Ferrari want ‘change in gear’ from Massa

Date published: May 15 2012

There will be added pressure on Felipe Massa at the Monaco GP after Ferrari revealed that they expect a “change in gear starting right away”…

There will be added pressure on Felipe Massa at the Monaco GP after Ferrari revealed that they expect a “change in gear starting right away”.

While Fernando Alonso finished second behind Williams’ Pastor Maldonado at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, it was another poor weekend for Massa as he once again failed to make it into Q3 and finished P15 in the race.

It has been the story of the season for the Brazilian as he has picked up just two points in five races, which is in stark contrast to Alonso’s 61 points that puts him joint top in the Drivers’ Championship.

The official Ferrari website compared the performances of both drivers over the past two seasons, and it doesn’t make pretty reading for Massa.

‘Fernando has always maintained a very high level (67 points and second place in 2010, 51 and fifth place last year) while Felipe’s drop off has made itself felt,’ the team said in a review of Sunday’s race in Barcelona.

‘The Brazilian had picked up 49 points two years ago and 24 the following year, while so far this season he has just 2. In Montmelo, Felipe was very unlucky, both in the race and in qualifying, but everyone, he more than anyone, is expecting a change of gear starting right away with the Monaco Grand Prix, his second home race, given that he lives just a few hundred metres from what, as from next Sunday, will be transformed into the paddock for the sixth round of the 2012 Championship.’

Team principal Stefano Domenicali, meanwhile, admits the squad still needs to improve in qualifying despite Alonso’s good showing in Spain.

“It takes very little to change the hierarchy among the teams and this rule is even more true when the differences are just a few tenths or even hundredths,” he said.

“This year, the winner will be whoever manages to bring the best technical updates to the track in the shortest time possible: staying still for just a handful of races could mean finishing out of the points, given that so many teams have proved capable of fighting for the top places.

“We achieved our goal of making a step forward in Spain, but we must continue down this path, especially as the gap to the time that gave [Lewis] Hamilton his pole position is still too big.”