Fernando Alonso counting on help from Felipe Massa and Pedro de la Rosa in 2013
Ferrari number one welcomes arrival of former McLaren colleague
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 17/01/13 1:25pm
The Spaniard heads into the new season aiming to make it third time lucky in his quest for a first world title at Ferrari, having narrowly lost out to Sebastian Vettel in final-race deciders in 2010 and then again last season.
Alonso made his first public appearance of the year in front of the media at Ferrari's annual Wrooom ski event in Italy on Thursday, and while he stressed that there was 'no obligation to win' this season, the 31-year-old made it clear that a title win in 2013 "is the target for me and for a team like ours".
To that end, Alonso is counting on being pushed by team-mate Massa, who rediscovered his best form to effectively ride shotgun to the Spaniard in the latter stages of last season after a protracted slump in form had appeared to make it likely that the Brazilian would lose his seat.
"I have always said that Felipe was one of the best drivers around and I still remember that some people smiled when I said this last year," Alonso told the assembled press corps.
"He and I have always helped one another, day by day and I expect him to always be very close to me in terms of performance: what was not normal was the difference between us over the past two years, but now I don't think that will be the case.
"That will be a very positive factor for me and especially for the team."
The Spaniard also welcomed the arrival of his countryman, and former McLaren colleague, de la Rosa at Maranello to help the team improve their simulator work.
"When there are new arrivals in high level teams, it is always important," Alonso added.
"Pedro will work mainly on the simulator, an area where we were not at the same level as the best and his experience will be useful.
However, Alonso also admitted that it would be the expected signings of further people elsewhere in the team that would really help make the difference.
"Having said that, it's not the case that a new driver can change things or can do it in the simulator: there are and there will be further and more significant new arrivals that can make the team grow," the former World Champion declared.