Ferrari bosses cannot agree over the potential return of Kimi Raikkonen, so Felipe Massa will be given at least two more Grands Prix to save his job, according to Paul Weaver of The Guardian.
UPDATE: Thursday, August 22, at 12:35 p.m. BST
From BBC Sport's Andrew Benson:
Kimi Raikkonen will not be speaking to the media on Thursday in Spa as a result of what Lotus say is "illness"— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) August 22, 2013
---End of update---
Raikkonen raced to the world title during his first year with Ferrari back in 2007, but the Lotus driver’s possible return is splitting the camp, writes Weaver.
The team are understood to be divided over the notion of returning to Raikkonen, who won the world title in his first year with the team in 2007, but was subsequently outdriven by Massa in 2008 and left the team under something of a cloud in 2009 after a season in which he won just one race.
After months of speculation, during which he was heavily linked to Red Bull and Ferrari, Raikkonen now faces the very real possibility of staying at Lotus next season, according to Weaver's report.
Who is the better driver?
Massa still has a thread of control over his own seat with the prancing horse, but his future may come down to the next two races, with Ferrari set to delay a decision until after the Italian Grand Prix.
The Brazilian has flattered to deceive in recent years, failing to rediscover the form that saw him miss out on the world crown by a single point to Lewis Hamilton in 2008.
Massa is currently seventh in this year’s standings, 72 points behind teammate Fernando Alonso, who himself has been linked to the Red Bull post being vacated by Mark Webber—expected to be handed to Daniel Ricciardo.
Weaver claims Ferrari have alternative options to Raikkonen in mind as a potential replacement for Massa, with Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta and Jules Bianchi all in the frame.
Massa will hope he can stave off outside interest until the latter part of the season, having shown some of his best form last term by claiming a podium spot in Japan and a fourth-place finish in Korea.
A 2014 duel between Raikkonen and Alonso would represent the most exciting option for neutral fans, but loyalty to Massa would be the healthiest message for Ferrari to promote and would be the ideal scenario for the team if he improves in form over the next month.