Jean Todt has urged Ferrari to resist making revolutionary changes after faltering at the start of the new V6 era.
Before becoming FIA president, Frenchman Todt presided over Ferrari's ultra-successful Michael Schumacher era, culminating in the most recent drivers' title earned by Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
In 2014, the Maranello marque has appeared in crisis as Stefano Domenicali, Luca di Montezemolo, Marco Mattiacci, Fernando Alonso and others all left.
Todt, however, told the Italian broadcaster Rai that while Ferrari needed a refresh, the team should do so "without a revolution".
"Ferrari is not sick," he insisted. "That is a little too exaggerated.
You could say that Ferrari is like someone who is a bit tired and needs to go to the doctor.
"We all know the great charm of Ferrari in the world but even more so in Italy, where it is a very emotional issue.
"This fascination sometimes means Ferrari makes decisions faster than some other teams.
"You could say that Ferrari is like someone who is a bit tired and needs to go to the doctor," he said.
"The situation needs to be analysed in detail and make its plan for improving, but without a revolution.
"Winning is part of the history of Ferrari, but you cannot always win. I remember when we started winning, many began to say they were tired of winning because you knew the result before the race.
"The truth is that satisfaction does not exist in either situation."
Todt, 68, hailed Ferrari's new team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, and also 2015 driver Sebastian Vettel, who he described as "one of the best".
Finally, he mentioned his great friend Schumacher, whom he visits at his home in Switzerland "at least once a week".
"It's true, it's been a year (since the accident), but he is young and has plenty of time to recover," said Todt.