Alonso finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in 2012 and reckons a few teams will be in the running this weekend.
“I don’t think we will see one team dominate, but also I don’t expect seven winners in the first races, like last year” said Alonso.
“It will be very close and from our point of view, a good result this weekend would remove some of the stress. I enjoy the Albert Park circuit, it is technical and difficult and the track, being a street circuit, evolves throughout the weekend.”
“I feel confident in the car, while knowing Australia will not be easy. As usual, our aero development will be the key to having a good season, while getting a good understanding of the new, more complicated Pirelli tyres will also be essential,” he added.
Felipe Massa added that while Albert Park is not his favourite circuit, he enjoys the Australian Grand Prix.
“I can’t say Albert Park is my favourite track, but I love coming to Australia, which is a great country with very nice people who really like their racing. The track here is demanding, but I expect the F138 will be well adapted to it and that we can have a good first weekend,” he said.
Like Alonso, he expects a few teams to be competing for honours at the front.
“I expect the drivers from two or three teams to do most of the winning,” said the Brazilian. “As for ourselves, we start the season with a better car than we did last year, so I am happy and positive with the way testing went, when I felt the car evolved from the first day to the last, when I was happy with the balance of the F138 and felt comfortable at the wheel.”
Massa also reckons Pirelli’s choice of softer compounds will help his progress.
“We will have the Supersoft tyres and I like that as I always prefer the softer end of the range,” he revealed. “In fact, managing the tyres, as well as making improvements to the aero side of the package through the year will be very important, but we really need to be perfect in every area, also on the mechanical side of the car. Personally, I plan to start the 2013 season the way I went during the second half of 2012 and then build on that.”
Ferrari has not enjoyed recent success in Australia, with just one podium in the last five years when Massa finished third in 2010.