Ferrari believes 2018 was its strongest F1 season for a decade

Ferrari's engineering chief Jock Clear believes the team has had its "strongest season for 10 years" in Formula 1 during 2018

Ferrari believes 2018 was its strongest F1 season for a decade

Although Ferrari emerged as a major threat to Mercedes in the fight for the Formula 1 championship this year, late season errors derailed its campaign.

While Ferrari was disappointed to have missed out on the title, Clear says that one of the key lessons learned this year is the need for the team to perform consistently throughout the whole season.

"It has been a fantastic battle and that's why we do this sport," he explained at the Brazilian Grand Prix. "It's seasons like this that you just relish.

"Obviously when you are on the wrong end of it, it is frustrating. But specifically, we haven't really looked back at what point, as you put it, things slipped away from us.

"The fact is a season is season and the points we score in Abu Dhabi are just as important as the points you score in Australia, and to win a championship you need to put together a full season.

"We haven't done as good a job in that respect as our direct competitors and we are aware of that.

"We look back over the season, we look at the strengths of what is probably the strongest Ferrari season for 10 years and we build on those strengths.

Year

Championship

Wins

Poles

Podiums

Points

Points per race

2008

1st

8

8

19

425*

23.61*

2009

4th

1

0

6

182*

10.71*

2010

3rd

5

2

15

396

20.84

2011

3rd

1

0

10

375

19.74

2012

2nd

3

2

15

400

20.00

2013

3rd

2

0

10

354

18.63

2014

4th

0

0

2

216

11.37

2015

2nd

3

1

16

428

22.53

2016

3rd

0

0

11

398

18.95

2017

2nd

5

5

20

522

26.10

2018

2nd

6

6

23

553

27.65

*points converted to current scoring system

"I think the win in Austin [for Kimi Raikkonen] is a testament to the fact that the team does come back and does fight back and we did understand some of the issues we uncovered in the second third of the season."

Clear believes Sebastian Vettel will come back a stronger driver in 2019 after the "unfinished business" of another title miss.

"The fact is drivers of his calibre relish the pressure," said Clear. "The top athletes pit themselves against the best and the pressure is the pressure. That's part of the job.

"I think he has enjoyed the season. There have been highs and lows. He said recently that losing the championship in 2009 he found more frustrating.

"On the whole, he has come to this battle willing to take risks, willing to give it his all and we're part of that. We've all done our part this year to the ups and downs.

"From Seb's point of view it just gives him more strength to come back next year and say 'this is unfinished business'."

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