Fernando Alonso says there is no added pressure on him for the 2013 season despite him missing out on lifting the F1 crown last year.
The Spaniard led the way for much of the year but was beaten to the title by a resurgent Sebastian Vettel, who stormed through to his third successive crown with a fine run of form towards the end of the campaign.
Alonso will be eager to try and make amends this year when the new season starts in Australia but he insisted there was no extra pressure on him to succeed simply because of his missed opportunity last year.
“I don't think there is necessarily an obligation to win,” he said. “Sport means sacrifice, work, enjoyment of what one does and for the past three years, I've been fortunate to be in the fight for important targets. There are 24 drivers in Formula 1 and few of them can say they have won races and usually finished on the podium. Since I've been at Ferrari, two out of three times I have come very close to being world champion, which is the target for me and for a team like ours and I hope I can now make that three times out of four.”
The double champion also insisted that Ferrari would give him a better car than in 2012, where the team struggled to get the best from its machine compared to its rivals.
“I'm confident I can start the season with a better car than the one we had in the first few months of last year,” he said. “It was actually in the early races that we lost decisive points, when we had a car that was only good enough for seventh, as was the case in China or ninth in Bahrain. The fact we are working with just one wind tunnel, the Toyota one in Cologne, could be a small advantage.”