Jenson Button has tipped Ferrari to recover, after the famous Italian team announced it does not initially expect to be a podium contender in 2012.

Paddock insiders are tipping a close three-way battle between Red Bull, McLaren and possibly Mercedes early this season, as Ferrari apparently flounders with its complex F2012.

But McLaren's Button said: "I'm sure Ferrari can find their way out of a sticky situation -- if they're in a sticky situation.

"We're all trying new things at the start of the year. One of us will get it right and I'm sure the others will follow suit in the end," he told the Guardian.

"They're obviously on the back foot but I'm sure they'll catch up."

Despite an almost unprecedented media muzzle, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso broke his enforced silence last weekend to admit by way of analogy that his 2012 car is not in top Barcelona football players' Messi and Iniesta's league at present.

But the Spaniard also pointed out that while the press is making a fuss about Ferrari's troubles, the immense pressure on Ferrari is unique.

"For example yesterday (Sunday at Barcelona) Red Bull had only a few laps and the last time on the sheet," Alonso reportedly told Ferrari staff at Maranello.

"If something similar had happened to us, hell would have broken loose, but here (in Italy) nobody really noticed it."

Alonso does not think he will be pushing for the Melbourne win next weekend, but he also insisted: "What counts is not to be first in the first race, but in November, at the end of the championship."