Former Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa believes that the Spanish driver “has talent and capacity” to win the Formula One title with the Maranello team. And about Fernando Alonso: “He wants to come back, but he wouldn’t be happy in an uncompetitive team.”
“It’s an amazing family, starting with his father.” That’s the first thing Felipe Massa says when asked about Carlos Sainz. A first and last name that transcends frontiers in motorsport, first because of the successes of the father in rally and now by the jump that his son has managed, securing a future in red from 2021. To talk about Carlos Sainz move to Ferrari, the Brazilian was on Sunday’s ‘Carousel Deportivo’ of the SER, as someone who knows well that “it is a fantastic feeling to be part of Ferrari”.
If it’s already a great achievement to driver for Ferrari, what must it be like to be able to win the title with the Maranello team? Felipe came very close in 2008 and is confident Carlos can make it? “I think so, it will be up to him. You have to wait to see your first year there, but he has talent and ability. Although it is important to know that Ferrari is not living an easy moment, they have to go back because since 2008 they do not win a title, even if they were close with Alonso. They want to improve and I think a job with two young people is interesting.” – Felipe explained.
“He started impressing in his first year at Toro Rosso with Verstappen, it was a battle. He has shown in these years that he has grown and gained experience, last year he had a very good season at McLaren. It’s an opportunity for him to run in Ferrari and I think he can do a fantastic job, he’s got experience, he’s smart, he doesn’t fail and he can impress in a big team like Ferrari”- the Brazilian added.
“There is no team that has pressure as strong as Ferrari. This for a driver is not easy, the first year you have to understand how it works, but I think Carlos will do it fast, just as Leclerc did,” says Massa, who also claims that he doesn’t see the Spaniard taking on a second role in the team: “Charles Leclerc got there as number two, he showed that he can be a driver who can win and things changed. It can be like this. The team has to give both of them the same opportunity.”
The short term of Ferrari… and Alonso
In order for Sainz to fight for a title, he must have a car that allows him to. Does Massa see it possible? “It’s a delicate moment, because Ferrari had the strongest engine last year, but it won’t have it anymore because of the controversy there was. In the Barcelona tests, they didn’t have a competitive car like last year and Mercedes had a big advantage. They weren’t 100% happy. They have to improve already this year especially by 2021, let’s see if they can make a car to fight peer-to-peer with Mercedes.” – Felipe explained.
Carlos was not the only Spaniard Felipe spoke about, he also spoke of his partner for four years, Fernando Alonso, and if he sees his return to the grid possible. “I don’t know, I think Fernando wants to run again in F1, he probably misses it. But where? I don’t think he’s happy joining a team that’s not competitive, that can’t win, and I don’t think that’s going to be possible now. We have to wait and see which team gives him the opportunity to come back the way he wants”- the former Scuderia Ferrari driver concluded.