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Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali says he would give Fernando Alonso a perfect 'ten out of ten' score for his performances throughout the 2012 Formula 1 campaign, with the Spaniard coming close to securing a third world title.
Alonso missed out on the Drivers' crown by just three points this season, having been unable to regain the overall lead after Sebastian Vettel surged ahead in Korea.
"I’d score Fernando’s season a 10: he is a fantastic driver, who combines his amazing talent with our group of people, protective when he needs to be and pushing in the right direction when things are not going as they should," said Domenicali. "It’s a privilege to have him as part of our team.
"Yes, it’s now been two out of three times that we have ended up losing the title at the last race and that is hard, like a boxer getting a punch in the guts, but we are reacting and I can tell you that in Maranello, there is a great desire to win a return match. Next year, we want to win and to be the best."
Domenicali went on to explain that if Ferrari can produce a much stronger car for 2013, it has all of the remaining ingredients in place to fight for both world titles.
"In the championship that’s just ended, we definitely had the best driver, the best reliability and a level of excellence when it comes to the work on the pit wall and during the pit stops," he added of the team's efforts in 2012. "What was lacking was the car, despite the fact we staged a recovery after the very complicated start.
"We also lacked a bit of luck, especially at Spa and Suzuka. That’s why I’d give Ferrari a 7, however, I want to say I am proud, as is President (Luca di) Montezemolo, of the work we have done. Next year, we must try and improve in those areas where we don’t match the best, but at the same time, maintain our strong points."
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