Ferrari has denied that it only re-signed Felipe Massa for 2013 because of a lack of alternative options.
Various drivers were linked with the second Ferrari F1 seat alongside Fernando Alonso as Massa struggled in the early part of the season. The Brazilian's form has improved in recent races, and Ferrari announced earlier this week that he would be retained.
Amid suggestions that Massa was only kept because all the top drivers were committed elsewhere, or because Alonso insisted on keeping an inferior number two, Ferrari issued a statement insisting Massa was the best choice.
"The decision to extend the agreement with Felipe Massa for another season was carefully weighed up and not just the obvious one," it said. "Nor was it inevitable because of the lack of alternatives, nor was it in anyway guided by the wishes of his current teammate, because Ferrari alone chooses its drivers."
Ferrari said it had rejected the approaches of several other drivers in favor of retaining Massa.
"Many knocked on the doors of Maranello, some were considered, but in the end, a logical conclusion prevailed: there is no one better than Felipe to deliver hic et nunc [here and now] the speed, talent and capacity to work for the good of the team.
"The Brazilian's career displays these qualities as does the fact that harmony reigns within the team, which is united and shows solidarity even in the most difficult moments. Fans of the Reds know the score: some decisions are made solely and exclusively for the good of Ferrari. The rest is all idle chatter."