With Felipe Massa heading for the exit at Ferrari, the big question arose again after qualifying in Singapore -- will the Brazilian bother helping Fernando Alonso win the world championship? "Honest...
"Honestly, how can I help him?" Massa, hoping to rescue his career with another team but also open to moving to DTM or taking a sabbatical, is quoted by Russia's f1news.ru.
The question arose because Massa, to be replaced at Ferrari by former teammate Kimi Raikkonen next year, has outqualified Fernando Alonso in Singapore.
And before travelling to the floodlit city-state, Massa told Brazilian television that he would now focus on his own interests rather than serving as Alonso's number 2.
He said after qualifying that there's not much he can do to help Alonso on Sunday.
"Sebastian (Vettel) is first and I think Fernando needs to pray that his (Red Bull) car has a problem," said Massa.
"I will just try to do the best race possible. I want to have a good final seven races.
"Honestly, I don't know whether Fernando needs my help."
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, however, had chided Massa's original comments about racing only for himself from now on.
And team boss Stefano Domenicali told Marca newspaper on Saturday: "You'll see how Massa is going to help Fernando if he can.
"You'll see," he repeated to the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
The real problem is not Massa; it is Ferrari's failure to make up enough ground on Red Bull, despite pushing hard on the development front.
Singapore, Domenicali said, is the "crossroads". In other words, the focus will now surely switch completely to 2014.
"You could not say anything bad about how hard the team has worked on the developments," Alonso is quoted by Speed Week.
"The problem is that the other teams are also not sitting in the pool or watching TV between the races.
"In Hungary, we were the fourth fastest team, and we still are. This is sad, but it's just the reality," he added.