Fernando Alonso has backed Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali and team-mate Felipe Massa despite a difficult start to the 2012 season.

With the new F2012 failing to perform as expected, Massa has struggled for any kind of form; failing to make it into Q3 in any of the four races and picking up just two points or a ninth place finish in Bahrain.

That has led to more speculation suggesting that the Brazilian could be replaced by Ferrari, but Alonso insisted that his team-mate was still up to the job.

"He's one of the best drivers in the world, and he has shown it during his whole career," Alonso replied in answer to a question on his official website. "It's easy to praise when you have a good car but also to criticise when you have a bad one.

"I lived similar situations during my last stint at Renault, when some of my teammates were unfairly criticised and now, they are being praised once again."

Domenicali has also come under fire for Ferrari's difficult start to 2012, but Alonso again showed his support for the team boss when the suggestion was made that Ferrari would benefit from having someone like his former Renault chief Flavio Briatore in charge.

"Stefano's work is fantastic in every sense and I can't think of anyone better than him," he said.

"As I explained before, it only takes one race to pass from criticism to praise. I'm very good friends with Flavio and we talk frequently. He's one of the most intelligent people I've ever met."