Felipe Massa believes that he can "be even faster" than Fernando Alonso given a competitive car this season.

13096 - I can beat Alonso - Massa

Massa's contract runs out at the end of 2012 and Stefano Domenicali has already admitted that it will be a crucial year for him having failed to finish higher than fifth in 2011. Massa accrued less than half the amount of points that Alonso managed last season, but when asked if he felt he could challenge his team-mate, he said that given a more competitive car then he could come out on top.

"Yes, absolutely yes," Massa said at Ferrari's Wrooom media event. "I am convinced that I can do it. On the race tracks where there was not a marked degradation of tyres, the difference was shown mostly with my driving style. So returning to having a car, as the one we had for many years, having a car that is competitive, this difference does not exist.

"I am sure that I can fight against Fernando not just to have the same time, but to make a better time than him - so to be even faster than him."

Despite the pressure to improve, Massa has set himself high standards saying that his aim was not only to win races but to challenge for the championship having been runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

"I am thinking about the championship, so of course you must have a competitive car from the start. If you have five or six races where you don't get the results you wanted, then it is difficult to recover. Talking about myself, the start of the season, the first part of the championship is surely going to be more important for my future as opposed to the second part. But that is not anything new."