FERNANDO ALONSO may be pocketing an eye-popping £20m a year to drive for Ferrari, but the double world champion has refused to bet even one euro on himself adding a third title this year.

Alonso’s caution, on the day Ferrari unveiled their new challenger for the forthcoming season, was nothing to do with a lack of faith in his latest team.

On the contrary, Alonso insists Ferrari has ‘‘the best technicians in the world’’, and given the work he has so far seen put into the development of the F10, the Spaniard is confident of hitting the ground running when the season starts in Bahrain on March 14.

But Alonso is not confident enough to dip his hand into his pocket and back himself to become world champion, not before any car has turned a wheel ahead of Monday’s first test in Valencia.

The unpredictable nature of Formula One so early on clearly makes it too much of a gamble as far as Alonso is concerned.

After taking the wraps off the new model at the team’s headquarters in Maranello, Alonso said: ‘‘The work we’re doing in February, with suggestions from Felipe (Massa) and myself on the car, makes me really confident as far as the first race is concerned.

‘‘We have a team that is able to set up the best possible car for you in a very short time.

‘‘What raises our confidence are the technicians, the data from the wind tunnel, the suspension, the mechanics and the engine.

‘‘It might even happen that the data on the track will be even more encouraging.’’ But when it comes to making a prediction for the season, Alonso was a little less forthcoming.

‘‘Every season is exciting and interesting at the start, even last year (when he was at Renault) I was very confident,’’ added Alonso.

‘‘It’s the same this year.

There are the huge expectations regarding (Michael) Schumacher’s comeback, which is very good for F1, which might be well received by TV viewers.

‘‘I think there will be two teams fighting for the drivers’ title and two for the constructors’ title.

‘‘Let’s hope we’ll be there, winning the title. But I’m not making a bet here, not even one euro. Right now everything is too open.’’ Alonso reiterated his commitment to fostering a good relationship with team-mate Massa, despite previous track history between the two and the prospect of their Latin temperaments sparking fireworks.

Despite the fact Massa has been with Ferrari for four seasons, and in particular there is an enormous sense of goodwill behind him in the wake of the accident that almost took his life last year, many are expecting Alonso to ultimately impose himself.

Massa, after previously working alongside Schumacher and then Kimi Raikkonen, has faith in his own character that he will stand up to whatever comes his way.

‘‘The expectations as far as my team-mate are concerned, I’ve been living with for many years now,’’ said the Brazilian.

‘‘When there’s a new driver at Ferrari there are great expectations, but the goal is to work well as a team, to be complete.”

In the intervening months since his accident in qualifying in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Massa has worked hard, both physically and mentally, to ensure he is in perfect shape to return.