Felipe Massa is refusing to rule out a possible podium finish for Ferrari at the season-opening Australian GP despite the team's pre-season woes.
Ferrari's team bosses have admitted that they are unlikely to challenge for a top-three finish in Melbourne this weekend after struggling during winter testing, while Fernando Alonso has warned that everyone "will have to grit our teeth for the first few races".
Massa, though, is hopeful that the team can make it onto the podium at Albert Park, but knows they still have plenty of hard work ahead.
Writing in his official blog on the Ferrari website, the Brazilian said: "I believe it's never been as difficult as this year to have a precise picture of the situation based on the winter tests alone: we will begin to learn the truth only in Saturday afternoon's qualifying when we are all in the same conditions.
"I already said this last week in Sao Paulo: in my head is the thought that we can fight for the podium but that doesn't mean that I don't agree with what Pat Fry said in Barcelona.
"I know perfectly well that the tests didn't go as we'd hoped because we had some very ambitious targets in terms of performance. We had some problems getting the best out of the exhaust system we had chosen and we had to go for a makeshift solution.
"That cost us precious time and obviously also a bit of performance. Only in the last two days could Fernando and I do some true and meaningful work on the set-up of the F2012.
"I remain convinced that this car has great potential: we must just find the way to get everything from it. We hope to start doing that as soon as this weekend at Albert Park!"
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