Felipe Massa has said he will not play a supporting role to Fernando Alonso in the championship from now on.
The Ferrari driver is being dropped by the team at the end of this year after four years alongside.
Massa told Brazilian television: “I will not race for Alonso from now on. From Friday in Singapore I will be working for myself.”
However Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo expects Massa to continue performing as before.
“They say he won’t help Fernando? Please!” said Montezemolo to La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He will definitely do so, giving us a hand for the constructors’ and Alonso for the drivers’.”
Massa also predicted sparks will fly between his successor Kimi Raikonen and Alonso next year: “I know both Fernando and Kimi on and off the track and I rate them as excellent drivers, but I’m afraid they will collide when sharing the team.”
Montezemolo praised Massa as “an exceptional guy and a wonderful person” but added “the relationship was clear – he needed results and so did we”.
“He did get some, but he was inconsistent, having some good races but not on a regular basis. In 2012, we felt the lack of his points in the constructors’. It will be good for him to have a change of scenery.”
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.