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Massa confident ahead of 2007 F1 season

india Updated: Dec 03, 2006 22:35 IST

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa expects to be among the title contenders in the 2007 Formula One season and is confident he can win the championship.

"I can't promise I'll win the title, but I know I have great chances of winning it," Massa told local Globo TV. "I'll fight very hard for it."

The 25-year-old Brazilian finished third in the 2006 drivers' championship, behind champion Fernando Alonso of Renault and former teammate Michael Schumacher.

Massa expects his new teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, to be his main opponent next year.

"Raikkonen is a complete driver, very fast," Massa said. "He has already shown his virtues and will be my toughest adversary in 2007."

Schumacher, a seven-time champion, retired from Formula One following the 2006 season. Alonso will be replacing Raikkonen at McLaren in 2007.

Massa picked up his first two career wins earlier this year, one of them in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. The victory ended a decade-long drought for the home crowd, which hadn't celebrated a Brazilian victory since 1993 when three-time champion Ayrton Senna won.

Massa was in Brazil this weekend to compete in the traditional Granja Viana 500 kart race, a 500-mile (800-kilometer) event that began Saturday night and ended Sunday. Massa, who started in pole position, retired from the competition after a crash with a slower driver damaged his kart.

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