Apr.22 (GMM) Felipe Massa's future in Formula One is at stake in 2012, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has admitted.

He said the struggling Brazilian driver, already fighting to keep his seat with the famous Maranello based team, "needs to improve" for the very sake of his "future in Formula One".

He needs to assume a clear role rather than trying to take advantage ...

Stefano Domenicali

Domenicali's latest interview in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo indicates therefore that not only Massa's Ferrari seat is in doubt, but that he might struggle to find any place on the grid next season.

Rubens Barrichello, once the great Michael Schumacher's number two teammate at Ferrari, recently advised his friend Massa to "relax" as he faces being destroyed by the Italian marque's new hero, Fernando Alonso.

"Felipe needs to accept," said Domenicali, "that he is facing a very strong teammate. If not, that hurts him.

"He needs to assume a clear role rather than trying to take advantage -- you need to learn from Fernando, not challenge him.

Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari
Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: xpb.cc

"That (challenging) is the way to being destroyed by a teammate such as Alonso or Schumacher, who are real cannibals," Domenicali insisted.

Apparently justifying Alonso's dominant position, Domenicali said Ferrari has a "moral obligation to champion" the highly rated Spaniard.

And that influence will extend to the selection of his 2013 teammate, Domenicali hinted.

"He (Alonso) has a central role in the team, and he therefore participates in the important issues," said the Italian.