Felipe Massa has hit back at those who claim he does not possess sufficient consistency to be able to challenge for the Formula 1 World Championship, insisting that regular points-scoring will be the key to success at the end of the campaign.

The Brazilian has triumphed twice in 2008 to-date - in Bahrain and Turkey - and indeed would be leading the drivers' title chase were it not for having thrown second place into the gravel trap in Malaysia. He has out-qualified defending world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen four times to one, including setting pole position in both Sepang and Istanbul, and is the best qualifier of the season to-date, with an average starting position of 2.2.

"I'm right in there in the fight," Massa underlined after triumphing in the Turkish Grand Prix at the weekend. "If you look at the past races, Kimi won one, I won the next one, Kimi won again and I won this race.

"For sure it's always very tight [and] the competition is very high, but after some races I feel I can be competitive everywhere and I'm just happy to reduce the gap a little bit, being similar to Lewis [Hamilton] and just concentrating on the next races.

"We know that sometimes you can win, sometimes you cannot win, but you need to score points like Kimi did [in Istanbul]. It's important to be competitive and then in the last three races you're going to see who is going to have the greater chance to win, but it's important to be consistent and to try to get a lot of points race-by-race, even if it's first or third or fifth, whatever."

The 27-year-old may be something of an Istanbul Park specialist - having now stormed to both pole position and victory across the Bosphorus for the third consecutive year - but he is optimistic of going well in the next round in Monaco too, despite the Scuderia having struggled around the tortuous streets of the Principality in 2007 as chief rivals McLaren-Mercedes were left to dispute the win amongst themselves. Massa has twice finished in the points in Monaco, taking fifth position for Sauber back in 2004 and the bottom step of the rostrum with Ferrari last year.

"Last year was okay," he affirmed. "I finished third in Monte Carlo, but McLaren were very strong there. We have been working a lot on the set-up for Monte Carlo for this year, so hopefully we will have a good car and a good chance to win there as well.

"Having a good weekend would definitely be a good result, even being on the podium as you always want to score as many points as possible. We know Monte Carlo is a track which can be very tricky - especially without traction control - but I am looking forward to being very strong there as well.

"For sure, McLaren was very, very strong [in Turkey] on race pace, but we had a completely different choice of tyres, so maybe we need to wait and see when we have exactly similar conditions, run-by-run. They had a different strategy as well, so we need to wait and see, but for sure, they were very, very competitive there.

"It was a very difficult race actually, and Lewis was pushing me very hard for the whole race. Knowing that he was on three stops, though, it was maybe not so good to fight and risk the car knowing that it was pretty possible to get in front again.

"For sure that was a little bit of help, as he was very strong and I couldn't hold him on the track. When he tried [to pass] I saw him on my inside and I said 'okay go', and we will see at the next stop how it is going to be. I knew I still had a good chance to win the race as three stops were a little bit optimistic.

"It was difficult, but we made it three times in Turkey which is just great. I think I can get a passport there already! It's fantastic to drive there - it gives you a lot of pleasure as a driver. It is just great to come back to a track where I won for the first time - that is always special - and to win for the third time in a row...it is difficult to explain my feelings."