Manager says Schu unlikely to replace Massa

Speculation as to who will replace the recovering Felipe Massa if he needs to sit out further races has already begun. The wildest rumour so far is that his friend Michael Schumacher, who won five world championships with Maranello based Ferrari...

Speculation as to who will replace the recovering Felipe Massa if he needs to sit out further races has already begun.

The wildest rumour so far is that his friend Michael Schumacher, who won five world championships with Maranello based Ferrari until his retirement in 2006, is a candidate.

"I heard that on Saturday evening," his manager Willi Weber, who now handles the career of GP2 driver and Williams tester, Nico Hulkenberg, told the SID news agency in Budapest.

"That's only speculation and I don't see it happening," the German added.

"Ferrari already has two very good spare drivers who actually do little else than wait for an opportunity to go into the cockpit if one becomes free," Weber explained.

He is referring to test drivers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene, who between them have contested nearly 100 Grands Prix. The latter, a 35-year-old Spaniard, was in Peugeot's winning Le Mans team last month.

Gene is also present in Hungary as Ferrari's reserve driver.

However, in 1999 when Schumacher broke his leg, Ferrari overlooked its reserve driver Badoer and plumped instead for the Finn Mika Salo as the German's replacement.

Should Ferrari again select an external replacement driver, the freshest Grand Prix competitor is the Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, who lost his Toro Rosso race seat after this month's German Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old is also managed by Massa's manager, Nicolas Todt.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, whose father Gilles drove for Ferrari until his death in 1982, is also on the prowl for a drive.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve , Marc Gene , Mika Salo , Felipe Massa , Sébastien Bourdais , Nico Hulkenberg , Nicolas Todt
Teams Ferrari , Toro Rosso , Williams