Ferrari revved up for F1 title fight
March 8, 2013 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Stefano Domenicali wants Ferrari to challenge for a first drivers' title since 2007.
- Stefano Domenicali convinced Ferrari can challenge for F1 world title
- Ferrari's Fernando Alonso missed out to Sebastian Vettel in last race of 2012
- The Italian team has not won a drivers' championship since 2007
- The 2013 Formula One season begins with March 17 Australian Grand Prix
(CNN) -- Stefano Domenicali insists his Ferrari team is ready for a tilt at the 2013 Formula One world championship, with the Italian team principal setting his sights on the podium at next week's curtain raiser in Australia.
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, was beaten to the 2012 championship by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel at the final race of the season having seen his challenge hampered by a stuttering start to the campaign.
Alonso and his teammate Felipe Massa struggled to match the speed of their rivals in the early races of last season, something Domenicali insists will not be a problem this time around.
Read: Kubica returns to motorsport
India's F1 story
F1's spiritual home in the U.S.
Stirling Moss: A history of Silverstone
"Unless someone else has done an exceptional job I'm convinced that Ferrari will be in the battle to the end," Domenicali told the sport's official website.
"I expect that the teams who finished in the top positions in Sao Paulo (last season's final race) will repeat that in Melbourne, probably with a reduced advantage -- that's what we are all hoping for anyway.
"A podium in Australia would be a good base on which to build the kind of successes we need."
Spanish driver Alonso was heralded for keeping pace with Vettel, who claimed his third consecutive drivers' crown, despite having a car many observers thought was too slow to compete.
Read: First lady of F1 takes control
After encouraging preseason tests, Domenicali is confident Alonso can deliver a first drivers' title since 2007 for the sport's most successful manufacturer.
"What are the factors that have convinced me that Ferrari has made a step forward?" continued Domenicali.
"The new business structure, the working methods, the modifications to the equipment that we have used to work on this car, the consistency of the results compared with our targets and what we saw in the recent tests.
"These all seem to tell us that we are on the right path at last compared to the past."
Ferrari will be entering its 63rd season in F1 this year, the only team to have competed continuously since the modern championship was introduced in 1950.
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
Today's five most popular stories