Former world champion Nelson Piquet believes Felipe Massa is the favourite of the Ferrari drivers to win this year's championship.
Massa is currently five points behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen after the first three races of the season, but the Brazilian has showed better speed than the Finn in qualifying, something that Piquet reckons makes Massa the favourite.
Massa and Raikkonen have won one race each, but Massa has been on pole in the last two races, with the Finn admitting he must improve his qualifying form if he wants to fight for race wins all the time.
"Before the start of the championship I didn't know what the difference in speed was going to be between Massa and Raikkonen," Piquet told Autosprint magazine.
"Now I have no doubt: despite being behind in the points, Felipe Massa is the favourite for a very logical reason.
"It's simply that Massa is always faster in qualifying than Raikkonen, and nowadays GPs are won at the first corner. The tyres are the same, you don't have a day when the Michelins are better anymore, cars don't break down, and overtaking is almost impossible.
"So, when does a driver build a win by doing 90% of the job? It's at the start and at the first corner. With Massa more efficient in qualifying, I don't see how Raikkonen can beat him. If Ferrari maintains the current technical advantage, obviously the fight will be between Massa and Raikkonen.
"The GPs and the championship will be won on Saturdays and Raikkonen at the moment has shown to be unable to reach Massa's levels of speed. It looks to me like a rather simple situation," the three-time champion added.
Piquet also believes Massa has all the ingredients to be champion this year.
"It doesn't happen often for a driver to have a car as dominant as the Ferrari is at the moment," Piquet added.
"Massa must keep on doing what he's doing. He has the talent and the strength to end up the winner, he's certainly not another Rubens Barrichello. We are talking about drivers, personalities and characters totally different."
Despite Ferrari's strong start to the season, Piquet reckons their current line-up is no match for Michael Schumacher, who retired from the sport at the end of last season.
"Neither Massa nor Raikkonen are worth a Micheal Schumacher, even though the latter made a lot of mistakes in his last two years. Today the only driver in F1 that never makes mistakes and that makes the most of every chance is Fernando Alonso, but Massa is technically in the position to beat him.
"Everyone talks about Massa's past mistakes, but why doesn't anyone remember the ones made by Raikkonen at McLaren?"