Fernando Alonso says his 2010 campaign will stand out in his memory, despite being beaten to the World Championship by Sebastian Vettel in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Alonso only needed to finish fourth to seal the crown, with Vettel winning the race, but he fell behind Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov – who were all on different strategies, and finished seventh. But Alonso is proud of Ferrari's efforts this season and is pleased just to be winning races and fighting for the championship in his first year with the team.
"It was a good year, the first year of my relationship with Ferrari," he said. "For the last few years I've been fighting to be in Q3 and now I've finally been fighting for the World Championship once more.
"I've taken five victories this year which puts me ahead of Niki Lauda and [Juan Manuel] Fangio, which is very special as I never thought I'd achieve so much on this list. I will remember this year for a long time and despite the final result. I'm very proud of this, the job the team has done and our approach to the last part of the year.
"We had engine problems in the first part so we were very limited with engines from race four onwards and we managed to fight for the championship to the last lap of the last race. Overall, I think that we did our best."
Alonso believes he and Ferrari wil come back much stronger next season, now that they have a year's experience working together.
"Definitely much stronger," he said. "This year I tested seven days before Bahrain and I arrived not knowing entirely what all the buttons on the steering wheel did, not knowing the names of the mechanics and the engineers. It was only around the time of the fifth or sixth race that I felt more comfortable. Now I feel very comfortable here and we'll start next year feeling a lot more confident. There's no doubt we'll be right up there next year."