Felipe Massa's manager Nicolas Todt is confident 2012 will see a very different version of the Brazilian driver following a difficult 2011.
Massa was overshadowed by Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso last year, as he failed to finish on the podium all season long. But Todt is optimistic that Massa is refreshed ahead of the start of the new season and reckons the Brazilian – who last won a race in 2008 – is set for a much stronger year.
"Massa's 2011 season was very disappointing, and he's the first one to admit that," Todt told Autosprint. "So, by the end of last season he was conscious a turnaround was needed.
"I've spoken a lot with him, with the engineers and with Stefano Domenicali, trying to analyze everything that could be improved, and I must say that in the first few weeks of 2012 I found Felipe confident once again, with a vigorous approach that demonstrates his hunger for results. We need on-track confirmation, but I feel I can say that we'll see a very different Massa compared to 2011."
Todt, who also manages Jules Bianchi, said it was very hard to try to find a race seat for the Frenchman following his disappointing season in GP2. Bianchi, who is part of Ferrari's young driver program, is now Force India's reserve driver for 2012.
"In the last few months, we've spent a lot of work on finding the right program for Jules, considering that Felipe renewed with Ferrari in autumn and Pastor has a long-term contract with Williams," he added. "Unfortunately, 2011 did not go the way we had wanted to for Bianchi in GP2, especially in its first phase.
"After a few races, he had just a tiny amount of points and, even though he recovered in the second part of the season, I knew it was impossible for him to win the title, and likewise finding a seat in F1 as a racing driver for a good team."