Ferrari on Thursday came close to confirming that Felipe Massa will be retained as Fernando Alonso's teammate for the 2011 season.

Ferrari on Thursday came close to confirming that Felipe Massa will be retained as Fernando Alonso's teammate for the 2011 season.

Brazilian Massa's contract expires in December, and it has been rumoured that Robert Kubica or Mark Webber are being lined up as potential replacements.

The 29-year-old has struggled with the F10 car alongside Alonso so far this season, but when asked if Ferrari will field an identical lineup in 2011, team boss Stefano Domenicali answered: "Yes, I think so."

The Italian indicated that Maranello based Ferrari prefers to work with Massa to overcome his difficulties rather than oust him.

"Massa was struggling with the hard tyres in certain conditions in the first part of the year, so I think that is the area we need to work with him so he has more confidence in the car," Domenicali is quoted by the BBC.

"It's easy to criticise a driver when he is not performing well, so we need to make sure the package for him is the best."

At Istanbul Park on Thursday, Pole Kubica said it is "too early" to talk about his whereabouts for 2011, but indicated that he is happy at Renault.

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