Felipe Massa says he is not surprised that Kimi Raikkonen is struggling to match the performances of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari Formula 1 team so far this season.
Raikkonen has been out-qualified four times in six races by Alonso since returning to Ferrari, and he languishes 44 points and nine places adrift of the Spaniard in the drivers' championship.
Ferrari technical chief James Allison said during the Monaco Grand Prix that Raikkonen's problems with the F14 T were the same ones experienced by Alonso, suggesting the Spaniard is simply doing a better job at getting to grips with this year's new formula than his team-mate.
Massa, who was a team-mate to both world champions during his own career at Maranello, reckons Raikkonen will face an uphill battle to defeat Alonso in a team the Spaniard is so ensconced within.
"For me, the difference between Fernando and Kimi is not a surprise," Massa said, when asked by AUTOSPORT for his perspective on the differences between the two.
"I expected it because Fernando has built a team around him, and also the way he is driving.
"He is a very strong driver and he managed to put everything on his side as well."
Massa said it takes time for any driver to settle into a team, even if it is one they have driven for before, and warned that Raikkonen would need to be at the top of his own game to carry the fight to a driver as strong as Alonso.
"I think to be better than him you need to be perfect with the car and I think Kimi is not maybe 100 per cent ready and perfect with the car," Massa added.
"And Fernando also has the team for him, so it's not easy."