After a woeful season from Ferrari in which they never once stood a chance of fighting for the titles, Fernando Alonso will be demanding more of the Scuderia in 2012.
Alonso made his F1 debut for Minardi as a 19-year-old at the 2001 Australian GP. It was quickly obvious that Fernando was too quick to be a mere backmarker and it was no surprise when manager Flavio Briatore promoted Fernando to the role of Renault tester and then handed him a race seat for 2003.
Since then his rise has been astonishing, with the next 12 months witnessing Fernando becoming the youngest driver ever on pole, the youngest to set a fastest lap and his win in Hungary in 2003 made him the youngest ever GP winner.
However, Renault struggled to match their 2003 exploits in 2004 and for a while Fernando's star appeared to be on the wane. Yet he returned to something akin to his previous form in the latter half of the campaign, finishing third in successive races at Hockenheim and Budapest.
The back-to-back podium finishes, though, were only a hint of what was to come and even before the halfway point of the 2005 season it was clear to (almost) everyone that in Fernando Alonso, F1 had found its new king.
While his rivals suffered with either a lack of pace or an abundance of reliability gremlins, Fernando, his R25 and its Michelin tyres were bordering on the flawless, claiming seven wins, eight podium finishes and the ultimate prize, the Drivers' Championship title.
Fernando clinched the title at the Brazilian GP, race 17, ending Michael Schumacher's five-year reign, Kimi Raikkonen's title dream, Spain's title drought and Emerson Fittipaldi's long-standing record for being the youngest-ever F1 World Champion.
Despite announcing in November 2005 that he would be joining the McLaren team for 2007, Alonso stayed with Renault for the 2006 season where, once again he partnered Giancarlo Fisichella.
As predicted, Fernando went on to claim back-to-back World tiles, although it wasn't as easy as it had been the previous season.
Not only was the season dogged by controversy and the banning of Renault's mass dampers, but the Spaniard was also pushed all the way to the finish line by Michael Schumacher. And one could argue that in the end Fernando's title efforts were helped by Schumacher's misfortunes in the final two races.
But no matter how it came about, it was Alonso who was crowned the 2006 World Champion when he finished second at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
However, his first season - and perhaps his last - with McLaren didn't produce the results expected.
Although he claimed four race wins and finished the year third in the Drivers' standings, albeit one point behind the 2007 World Champion, his season was fraught with arguments and bitter accusations.
First there was Stepneygate, which saw Alonso's email conversations with test driver Pedro de la Rosa sink McLaren, earning them a massive fine and their disqualification from the Constructors' Championship. Second there were his on-going arguments with Ron Dennis over his desire preferential treatment. And thirdly there was his on- and off-track fights with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
It was far from being Alonso's finest hour, with the Spaniard billed as the villian and two weeks after the conclusion of the season it was announced that he would be leaving McLaren after the two parties failed to see how they could continue working together.
After much debate and the news that Renault won't be punished after being accused of being in possession of McLaren's secret technical data, it was announced that Alonso would return to the team with whom he won both his World titles.
And although the 2008 season did not yield a World title for the Spaniard, it did cement his place as one of the sport's greatest drivers as he produced results beyond the car's capabilities.
After a dismal start to the Championship, with Renault well off the pace, Alonso helped turn their fortunes around, living up to his "I bring 6/10ths of a second" to the team statement made while at McLaren, winning back-to-back grands prix in Singapore and Japan.
He finished the season fifth in the standings, ahead of his McLaren replacement Heikki Kovalainen, and also helped Renault achieve fourth place in the Constructors' race.
In 2009, Alonso remained at Renault in a year that would be best forgotten. Results were few and far between while only one podium finish, Singapore, brightened up a year marred with controversy.
Following the sacking of his team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr, Alonso and then-team boss Flavio Briatore found themselves at the centre of a cheating scandal unlike any seen in F1 as Piquet accused Briatore of ordering him to deliberately crash at the 2008 Singapore GP, thereby handing Alonso the victory.
And although the Spaniard was kept away from the controversy and ever side pretty much denied his involvement, Alonso must have breathed a sign of relief when Ferrari decided not to keep Kimi Raikkonen, instead offering his seat to Alonso.
His time with the Scuderia began in style with Alonso winning the season-opening Bahrain GP. But from there, it went downhill as the Italian marque made mistake after mistake, prompting Alonso to push to hard an add a few of his own, such as his qualifying crash in Monaco.
With cries of 'cracking under pressure' ringing throughout the Italian and Spanish media, Ferrari headed to Germany where they looked on course for a 1-2 finish with Felipe Massa leading his team-mate. That, though, didn't last long as Ferrari ordered the Brazilian to move over, handing Alonso the victory and the much-needed seven points.
The fine that move handed Ferrari seemed a very small price to pay as his German GP victory sparked a turn around in form for Alonso who went on to win the Italian, Singapore and Korean races, putting him firmly in the hunt for the World title.
In fact, heading into the final race in Abu Dhabi, Alonso was leading the fight before, once again, a mistake from his pit wall cost him dearly. Instead of keeping track with Sebastian Vettel's strategy, Ferrari opted to mark Mark Webber, putting Alonso well down the order. And with overtaking near to impossible, the Spaniard could do little but watch the rear wing of Vitaly Petrov's Renault as Vettel took the title by four points.
That miss inspired many a comment from Alonso and Ferrari about how 2011 would be better, about how they would atone for their mistakes and about how they would seek revenge.
That never happened.
With the 150'Italia underperforming, even Alonso's ability to get more from a car than it has in it did not help. The team quickly discovered that they were on the back foot in qualifying with P5 being Alonso's average grid slot and although races were an improvement it was difficult to make up ground on the Red Bulls and McLarens.
Despite his best efforts the season ended with just one victory - the British GP - for Alonso and Ferrari, however, he did secure an additional nine podium finishes on his way to fourth in the standings.
2012 did not get off to a great start for Ferrari as the car was sorely lacking in pace. Despite this Alonso proved his worth as he made great use of the wet in Malaysia to negate the car's faults and claim the victory.
Another triumph in Europe - in a heavily revised car - and another in Germany put Alonso in the lead of the Drivers' Championship. However, as Ferrari's rivals blitzed them on Saturday afternoon, try as he might Alonso was not able to close the gap on Sundays and therefore failed to claim a win in the second half of the campaign.
While he faltered, Vettel came to the fore and pulled away of the Spaniard in the standings. Alonso and Ferrari tried to fight back but even incurring a dubious penalty for Massa on the Austin grid to benefit the Spaniard did not help.
Alonso, despite beating Vettel at the final race in Brazil, lost the title by a mere three points!
And although 2013 will see more promises from the Italian marque and their Spanish leader, it will take less talking and more working for them to return to the front.