The list of possible Massa replacements grows and, oh, something on HRT

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Without comment, here’s the list of drivers being linked to Felipe Massa’s seat at Ferrari — if in fact the team does not keep him. This is according to Gazetta della Sport, which, if memory serves, is about as right on this stuff as anyone else. (Meaning? Probably right about 11% of the time.)

And the names are: McLaren’s Jenson Button; both Force India drivers, Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta; also both Sauber drivers, Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi; and perhaps the wildcard: Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen.

Do with it what you will. I’m more interested in Pedro de la Rosa’s big goal for the season: set a qualifying time that’s within 103% of the fastest Q1 time.

So far, the closest the team has come is Monaco, when it got to 103.4%. This comes from a probably too bland and too substantive Q&A from the team. A little more, on his team mates:

My relationship with Narain is very good. There’s a lot of sincerity and we both want what’s best for the team. We fight hard on the track but in an honest way and, out of the teammates I’ve had, he’s one of the most sincere ones. We try to achieve the best set-up on the car between the two of us without hiding anything from each other. One of the characteristics of Narain and the engineers is that there is total transparency and no bad intentions, we’re aware that we’re last and if one of us finds something that can improve the car he shares it with the other because the objective is to progress. We’re team players.

Dani is a great driver and an important part of the team because he’s got a great sense of humour and he makes things seem less dramatic with his characteristic humour. That’s very important for the team and everyone appreciates him. But he’s also very professional and knows how to work well. When he’s driven on Friday’s he’s contributed a lot.

Ma has integrated very well. He’s the future of China and a driver that must play an important role in HRT Formula 1 Team. He’s probably the first Chinese driver with enough quality to be a Formula 1 driver and he left us all flabbergasted at the Young Driver Test in Silverstone with his great performance.

And a message for HRT fans:

The same one as at the start of the season. We’re thankful for their support and we’re here because of them. I thank them for their patience because I understand that the fans want us to be fighting at the front. But they also see that we’re improving every day, cutting down the difference, and building a serious project for all us to feel proud about.

Is there anyone who doesn’t want HRT to succeed and stay long-term in the sport?


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