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Ferrari gives Massa 'Italian ultimatum' (GMM) Luca di Montezemolo's post-race message for Felipe Massa was "subtle but powerful", according to one formula one writer.
In the midst of rumors he risks being ousted by Ferrari at the end of 2010, Brazilian Massa qualified poorly in Japan and then crashed at the first corner of the Suzuka race.
The dismal performance followed Ferrari president Montezemolo's pre-event warning that he has "waited with great perseverance" recently for Massa to "shave points off the rivals" of the team's championship favorite Fernando Alonso.
And the Italian said immediately after Sunday's events: "I'm sure he will be the surprise of the last three races of the season.
"After this bad day he will be desperately keen to react and we will do everything to give him the possibility to win."
Also disappointed with Massa's Sunday at Suzuka was team boss Stefano Domenicali, who said despite his "less than brilliant grid position" had "every chance of a good race".
The Italian added that Ferrari's constructors' title hopes "took a knock" in Japan "because Felipe had to retire".
A report in La Razon newspaper surmised that Massa had been given an "ultimatum a la italiana".
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