Ferrari’s F1 season: Great or not?

With a lot of focus today on whether Fernando Alonso lost the world drivers’ championship due to bad Ferrari strategy more than Sebastian Vettel actually winning it, Maranello is in high defensive mode.

I’m confident Negative Camber will be on that case.

My curiosity cuts a bit more directly in to something that team principal Stefano Domenicali is quoted as saying: “One error can’t cancel out a great season.”

I’ll leave the “one error” to Negative Camber, and it’s already being fairly robustly debated here.

But I’m wondering: Was this a great Ferrari season? Am I prone to judge the team against unfair expectations given its history?

Here’s more of what Domenicali had to say that I think relates to this question (the few typos are the team’s):

“What happened yesterday afternoon was a negative episode but it can’t cancel out all the good things that we’ve seen this season,” said Domenicali as he left Abu Dhabi. “We owe the fact that we returned to fight for the title until the end to the great work on the 2010 car that we already began at the end of last year. It’s also down to our cohesion and the capacity to react that we showed in the most difficult moments of the season.


“We must not forget that we were up against a car that was better than hours, there’s no doubt about that. Yesterday we simply gave Red Bull a present but we didn’t lose the championship here – or at least not just here. I could cite other races where we left important points on the track, without counting grands prix like Valencia and Silverstone where there were certainly unfortunate episodes. It’s easy to curse those who miss their penalty on the last day of the championship but, perhaps, someone else let in a calamitous goal at the first match of the season. The points are always worth the same, whether it’s the beginning or the end of the season.

“We’ve worked so hard in these 12 months and the results have been seen. We must be proud of what we’ve achieved, even if it’s clear that we’re also the first to get unhappy about not winning. There are some areas that we can improve, I think above all regarding the performance of the car that definitely has to go up. Our engineers know that well and I expect an important reaction from them. On the reliability front I believe that we have made some good steps forward: the initial worries about the engine were dealt with in the best way so that we concluded the season in similar condition to our main rivals.”

Can Ferrari really be calling a season “great” in which the team’s boss is admitting another team had a better car? Is concluding “the season in similar condition to our main rivals” the goal for Maranello?

How would you rank this Ferrari season? Great? Disappointing? Solid given a new driver and a second returning from injury? Showing a promise for 2011?

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