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Massa still quick - Todt

ESPNF1 Staff
December 29, 2011 « Liuzzi admits his future is uncertain | Maldonado ready to prove his worth in 2012 »
Felipe Massa failed to score a podium for Ferrari in 2011 © Getty Images
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FIA president and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt has tipped Felipe Massa to bounce back next year after a difficult season in 2011.

Massa failed to finish higher than fifth all year and scored less than half the points of team-mate Fernando Alonso by the end of the season. But Todt, who first brought the Brazilian to Ferrari as a test driver in 2003 and whose son now manages Massa, reckons the Ferrari driver is still competitive.

"Felipe was unable to adapt completely to the new Pirelli tyres," he told Corriere della Sera. "I think he's still a good driver who will show that again.

"(Fernando) Alonso is the point of reference not just for him (Massa) but for everyone - and Felipe was three tenths away from him, not three seconds," he added.

He also defended his predecessor at Ferrari, team principal Stefano Domenicali, who has come under fire in the Italian press after the team won just one race in 2011.

"Stefano's role is the eye of the storm," Todt added. "I was also constantly the subject of criticism and I'm proud that in the end I made the decision about how I should retire after all the risks that I would be fired.

"It was claimed that they did not have a competitive car but I don't agree. The Ferrari was not as good as the Red Bull but in any case it was still a good car."

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