Oct.7 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has responded to the latest rumours about Ferrari by backing under-fire Felipe Massa.

Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: xpb.cc

Italian newspaper La Stampa's F1 correspondent Stefano Mancini claims the great Maranello based team is poised to dump Brazilian Massa in order to sign Force India's Scottish driver Paul di Resta.

When asked specifically about the di Resta rumours, reigning world champion Vettel told Mancini: "I respect Massa as a person and as a driver.

"I don't know why he has struggled for a few seasons, but I remember how he stood up as a teammate to Schumacher and Raikkonen, and how he lost a world championship by one point.

"Unfortunately, people forget that in 2008 he (Massa) was considered to be one of the best," added Vettel, who drives for Red Bull.

There remain plenty of paddock pundits who believe Fernando Alonso's 2013 teammate will have only a one-year contract, in order to prepare the ground for Vettel to arrive in 2014.