Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes his former team has the performance to win the world championship despite its latest setbacks.
The Scuderia's double DNF in Singapore was followed by another nightmare weekend in Sepang, with Kimi Raikkonen eliminated even before the lights went out on Sunday while Sebastian Vettel was forced to charge from behind after a botched qualifying session.
The team's reliability woes angered current president Sergio Marchionne who vowed to make changes in Ferrari's engine department.
His predecessor at the helm of the House of Maranello hailed however the team's step forward.
"I think everyone realises now that we are close," he told Italy's Corriere dello Sport.
"The world championship is difficult but there are still five races, and with this car it is justified to believe."
Montezemolo is impressed by Ferrari's performance level, even as reliability troubles throw a spanner into the works.
"The important thing is to have a fast car," said the 70-year-old.
"Ferrari could have been first and second in the last two races. But it is better to have a fast car that is liable to break than a reliable car that is behind."