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.”
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).