Fernando Alonso will bounce back from missing out on title say Ferrari
Fernando Alonso will bounce back from the disappointment of losing this year's drivers' title at the last race and be as strong as ever in 2013.
That's the view of his Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, who says Alonso "would have deserved the title".
"It is not easy when you do such an incredible season to lose in that condition," Domenicali said.
"But the strength of a champion is to make sure that in this break you recharge and once again be the best."
After losing the title by three points to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel after finishing second in the Brazilian Grand Prix last month, Alonso talked of his "pride" at putting together such a strong challenge in a car that was never the fastest in the field.
But Domenicali, who was speaking in an exclusive interview for the BBC F1 review programme, admitted the Spaniard had been devastated to lose out.
Domenicali said: "If you put yourself in his shoes, he knows and he knew at that stage he would have deserved the championship. Honestly.
"That's without putting any negative words on Sebastian - he won and so he deserved that.
"But if you look at the way [Alonso] performed since the first race, with a very difficult car in the beginning, then was able to maximise [his result] every time.
"In the races I think he was the one that did more overtaking than anyone else.
"In his mind he understood that in a way he lost his opportunity to win the championship and you cannot win the championship every two seconds, so I think that's why he was so down in that moment. As were the team."
But he said Alonso would have the mental strength to recover and fight again next season after a winter of preparation.
"If you don't have this kind of approach, not only in sport but everywhere, you will lose all your opportunity and strength and this is something I'm sure Fernando will not do," Domenicali said.
He added that Ferrari would try to absorb the lessons of 2012 in an attempt to ensure they could mount a stronger challenge next season.
"We learned the things that have to be improved, mainly on the development of the car, no doubt, but these things need to be discussed internally," Domenicali said.
"I don't want to use you, the media, to say what we are doing because this is something that is not representative of how I want to work, but here in our offices we know what we need to do."
Asked whether he shared Alonso's view, expressed at the Indian Grand Prix in October, that he was battling against Red Bull's design leader Adrian Newey as well as Vettel, Domenicali said: "If you look at the situation with Vettel and (team-mate) Mark Webber, Vettel was able to maximise the performance of the Red Bull in a different way. That is a fact.
"Red Bull have shown in the last couple of years to have one of the best cars. So the reference is for sure a different performance level than we had in Ferrari and this is something we have to take as an example to improve.
"If others are doing a better job you have to understand why. It is a matter of people, of methodology and of tools, of a lot of combinations and organisation, and you have to work in all these elements to make sure you can maximise what you have."
The BBC F1 2012 review show will be broadcast on BBC One on 29 December at 13:00 GMT