Ferrari has said it expects Felipe Massa to lift his performance at the Monaco Grand Prix, amid the first signs that the team is losing patience with his lack of results.
At the start of what was viewed as a vital campaign for the Brazilian driver, he has scored just two points so far, with teammate Fernando Alonso jointly leading the World Championship with 61. Massa's lack of results means that Ferrari is currently lying fourth in the constructors' championships behind Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus.
In a statement posted on its website after the Spanish GP, Ferrari highlighted Massa's poor form this year compared to previous seasons, and said it was clear what was expected of him.
"In [Spain], Felipe was very unlucky, both in the race and in qualifying, but everyone, he more than anyone, is expecting a change of gear starting right away with the Monaco Grand Prix," said Ferrari.
Although Ferrari remains committed to Massa for now, the team is understood to be seriously evaluating options for the future – both short and long term – if the situation does not change. While Sauber driver Sergio Perez remains a prospect for the longer term, Ferrari is also understood to be evaluating Force India duo Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg as well as Lotus test driver Jerome d'Ambrosio.
Although the latter's inclusion as a candidate is a surprise, the Belgian does have the advantage of being available immediately, and would be happy to take a half-year deal which would allow Ferrari to spend longer thinking about its options for a new teammate for Alonso in 2013.