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.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
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 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.
Today's five most popular stories