Massa, Wurz blame Ferrari for lack of success with Vettel and Alonso

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Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa believes the Italian team is to blame for the lack of success both with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

The 2010s was the first decade in the history of Formula 1 that Ferrari failed to win a championship, mostly due to the domination of first Red Bull and then Mercedes when the hybrid era began in 2014.

It was because of the close but not close enough nature of their competitiveness that Alonso would leave after 2014 to join the McLaren-Honda project and now, at the end of this year, Vettel will follow the Spaniard through the door at Maranello having failed to achieve his dream of becoming a champion in red.

“You cannot forget that the last time Ferrari won the [constructors’] championship was in 2008,” Massa analysed on the Sky Sports Vodcast.

“It’s true that many good drivers passed through the team and were not able to win. Including after 2008, I was there, and we never had really the car or the team to win.

“Fernando [Alonso] definitely made an incredible job in 2010. He arrived really on the limit fighting for the championship. But maybe, to be honest, the car was not able to win in that year. In my opinion, he did an amazing job.

“All of the drivers that are passing there [since] – Sebastian, Kimi [Raikkonen]- were not able to win because the team was not completely perfect to win the season.

“So it’s not only related to Sebastian. Sebastian did many great races, he won many races or he fought, and he was always in front of his teammate, even a good teammate and champion like Kimi.”

Another ex-F1 driver defending Vettel over his lack of Ferrari success is GPDA chairman Alex Wurz, who suggested the intense nature of the team made it tough to survive for a long time.

“Sebastian is a friend of mine, but I didn’t see it coming,” the Austrian admitted also speaking to the UK broadcaster“He keeps those cards always very close to his chest.

“If you look at the history of Ferrari, you have this first few years and months of big love and all these radio calls, all the emotions that come out of it, which makes Ferrari so beautiful.

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“But at one point, even with Fernando, it seems like the whole system makes you go into burnout.

"Maybe the love is not there anymore, and that seemed to happen, but Sebastian hasn’t spoken to me about that.”

Wurz also thinks the demands of the Tifosi can have a massive impact on a driver, particularly when results slip.

“There’s more to it than just racing passion. There is really the national pressure upon you and the drivers go through that,” he explained.

“Ferrari are really demanding of the drivers, they really love you if you push them forward but if the success is not coming then suddenly that starts to backfire and they will also be protective about their heritage, work and quality.

“There is always friction, and that’s not just for drivers, they have also changed team principals also over the years. And I think that comes with outside influence but also the lifestyle. That mixture seems to be tricky.

“We look back at the (Michael) Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Jean Todt era, that group went in there and was so strong, could succeed, and could push that Italian pressure, whatever you want to call it, to the side.

“Since they left, Ferrari is behind its own expectations.”