Felipe Massa is confident that Ferrari will be more competitive at Suzuka this weekend than it was at circuits with similar high-speed, high-downforce characteristics earlier this year.
The Brazilian expects Red Bull to have the edge on the field this weekend, but despite team principal Stefano Domenicali admitting that "we have to be more defensive" in Japan, he is confident that Ferrari will not be as far off the pace as it was at tracks like Barcelona and Silverstone.
"We improved a lot in the last few races and maybe we can be competitive here," said Massa when asked about the team's prospects for this weekend. "We are getting better and better every race.
"If you look to some races in the past on tracks similar to Suzuka, we saw that Red Bull was very strong. It's difficult to say about Korea because I've never been there, but of all the tracks that we are going to race on, this is the one that, looking back to Silverstone, Barcelona and even Turkey, we could see a very strong Red Bull at."
Massa expects that the Red Bull RB6 will be on the pace in all four remaining races this year, although he is uncertain as to how fast the McLaren will be.
"Even if Red Bull doesn't have the points that they are supposed to, they are going to be quick whatever the track," said Massa. "Maybe they will be too quick! But there are many races where they didn't score good points.
"McLaren is a little bit harder to say. In some races, they are very quick, in others a little bit less. It's difficult to say."