Montezemolo: Perez too inexperienced and still too early to judge Massa

Luca di Montezemolo with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso

Luca di Montezemolo with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso

Jun.3 (Reuters) Mexican driver Sergio Perez needs to gain more experience before any move to Ferrari can become a realistic proposition, the Italian Formula One team’s president, Luca di Montezemolo, told Reuters on Friday.

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012. Formula One Testing, Mugello, Italy, Day Two, 2 May 2012.Speaking on the sidelines of an FT luxury conference, Montezemolo said it was too early for any decision on the future of Ferrari’s under-performing Brazilian Felipe Massa and spoke out also against any expansion of the calendar beyond the current 20 races.

“We never take a decision before the second half of the season,” he said of Massa, who has scored just 10 points from six races while Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso is leading the championship with 76.

Perez, who drives for Ferrari-powered Sauber and finished a close second to Alonso in Malaysia in March, is already part of Ferrari’s young driver programme and has been seen as a possible replacement for Massa despite being in only his second full season in the sport.

Montezemolo played down the 22-year-old’s immediate prospects.

(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber with Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari on the drivers parade. Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday 9 October 2011.“No. Perez is a good driver but to drive a Ferrari you need more experience,” he said. “I think he is one of the potential best young drivers for the future but before putting a young driver in a Ferrari I need more experience and more results.”

Montezemolo said Massa, who has been at Ferrari since 2006 and was runner-up in the championship in 2008 before suffering a near-fatal head injury in 2009, has yet to be ruled out of the picture. His contract expires at the end of this year.

“I’m sure that, because we are improving our car, the car will be less difficult to drive,” he said.

“And I expect from Felipe better performances as I have already seen in Monte Carlo, because in Monte Carlo he was among the five quickest drivers on the track and in the qualifiers.

“So I hope he will continue like this. At the moment we are not taking any decision yet for the future, because it is too early.”

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday 24 September 2011.Next week’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal will be the seventh round of what is now a 20-race championship.

A research note this week from UBS, one of the joint global co-ordinators of Formula One’s temporarily stalled $3 billion planned IPO in Singapore, spoke of an expectation that the number of races would rise to 22 by 2015.

A first Russian Grand Prix is already scheduled for Sochi in 2014 while a new race in New Jersey, with the New York skyline as a backdrop, is due next year. France is also eager to return, but in alternation with Belgium.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters this week that he was also in talks for an eventual Mexican Grand Prix while a return to Argentina has also been mooted.

Montezemolo declared any expansion beyond 20 would, however, not be a good idea.

“There are too many so we have to discuss about it. I will be totally against the possibility to increase the number of races,” he said. “Twenty is the super maximum possibility. I will not be prepared to accept more than 20.”

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  • visz963

    Good news for Alonso. He can continue pretending he is good, as there is no real reference driiver.

  • kimir32

    man ALONSO is the reference.

  • visz963

    you cannot say that until there is a real pilot to compare with. I remember Schumi being more than 1 second faster than Massa in the same Ferrar in several rounds. Alonso is less than 1 second faster than the ater-accident Massa, therefore I am not convinced. Even more, I am confident that a good pilot like Rosberg would easily declassify Alonso.

    You are fooled by the Alonso-myth.

    Everyone is saying Ferrari is slow and only Alonso makes it fast. I think this is Alonso’s self marketing. Put in a good driver and lets see.

  • impulse60

    Alonso wins for Renault, McLaren, back to Renault, and Ferrari, and you guys are bickering whether or not he is the real deal? “No real reference driver” when he is pounding around against five other world champions? Wow.

  • visz963

    Alonso has not yet proven that he can beat a good teammate.

    -Trulli not beaten
    -Hamilton not beaten

    The ones beaten (Massa, Marques, Fisichella) – all losers.

    Not very convincing.

  • visz963

    Alonso is rubbish in a red can. Alonso is the myth that leads the championship after 6 rounds. If Alonso is leading after 20 i will bow down and kiss his feet

  • Goose

    If they have been using Massa as a ‘test driver’ in the first few races, then the 2nd Ferrari should start to pick up considerably more points very soon.

    6th in Monaco and well on pace throughout the weekend.

  • Joe Kinnear

    Perez needs more experience? Ferrari have nothing to lose if they pick him up now to replace Massa. “Before putting a young driver in a Ferrari I need more experience and results”? Remember when Fisi replaced Massa in the end of ’09? He had tons of experience but was nowhere close to Kimi in qualifying/ race wise.

    Ferrari should stop playing ego and admit that Massa needs to be replaced.

  • fools

    “Everyone is saying Ferrari is slow and only Alonso makes it fast.”

    Enough said.

  • TheRealPhillyJ

    Webber to Ferrari anyone?

  • GPFanatic

    I root for “The Webb” to Ferrari…

    Hey Vis! I don’t know why you hate Alonso that much.
    Maybe he dug ur ex…

  • visz963

    These comment was not mine again, an loser is posting in my name.

    Alonso is overrated, but I dont hate him.

  • visz963

    His just never had a decent team mate. He is just hype in a racing suit and all these so called racing fans have blind faith

    Please use your own name I have a reputation to uphold here