Felipe Massa is confident that his difficult 2010 season will prove to be just a blip in his career, and says this year's form does not necessarily mean he will be overshadowed by teammate Fernando Alonso again in 2011.
Alonso has emerged as a clear pacesetter at Ferrari this year, leading the championship into the final round while Massa is 103 points behind in sixth. But he thinks anyone writing him off on the basis of 2010 is disregarding his achievements earlier in his career.
"I know what I'm able to do and I know I can fight for the championship and for victories, which I did many times," said Massa. "You always hear from the media because they just look at what's happening now. They never remember the past, they don't see anything about the future – they just look at what's happened race by race. So I don't care about that so much. I care about what I am and what I am able to do.
"I'm sure if I fix the big problem I had this year I will be back in the fight, and that's what I'm looking for."
He denied that Alonso would automatically enjoy priority at Ferrari in 2011 if he took this year's title – pointing out that Kimi Raikkonen had won the 2007 championship but then ended up supporting Massa's title bid in 2008.
"People forget the past – in 2007 Kimi won and in 2008 I fought for the championship," said Massa. "This isn't the first time these things have happened to me."
He denied that Alonso was the strongest teammate he had ever faced.
"For sure he's a very strong driver, but I've always had strong teammates – I had Michael [Schumacher], I had Kimi," Massa said. "So it's not a big difference and I know about being a teammate of strong drivers. I was always strong as well."
The Brazilian reiterated that he was convinced his lack of pace this year had been purely down to issues with getting the 2010 Bridgestones to the right temperature in qualifying.
"That is a big point in what's happened this year," said Massa. "It was a big, big change from last year's tires to this year's tires and that was the worst thing for me. I'm sure it will be another big change when we try the Pirellis and I hope that can pull it back to the other side.
"The tires are a very important key to the car, especially when you have tires which work in a different direction than you expect and what you always have. The most important thing this year was to have the right temperature on the first lap in qualifying, and that's something that is a big point in the fight. If you cannot do what you are able to in qualifying, you know that you are not going to start first."