Jan.4 (GMM) Jean Alesi thinks the departure of James Allison in 2016 had a big impact on Ferrari's season.
The former team driver told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport that it was "sad" to see the great Maranello marque not win a single race last season.
"Without wanting to blame someone, the family tragedy of the technical director clearly caused problems for Ferrari," said Frenchman Alesi.
"In terms of the performance in Australia, I would have expected another season from Ferrari. But I'm sure 2017 will be different," he added.
Alesi also pointed a finger in Sebastian Vettel's direction, after the German appeared to become overcome with frustration at times during the 2016 struggle.
"Vettel has won four titles, so I have the greatest modesty when I tell him that Ferrari is something bigger than a F1 car. Ferrari is racing history," he said.
"Ferrari has a whole country behind it. That's what he should think of in his relationship with the Tifosi, and when he talks on the radio," added Alesi.