Felipe Massa believes he and his Ferrari team must work flat out for the rest of this season if they are going get back to the front of Formula 1 in 2010.
With the Maranello outfit poised to shift its focus onto next year's car soon on the back of its disappointing start to this campaign, Massa thinks the team can taking nothing for granted about its future chances.
"We need to work, as we cannot say that next year we will be back," said the Brazilian. "We need to work for that. We know the other people know a lot about what they are doing, and they know how to make a competitive car. That is why I am very keen also to give good opinions about next year's car.
"I am ready to do a big, big job this season on next year's car, and also next year. That is why I am pushing hard. I don't have to say it though; I prefer to work together with the team and hopefully next year getting a competitive car to be able to fight for the championship."
Massa concedes that it is hard to accept that his title chances for this year are already over, but thinks the switch of resources onto the 2010 machine will be worth it in the end.
"I know even if we win all the races we will not be the champions, so as a driver I want to get back to the fight for the championship," he said. "To be honest, I am very worried to prepare a very, very competitive car for next year, so that is why I am pushing very hard for next year in terms of development, but I know that maybe after four or five races, maybe even less, we will not have anything new on this car. Sometimes it is hard to accept, but it is better to do it this way."
He added: "I miss the fight for the first position, the fight for the championship, but we need to keep working. You don't know what is coming next year, as nobody expected that Jenson Button would be first in the championship right now. So many things can change in F1."