Felipe Massa takes aim at Red Bull’s Sergio Perez

The former Ferrari driver sees Max Verstappen as the big drivers’ championship favourite in F1 2023

-

Felipe Massa has aimed some rather sharp criticism at Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, with the Brazilian admitting that he believes Max Verstappen‘s dominance in F1 is showing no signs of ending any time soon.

After coming tantalizingly close to the F1 championship in 2008, the former Ferrari and Williams driver doesn’t believe there is any chance of a repeat of his close title charge from any other driver on the grid. 

Not least from Verstappen‘s Red Bull teammate, Perez. Although he at least acknowledged there was an outside chance for Lewis Hamilton or Charles Leclerc.

“Like Max and Lewis, Charles is an exceptional driver, he is currently the biggest title contender against Red Bull,” Massa told Bild.

“Their second driver, Sergio Perez, is too inconsistent.”

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez of Red Bull during qualifying ahead of the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

It’s unclear just why Massa feels so strongly about the Mexican, although their time in F1 did result in some rather ugly crashes, with the Brazilian seemingly blaming Perez for such incidents.

The former Ferrari and Williams driver singled out the Dutchman as the favourite to win the F1 drivers’ championship once again after his triumphs in 2021 and 2022. 

“I definitely see Verstappen as the favourite, what he and Red Bull have shown is impressive,” Massa said.

“Max doesn’t make mistakes, Red Bull works perfectly, and the engine is strong. Just as it was with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. The conditions are ideal for a Red Bull era.

“Max drives like a robot, he is extremely mature for his age, and the two titles made him even better. He’s more relaxed now and not as stubborn as in previous years.”

Lewis Hamilton at 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Mercedes F1 Team

A mistake to write Hamilton off

Nobody knows the impact the competitive spirit of Sir Lewis Hamilton better than Massa. It was the young Brit who ruined his title charge in 2008, and the pair endured a blistering rivalry on the track for a couple of years after that. 

With this in mind, the Brazilian has urged the rest of the grid not to give up on the British veteran, insisting that he has what it takes to turn a struggling Mercedes car around.

“It would be a mistake to write him off. Along with Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, he is the best driver to ever drive in Formula 1; besides his experience, he has a very good driving instinct,” Massa concluded.

“Lewis can be world champion again, but for that he needs a competitive car, and he doesn’t have that at the moment.”

As for whether a new era has begun in the top class of motorsport under Verstappen, Felipe Massa believes that is simply unavoidable. 

“I think it’s happening right now, he’s become world champion for the last two years and I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t get the hat-trick. What’s more, he can also win four, five or six titles in a row,” Massa said.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

0
Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

0
Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

0
Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

0
Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

0
Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

0
Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

0
Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

0
The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

0
Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -