Mar.9 (GMM) Pedro de la Rosa has admitted he senses a little too much pessimism from the Ferrari camp.
Amid talk the famous team's new F2012 car is a flop and needs to be substantially redesigned, the La Gazzetta dello Sport daily wondered recently: "Let's hope it's just pre-tactics."
De la Rosa, the veteran Spanish driver for HRT, thinks there is an element of truth to that.
"They are better than people think," he told Cadena Ser radio.
"On the other hand I know that there are teams that are stronger, but I wouldn't rule out the podium -- I assure you," the 41-year-old insisted.
"What happens is you try to remove the pressure that is on you. As for me, I see Ferrari in a better shape than the sort of negative feeling that exists here in Spain.
"I think they have their problems like everyone else, but their car is faster than it seems."
It was Pat Fry, Ferrari's new technical director, who announced recently that the F2012 is not currently a podium contender.
"This is not something that goes through my head," Felipe Massa admitted to reporters in Sao Paulo this week.
I won't hide that we are not 100 per cent satisfied
"It is true we tested a type of exhaust and realised it was not the right thing. But last year everyone was 90 per cent sure we would fight for the title and then we did not.
"I won't hide that we are not 100 per cent satisfied with what we did in the three test sessions in Spain.
"But we have a very strong team and I have lots of faith in their capacity to be able to develop the chassis during the season," he added.