1 of 2
Andrew Brownbill, Associated Press
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa of Brazil right, and team mate Fernando Alonso of Spain chat at a restaurant in Carlton, Australia ahead of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne Thursday, March 15, 2012. Twenty four drivers will take to the grid Sunday, March 18 to contest the first race of the 2012 F1 season.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso says the team still expects to fight for the Formula One title this season despite acknowledging the scarlet cars are likely to struggle in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Alonso said Thursday that this year's Ferrari is still not a finished product heading into the first practice session Friday. The team is behind the likes of Red Bull and McLaren in development.

However, the two-time world champion said the legions of Ferrari fans should not give up hope yet, saying "maybe we are not as quick as other teams in this race, but we want to be champions in November."