Felipe Massa needs to relax and focus on getting his Formula One career back on track. That is the advice of Jaime Alguersuari, the former Toro Rosso driver who is now trying to rebuild his own career by testing tyres for Pirelli and working as a co-commentator on British radio.
Asked about Massa’s continuing crisis, Spaniard Alguersuari acknowledged it is a “difficult time” in the Brazilian’s career.
“Right now the most important thing for him is to stop thinking about the external pressure and just focus on his work and his problems. Sometimes you’re not competitive, something has happened and you don’t know what it is,” Alguersuari told the Spanish newspaper AS.
“But the worst thing you can do is doubt, hesitate, get nervous and start looking at your teammate, because all that will happen is it will get worse,” he added. “Being in elite sport does not, as many believe, depend just on your skills, it’s about managing the psychological, physical and technical elements.
“I am convinced that Massa is not now a slow driver, he can get back to being like Fernando (Alonso) and some days – why not? – faster. The only difference between the two is in the head; that’s the difference between good and best,” said Alguersuari.
Livio Oricchio, the respected F1 correspondent for O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, fears the sport’s last Brazilian drivers – Massa and Bruno Senna – could soon lose their seats.
“As a driver, your main reference is always the work of your teammate, so in the sense that (for Massa and Senna) they are Fernando Alonso and Pastor Maldonado, it’s going very badly. At this point, only a miracle will keep Massa at Ferrari.
“He would have to do what he has failed to do in the last two championships, which is to qualify close to Alonso and score points regularly. Neither is what a Ferrari driver is really about,” admitted Oricchio, “but it’s a huge challenge given Massa’s loss of confidence and an unbalanced car.”