Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has paid tribute to the efforts of both Fernando Alonso and the Ferrari crew for taking the title fight to the final round of the Formula 1 season.
Despite heading into the campaign fearing the worst due to the F2012 being uncompetitive, Ferrari and Alonso made the most of their opportunities to become eventual champion Sebastian Vettel's main challenger.
Domenicali has no doubts that Alonso delivered the best driving of his career this campaign.
"I think he did the best season, and I said that before this grand prix," he explained.
"He was always at the limit, not only from the technical point of view because you can expect this from a world champion like him, but also the way he was working with the team.
"He was always with the team and this is is a privilege. Unfortunately in the last three years we lost two times [the title] in the last race.
"So we need to make sure at that the start of next year we don't have a last race like here."
Domenicali also felt that the efforts of the staff at the race track deserved praise, because they worked tirelessly to fight at the front despite not having the fastest car.
He believes that the fact Ferrari was able to overhaul McLaren - which had the quickest car at various stages of the season – for second in the constructors' championship was proof of just how good a job his outfit had done.
"This championship, the best car was McLaren at the beginning and maybe at the end," he explained.
"To win the championship, you need to have the best car, the best reliability, the best team, the best strategy and so on. And McLaren are third. So this is something for us to remember.
"We know we have a good basis in other areas and we need to improve what is the weakest point. And that is the approach that we have to have.
"As I said to our guys, in a very difficult emotional moment, let's stay with our heads up, proud for the job we have done.
"It is something we have to remember, that this is sport and it hurts a lot because they [Red Bull] are celebrating.
"I am looking forward for the next moment where I hope it will be the other way around, so they can understand a bit better what is the bitter spirit that we are living now."