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di Montezemolo: It was still an amazing season

NEWS STORY
29/11/2010

Despite losing out on the Drivers' Championship, Ferrari boss Luca do Montezemolo regards 2010 as am amazing season and insists the Scuderia will be stronger than ever in 2011.

Speaking at the Ferrari Mondiali event at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit, the Ferrari president admitted his pain at the outcome of the season, Fernando Alonso missing out on an almost certain title after the Italian team made a basic strategic error.

"Even if there is much to be sad about when you come within a centimetre of taking the title and then lose it, this has still been an amazing season." he said.

"Having been in Formula One for such a long time, this was certainly not the first time I have lost a world championship at the final race," he continued. "I was in Watkins Glen in 1974 when Clay Regazzoni was fighting it out with Emerson Fittipaldi, then I was in Jerez in 1997 and Suzuka the following year, when it was Schumacher who saw the title slip away at the last.

"The hardest one to take was in 2008," he admitted, "when Felipe crossed the line he was champion, but then he lost the title the moment Hamilton passed Glock. The important point however 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."

Looking ahead, he continued: "For 2011 there will be various technical changes, from the return of KERS to the arrival of Pirelli tyres and an adjustable rear wing. We are starting from a solid base; I'm thinking here of the fact that at the end of last year, our energy recovery system was very competitive. As for the rear wing, I hope we start the season with total clarity as regards the regulations. I am not worried about it, but our experience of 2009 still grates.

"Ferrari is on the threshold of an important year after a very positive 2010, both on the sporting front, not forgetting the GT races and on the business and production side," he continued. "We are finalising the details for our first showroom in India, we are strengthening our position in China and the United States.

"In Formula 1 terms, we have very clear targets. 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. 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. 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 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.

I am happy to be at such an event as this, alongside Ferrari fans from all over the world," he concluded, "no other car company could do something like this."

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