Fernando Alonso says that there is "an air of confidence" within Ferrari as it continues to develop its 2012 car.

12659 - 'Air of confidence' at Ferrari - Alonso

Ferrari switched its focus to the new season in early August after the F150th Italia was not quick enough to challenge Red Bull for the championship. As a result it has had a lot of time to develop the new car and after Christmas gatherings at the team's headquarters Alonso told the official Ferrari website that belief in the team is building.

"This is the time when one is always optimistic, but then we must wait for the start of the season to see where we really are," Alonso said. "It's true that in the past few days, there was a good feeling at Maranello and there's an air of confidence about it. We want to reacquaint ourselves with the taste of winning that has eluded us for a while."

Alonso also said that he felt the changes made during the last season would benefit Ferrari but that the team would have to deal with added scrutiny from the media if it does not have the quickest car again next year.

"Last spring, we made important changes to the structure of the technical part of the team and now we have adopted a new approach, a less conservative one, in the design of the new car. The philosophy behind the 2012 car is very different to that of 2011, especially in some key areas like suspension and aerodynamics.

"We know that Ferrari is burdened with the expectations of victory and if it does not happen, in the winter the papers devote page after page to the whys and wherefores as to how things can change, while the others have to make do with the crumbs in terms of media coverage. It's one of the things that make Ferrari different to all the other teams."