Michael Schumacher has fired out a defiant threat to Fernando Alonso, insisting he is ready to conquer the world again.
The Ferrari driver returns to home ground this weekend for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, buoyed by consecutive wins which have cut Alonso's lead to 17 points in the drivers' championship.
He is desperate to use home advantage to full effect and pile the pressure on to Renault rival Alonso.
Schumacher said: "I don't think that I have to state how charged up we are. I believe that it is clear for all to see.
"I can sense the same thing from the team. Our competitive spirit has been reawakened and we want the title.
"Things can change quickly in Formula One and this means that even a big lead can suddenly vanish. We are all focused on our objective - to put pressure on our adversaries, make up ground and win again."
But Alonso is not rising to the bait. He believes his defeats at Indianapolis and Magny-Cours should not be a cause for concern and is yearning for a return to the form which saw him win four consecutive races earlier this year.
"I am feeling very optimistic," said the world champion.
"We had a strong first half of the season, and they key thing now is to keep going and final-ise the job.
"The Renault team is ready, and I am ready. I think we can finish 2006 the same way we started it."
Alonso, who turns 25 on Saturday, hopes he can dent Schumacher's rediscovered confidence.
The Spaniard added: "It's important to beat Michael at every race, not just Hockenheim. But I think that a win in Germany could be worth more than ten points because of the psychological aspect.