Always one to do a lot of talking off the track rather than on it, Felipe Massa has come out during the week to insist he will be doing everything he can to beat his much more fancied team-mate Fernando Alonso.
After another terrible year saw him just scrape into a new contract with Ferrari, Massa surely will be on his final chance to improve after several lean years at the team he nearly won the World Championship for in 2008. Massa has struggled since his horrific accident at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix that nearly killed him, but insists he can turn it around this year.
"I think when you are behind you need to work to be in front and that’s what I’m doing," he said during a Ferrari web chat. "I will try everything to be in front of my team-mate, but also everybody is racing with me."
He added that having been team-mates with three different World Champions during his time at Maranello has made him stronger.
"I think having a strong team-mate makes you better. I think you learn a lot more and I think definitely when you are in a top team, for sure, you’re going to have a strong team-mate; when you drive for Ferrari you’re going to have a strong team-mate. This is what happened in all these years I have been racing for Ferrari, so I had Michael Schumacher, I had Kimi Raikkonen and I had Fernando Alonso."
Massa admitted only last week that he thought about quitting last season, and it remains to be seen if his demons will continue to haunt him in 2013 or if he can finally show some form that so many people seem to expect from him.