Felipe Massa, looking forward to his 100th Formula One race for Ferrari, knows he will have to raise his game to stay with the team after next season.
The Brazilian, twice a winner of his home grand prix at Interlagos and championship runner-up in 2008, has not stood on the podium this year and is sixth in a championship won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
"I have a contract with Ferrari until (the end of) next year and this is not the only moment (in my career) that I have to do a good job to renew," Massa told reporters at a mall appearance in Sao Paulo yesterday ahead of Sunday's season-ending race.
"Other times it has happened. I need a good year to continue," he added.
Massa, whose position at Ferrari has been under constant speculation almost since he arrived as a race driver in 2006, has already received a veiled warning from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
"We expect great things from him in 2012 and then decide how to proceed. Let's say he needs to prove himself next season," he told Italian media this week.
Massa said he also hoped to have a more competitive car.
"It was not a very good year, it was not an easy year," said the 30-year-old whose team mate Fernando Alonso is third overall and won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The Spanish double world champion has 245 points to Massa's 108 with 25 still to be won.
"To have a competitive car...the work is not only now but a few months ago. We wish to have a car more competitive so that we can play for the championship from the beginning to the end and not just some races," said Massa.
"Although my year was not good, I rely on the strength of the fans, as always...the excitement is always high when I go home," said Massa, winner in Brazil in 2006 and 2008.