Felipe Massa's had a funny old season. For the first half of the GP calendar he was almost certainly going to be replaced in 2013. In the second half he became the perfect team-mate.
Things were so bad between Felipe and his under-performing F2012 at the start of the campaign that there was talk of him being replaced by (Ferrari protégé) Sergio Perez by mid-season.
Luckily for Felipe, the man they approached to be Fernando's No.2 - Mark Webber - turned them down. And then Massa went and scored points in all of the last 10 grands prix, helping Ferrari to secure second place in the constructors' championship. As Eddie Jordan repeatedly said after each race - "Felipe - he's got his mojo back". Yes, he had indeed got his "amulet consisting of a flannel bag containing one or more magical charms" back.
In the second half of the season he began to thrive, particularly on anti-clockwise circuits. He was quicker than Alonso in Austin, Korea and Brazil - something that seemed unthinkable at the start of the year. And he made the Saint Stephen-like sacrifice of taking the unnecessary grid penalty at the USGP.
Now, during the Ferrari Christmas festivities Luca Montezemolo has lavished praise upon the driver who everyone thought was heading for the door marked porta di uscita
"I don't know where you went in the first part of the year," di Montezemolo said to Massa in his speech to the assembled scuderia, "but I am very pleased you came back. It meant we were able to finish ahead of major teams in the constructors' classification, but it is also important for next year."
"Fernando had an extraordinary season and I am sorry not to have given him a car that was quick as well as reliable. In 2013 the aim, not just for me but for all of you, is to immediately have a car that's capable of winning."
And with a wind tunnel that's calibrated correctly.
It would have been interesting to see what happened if Mark Webber had said yes to Ferrari and lined up with his friend Fernando Alonso in 2013. Because Mark has emphasised very strongly that he's not at Red Bull to give points or positions away to Sebastian Vettel. Had he moved to Maranello then it would have been obligatory to realise that Fernando was faster than him, friendship or no friendship. So why did he even entertain the thought...?
That's all what-if territory, the fact is that now Felipe has signed for 2013, he could easily be retained for 2014 and 2015 or even 2016 when Alonso's Ferrari contract runs out. Because who else would be prepared to put their career on hold to be Alonso's domestique? Massa's had his shot at being World Champ.
Nico Hulkenberg is good but he wants to win. Alonso is unlikely to accept Vettel or Hamilton as team-mates as they'd be too competitive. Ferrari tester Bianchi is not experienced enough. Robert Kubica doesn't have enough arm movement to get back to F1 yet. Webber's said no already and Perez is committed to McLaren for the near future. Rosberg is good but probably not at Massa's level. And Jenson Button won't leave McLaren now he's the new No.1 at Woking.
Let's not forget that Fernando Alonso has put in some awe-inspiring drives this year yet on some occasions Felipe was clearly faster, even if he wasn't allowed to get past his team leader. There's not many on the grid that could do that.
So providing Ferrari doesn't produce another untameable beast next year, Felipe Massa could be attending Ferrari Christmas Celebrations for quite a few more years to come, with a series of one-year contracts. Which will certainly please the people at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Felipe's face is plastered all over it.