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Massa sure Alonso would back title bid

ESPN Staff
January 17, 2013 « Raikkonen and Webber get new race engineers | Alonso names Hamilton strongest rival »
Felipe Massa: "I can't imagine a team not wanting two competitive drivers" © Ferrari
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Felipe Massa is sure Fernando Alonso would help his cause if he was fighting for the world championship this season.

Alonso has comprehensively outscored Massa over the last three seasons, and when Massa's form improved at the end of 2012 he even took a grid penalty in Austin to move his team-mate up a place and improve Alonso's grid slot. However, Massa believes he can continue his good form in to 2013 and if that puts him in to title contention he is sure Alonso and Ferrari would back his challenge.

"I can't imagine a team not wanting two competitive drivers," Massa said. "We are fighting for two titles and I am sure the team will help me if it turns out that my situation was the same as the one that meant Fernando was a contender these past years. I remember when Kimi [Raikkonen] was my team-mate and how much we helped one another from one season to the next. It's the same with Fernando, it's team work, while the harmony between us is a help, as it would be in any job.

"In Australia we start over from zero and it will all depend on my ability and on the way the championship pans out. I hope to get off to the best possible start and my aim is always to carry the Brazilian flag onto the highest step of the podium. This year, I am the only Brazilian in Formula 1 and it was an emotional time on the podium in Interlagos last year, hearing the fans cheering my name: it's a sign of the affection and closeness I feel from my country and that is fundamental for me."

Massa said he expected defending champion Sebastian Vettel and the two McLaren drivers to be Ferrari's main opposition during this season.

"We must wait and see the new car on track and right from the second test, we will have some indication, but it won't be until Australia that we will know if we have done a good job. Vettel is definitely one of our main rivals, but McLaren also finished last year with a very quick car and the stability of the regulations means they too will be contenders. In any case, I am confident in my team and I am sure Ferrari will be in the hunt."

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