Massa claims Ferrari struggle to keep a ‘cool head’, insists they don’t have a ‘driver problem’

Ferrari have not won a championship since their Constructors' Championship success in 2008.

Felipe Massa has revealed that he is not at all surprised by Ferrari’s failure to win a world championship since 2008, adding that the team’s unrelenting passion for Formula 1 can often be their downfall.

Ferrari have won just 37 races since Kimi Raikkonen’s Drivers’ Championship victory in 2007, failing to claim a title despite the signings of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, as well as the return of the Finn in 2014.

Massa, who won 11 grand prix with the Scuderia between 2006 and 2013, does not believe Ferrari have truly been able to call themselves a top team ever since their horrendous 2009 campaign, during which they recorded one race win through Raikkonen in Belgium.

READ: Ferrari boss: Leclerc and Sainz will be allowed to race, but support role may be required

“That did not surprise me,” he said of Ferrari’s recent struggles, as quoted by Spanish Daily AS.

“Ferrari’s best years were with [Michael] Schumacher, then 2006, 2007, 2008. After 2009, Ferrari was no longer the team of the hour.”

The Brazilian feels as though the Maranello outfit’s lack of ability to remain calm in given situations is what has precluded them from success for the last decade.

“There have been many changes and it is important to keep a cool head. That is difficult at Ferrari,” he explained.

Therefore, he does not believe that the issues exist with Ferrari’s current line up of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who managed five podium finishes between them in 2021.

Article continues below

“Ferrari’s problem is not a driver problem, it’s a car problem, a team problem. Sainz and Leclerc form a very important driver pairing,” added Massa.

“Carlos Sainz works hard, he’s consistent and fast. He’s a very strong driver.”

READ: ‘Lewis cannot really complain about bad luck’ despite Abu Dhabi controversy

The 40-year-old suggests that Sainz has everything necessary to become world champion, but he needs to be provided with a capable car.

“[It] depends on the car,” he stated.

“He has the necessary consistency, but it’s not easy to get a team-mate like Charles Leclerc right at the start overtake. He has to do a perfect job for that.”

F1 is undergoing massive changes to its technical regulations ahead of 2022, as ground effect-led aerodynamic changes come into play.

Further, Ferrari are said to have overcome the 20-horsepower deficit that comes this year after developing a 90 percent fossil fuel and 10 percent ethanol fuel blend together with partners Shell.

Massa is optimistic that the new regulations can at least push Ferrari closer to the top of the sport, having failed to win a race since Vettel’s victory at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix.

“If there are big changes there can be surprises, although that’s difficult,” he conceded.

“I think the big teams will still be at the top, like Mercedes and Red Bull.

“But maybe also Ferrari or McLaren. Usually the big teams are more likely to start the year at the top. I hope that with the changes Ferrari can win again in 2022.

READ: Horner: ‘If Ferrari crush us in the first race, you can say we suffered’ from 2021 title battle

“I’m a Ferrarist. But it’s not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and a cool head to get good results.”

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in 2021 Russian GP.v1

The Italian squad ended the 2021 season third in the Constructors’ Championship third, with Sainz out-scoring his Monegasque team-mate Leclerc in an immensely impressive debut season in red for the 27-year-old.

The pair have been retained for 2022, and team principal Mattia Binotto has said he is keen to reach an agreement with the Spaniard to extend his contract beyond the end of this year.

Follow us on Google News to never miss an F1 story