Fernando Alonso said he gave all he had at the Brazilian Grand Prix and the fourth place finish was the most he could get out of Ferrari at Interlagos on Sunday.
"Yet another race in which we did everything to perfection, from the start to the strategy and the work of the team," the two-time world champion said. "The final result is more down to the performance of the others than our own, because we could not have done more."
Alonso had a chance to finish second in the drivers' championship but ended in fourth place after Sunday's result.
He won only once this season, at the British GP, but also managed other nine podium finishes in a season in which the Red Bulls dominated. Ferrari was slightly behind the McLaren in most races.
"This grand prix produced an accurate reflection of the season," Alonso said. "We have almost always done our maximum, fighting for a podium finish in a car that was not as good as the top two."
He knows it won't be easy reducing the gap to Red Bull and McLaren in the offseason.
"We need a car that is about five or six tenths quicker," he said. "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 1 and holds every possible record in this sport."
Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa finished fifth in front of his home crowd.
"I would have liked to celebrate my one 100th grand prix with Ferrari with a much different result, but I have to accept the way things went," he said. "The race pretty much summed up the season."
The Brazilian was only sixth in the drivers' standings this season. Next year will be his last on the current contract with Ferrari.
"We must work on improving the car and I will do all I can never to have such a disappointing season again," he said. "What do I want from Father Christmas? I will be writing and asking for a fantastic car right from start to finish in 2012."
Massa also said he was glad to get a hug from Lewis Hamilton after the race after a year in which both drivers got into several disputes on and off the track.
"I want to say I was pleased that Lewis came round to see me while I was talking to the journalists," the Brazilian said. "It was a very nice gesture on his part."