Thursday, March 6, 2008

Massa aims for title

Felipe Massa is confident Ferrari's new F2008 can power him to his first world title when the season kicks off in Australia later this month.

Massa, who had to watch while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen claimed the crown last season, reckons this year's model is an improvement on last year's championship-winning car.

Already the Scuderia's 2008 challenger has proven itself in pre-season testing, coming out as the car to beat over long-distance runs.

However, it's no slouch on the shorter qualifying laps either, slashing last year's Bahrain pole position time by two seconds when Ferrari tested at the Shakir circuit in early February.

"Ferrari has managed to construct a really great car for this season, ironing out the weak points of the one we used last year," Massa told AFP.

"All my pre-season performances indicate that I've got a car capable of allowing me to fight for victory."

The Brazilian, though, concedes he's going to have to gain the upper hand over his team-mate to win the title, predicting that Raikkonen and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will be his main rivals for the drivers' title.

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