has accumulated more, with Massa even outscoring teammate Fernando Alonso.

Relieved that one of the most uncertain periods of his Formula One career is finally behind him, Massa said: “I am very happy to have reached this agreement. Ferrari is my racing family and throughout my entire time in Formula One, I have always driven cars powered by engines built in Maranello — I can’t see myself driving cars propelled by anything else.”