Ross Brawn says Ferrari requires "stability" if their glory days are to return.
Brawn was a key member of their team during their early-2000s heyday, but recently they have struggled.
"The last few years for Ferrari have not been easy," Brawn told the Italian broadcaster Sky, "but I think the crucial thing for them now is stability.
"There are really good people in the team, who need the right support and the right philosophy.
"There is always pressure and expectations around Ferrari, especially from the media, but they must find ways to protect the engineers and all the other technical people so they can concentrate and work better," he added.
Brawn, who spent a decade at Ferrari, recalls the unique pressures of working for the Italian team.
"When you get to the office in the morning you have a huge stack of press material on your desk. Ferrari is something that is discussed around the world and it creates enormous expectations," he said.
Although Ferrari are looking ahead to 2017 now, Brawn belives achieving strong results in the final rounds of 2016 are key.
"I don't know the internal dynamics of the team, but a couple of good results now would completely reverse the situation," he said.
A lot of the team's pressures rest on the shoulders of Sebastian Vettel, a driver many compare to Michael Schumacher - the architect of Ferrari's great successses during Brawn's spell at the team. However, Brawn says that you can't compare the two Germans.
"But making comparisons between him and Michael is not correct," he insisted.
"Sebastian is a great driver and a very intelligent person, and I'm sure that when he went to Ferrari he thought about Michael did and tried to be guided by that approach.
"In the last few races we've seen him a bit anxious, but he has never criticised the team. I imagine that Sebastian is working hard with the team to create the right atmosphere.
"Next year will be very interesting," said Brawn. "New rules mean new opportunities for everyone, so let's see what it brings.
"It's frustrating now for Vettel, but I think he knew the challenge would be difficult when he went there and I think it was one of the reasons he went there," he added.
"He wanted a challenge after everything he achieved, and he got one."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing