Ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa, who raced with Ferrari for eight years, has said he believes the Maranello-based team potentially made the right call by replacing Sebastian Vettel with Carlos Sainz for 2021.
Specifically, he said “Vettel’s time has passed” and described Sainz as a “good” driver.
“Vettel’s time has passed, so much so that his results this year show that Ferrari may have taken the right option not to renew his contract,” Massa said in a recent interview with Rede Globo, a Brazilian TV network.
“Carlos Sainz is a good driver, young and has a lot of room to grow. Of course, they need a competitive car before anything, but I hope for the sake of him and Ferrari that they get it,” he added.
Vettel will still be on the F1 grid next year, as he recently signed a multi-year contract with Racing Point, which will be rebranded Aston Martin Racing in 2021.
As for Ferrari’s current woes, Massa said he was “very sad” to see the team struggling.
“Nobody wants to see Ferrari having these problems. It is an exceptional team, and without a doubt different from the others. Almost like a religion.”
Earlier, team principal Mattia Binotto said the shake-up of the F1 technical regulations in 2022 is the “most important opportunity” for Ferrari to return to the front of the grid.
The Italian racing outfit – which celebrated its 1000th Formula One Grand Prix last time out at Mugello – is currently sixth in the Constructors’ Standings, just 13 points ahead of Scuderia AlphaTauri.
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