(GMM) Felipe Massa has played down reports he is at risk of losing his Ferrari seat soon, insisting he feels fully supported by Ferrari.
The Brazilian has struggled at the wheel of Ferrari's difficult 2012 car so far, scoring just 2 points compared with his teammate and joint championship leader Fernando Alonso's 61.
It has triggered speculation the Maranello based team might replace him, also because Ferrari said after Barcelona it is "expecting" Massa to improve "right away".
Whilst working at Maranello in the driver simulator on Friday, however, Massa insisted he has not been far away from Alonso at recent races.
"I think we must also take into account that, at the moment, Fernando's driving is amazing: he is on super form, maybe even perfect," he is quoted as saying in a Ferrari statement.
Asked if he feels the famous Italian team's support, he added: "Absolutely, yes, I feel the whole team stands by me.
"Obviously, they are not happy with the results and neither am I: we all want to get out of this (situation) and return to normal.
"It's possible and for sure it's what I want and I know that with the team's help we will manage it," said Massa.
05/18/12 (GMM) Vitaly Petrov thinks it is possible Felipe Massa will lose his Ferrari seat long before the 2012 season is over.
But Caterham's Russian driver, who moved from Renault (now Lotus) at the end of last season, does not believe reports that Ferrari could sack the struggling Brazilian imminently, such as after next weekend's Monaco grand prix.
"I don't think they'll fire Massa just now. At least not until August," Petrov is quoted by the state owned Moscow news agency Ria Novosti.
There are six races until August's month-long calendar 'summer' break.
So while Petrov thinks Massa's career is genuinely in danger, he does not agree that Ferrari is ramping up the pressure on the 30-year-old.
"I wouldn't say that Ferrari are criticizing him that strongly," he said. "They're not saying he has one more chance or anything like that."