Italian GP: Nico Hulkenberg endorses bid to replace Massa at Ferrari
Less than 24 hours after Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo promised a decision on his team's driver line-up for 2014 within two weeks, Hulkenberg and Massa rose to the challenge. But Finn Kimi Raikkonen, of Lotus, another contender, was condemned to a disappointing afternoon as he struggled home 11th.
Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa produced excellent drives in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, both endorsing their bids to race alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next season.
Less than 24 hours after Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo promised a decision on his team's driver line-up for 2014 within two weeks, both men rose to the challenge.
But Finn Kimi Raikkonen, of Lotus, another contender, was condemned to a disappointing afternoon as he struggled home 11th.
"It's definitely something I wouldn't deny, which I'm definitely interested in, it's a no-brainer," said a delighted Hulkenberg, who finished just nine-tenths of a second behind Massa's Ferrari in his Ferrari-powered Sauber.
"For me, I don't know if it will happen, time will tell. There has been speculation and lots of talk but at some point the talking has to stop and the decisions will be made."
Massa, under pressure to retain his seat at Ferrari, said: "We're still discussing it. This race was important for everything -- not only for the contract with Ferrari, but to show other teams what I'm able to do. My talent, everybody knows."
He added: "The race was very good, the start was very good, I overtook two cars straight away. The pace was ok but then the pit stop was the worst problem of the race.
"I lost a position to Mark. That was the only negative point of the race. In terms of driving, I did everything in a great way."
Hulkenberg was equally delighted. He said: "This is a 100 per cent weekend for us.
"After yesterday, we had another great day. To finish fifth was probably the right result for us because we only finished behind Red Bull and Ferrari -- which was great.
"It was a tough race, keeping Nico (Rosberg) behind me because he didn't leave me alone, but it was great to get some more points and hopefully that will give us some momentum."