Fernando Alonso is unlikely to have the fastest car, but the 2012 Ferrari should be good enough for the Spaniard to win the title.
That is the claim of Flavio Briatore, the former Renault team boss who is still linked to former double world champion Alonso's management.
The Italian told Rai radio that he thinks Ferrari's new car will be better than the conservative 2011 model, but still a few tenths shy of the pace of Adrian Newey's next Red Bull.
Fernando and Ferrari can win the championship.
"Red Bull had a great advantage and have been working very quietly in these last months," said Briatore.
"I see Ferrari two, three tenths behind their pace. If this is the case at the first race then Fernando and Ferrari can win the championship," he added.
Briatore also urged Ferrari to ensure Alonso is supported as the lead driver, with Felipe Massa in a clear supporting role.
"Last season was disappointing, but Massa was returning from his accident and he has always previously done well.
"At the same time, the second driver must be in harmony with Fernando. The world championship is won by a single driver and the team has to focus on that," he added.