Luca di Montezemolo to make a final decision on Felipe Massa's Ferrari future after talks at Maranello on Tuesday
Brazilian expected to be awarded 2013 contract after improving results
Last Updated: 15/10/12 2:12pm
Massa's return to his something close to his best form in recent months is thought to have earned the Brazilian what at one stage this season would have appeared an unlikely reprieve at Ferrari.
Indeed the driver himself dropped a big hint to the press in wake of his strong drive to fourth in Korea on Sunday by saying that he now doesn't have any doubts over his future.
The widespread belief in the paddock is that the 31-year-old has now done enough to stay on at the team for an eighth straight season, but Ferrari's president says he still needs to sit down with the Brazilian before making the final call.
"I'm happy to see Felipe Massa back at a high level: tomorrow I will meet him at Maranello, we will have a chance to talk about his future and then I will take a decision," Montezemolo told Italian radio on Monday.
Massa's stronger run of results, which has now seem him finish in the points at six consecutive races, coupled with title challenger Fernando Alonso's ever-consistent form, has allowed Ferrari to leapfrog McLaren into second place in the Constructors' Championship.
Di Montezemolo is pleased to see the return of the 'old Massa' and wants the Brazilian to continue scoring strongly over the remainder of the season so to best support Alonso's title bid.
"You can see from the Constructors' Championship that he has returned to the levels that we used to know well. I expect a lot from him and his capacity to take points from our rivals," he added.
As for the battle for their first Drivers' title since 2007, Montezemolo insists that although Ferrari "will fight to the end" it was vital they improved the F2012's single-lap pace so to be in position to challenge Red Bull for race victories directly off the grid.
"We are a few tenths off the pace of the best, above all in qualifying," said Montezemolo.
"We must try to have a front-row car because otherwise, starting further back, it makes life much harder and you are at greater risk of getting caught up in accidents.
"To have a quicker car we must work day and night in a methodical and determined fashion."