Felipe Massa reckons he could have been in the thick of a big fight for fourth place in the 2014 F1 drivers' championship had it not been for some bad luck in early rounds.

The Brazilian finished on the podium at his home race two weeks ago, moving up to eighth overall after five scoring results in six races, but believes that not breaching the top five before finishing fourth in Austria in June dented his chances of joining Williams team-mate in the push for higher positions.

"It is a little bit frustrating to see how many points I am behind, and how many points I lost in those races," he mused ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi, "I would have been there, fighting for the top four in the championship.

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"It would have been a big fight between Valtteri, [Sebastian] Vettel, [Fernando] Alonso and myself, but I am not there because I lost so many points. I had all the opportunities to be there fighting with these guys and I'm not, so we need to make sure that what happened this year will not happen again."

While admitting that his performance relative to Bottas in recent races - he has finished ahead of the Finn in five of the last eight races - was also probably the result of fate, Massa shared his team-mate's view that Williams can push on and achieve better results next season.

"I think we need to believe that we can make a big step [in 2015]," he stressed, "It's another championship, even if the rules are similar, so we need to believe that we can make a big step.

"I think it can be possible and we need to work for that. We need to change little things around the whole car. Everything we are doing is aimed at making a big step, but we don't know how big it will be compared to the car that is in front now. And it is not just Mercedes, but all the other cars that are changing things for next year. We cannot relax - that is not the right target for next year."