Lotus seat is next in demand as free Felipe Massa tells it like it is

Now its a Lotus seat for 2014 that is in high demand. Photo: Steven Tee

Now its a Lotus seat for 2014 that is in high demand. Photo: Steven Tee - Credit: Steven Tee / Lotus F1

The shackles are off. Departed drivers are telling it like is. And we may all get to benefit, starting at Singapore's dazzling Marina Bay circuit this weekend.

First we had Mark Webber mentioning almost in passing that Sebastian Vettel will swan off to Ferrari from Red Bull when the contracts of Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and the German all simultaneously come to an end.

I bet that went down well with the bosses at Milton Keynes.

And now we have Felipe Massa departing Maranello and apparently a man on a mission; saying what most of us are currently thinking.

'I know both Fernando and Kimi on and off the track and I rate them as excellent drivers, but I'm afraid they will collide when sharing the team,' he told Brazilian F1 broadcaster Galvao Bueno on TV Globo.


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'I told the bosses to breathe as much as possible while they still can, because it will be hard for them to breathe next season.'

Without a drive for next year, Massa also has to prove he is worth a punt from someone else on the grid for next year.

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'I will not race for Alonso from now on,' Massa added. 'Right from Friday at Singapore, I'll be working for myself. It's come the time to look after myself.'

The best bet for a seat next year is currently Hethel-backed Lotus, given Raikkonen's impending exit. And with Romain Grosjean set to be kept on, it looks like Massa and Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg will be the men with fingers tightly crossed.

Enstone team principal Eric Boullier has already stated experience may trump speed come 2014 and its subsequent rule changes. And on that handicap, Massa would be favourite.

'We are negotiating (with Lotus),' Massa added. 'The Lotus is a very competitive car. It's a team that has a very important story with Brazil as well. They've had a hard time financially, so we are having many conversations to try to find a way not only for me to have a good car, but for Lotus as well.'

Which makes you think we'll be seeing plenty more of Massa before his home race – and the end of his Ferrari career – arrives.

• Financial issues and F1 teams go hand in hand. But while Lotus work out how best to complete their 2014 line-up, fellow Norfolk marque Caterham are left to prove how the other, younger half lives.

Could Caterham even afford a non-pay driver next year? Everything may rest on the Hingham unit retaining 10th in the constructors' race.

'We are trying to find new sponsors, new people, so it's too early to talk about the impact of our final position,' said Abiteboul, who expects engine and rule changes to up budgets by £17m for next year.

'Naturally, we must have the necessary budget for 2014. And F1 is not exactly getting cheaper. So if we do not get some of the prize fund, it will be even more expensive for us.'

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