Luca di Montezemolo has vowed Ferrari will come back stronger in 2011 following its failure to land the 2010 F1 World Championship crown over Red Bull.
The Ferrari president has been at the receiving end of fierce criticism following the tactical faux pas that allowed Sebastian Vettel to overhaul Fernando Alonso during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with fans, the media and even Italian politicians airing their displeasure at the unsatisfactory outcome.
However, di Montezemolo is shrugging off the disappointment, pointing out instances in 1997 and 2008 when Ferrari came to within an inch of claiming the F1 title, only to be disappointed.
Maintaining that Ferrari still had an 'amazing season', di Montezemolo – speaking at the end of year Finali Mondiali Ferrari event - is pleased to see 'anger' emanating from his team as he thinks it will spur them on to greater things in 2011.
“The important point is that, from 1997 to the present, with a handful of exceptions, Ferrari has always been a contender: after that it's a case of winning or losing which is part of sport, beautiful and terrible at the same time.
“I am pleased to see the team is angry with the outcome rather than disappointed or depressed. There is a great will to fight back and be ready for next season, when our aim is to have a car that, right from the start, is capable of winning so that we don't have to play catch-up.
“Right from Sunday night in Abu Dhabi I immediately tried to console our guys who were crying in the garage, spurring them to immediately look to the future. That is the strength of Ferrari, in that we never give up.”
di Montezemolo also played down any claims of upheaval within the team, saying one disastrous event isn't enough to put in motion any radical changes.
“Changes within the team? That is not our philosophy, because for years now we have adopted a policy based on dynamic stability: a few minor adjustments are possible, but no major upheaval. And after all, it has to be said that if we had not got it wrong with that “penalty kick” in Abu Dhabi, today the discussion would be completely different.
“[Fernando] Alonso was amazing, both on and off the track: determined and full of self-belief, a real driving force. I expect a lot from Felipe [Massa] next year: I am sure he will return to being the man we saw in 2008.
“I am very happy with the work with which Stefano Domenicali is moving us forward, with great ability, spirit and a sense of balance.”