Alonso: Ferrari needs a different 2012

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished fourth in this season's Formula One drivers' championship.

    Story highlights

    • Fernando Alonso says his Formula One team Ferrari needs a 'very different' 2012
    • Alonso had a disappointing year finishing fourth in the drivers' championship
    • Spaniard is a two-time winner of the title but was never in contention in 2011
    • Alonso says Ferrari's performance across the season only rates as a 'five or six'
    Fernando Alonso has targeted a "very different 2012" after his finish in the final grand prix of the Formula One season meant he ended 2011 in fourth place in the drivers' standings.
    The Spaniard narrowly missed out on the title in 2010 and was expected to prove a major challenger to Sebastian Vettel's crown but he only won one race all season -- at the British Grand Prix.
    Ferrari have toiled behind Red Bull and McLaren throughout the entire campaign, Alonso finishing 135 points behind Vettel while his team lagged 275 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' race.
    And the two-time world champion says his team must improve next year.
    "In terms of team work we grew a lot in 2011 and we must absolutely make this the starting point for a very different 2012," Alonso told Ferrari's official website.
    "If I had to score our performance, I can but repeat what Ferrari president (Luca di) Montezemolo said, giving us something between a five and six, but all the same I am proud of what the team was able to do.
    "We need a car that is about five or six tenths quicker: achieving that won't be a walk in the park, but I have every confidence in our engineers and in a team that dominated the last decade in Formula One and holds every possible record in this sport.
    "Let us not forget that I managed to get on the podium ten times and to score more points than last year.
    "Losing out on third in the drivers' championship is definitely not a big problem: first place is the only one that really counts."
    Alonso's performance at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix mirrored his campaign as he trailed the Red Bull pair of Vettel -- who secured the 2011 title with four races remaining -- and Mark Webber, who won his first race of the season.
    Alonso held third for a time before Jenson Button's McLaren proved too fast for him, and says he couldn't extract any more from his car.
    He added: "Yet another race in which we did everything to perfection, from the start to the strategy and the work of the team. The final result is more down to the performance of the others than our own, because we could not have done more.
    "I was not fighting closely with other drivers, but it would certainly have helped me gain a few tenths while overtaking.
    "This grand prix produced an accurate reflection of the season: we have almost always done our maximum, fighting for a podium finish in a car that was not as good as the top two. "