Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says the manner of Ferrari's failure to capture the title in Abu Dhabi last weekend has left the team with a "bitter aftertaste," but says the team will fight back stronger in 2011.
Following criticism about the strategy call that wrecked Fernando Alonso's title challenge in the season finale, di Montezemolo has written to the team's fans to thank them for their support.
In an open letter that was published on Ferrari's website, di Montezemolo also praised the efforts of the team's staff, who helped the team fight for the title until the final round of the season.
"A couple of days after the huge disappointment of the outcome of this season's last race, which still hurts, I want to talk to you," wrote di Montezemolo. " I felt, just like you and the whole team that the goal we have been pursuing over the whole season even when others had written us off was even closer after Saturday afternoon's qualifying.
"Unfortunately, a wrong evaluation from the pit wall during a crucial stage compromised the race, preventing the conquest of the title. The five marvelous victories by Fernando and the team weren't enough to reach our goal. This is the law of sports.
"Nevertheless, I think that all those who have worked so hard during the year – technicians, mechanics, workers and drivers – have to be thanked for their commitment, their dedication and the competence they showed, every single one of them. I thanked them personally last Sunday evening at the track and yesterday at the works, but today I want to do it together with our fans.
"Unfortunately, the final is not on a level with an exciting season, where we were the undisputed protagonists of an incredible pursuit race and therefore the result leaves us with an even bigger bitter aftertaste.
"I also wholeheartedly want to thank all of you, who encouraged us, cheered for us, stimulated us and criticized us, although always with affection and the passion, which characterizes those who really love Ferrari. It's during those moments, which aren't so easy, when you recognize the real fans like you."
Di Montezemolo says that the team's focus now is on making amends for what happened this season in 2011 – and says the first race cannot come around fast enough.
"I received numerous messages of encouragement, strengthening our desire to react," he said. "We all want to get back onto the track immediately for a return game, but we have to wait until the start of the next championship.
"Meanwhile, we will continue to work relentlessly on the 2011 single-seater, because we all, together with you have an objective: taking a winning car onto the track as of the first race."