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Felipe Massa is adamant that he can return to the top step of the podium this year, with the Ferrari driver searching for his first victory since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 31-year-old, who endured a troublesome start to the 2012 campaign, is set to embark upon his eighth season with the famous marque this season. With his fresh approach to the sport, he is hopeful of putting together a genuine title challenge.
"(This is a) championship in which I want to be a contender," Massa said at Ferrari's pre-season event in the Dolomite Mountains. "I consider what I did in the second half of last year as training for this season and I want to be 100 percent competitive!
"It was vital for me to change my approach, not so much in terms of understanding the car better or the tyres, but getting a better understanding of myself, believing in my ability, even when so many people said I’d lost it."
Massa went on to explain that his new mindset has allowed him to enjoy racing again, something he believes is a fundamental part of performing well in Formula 1.
"I took to the track trying to find a sense of calm and especially trying to enjoy myself and that helped a lot in regaining my self-confidence," Massa added of his modified approach. "Today, I feel the fire still burns inside me and I know I can win and be competitive at the highest level, as I have done in the past in my career."
Although Massa has not yet claimed overall Drivers' honours, the São Paulo-born driver missed out by just one point in 2008, with Lewis Hamilton stealing the crown.
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