Felipe Massa has hit back at F1 legend Nelson Piquet’s harsh critique of modern formula one.
The triple world champion had declared at Interlagos last weekend that with so many engineers behind the scenes today, drivers can afford to just “be fast and make no mistakes”.
“You can be a complete imbecile and have no idea how the engine works” and still succeed in modern F1, 62-year-old Piquet, who later conducted the official podium interviews after the Brazilian grand prix, reportedly added.
His Brazilian countryman Massa, however, hit back at those claims, insisting it is unfair to compare eras in F1 history.
“Ok, you had much fewer engineers in the past and you had to know a lot about the mechanical parts,” the Williams driver told Brazil’s Sportv.
“But the car was almost completely mechanical with no aerodynamics. Now you have so many other things, like all the electronics and all the work we have to do while we’re driving.
“Back then you had the steering wheel, throttle, brake and clutch, but nowadays we are changing things while we are driving in the corners.
“It’s another world — another sport,” Massa insisted.
Piquet had also criticised the controversial overtaking aid DRS, but Massa hit back: “Many people say that, and that ‘the (old) cars were always sideways.
“But today if you go sideways you just go slower,” he insisted. “The sport has changed so much, becoming more professional as well.
“Lots of people say ‘Back then you had Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell’ but now there are drivers with exactly the same level of talent,” Massa added. (GMM)