Felipe Massa was delighted with his performance on his return to competitive action after qualifying in second place for the Bahrain grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver had not taken part in any official sessions since his crash at last year's Hungarian Grand Prix, where he was sidelined for the rest of the year.
But Massa showed on Saturday he had not lost any of his competitive edge, finishing only behind Sebastian Vettel and ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso.
"First of all, congratulations to Sebastian who did a great job for first race of the season," said Massa. "It is nice to be back racing and competitive in the right direction. I feel happy to be back after such a difficult time.
"I was watching races on TV but it's more exciting to be in the car. I am in a good direction, testing, driving go-karts, so it's great to be back for racing.
"If you look what happened to us, it is a good start for us. I feel very positive to start in second and third, it feels great. For sure Red Bull and some teams are strong, so the race will be difficult but I am happy here to be fighting for top."
The Brazilian, who finished just over a tenth behind Vettel, said he was confident his car will also be strong in the race tomorrow.
"I think we did a good job yesterday to prepare for a long distance," he added. "We used both tyres and swapped tyres on the long runs. I think we are in the right direction so let's see how we are going to be in the race tomorrow.
"There are many things that will happen in the race, let's wait and see but I am really optimistic."