Ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has outlined three problem areas the Italian F1 team must address if they are to beat Max Verstappen this year.
Despite a promising start to the season, Ferrari were unable to maintain a championship challenge in 2022, as a catalogue of operational and driver errors enabled Red Bull’s Verstappen to dominate on his way to sealing a second successive world title.
Charles Leclerc and Ferrari’s failed title bid led to the resignation of team principal Mattia Binotto, who has been replaced by former Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur for 2023.
Massa, who agonisingly missed out on the drivers’ crown to Lewis Hamilton but helped Ferrari win their last constructors’ title in 2008, has identified where the Scuderia need to strengthen if they are to stand any chance of overhauling Verstappen this year.
“First of all I think Charles is doing a fantastic job. He’s a great driver, he really deserves to be in a competitive car,” Massa told Polish outlet Swiat Wyscigow.
“He deserves to have the opportunity to fight for the championship as a driver. But I think they need to fix the problem. They need to improve the things that are not working – on the strategy but also on so many other things.
“They have mechanical issues at the beginning of the season. They had problems in the pit stop, many, many problems in the strategy.”
The Brazilian added: “In the end, to win the championship, everything needs to be perfect. For me, when you have a season like that, it’s important to fix things in the right way.
“If you start to change things and you change for the wrong way, that is not good. So you need to change things in the right way and fix them quickly.”