Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has said he’s “amazed” to see just how much of a jump the team have got over their rivals, with the new regulations coming into effect in Formula 1.
The team has made an excellent start to the sport’s new era, with Charles Leclerc having scored 71 points out of a possible 78 available in the first three races of the season.
Not only that, the F1-75 has shown itself to be both fast and reliable, showing their speed against a fast but faltering Red Bull, who have had three retirements in the same spell – dropping them well off the pace.
Leclerc’s 34-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship is already a sign of Ferrari’s intent in getting back to the summit of Formula 1, and the Brazilian thinks the car’s durability has already played a big role.
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“I’m amazed that Maranello are so far ahead in their understanding of the new rules, and then the reliability of the single seater,” Massa told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It’s no secret that if Ferrari is so far ahead in the championship, it’s because of the car’s robustness.”
Unsurprisingly, talk has already begun about Ferrari’s lasting title challenge this season – particularly with Leclerc’s pace at the start of the year.
Massa, who raced for Ferrari for eight seasons, does not want to get carried away with the team’s World Championship prospects just yet, though.
But that said, with the circuits that are on the horizon in the next stage of the season, the Brazilian agrees with Leclerc’s thoughts and thinks the Scuderia can perform even better still.
“We have to stay calm, because the balance of power is not yet so clear after a few races, I am not saying that Ferrari already has the 2022 World Championship in its pocket,” the 2008 World Championship runner-up added.
“But now there are circuits where it’s more important to have downforce than top speed: I’m thinking of Imola, Spain and Monte Carlo, situations where Ferrari can go even faster than it has so far, because we’ve realised that Red Bull has a lot of speed, while Ferrari is a more balanced car in the corners, having a greater load.”