Melbourne: Brazilian driver Felipe Massa will be happy if he gives it his best shot for Ferrari this season despite being under threat of the axe at the famous Italian team.

Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo earlier this year warned Massa he could lose his place at the end of the season and said he would be given "the best conditions to do a great job".

That turned out not to be the case in winter testing and problems with the new F2012 car led technical director Pat Fry to warn that the podium could be a step too far in the early races.

"The only thing I can do is to get out of the car 100 percent happy with my performance," Massa said ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Thursday.

"We need to wait and see which car we have and then to give the best performance you can. That's the only thing I'm looking for."

Massa, who made his Formula One debut for Sauber at Albert Park 10 years ago, has not looked the same driver since being badly injured in a crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.

The 30-year-old said, however, that his passion for the sport, and anticipation of the first race of a new season, were undiminished after 152 Grands Prix.

"I'm very excited, racing is what we love to do," he said. "Testing is very important but the race is really nice, with the competition and qualifying and everything."

So close to the title in 2008 before being pipped on the last corner by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Massa failed to get on the podium once in 19 races last season and finished sixth in the drivers' championship.

"I hope we can see a competitive car, more than we saw in the testing which was not what we expected," he added. "Now is the time we are going to see if we have the right answer for the championship.

"We saw some teams were strong in the test and we expected to be a little bit stronger. Now we're going to stop talking and start racing."