Fernando Alonso stood on the Formula One podium spraying the customary champagne like a man with plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Despite falling just short of his third Formula One title for the second time in three years, Alonso showed no signs of sulking, calling this ''by far the best season'' of his career.
Alonso finished second to Jenson Button at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, which wasn't enough to avoid also finishing second to Sebastian Vettel in the F1 drivers' standings. He ended up losing the title by just three points, having finished four points behind Vettel in 2010.
But the Ferrari driver, who had a commanding lead in the championship standings midway through the year, said just being able to compete for the drivers' championship was an accomplishment in a car he said was slower than the Red Bulls and McLarens all year long.
''It's a very good feeling I have now,'' Alonso said. ''I'm so proud and I'm so happy to fight until the last lap with the package we ...