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'I well know that next year is crucial for me' - Massa

ESPNF1 Staff
November 23, 2011 « Police escorts for drivers at Brazilian Grand Prix | Kubica to miss start of 2012 »
Felipe Massa is looking to 2012 for better results © Sutton Images

Felipe Massa has accepted that 2012 will be a make or break year for him in Formula One, but is confident he can challenge for the title with Ferrari.

Massa has not won a race since 2008 when he went head-to-head with Lewis Hamilton for the title and lost out by a single point. Over the last two seasons he has struggled to match Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso and this year has scored just 108 points to Alonso's 245.

"I well know that next year is crucial for me," Massa told the Ferrari website. "I will have to do better and return to normality, which means getting back to winning and fighting for the championship. I've always believed in my work and my potential. I know that things will change and all this will happen."

Massa has not finished higher than fifth this season while Alonso has scored 10 podiums, including one victory. The Brazilian believes he has been unlucky and is hoping the tide turns in 2012.

"There have been races where I could have made the podium but circumstances always conspired to prevent it," he added. "But that's how the season has gone and I have to accept it. Now I'm totally focused on doing the best possible job in 2012. The team is also doing the same because it will be essential to have a competitive car from the beginning of the year and I'm part of this preparatory work."

This weekend Massa will race on home turf at the final round of the season in Sao Paulo.

"After such a difficult year there could be nothing better than to race at Interlagos," he said. "It will be great to race with the support of the crowd on the track where I started racing and where I've always given my best. I've won twice at Interlagos and I've started from pole position three times: here there's an extra motive to find the force that I'm looking for. I'm hugely determined to get my best result of the season to end it in the best way possible."