Massa, Button and Chilton keen on staying put

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Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Max Chilton have all expressed a desire to remain with their respective teams for 2014 despite none of the trio having a secure contract for next season.

Following Red Bull’s confirmation that Daniel Ricciardo will be driving for the team next season, the 2014 driver market is beginning to fall into place. For Massa, speculation surrounding his future is something of a yearly occurrence, and the Brazilian driver is fully focused on upping his game and securing some strong results in the second half of the season.

“Good results are always important, so I’ll just concentrate on that,” Massa said. “There is a big opportunity to carry on with Ferrari, so I just need to concentrate, trying to do the best we can over the car and that’s what I’m looking for.”

In Button’s case, the signing of a new contract appears to be a formality. However, he did concede that he had felt uncomfortable following McLaren’s poor performance so far this season.

“Yes, I’m very happy to stay where I am,” the Briton confirmed. “I think it’s very easy, when times are difficult, to look elsewhere but when you’re in a team like McLaren that has been fighting at the front for so many years it’s definitely the wrong move to move elsewhere.”

For backmarker Max Chilton, it is simply a case of seeing where he and Marussia stand at the end of the season, but he is confident that the team is keen to retain him alongside Frenchman Jules Bianchi.

“My situation is the same as it’s been all year,” Chilton said. “I’ve got a one-year contract. Obviously I’m a rookie and so is Jules and we’re here to learn as much as we can.

“All I know is the team are happy to keep both of us and I’ll just keep trying to do the best job I can.”

Ricciardo’s confirmation should allow for the final few pieces of the driver market to slot into place over the next few weeks and months. However, with former world champion Kimi Raikkonen also thought to be considering a move away from Lotus, new sagas may be set to begin in the near future.

Click here to read NBC’s analysis of the 2014 driver market.

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

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