Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Ferrari, has called on the team to use Felipe Massa's return from injury as the springboard to fight for the F1 title in 2010.
Ferrari endured a tough 2009 with the F60 and managed only fourth in the constructors' championship – losing out to McLaren
by a point for third place.
The season yielded just a single win – for Kimi Raikkonen
in Belgium – while the loss of Massa following his accident in Hungary in July was also felt as both Luca Badoer
and Giancarlo Fisichella
struggled while substituting for the Brazilian.
With Massa now due to return for 2010, and Fernando Alonso
coming in as his partner, Ferrari
will hope to return to form and di Montezemolo said the return of the Brazilian should give his team greater desire to succeed.
“This has been a very bad year, not up to Ferrari's usual standard,” he said. “There were several reasons, but we have a history and a culture of not looking for excuses.
“None of us is happy with the ways things went: we were hardly ever competitive enough to fight for the win and that is not our style. However, every one of us has the will and the ability to react and get back, not just to being very competitive, but also to winning.
“The symbol of our desire to fight back is really Felipe, who knew how to deal with a very difficult and dramatic situation and all of us can take that as our example next year.”
While thanking those drivers present – including both Badoer and Fisichella - Di Montezemolo also took the chance to again thank Raikkonen for his contribution during his final season with the team.
“I'm sorry he's not here today,” he said. “All the same, I wish to thank him on behalf of all of us for what he achieved in his three years with Ferrari. He staked his place in our history by winning the title in his first season, which was partly thanks to help from Felipe, to whom he repaid the compliment the following year. And in this difficult season just gone, he managed to score our only win of the year. I wish him the very best for the future.”