Sebastian Vettel says he was encouraged by the comparatively small deficit he had to Mercedes at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel finished the race in third position, his 13th podium of 2015, but was only 14 seconds adrift of race winner Nico Rosberg after 71 laps, without the introduction of the Safety Car.
"It was a good race," he said. "We were close as we had never been before, which is a massive achievement, considering that Mercedes was pushing all the way, as they had nothing to lose.
"For sure it is not the most exciting race when you are a little bit alone, but it is still a very nice track, enjoyable on every single lap.
"It’s not easy to get everything right, looking after the tires but still trying to go to the limit. Overall I’m very happy.
Vettel hailed the progress made by Ferrari and is confident that further developments can be made for 2016.
"We know Mercedes have a very strong engine and Power Unit, a very strong car, and that both drivers are doing a good job," he explained.
"So that made their package very difficult to beat, but if you look at our Power Unit, the 'Motoristi' have done a miracle this year and the same goes for the car.
"Also, let’s not forget there was a lot of changes in the team, and that usually takes time to digest. We got into the right rhythm straight away, achieving some podiums and winning already the second race of the season, and I think we improved more than anyone else.
"Now in the winter there is a chance to make a big step but that is also true for the other teams. Our target has to be, again, to make the bigger step compared to everyone.
"I am told I had more podium finishes than any other Ferrari driver at his first season with the Scuderia: so I hope I can turn all of these 13 podiums into victories next year."