Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone helping Massa to stay in Formula 1

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Massa is the last Brazilian left in F1 (©GettyImages)
Massa is the last Brazilian left in F1 (©GettyImages).

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is "working" to secure Felipe Massa a seat in F1 next season after he was ousted by Ferrari.

The 32-year-old is the last Brazilian left in Formula 1 after the recent departures of Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna and for Ecclestone keeping a Brazilian driver in F1 is important.

"If Felipe gets some sponsors, everything will change and Brazil should have a driver on the grid in 2014," Ecclestone told reporters.

"A strong economy like the one in Brazil is in a good position to invest in a driver," he added.

"I am trying to help; it's not easy, but we're working on it."

Indeed Massa's manager Nicolas Todt is also searching for potential sponsors for Massa to help secure a seat at one of the midfield or possibly Lotus.

The Brazilian and South American market is important to F1 with possible new races in Argentina and the emergence of driver's from Venezuela.

Another Brazilian driver looking to make the step up to F1 is Felipe Nasr, he too is gaining support from Ecclestone to make that move up but recent speculation he could replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso was denied by the junior Red Bull team in Singapore.

"It will be difficult to sign as a race driver in 2014," Nasr, who is managed by Kimi Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson, said in Singapore.

"So I see it (the opportunity) more as third driver, driving the car in practice on Fridays and some of the private testing," he added.

One potential sponsor is Brazilian broadcaster Globo, speculation had arisen that the loss of Massa could cause the station to pull it's F1 coverage from 2014, though now they have confirmed they will stay in F1 whether Massa is in the sport or not.

Ecclestone told Brazilian daily O Estada de S. Paulo: "The (Brazilian) media has an important role in trying to keep having a (Brazilian) driver in F1."

Despite the efforts one team certainly considering Massa has confirmed the finding of sponsors would not play a role in their final decision.

"It would have zero effect on our decision," Lotus boss Eric Boullier told F1's official website.

"I want to choose the driver on merit and not on money."

Indeed the biggest competitor Massa has for the seat is Nico Hulkenberg a driver well known for not having a single sponsor.

"The question is do we want to be conservative and work with an experienced driver, especially with the new engine and powertrain next year, or do we gamble on a youngster?" he said.

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