Oct.5 (GMM) Force India's Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg might also be candidates, but Felipe Massa sounds confident he will still be a Ferrari driver in 2013.
"I'm pretty confident things are going in the right direction."
"It is difficult right now," he said. "I think they are happy with Felipe. He's a very good driver, a proven driver as well. I'm not yet a proven driver.
"I am not a guarantee as Felipe is, so probably that is why I was never an option for them."
Asked by Brazil's Totalrace if Mexican Perez's comments are significant, Massa agreed: "I think it shows that Ferrari has a great interest for me to continue."
On the other hand, Perez was caught in a barefaced lie on Thursday, openly admitting to misleading the media when he recently answered "no" when asked if there were talks with McLaren.
"There had been some talks," he admitted at Suzuka, "but if at the time I'd said 'yes' then it would have been full of questions (from the media).
"So it's better to ... I wanted to keep it in low profile", added Perez.