Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari are in much better shape this pre-season than they were last, saying the team is "confident" ahead of the new campaign.
This time last year Ferrari were in the back foot as the Italian stable struggled during winter testing and carried that poor form through into the season-opening Australian GP.
This year, though, Alonso says it is very different at their new 2013 car, the F138, has proven to be both quick and reliable.
"Obviously the conditions were a little bit strange, so it's very difficult to compare with last week or last year," said the Spaniard, who was in action a wet Circuit de Catalunya on Friday.
"Probably the confidence that we have now is much more than we had last year at this time.
"In the last test last year we more or less knew that we were around two seconds behind the leaders. We predicted we wouldn't be in Q3 in Australia, and it was true.
"This time is different. We are much more confident.
"The target was to reduce the gap we had in Brazil, which was seven or eight tenths, and I hope we have reduced that gap and that we arrive in Australia in a bit better shape than in Brazil, which means 200 times better than last year."
Asked if this F138 is the car with which he could end Sebastian Vettel's reign as World Champion, Alonso said: "I didn't see any reasons to not think so because last year it was a very difficult winter, we were completely lost, we had some races with the exhaust I remember ... and we didn't know what the car was doing. We didn't understand what was going on in the wind tunnel and on the track, and with that car we fought for the World Championship until Brazil.
"So we have now a car that is responding well to what we change on the car. We have a car that is doing what we expected the car to do. We know that maybe we are not the quickest still, but the starting point and the potential of this car is there.
"We can touch it now. Last year it was a dream to make that car work. This year to make this car work it will be much more easy, that's for sure."
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