Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari needs to take one final step towards winning the world championship, but it'll likely be the toughest one says the German.
After a lackluster 2016 season and a significant restructuring, Ferrari finally found itself in a position to give Mercedes a run for its money last year.
Vettel brought hopes of a return of the world title to the House of Maranello in 2017, but a catastrophic Asian leg marked by bad luck and mistakes ruined the team's chances.
The German says the Scuderia's level of performance remains intact however, although beating consistently arch-rival Mercedes remains a tall order, and a hard final last step to success.
"Obviously the regulations stay roughly the same. I think we have a good and healthy platform to build on at the beginning of the year so I hope we can continue," said Vettel.
"What we have to do is take that final step. If you look back, it's always that final step that's the hardest.
"There's a lot of work going on already and for the last couple of months focusing on next year, trying to make the car faster, with more power into the power unit, and then we'll see where we are."
Despite the disappointment of seeing his title chances squandered in the latter part of 2017, Vettel has undoubtedly taken away more positives than negatives from the momentum-building season
"In the end as a driver you want to win, and obviously when you are competitive at the beginning you don't know if it will be enough to fight for the championship," adds the four-time world champion.
"Usually it's a no-brainer: if the car is quick and you are doing your job, well then as the season progresses, it will lead you to good news or bad news.
"For the most of it I think it's been good news.
"There were a couple of weeks that were quite painful for us, but overall it's always great if you have a package that you can take to the fight."