He may have missed out on the title, but despite that, Fernando Alonso still regards this season as the best of his career.
The Spaniard took the fight for the 2012 F1 drivers' championship right to the wire in Brazil, but in the end was unable to stop Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel from taking his third crown in succession, finishing the year just three points adrift.
Despite the disappointment, however, the Ferrari driver remained upbeat and added it wasn't like Abu Dhabi 2010, when a strategic error cost him and the Scuderia the drivers' championship.
“I'm very satisfied [with this year]. I think it's very good feeling what I have now," Alonso said.
"It was very frustrating maybe in Abu Dhabi, the feeling, two years ago, because we had it in our hands and we lost it. It was some kind of frustration there. Here is completely the opposite. I'm so proud and I'm so happy to fight until the last lap with the package we have in our hands.
“That is the best thing for me, to feel proud of myself, it was by far the best season of my career and I will remember this 2012 like some dream season. Obviously we didn't achieve the points to win the title but I won so many things this year: so much respect from everybody,” he added.
As for next year, Alonso has a clear message for Ferrari and that is to give him a much quicker car.
“For future we need to improve the car. I think we have the best team in terms of approaching the races, preparing the races. Zero mechanical problems, zero problems for the year. Good pit-stops, good starts, good strategy. But we were too slow,” he continued.
“We were behind the Red Bulls, behind the McLarens, and now in the last couple of grand's prix, behind Williams, Force India. We were clearly slower than them in pace. So this is something we must improve next year because we cannot fight for a World Championship if we are too slow.
“We can be a little bit slower but not that much. This year it was strange combinations that allowed us to fight until the end but I'm not sure we'll be this lucky in the future,” he warned.