Felipe Massa expected to stay at Ferrari for 2013

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Felipe Massa

Ferrari are expected to retain Felipe Massa for 2013 following his second place in the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Brazilian had a poor start to the season and Ferrari were considering taking on one of the two Force India drivers, Nico Hulkenberg or Paul di Resta.

But BBC Sport understands Ferrari were planning to retain Massa if he produced a strong race in Japan.

Ferrari could confirm the 31-year-old before next weekend's Korean race.

Relieved Massa on 'important' second

Massa drove his best race of the year in Japan to move up from 10th on the grid to take his first podium finish since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix a week short of two years ago.

The 11-time race winner said: "Two years without going to the podium is really not nice. Thinking so many bad things, so many things which are negative and don't help anything.

"It's really a relief and I'm sure it will be so important for me, for my brain and for my future as well. So happy for the great race I did."

Although he was unable to prevent team-mate Fernando Alonso's title rival Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull take a dominant victory, he passed McLaren's Jenson Button and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi to strengthen Ferrari's position in the constructors' championship.

The team remain in third place but have extended their lead over fourth-placed Lotus by 10 points to 24 points.

Vettel takes dominant win at Suzuka

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